Upon Further Review: Kenny Demens

Submitted by tasnyder01 on October 20th, 2010 at 5:04 AM

[Ed-M: Cleaned it up and bumped to Diary for excellence, and because I'm as anxious as the rest of you for what could be the first UFR of middle linebacker competence since David Harris. In lieu of the real UFR, which I imagine Brian will have up in the next few days, here's a whet. Note, probably best to read it while re-watching game on DVR or torrent -- there's no context written in]

[personal note:
1.) I will not make any conclusions from this.  It is only one game.  However, feel free to look at my other post:
http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/demens-vs-ezeh#comment-716323 which, together with this, describes all his playing time.
2.) I tend to be more negative towards Demens.  This is out of fear that if I get my hopes up I will somehow jinx him.  Therefore, what you see will be more negative than positive.  HOWEVA: He's still better than Ezeh.

3.) Thank you Mods for cleaning this up.  I am working on making all my future posts beautiful, but appreciate the help for a novice.
4.) BTW: this wasn't meant to be a diary but hell I'll take it.]

This is not a UFR but a UFR on Demens. I hope that this helps everyone and should be an addition to my earlier post about Demens' vs. Ezeh. Here is my analysis of Demens against Iowa.


First Quarter:

  • First play: Good read and was one of three tacklers
  • 3rd down: Bad angle, but the play was dead before he had to make a play. Lead to a PUNT!
  • Bit on the fake, but was there in time to make a nice hit
  • Almost intercepted pass, but not in his zone. Again bit up run, even though it wasn't even a play fake! Still was in the relative area of his zone. I’d give him a -1. On that though, Mouton was also in the zone. Someone help. MAGNUS/BRIAN/OTHER?
  • One other play we gave him a blitz, but it was a false start. He was blocked.
  • Pass play right to the guy that #22 was covering. Demens at least siddled back, but was out of the picture. I’m assuming he was the OLB on the top of the screen.  If he wasn’t apologies.

This is when Obi comes in and gets pancaked. Ignoring this crap/drive.

  • Demens back in at 2:02 and he either misses his guy or there are two in his zone.  Still can’t tell because he’s covering the deep middle, but isn’t that the safeties’ responsibility? Anyways, he gets the tackle after a bad (not poor, which I grade as “worse than bad” angle)
  • Next play: I blame this on Mouton. Demens gets off his block, but that was Mouton’s assignment.
  • Next two plays: I couldn’t tell if Demens was in (edit, it was Demens. Look at the time 2:57. That‘s him on the bottom of the pile), but the first one was a penalty on JT for “holding” or “PI” and the one after that the MLB stuffed the play. I don’t think it was Ezeh tho, so I’ll have to believe it was Demens.
  • On the TD that started at 3:06: Demens slams the TE to the turf then goes back to his assignment (the middle protect). This one wasn’t his fault since I believe we’re in a zone. Who had flats? #5. Damn his slip.

2nd Quarter:

  • Demens slips outside with the TE then runs up on the QB. Not sure if this was him knowing or DERPing up. Either way, an incomplete pass.
  • Next: screen play. He’s the ONLY ONE who reads it. He gets blocked by one of 4 linemen in front of him. Still, he at least read it.
  • Failed on the counter. The gain was only 2 yards, but he bit.
  • On the weird “barely caught” TD: He was guarding the RB. Nothing special here.
  • Got blocked on the 4 yard gain. At least he attacked. At most he attacked.
  • Pass to McNut but Demens left his man open too on a man-to-man assignment.  The dude (that Demens was covering) was only a TE also.
  • Demens wasn’t on the screen in the next play, as Stanzi ran for like….1 yard?
  • Covered the RB out of the backfield so well he still pushed him after the incompletion.
  • Wasn’t in on the first down @ 4:38. That play was also a 3rd and 14, and Roh was the MLB.
  • Failed play on the 1st&10 that gave them 5 yards. The whole LB corps bit on that counter.
  • Blocked on the next play as well. Mouton makes the tackle.
  • Covered the RB but the play was away from him.
  • Last play of the 2nd quarter: misses the hole. Might have been assigned to the wrong gap, but he hit the non-RB hole.

