These are the characteristics of a successful defensive system:
- Lots of talent of varying experience levels at ALL positions.
- Coaches at every position who can coach technique.
- A coordinator who knows scheme.
- A coordinator who can communicate what he wants done by his position coaches.
- All of the above in place w/o change for at least a few years.
Let's examine the two teams in regards to these areas.
- Not really high talent, but does have players used to the system from seniors to freshmen. Seniors teach the younger players what the coaches expect and also hearing the same thing but in different words deepens understanding.
- In spades.
- That staff has been together for so long, this is absolutely true.
- The real secret behind Iowa's defensive success.
- No. Most of the talent is concentrated on the DL. Warren is obviously awesome, but Mouton and Brown are highly rated SAFETIES, and are playing LB. Mike Williams and Cissoko are young players, but Williams doesn't have anyone to mentor him. Cissoko...I feel for him.
- Not sure yet. If I was on staff myself (ha!) I could tell, but then I wouldn't be able to tell you. Man, that was helpful, eh?
- No, no, no. This is the real problem. This system is new to everyone EXCEPT Greg Robinson. He gets to decide not only the scheme, but also how he wants individual techniques taught. Maybe some of them are different than before. This means not only do the players have to learn new techniques, but the coaches have to teach differently than they're used to, perhaps. Continuity and consistency...and that happens when the coaches are so used to it they can coach it in their sleep and, furthermore, the older players can mentor the younger ones.
So, Iowa has 4.5/5 and we have 2/4 and IDK on the fifth (#2). It should come as absolutely no surprise that Iowa is better on defense.
If this defensive staff is still together in 3 years and Iowa is still more successful on defense (assuming they'll have the same staff) then I think it's safe to say that some of the assistants aren't cutting the mustard, b/c I'm pretty confident we'll have better players and will have rounded out the roster; i.e., we'll have quality players of varying experience at all positions.
As for this year, well, maybe we'll have an average defense by the end of the year.
I predict us to lose to MSU, get thumped at Iowa (they're quite adept at defending the spread), lose a close one to Penn State, and then maddeningly lose to Illinois (a la the basketball team at Iowa last season) but get the rest, including at Wisconsin and then, finally, over the Buckeyes. We end the season on a high note with a win over a name brand SEC team in the Outback bowl and finish 9-4.
Thanks, Steve. Even though there are some painful losses in your scenario, I will sign up for it right now. I have a few questions for you:
- You seem comfortable with GERG's knowledge and scheme, which puts me at ease. I assume you were less comfortable with what Shafer was doing?
- Why don't we give more help to our weak corner? How come that corner always seems to be out there by himself against Floyd or Doss?
- How do you explain that our highly-rated LB recruits who we so desperately need - Demens and Fitz - are still not very good in year two? Did we just strike out on both? Is it too early to tell?
- Why has the tackling fallen off so sharply from week 1? Competition? Habits? I was blown away by the crispness of our tackling early and not so much lately.