In one of the posts today, there was a comment regarding our defense only being as good as the weakest link. No matter how good our D Line, we can't do much because of our linebackers. Even if our linebackers improve, we're held back by our secondary.
In addition, in his press conf., RR was clear that many of the true freshmen seeing playing time would be redshirts, but have been pressed into service because of our lack of depth.
It also has been explained that very little teaching can happen during the season, and that most improvement will happen in the Spring.
Ok, these things all make a lot of sense to me. They mean that more or less, we are only going to do as well as our offense can do this year. We just can't expect hardly anything out of our defense. That's just the way it goes. It's crummy, but c'est la vie.
My questions, then, are about the defense in 2011. I would like for someone closer to the team to comment on the combination of depth, experience, and skill in the defense next year. I believe that some of the long time posters (Magnus, Sharik?) have suggested that we're on the right path for NEXT YEAR.
At DE, I have us losing Banks and Sagasse. Returning are Van Bergen, Black, Roh, Herron, Talbott, and Fitzgerald. This should be sufficient depth. Plus Paskorz and Wilkins.
At DT, we lose Patterson, and have Martin and Campbell returning. Campbell has to have the kinks out. (Please.) Plus Ash & Talbott.
At LB, we lose Mouton, (boo,) Ezeh (yeh!!) and Moundros?? and return Jones, Demens, Leach (?), and some redshirt freshmen. THIS APPEARS TO BE THE PLACE WHERE WE HAVE THE LEAST DEPTH. I guess it depends on how well the redshirts have learned this year.
At Spur, we lose no one, and return T. Gordon, Carvin Johnson, and Simmons.
At Bandit, we lose no one, and return Kovacs and Marvin Robinson.
At FS, we lose no one, and return Cam Gordon and Van Slyke.
At CB, we lose Rogers (ok,) and return Woolfolk, Christian, Talbott, Floyd, and Avery.
Here are my four questions:
- Given who is returning, is there anyone who is clearly deficient in talent? The biggest lack that I can see is Leach. I suppose Kovacs could be faster and bigger, but he isn't bad.
- Given who is returning, is there any place where we are seriously lacking in depth on defense? Looking at the roster, the secondary actually looks pretty good, but the LB corps is troublesome. I suppose it depends on how Bell, Jake Ryan, and Kinard step up.
- Given who is returning, are there any clear "weak links" in the defense? Will Jones (hopefully) and Demens, along with a redshirt or two, be a step up from Mouton and Ezeh, or will we continue to get gashed here?
- Are there any incoming Freshmen who can make an impact? From what I can see, Kellen Jones looks to have the best chance. I'm assuming that DE (Beyer) generally should redshirt to work on technique and conditioning.