Immediately after the game yesterday, I told a friend that whoever is responsible for this defense should be fired - whether its a scheme issue (GERG) or its a planning issue (RR). But I really do think that "what Lloyd left us on defense" should be examined. I believe that our offense is fine - we put up 28 points on the 2nd best D in the country, and we scored on the only drive we had Molk (huge issue losing him I think). So I'm not touching the offense at all here.
Looking at the recruiting process, we are currently starting:
5.5 Lloyd recruits (Martin, RVB, Banks, Ezeh (half), Mouton, Rogers)
5.5 RR recruits (Roh, Demens (half), Floyd, Gordon, Kovacs, Gordon)
Looking at this we have half our starting D as upperclassmen. Iowa has 10/11 starters as upperclassmen. Immediately this screams that "the cabinet was bare when RR took over for Lloyd". Not to say that RR has had his own recruits leave the program that could be helping us right now (BSmith, Vlad, J Turner). But I think the overall defensive problem is a combination of:
60%: Lloyd left us with little (Martin, RVB, Mouton could probably start on 9 out of 11 Big Ten teams - the rest would start on about 2 teams)
20%: RR has "ignored" the defense (our offense was left with little as well, but it seems fine now)
20%: GERG is a great positional coach (see Stevie Brown and Jonas Mouton improvements) but doesn't exactly equate to genius defensive coordinator status
Now, I don't think there is a lot that can be done about this year - but looking ahead to next year, here is what our D could look like:
D-Line: Roh, Martin, RVB, and either Campbell or Black (depending on 4-3 or 3-4). Grade: A-
LBs: Demens, perhaps Roh (if 3-4), T. Gordon, a no-name. Grade: D (RR I'm looking at you on this one)
Secondary: Woolfollk, JT Floyd, C. Gordon, Kovacs/MRob. Grade: B
Essentially, DLine gets a little better with another year of experience, the secondary makes a leap with Woolfolk back (currently I have them as a F grade), and the LBs take a step back (probably a C+ currently).
So, will our defense be any better next year? I have my doubts. There is no kid coming in (ala Dee Hart) that makes you say "wow, he could fill a huge positional need". We also lose Mouton without anyone of his caliber to take over.
What does all of this mean? Well, we could either grin and bear it with GERG and hope that by next year his schemes can become complex and our D can improve. Or, we can give him the 2008 D coordinator treatment (when our D was better), throw him under the bus, and fire his ass. Personally, I'm a risk-taking individual and would choose the latter if forced. It may only be 20% his fault, but I don't see this D getting any better under GERG, while another D coordinator might have the fire that this team needs.
I would like to add that my opinion matters very little. I didn't break into any math behind this. I don't have any direct ties as a booster to the program. But I think there is an obvious problem. The D is worse this year than last, and this offseason we tried the "well, just keep all the coaches in place and that will help". That didn't work. Ideally, we would demote GERG to a positional coach (where he excels) and get someone in to take over calling the plays (his RPS in Brian's UFR's is terrible). Ideally the person would know how to practice against the spread, but scheme for Big Ten offenses. This probably isn't feasible, but a man can dream.....