Joe Narcisse, the lone senior in the Cowboys' linebacking corps, is the undisputed leader after coming back from shoulder surgery that forced him to miss spring practice. (American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 12:04 AMIf you’re going just by the numbers, McNeese State might look like it is playing a 4-7 defensive formation this fall.
Anyone looking for one of the bulky numbers made famous by the likes of Dick Butkus (51), Ray Lewis (52) or Lawrence Taylor (56) won’t find them in the linebacking corps.
McNeese’s two starting linebackers, Joe Narcisse and Deonte Thompson, are wearing digits one would expect to see on a quarterback — 10 and 12. Backup Orrin Fontenot is just about the biggest guy you’ll see wearing No. 16.
“We’re trying to switch it up,” Narcisse said. “We didn’t have a really good year last year and we’re looking to bring something new to the table, starting with the linebackers.”
In this case, numbers do lie. These guys don’t hit like quarterbacks.
“I think we’ve got a chance to be physical this year,” said Cowboys head coach Matt Viator. “Joe’s a physical kid. We can run, but we can really fit gaps. And on the same token, coaching the offense, I’ve noticed we’ve got really great zone droppers in the passing game.”
Narcisse, the lone senior in the linebacking corps, is the undisputed leader after coming back from shoulder surgery that forced him to miss spring practice.
“I’m trying to show them good examples and practice habits,” Narcisse said. “I try to keep my linebackers motivated. I just try to be a good teammate.”
Fortunately for the Cowboys, leadership isn’t something that comes difficult to Narcisse, whose mouth is the only thing that runs more than his motor.
Whether it is pumping up teammates, talking trash to the offense or just discussing X’s and O’s, Narcisse always has something to say.
“He never stops. He can’t,” Thompson said with a laugh. “Joe’s going to be Joe, and you have to let him be Joe. He’s a good role model around here.
“Joe is the leader. Everybody has to follow Joe. How far him and Malcolm (Bronson) go is how far this defense goes.”
Thompson, who wore 51 last year, said he’s more comfortable switching back to the number he had in Pop Warner and high school.
“I told Coach V I want first dibs if I could get 12,” Thompson said. “I’m used to it. I’ve been making plays in 12 my whole life, so I feel comfortable in it.”
Playing behind Narcisse and Thompson are Fontenot and Hayden Dobbs (No. 41). Viator said Dobbs is as healthy as ever after being nagged by a shoulder injury throughout last season.
If any of the top four linebackers are dinged up this year, it might be up to a freshman to fill in.
Viator said true freshmen Bo Brown, Brody Burkhalter, Kyle Harden each have a chance to play, as does sophomore Corey Middleton.
“We want to go another scrimmage before making a decision (on redshirts),” Viator said. “We’ve got to evaluate some guys. We’ll scrimmage, watch them a little bit Monday and Tuesday and then try to make a decision.”
Posted By: Michael Ware Sr. On: 8/17/2012
Title: Coach V. This is Our Year
Get the QB to Play like a Mad Man. Make him believe He can Fly, and Go Catch Any Pass He Throws. That TE should Catch the Ball at least 6 Times a Game. That DL is, and will be a Steel Wall, If You Fire Them Up. Our LBs should make the other Team Wonder What's Next. CBs should act like they are recievers whenever they see a Ball. Make them Hit Hard, Run Fast, and Keep a Frown, during the Game. We are ready for Another Ring!!!!!!!!!!!