Hope and concern: Duke

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


Biggest reason for hope -- They honestly believe they can win.

David Cutcliffe and his staff brought that SEC swagger to Durham, and the standards have been raised. Having spoken to a few of the athletes this offseason, they honestly don't seem to care what anyone on the outside is thinking of them. Sure, there's a little locker room talk and a mini chip on their shoulders, but they won four games last season and have carried that confidence into the weight room and individual summer drills. Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is a talented veteran not only capable of winning, but also of convincing his teammates they are, too. Four wins should be reason for Duke to celebrate, but nobody within the program was satisfied, and that starts at the top.

Biggest reason for concern -- Rebuilding the offensive line.

Duke lost three starters up front to graduation in Cameron Goldberg, Fred Roland and Rob Schirmann. The offensive line struggled this spring to replace them and will have to take greater strides this summer. There was improvement, but they still lack game day experience. Kyle Hill moved from left guard to left tackle, so the unit has a whole new look. The one player back in his original position is center Bryan Morgan. In order to get the most out of Re'quan Boyette and give Lewis the protection he needs while dealing with a young receiving corps, Duke will need its line to come together quickly.