Even though last season ended with a spectacular win over The School Up North, as I pulled out of Starkville the grin on my face slowly disappeared as I began to think of 2010. The more I thought about it, the more concerned I became. The main reason for this was obviously the loss of senior back Anthony Dixon. I mean, let's face it, he WAS the offense. I was there when he dragged three Houston players from the twenty yard line all the way into the end zone for an epic touchdown that was clearly one of the biggest plays in all of NCAA football last year. The man was truly a beast and it'll be fun to see San Francisco utilize his talents in the NFL.
Although Chris Relf looked like an all star in the Egg Bowl, I still felt plenty of concern about just how effective he could be without Dixon. Last year he was considered to be a running quarterback and, up until that last game, that was pretty much where his success came from all season. He completed an amazing pass to Chad Bumphis in that game, but even Relf admitted that Bumphis wasn't the intended receiver. Obviously, he's amazing running the ball. I just never really believed in Chris Relf as a passer.
However, then I attended the spring game back in April and my attitude began to change. I'll be honest, I'd drank plenty of the Tyler Russell kool-aid and I was ready to be wowed by him. That simply didn't happen. Now, to be fair, some of this was attributed to the fact that Relf had more starters to work with. And I guess I should mention that I do believe Russell will be "the man" eventually, but not yet. I watched Relf closely in that game and I was pleasantly surprised. He looked really good. His throws seemed more accurate, his mechanics looked better, and he just seemed much more comfortable.
After hearing some of the recent SEC media day comments from Relf and the coaching staff, it became apparent to me that I've been worrying for nothing. My eyes did not deceive me during the spring game. Relf is becoming a better passing quarterback. He has obviously worked hard during the off-season to increase his chances of being the starter in 2010. Dan Mullen says he turned a corner and now I believe him. I believe in Chris Relf.