Cyler Miles Is Back, Damore’ea Stringfellow Is Gone

You probably remember the kerfuffle back in February when these two crazy kids got into an altercation with some other people.  I most certainly don’t remember the specifics, because who cares?  The point is:  these two kids got in trouble with the law and were suspended from the team.

As it turns out, Cyler Miles wasn’t charged with anything, but Damore’ea Stringfellow was.  Neither one of them got any reps in the spring practices, and now here we are.  May 15th.  Cyler Miles has been reinstated, and Damore’ea Stringfellow has decided to transfer.

It’s good news for Miles.  This is a team that just lost its starting quarterback, running back, and tight end to the NFL.  We might have enough pieces to make up for the losses of Sankey & ASJ (obviously, we can’t say those pieces will be better, but if we can get 80 cents on the dollar, that might be good enough), but we need all the talent we can get out of the quarterback position.

This is a big year for Husky football.  The defense has improved by leaps & bounds the last two seasons, coming to a head in 2014.  This year’s defense is going to be as good as it’s been, probably since the last Rose Bowl team.  We can’t let that go to waste.

Also, you have to figure, the offensive line is going to be as good as it’s been since I can’t remember when.  I’m not saying it’s going to be All-World or anything, but we’ve got enough upper classmen on the line with starting experience, that you HAVE to expect remarkable improvement over the last five to six years.

The foundation is in place.  The foundation – defense & the O-Line – has been mostly pisspoor for the last decade-plus.  In the Sark years, we mostly got by on the talent of our skill positions on offense.  As odd as it sounds, the script is flipped here:  there’s a lot of question marks about our skill positions.

And it starts with quarterback.  Cyler Miles is the only guy on the roster with starting experience at this level.  That makes his missing the spring practices all the more detrimental to our chances.  Maybe he’s good enough to overcome this setback, but he’s still at a serious disadvantage.  Had he participated, we’d be looking at a clear front-runner, and someone with serious momentum heading into this season.  In short, Husky fans would have a chance to relax in the knowledge that we’ll PROBABLY be okay with Miles at the helm.

Now?  I’m anything but comfortable.  On the plus side, I guess it’s a LITTLE comforting to know we’ve got three viable starting candidates, and that the other two – Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams – probably helped themselves a great deal by taking all the spring reps.  So, at least it’ll be interesting heading into fall camp.  I just hope someone is able to separate himself from the pack and take control of this team, because it can be pretty special.

Of course, it won’t be as special as it would’ve been had the whole post-Super Bowl incident never happened.  That’s because Damore’ea Stringfellow is no longer a Husky.

There is A LOT of smugness on the Internet from the holier than thou Husky alums out there who write about this team.  A lot of “this type of stuff doesn’t belong on this team”.  How soon we forget, when we graduate from college, all the dumb shit that WE’VE done.  It feels to me like Husky Nation has been pushing Stringfellow out the door as soon as they heard about this incident.

Let me ask you this:  why are we holding these kids to a higher standard?  If they’re truly STUDENT athletes, then you have to accept that as students – as young kids – they’re going to fuck up from time to time.  It’s how they respond that determines their character.  Maybe Stringfellow didn’t respond as well as the coaching staff wanted.  If so, that’s fine.  But, to expect these kids to be perfect – to never get in a fight, or get drunk at a party, or God forbid drink and drive even though MOST of us have done so at one point or another – is a little unfair.  Get off your high horses, people!  He fucked up!  And you should be more disappointed that he’s no longer a part of this football team than smugly happy that he’s leaving forever.

And don’t pretend you’re thinking about Damore’ea Stringfellow, the person.  You know him as Damore’ea Stringfellow, wide receiver, and that’s ALL you know him as.  You read some shit about the incident that got him in trouble, but don’t pretend for one second that you actually care about how his life turns out.  You care about him being a Husky or not being a Husky, and that’s it.  Leave his personal life to people who are actually IN his life.

As a Husky fan, it sucks.  Stringfellow was only getting better as the season went along last year, and he was due to REALLY take that next step.  If we could’ve gotten two more years out of him, there’s no telling what he could’ve done for our offense.  In that sense, in conjunction with the quarterback battle, expect our offense to take a step back in 2014.  How far that step back goes depends on the players who step up in his wake.  I’m not going to doom the season just because we lost our number one receiver.  That just means someone else will have to take charge.

Say what you want, but 2014 will NOT be a dull season.  Here’s to hoping it’s also a special one.

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