3rd Quarter:

  • HIts the hole and stops the OL from doing anything. Hits it with authority. The play goes for nothing.
  • Pass play. Again he covers the RB. Again, not a pass towards him.
  • RVB makes the play, but Demens was blocked while trying to read the play. This was the only time I’ve seen him play like Obi so far this game. Seriously. Play starts at 5:45 for those lost.
  • After the punt: great sealing block by the lineman on Demens. Demens wasn’t out of position, just the OL was in great position.
  • Demens hits his hole with authority, preventing a cutback. The play is to Mouton’s hole, and Mouton makes the play.
  • 3rd down. He’s out of the screen because the play is a deep pass (Cam is the only one on the screen).
  • PUNT! (one of many, I just wanted to say it)
  • Lots-of-yards pass to McNutt: Demens didn’t screw anything up here. He had a zone, and he was in it. Maybe minus for him not seeing that no one was coming to his zone, but I doubt it. We’re not in the NFL. (We’re at 6:36 if you’re wondering)
  • Again, zone pass protect. He lost the #38 player (Rogers) here. Pass protect fail.
  • Good job reading the run on the next play and hitting his hole.
  • HIts the TE on the next play as the TE goes out on a route. However, he’s too slow to guard the TE. The play ends up going to another man, but Demens misses the play.
  • On the last play of the 3rd quarter TD: Demens does a great job and if Mouton/RPS (from Brian) doesn’t F-up then it’s a good play for Demens and the whole D.

4th Quarter:

  • Not Demens’ fault. Mouton misses the guy. (as an aside, listen to the splice of 7:27-7:32)  really funny how that worked out.
  • MY FAVORITE PLAY YET! Demens plays his hole, reads the OL, and then hits the RB backwards. Imagine the opposite. You’d have Ezeh. (starts at 7:47)
  • Gets blocked by the C but still makes the tackle even though the play runs towards Mouton’s side (away from him).
  • Bring the house blitz. Couldn’t do anything there. Maybe could have been offsides and sacked to stop the pass? (It went for a TD)
  • Reads, and the play goes to his hole. Tackles. 1 yard gain. Check that: he hits, but the RB goes forward after contact to make it a 4 yard gain. Fuuu…
  • Again, hits the hole. Doesn’t get off the block (nor does anyone for that matter) and the DBs have to make the stop. Also, the play was away from him. He again got mixed in the counter.
  • You might remember this play: ball is fumbled and we come down on it….anyways….false start.
  • RB runs a stretch and then tries to cut back. Demens says “no” and tackles him. PUNT!
  • Fake to the RB. Demens bites. So does everyone else. Play goes for a 1st BUT….illegal formation. HAHA
  • Then…(Is this a mistake?) the same play? Same exact results? WHAT?
  • Then Kovaks says “give me a 4 year scholarship” and gets a TFL. Demens sidesteps a defender on this play.
  • Demens has the RB again on a pass play, but McNutt gets the 1st.
  • Good flow to the ball and then gets the stop for ½ yards.
  • Couldn’t watch the last two plays.

This is supposed to be a summary of Demens' play.  I do not want to give him my UFR because me:Brian::suck:awesome.



October 20th, 2010 at 8:37 AM ^

Isn't there always a chart?  Oh, sorry.  You are not him.  Nice breakdown.  I was at the game and then watched it again at home.  Yeah, he is better than Obi right now.

Magnum P.I.

October 20th, 2010 at 10:02 AM ^

Just watched the last play that Avery whiffed on again. If he had just impeded the RB's course a little bit that would have given Demens enough time to come over and make the stop short of the first down. Ugh.



October 20th, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

I imagine Avery is feeling worse then any of us having had to watch the film-surrounded by teamates-coaches etc.  It helped when Brian put it into perspective that last year he was in HS on the offensive side of the football.


October 20th, 2010 at 12:06 PM ^

It's not like he's never played on the defensive side of the ball before.  He was rated as a 3-star CB based on his HS performance at that position.

I think Brian's post about Avery was oversimplified and kinda unfair to a true freshman put in a situation he wasn't ready for yet.  Brian made it sound like Avery was a pure QB in HS and had no clue about how to play CB and is learning on the job.  If I'm Avery and I'm reading that I would be insulted.

Listen, he missed one tackle as a true freshman.

Avery is a tremendous athlete.

Don't worry, he's going to be a good CB for us.

Captain Obvious

October 20th, 2010 at 10:25 AM ^

and I say this not out of hope for anyone to replace Ezeh because I think some of his criticism is unwarranted.  But after watching this, Demens is just flat out better, and he looked even better than watching the game initially (most of the big runs were on Mouton not filling the cutback lane).  He read, attacked, made some plays(!) and even got a PBU in there.  He looked outstanding in his first start and I am optimistic about the future of MLB.  I hope he works on his speed all season/offseason and drops maybe 5-10 pounds, upon which time he will be a great, well-rounded LB capable of covering little pass spread teams and taking on the power-O types.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:04 AM ^

......is what I tried to tell someone else about Demens' play. While he did make a few bad reads, and missed his assignments a few times, overall the difference between him and Ezeh was nite and day. If good Mouton had showed up for game day against Iowa, the LB corp probably ends up being the strength of the D for that game.

