Andy Schob is sometimes deep in thought.
Know that, when the second-year Marietta High head football coach is thinking about depth during the first week of prep football practice at the Davis Avenue practice field at MHS, he's not even remotely thinking about the ocean or any body of water.
He's always thinking about his Tiger football team.
"We've got some depth and quickness," Schob said. "And, we've got some athletic kids who can make things happen."
Lance Weppler, Morgan Wynn, Perry Wheeler, Conner Hess, and Billy Grizer immediately come to mind as Marietta's primary skills players. But there are many other kids on the orange and black squad who will certainly make a difference this upcoming fall.
"I'm happy with our depth," Schob continued. "I think we're going to be two deep at every position, and that's going to help our competition and our depth as we progress during the season."
If Marietta's skills people are going to be productive on the gridiron, they'd better have some big, "bad" linemen in the trenches - and the Tigers do. A lot of them.
"I like our line," Schob said. "We have a good nucleus coming back, and they look good.
"We also have some kids who weren't able to play last year, and when you put the mix together...well, I like our line."
It's still too early in the preseason to put any of these big boys at a specific position, like center, guard, tackle or tight end, but some of their names are Ryan Offenberger - one of the best on the team - Cole Hupp, Todd Stacy, Wes Wagner, Keifer Johnson, and Adam Baker.
Then, there are 6-foot-3, 290-pound Keith Whealdon and 6-3, 220-pound Justin Sturm, both of whom did not play in 2008.
"Keith is one of our strongest kids," Schob said, "and Justin is a very athletic senior."
Know that Wheeler, a 1,000-plus-yard running back last season, is definitely counting on all of these big boys to open up holes for him. He knows that he goes nowhere without their efforts.
Not surprisingly, some of the linemen and skills people will be on both sides of the football when the Tigers kick off the season against visiting Morgan at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28.
More, of course, will be determined at practices and scrimmages in the preseason.
"Ideally, you want as few as possible to go both ways," Schob said, "but there's a few who are so good at what they do that we really don't want to take them off the field. Their level is so high."
Offensively, Marietta is expected to be in the spread again, kind of like what West Virginia University runs. And, defensively, the Tigers will probably be in a 3-5 alignment.
"The 3-5 is more of an attacking, gap-filling, aggressive defense," Schob said. "We have a lot of speed this year and a lot of aggressive, fast kids. So, we want to take advantage of that, and get them attacking and after the football."
With depth, the Tigers could almost attack in waves. And, you just know they will if they get the opportunity.
Well, well, well...
Now, you know why the MHS head coach is sometimes a deep thinker.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441, or at firstname.lastname@example.org