Arizona positions of strength, need

Over the next two weeks the Pac-12 blog is going to be running through each conference team and looking at two specific positions -- one that's a strength, one that needs some help.

Today, we begin with Arizona.

Position of strength: Running back

Key players: Nick Wilson, Orlando Bradford, J.J. Taylor

How they can help: If there's any kind of a silver lining to the fact Wilson spent a good chunk of last season injured, it is that other players such as Bradford got a chance to get some carries in his absence. Bradford had an incredible game against Oregon State, scoring three rushing touchdowns on just 19 carries and he closed out the season with 11 carries in the bowl game. So, he knows what it's like to have the team lean a bit more heavily on him. He and Wilson should create a great, tough running back corps for Calvin Magee and Co. Add in Taylor, who isn't ranked incredibly high in recruiting rankings or seen as much of a physical threat, but consider the fact the Los Angeles Times named him its high school running back of the year. Those three can create enough of a dynamic rushing threat that the offensive coaches have to feel pretty good about this position group.

Position of need: Middle linebacker

Who can help and how? At this point, Rich Rodriguez might not feel great about this position unless he has 10 to 12 middle linebackers on the depth chart. Would anyone blame him? In 2015, it was Scooby Wright and Cody Ippolito, then it was Haden Gregory and Tre Tyler. That leaves a coach feeling terrible about a position. Going into 2016, it's unsure whether Ippolito, who missed the season after tearing his ACL during fall camp, will be available for spring, and thought the Wildcats will have Tyler and Cal graduate transfer Michael Barton, they'll also have a new defensive coordinator in Marcel Yates. All in all, it's a position that's putting together a lot of the elements that makes a coach worry -- inexperience, new faces, players coming off injuries and some sort of a curse that afflicted the position in the past.