Gary Rose has been coaching a long time.
But Carl Albert's coach has never had to go through anything like what he's faced since the end of last season.
For the first time in his career, Rose has to replace all of his skill position players at once after graduation took the Titans' starting quarterback, receiver, runnings backs and tight ends.
“Never,” Rose said. “If I say to someone that I don't have any of those guys returning: ‘Oh, you're lying.' We don't though. We've got some potential this year. We've got some young kids that, if they come on, we can be pretty good.”
What Carl Albert does have returning, though, is a solid group of linemen on each side.
The group is anchored by seniors Kyler Walker and Caleb Holland, and junior center Gavin LaValley and tight end Chantz Woodberry figure to give the inexperienced backfield some time to work.
Holland has moved to tackle from guard, and LaValley has moved from tackle to center.
“We think Woodberry's going to be pretty special for us,” Rose said.
The Titans also have some depth up front, with Rose hoping that Blaire Ring, Cory McCalister, Anthony Woods and Tre Wilson will allow them to give players a break when needed.
Junior Steven Thompson and senior Caleb Toney are battling for the quarterback spot.
Toney, who is also working at halfback and fullback, will play on the offensive side either way.
If Toney is not the starting quarterback, he'll likely be used in short-yardage situations if nothing else.
“Caleb's a 400-plus pound squatter and he's so strong,” Rose said. “Steve's a little quicker and he's got some moves, but they both have things that set them apart.”
Other players who could fill the running back and receiver spots are Cameron Burge, Hunter Gomez, Mitchell Gomez and Bryan Williams.
Most figure to see time in the defensive backfield as well.
“We want to try to keep those guys as fresh as we can, but we're going to have to use some of them on both sides,” Rose said.
Also on defense, the Titans bring back a strong front end, including linebacker Chevin Noone, who could also see time as a short-yardage fullback.
“We're pretty green but there's some positive things there,” Rose said. “It just might take some growing pains early in the season to get there.”