As for GERG not playing him, one has to wonder if GERG plays those who practice well only, and if that is the case, are there others on D who might play better than the starters in front of them, who are there because of how well they show up in practice. Probably not, IMO. One has to wonder though, if JB Fitz just might be a gamer too, like Demens, and not show up very well in practice, hence his non-role in actual games.


October 20th, 2010 at 8:38 PM ^

......looking at the players in the game making little to no impact and pushing someone else in. At the point in the season, and it was early, that Ezeh seemed to not be playing well, the thought should have entered someone's mind then to put in Demens to see what he can do. Remember, practices are mostly done under rigid constraints, with very little in the way true decision or play making ability shown. The coach tells Ezeh to run into a gap, Ezeh runs into a gap. No problem. Except in game time when he has to decide not only IF he needs to run into a gap, but at which gap he runs to, hence the indecisiveness and plays where we see him getting blown back by an OL.

I realize it's not quite that simple, but GERG has enough years as a coach he should know when someone practices well but can't really turn that into good play on game day. That's why I'm wondering about Fitz as well. Could he be as good, or better than Roh playing LB? And if he is, and knowing Roh's penchant for pass rushing, could we have better line play by removing Banks and moving RVB to DT, with Roh taking over as DE? A lot of questions, very little in the way of answers.

Pea-Tear Gryphon

October 20th, 2010 at 12:09 PM ^

He just backs up Roh. I saw in in there quite a bit against Iowa. Oftentimes with his hand down on the DL. I think he makes a play for Mouton's vacated spot next year along with Mike Jones. Those two can battle it out and Demens can fill the middle. Roh keeps his spot and is spelled by whoever doesn't start between JB Fitz/Jones or Herron or ...

Communist Football

October 20th, 2010 at 12:29 PM ^

I have kept an eye on this situation.  Most of the recent DCDS football stars have ended up at other schools.  Jonas Gray (DCDS '08) went to ND (apparently because RR didn't want him).

Javin Hunter (DCDS '98), a prep All-American who also played on the Country Day basketball team with Shane Battier, was a receiver for Notre Dame.

Freddie Scott (DCDS '92) starred for the great undefeated 1994 Penn State team.

Both Hunter and Scott played in the NFL.


October 20th, 2010 at 12:09 PM ^

But no, I don't recall any other recent starters from Country Day.  I see the current roster does have a couple other DCD players on it, though.


October 20th, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

in your post you alluded to tackling and driving the RB backwards after the RB had gained some yards. I havent seen our LBs stop all momentum of an RB in 4 years.

I'm looking for shinning moments here.


October 20th, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

my opinion.  You have to have tough guys in the middle.  You can adjust for a linebacker's coverage deficiencies, but you can't adjust for lack of football toughness.  It is not just about physical attributes, as Ezeh has proved time and time again.  I am excited to have someone who is willing to, and deliver, real toughness.


October 20th, 2010 at 1:36 PM ^

To add to it all ... he's younger than Ezeh! I would argue that, even if Ezeh (considering how bad he is) were on par with Demens or even slightly better, I would prefer Demens simply on upside for the future. That's a no brainer in my thinking. If Ezeh is bad, and Demens is equally bad, you go with Demens - easy decision. The fact that Demens is actually better just makes me smile - and hope that we can somehow hold it together and build a better defense from guys that have been through it all together this year.


October 20th, 2010 at 4:18 PM ^

Looking through the video it seems that when Obi came in he was lined up about a yard closer to the LOS than the other LBs. When Demens was in he was lined up almost always even with the other LBs.

I remember someone pointing out that Desmond Howard said that about the OSU LBs during the Wisconsin game. They were to close to the LOS and getting caught up in the wash. I know it can't be as simple as taking a few steps back...or can it?

Blue in Seattle

October 20th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

I remember a Monty Python skit where they taught people how to do things.  Like playing the flute was simply explained as "blow in this end and move your fingers over the holes"

if your DL is "getting off the ball" then there probably is less wash, washing out to the LB level.  This is where that whole experience thing comes in and trumps the scouting report star assignments from high school.  Assuming your DL will perform against Wisconsin like it did against Ohio University is probably a bad assumption, but knowing how far to adjust without taking yourself out of the play requires experience and practice.

So yeah, it's as easy as "a few steps back", and "blow in this end and move your fingers over the holes"


October 21st, 2010 at 9:55 PM ^

Demens arms are as big as both of my thighs put together.  I am not saying he is our savior, but I think I might be saying that since anything good we here about a new linebacker and/or secondary could justify us calling him our savior. 

Please be good agianst Penn State K. Demens.