Sutphen’s play calling saw 72 percent of plays stay on the ground in 2012. The veteran coach, though, said his offensive philosophy will remain the same.
“It’s a factor of a little bit of what the defense wants to give you and what they want to take away, too,” Sutphen said. “That’s why a lot of people will try to just put pressure on our tailback or something like that. We have to be able to take advantage of other opportunities.”
The Sentinels also return senior Jarryn Granger at running back and slot back and Anthony DuShane at tight end.
The two combined for 16 catches, 355 yards and four touchdowns last season.
“Jarryn Granger is certainly one that can line up in the backfield, he can line up at receiver, he can line up in the slot,” Sutphen said. “Also, Anthony DuShane is back at tight end. Those are two guys who we think are good athletes. Those guys are the leadership of our team, and they are going to touch the ball.”
Sutphen, however, is worried about his team’s grittiness up front.
“That’s really my major concern going into the season — on both sides, the offensive and defensive lines,” Sutphen said. “We need to see that production, and we haven’t seen it yet. We’ve got a way to go there.”
Chase Dixon, Taylor Coffin, Devin Alkinburgh and DuShane will start up front on the defensive line, while Konner Bruce, Ryan Trudeau and Cameron Wright will patrol the linebacker positions.
“We’ve got some younger defensive linemen who are coming along,” Sutphen said. “We’ve got some experienced guys that are playing at the linebacker level for us who we think are going to help us. I think we’re going to have an improved linebacker core from last year to this year.”