April 20, 2010

TE David Blackburn adjusts to bigger role in new offense

ChippewaCountry.com recently caught up with Central Michigan junior tight end David Blackburn after the competitive spring game to get a few thoughts on the upcoming season. CMU now has a new coaching staff and a new offensive scheme for the fall football season and Blackburn shared his thoughts on the new offense.

"I think its good, it definitely brings something to the table in terms of competing with other teams, we can run the ball, we can pass the ball, and it's going to be an interesting year for us."

With the new offense in place, some of the players from last year's team with have new positions and new roles, and a lot of the positions will be used quite differently from last year. Under the previous two coaching regimes, tight end was a bit of an afterthought and had the position was blocking based. Now, with the pro-style offense becoming part of the Chippewas offensive package, the tight end will see much more action in the passing game.

"Yeah definitely," added Blackburn on whether he likes his new role. "I like making plays, catching the ball helping our new offense out, and not only from a blocking aspect, but from a passing aspect, making something happen."

While he is expected to see his receiving numbers rise this season, any individual goal takes a back seat to the team.

"I'm just trying to help the team first and foremost win the MAC Championship and follow-up from the seniors that left," Blackburn said. We want to win a bowl game and play well this year. We just want to show the whole Chippewa nation that we haven't fallen off."

CMU is currently going through dramatic changes on the entire football team and Blackburn has been receiving loads of playing time in the new offense. Some of that has to do with his talent, but he also happens to be the only scholarship player at his position currently. Before spring practice, CMU added walk-on Bryan Erickson to the roster and Blackburn has taken on a mentor role.

"I'm looking at it as a coaching thing, trying to help him out, trying to get him to progress in the offense and learn how to block."

As a returning starter at tight end on one of the more experienced players on the offensive side the ball, Blackburn has seen numerous players make strides in the spring.

"A lot of people, Paris Cotton has really stood out. All of our quarterbacks are doing good, our whole offense, our offense lineman, we got players all over the field" added Blackburn.

Expect Blackburn to continue his mentor role once summer practice begins as incoming freshman Joe Sawicki, Caleb Southworth, and possibly Joe Wirth, are expected to join Erickson in the tight end group.

Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting.

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