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Minnesota Football: Golden Nugz 08-14-14...2 Weeks Till Gopher Football!

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Bob Levey

14 days till Gopher Football kicks off against Eastern Illinois.  Everybody making their plans for Thursday the 28th?

Before we get into the current Gopher squad, how about a quick look at one of our favorite former Gophers now playing in the NFL.  SBN's Cleveland Brown's blog, Dogs by Nature, looked at how MarQuies Gray was used in their first preseason game and his potential role in the Cleveland offense this upcoming season.

Their preseason game snap count shows that Gray played 40% of the snaps from Tuesday's game.  This doesnt mean a whole lot because it is the preseason.  But this comment was interesting.

The fullbacks got plenty of work, particularly MarQueis Gray, who looks to be utilized heavily in the passing game this year.

Then following up the game the crew at DBN highlighted Gray as one of the key takeaways as part of their game review (scroll down to #6 on their list).

Big Plans for MarQueis Gray: If we are going off of the first game only, then FB MarQueis Gray is going to be a significant part of the offense this year. I envision him being utilized in a role that would have been somewhat suitable for WR Joshua Cribbs back in the day, except that the coaching staff actually values Gray as someone who will see maybe 50% of the snaps per game.

We actually got to see quarterbacks get the ball to Gray in this game, as opposed to last year when it became a running gag that the ball would always sail 20 feet over his head despite being open. Besides that, though, Grey's blocking on carries by RB Ben Tate made me all-the-more impressed.

More follows those paragraphs with screen shots and talk about Gray's value as a blocker in the Cleveland rushing game.  It would be fun to see Gray become a key part of an NFL offense.  What a strange path of positions Gray has gone through over the years.  QB to WR to QB to WR to NFL TE to FB.  I'm sure he's happy to be collecting an NFL check and contributing on Sundays.