Monday, July 26, 2010

Just how good is UNC's Marvin Austin?

One of the great aspects of the ACC Football Kickoff at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro is you get to catch up with other sports reporters who follow the league closely. And some of the best insights come not in the interviews, but in the press room.

Sunday night, I got into a long discussion about UNC defensive tackle Marvin Austin with some other reporters who closely follow the team. We all agreed that while Austin is very good, he's not as terrific as his reputation might suggest. Austin is super quotable and media friendly, which means he is often on TV and in the paper. And he has a penchant for spectacular plays, so when he is at his best, he is easy to remember.

But play in and play out, he's not one of the best on Carolina's defense, as a fellow reporter aptly noted. The Tar Heels can stand to lose Austin more than some others on that defense.  Austin is highly rated by the NFL, but defensive tackles who can move are always in demand.

So good is Austin? It's an interesting question. He was 10th on the team in tackles with 42, but that's not a fair measure of an interior lineman. He had 4.0 sacks, tied for third on the team.

Much more coming from Greensboro Monday afteroon, and more insights from fellow reporters ahead as well.

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