December 30th, 2010 at 11:05 AM ^

This board has had endless debate about the 3-3-5 - both its strengths and weaknesses as a scheme. 

But if you ask me, the main problem with the 3-3-5 this year for was not based on scheme, but rather its impact on personnel decisions.  There is so much flexibility position-wise in the defensive backfield and LB/DE positions, that we constantly moved people around to point where we couldn't develop any chemistry.  My guess is that much of this was also due to playing so many young players on D.

The good news is that hopefully we come out of this year with a better sense of our personnel and so positions will be more solidified next year.


December 30th, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

Defense is inherently easier to switch people around in, but we also saw a fair bit of positional switches on the offensive side of the ball (e.g. Odoms, Grady, Stokes, Barnum, Miller?) as well as between O and D (e.g. Washington, Ferrara, Campbell, Jones, Rogers, Moundros). 

Furthermore, the defensive switches can't all be explained by scheme. I see your point as it relates to Spur, Bandit, FS, but other positions also indicate a great deal of movement. The switches between CB and S (Woolfolk, Talbot, Floyd) would still occur in a 3-4 or 4-3 system.  The difference between LB and DE might still be fluid (Roh, Fitzgerald, Ezeh) in a 3-4.  Switches between DE and DT (Van Bergen, Sagesse) wouldn't be rare in a 4-3.

Some of this is need based, but some of it also seems to be related to the mentality of coaches. They're not shy about moving people.

Agree that positional stability is preferred.  Not sure we'll ever see it from this staff though.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody's comin' up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won't even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.  7's the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea! It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby! Step into my office.  Cause you're fuckin' fired!


December 30th, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

I always thought of MRob as a bit slow to be a FS, someone like a Cam or Jonas who is destined to be a WILL, am I way off? Hope it works out, with Avery Walls not coming we are pretty desperate for numbers there.


December 30th, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

We won't have any Fr. starting on the defensive side of the ball next year, unless of course some of this years recruits come in and blow the coaching staff away. That alone is reason for hope from going from a disaster to atleast a average defense.


December 30th, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

Defensive experience is the single greatest reason to expect improvement from this team in 2011. 

I'd be quite surprised if a freshman started next year, but LB roles are unclear, CB is historically a spot where a freshman can make an impact, and DL depth is thin with experience.  You never know...


December 30th, 2010 at 11:13 AM ^

I have a question about FS and Marvin Robinson and Josh Furman.  Is FS the hero position  or the guy who plays deepest and doesn't let anyone behind him?  If that is true, don't you want the fastest guy back there to cover the most ground.  I know Marvin is fast, but wasn't it reported that Furman has close to Denard speed.  I know Furman is a big kid, but would it not make more sense to try him at FS.  It seems he was always destined to be SS or LB.  I know he is raw, and would take some time for maybe the FS position.  Thanks for the help.


December 30th, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

Furman did come in raw, and the only experience he had on D was rushing the passer, mostly as a DE so he needed time before he was going to threaten for PT.  However, you're correct in that he might be our best athlete on that side of the ball, so as long as he gets his head wrapped around playing the position (no reason to think he can't) he could be very good.

I think with Furman it will depend on how big he is come fall.  I've heard he has a frame to support more weight, but he was also a weightroom fanatic in high school so it's likely he's closer to his ideal weight than your typical freshman. 

If he continues to bulk, he'll play LB.  However, if he stays at S, and we have him and MRob who are good options, that's not a bad problem to have since it sounds like both of them could play SS or FS and we will have guys like Vinopal, Carvin and TGordon, all freshmen this year, who looked good as youngsters.  Oh God, do we have depth on defense?  Look out.


December 30th, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

Thanks, I was curious   That was the confusing part, I remember reading in either the Hello post or something else on here that Furman rushed the QB also.  I know the services placed him in the safety classification.  I thought with his speed, he could play FS or SS.  I think the safety position is where you want your most athletic guys.  I was hoping he could be a Taylor Mays type.  I was worried that putting on weight would slow that speed down.  I don't think you find too many big guys with that kind of speed .


December 30th, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

No doubt Taylor Mays was a great college player, and I'd love to have the second coming of him at UM.  But a big reason he played FS at USC (besides "he could") was because USC had a number of great LBs while Mays was there (I believe they're all in the NFL now) and not another very good FS.  Had Mays played on almost any other team he would have been a LB, and quite possibly just as good.  On a lesser defense (and I think ours qualifies as such), if you have a guy who is big and fast, he's of greater value closer to the LOS, provided you have a guy at FS who can man his post.

Assuming MRob or other can play FS well, putting Furman at either SS or WLB would probably be a better use of his talents.

The fact that Furman has virtually no experience in pass coverage is certainly not a trivial point either.


December 31st, 2010 at 2:58 PM ^

Furman was an OLB in a 50 defense when he was in high school.  He wasn't exactly a defensive end, but like you pointed out, it was much different than FS.  Having played close to the line, I'm not sure anyone should expect him to have the necessary ball skills to play free safety.  Typically you see football players bulk up and move forward in the defense, but rarely do they move back into "more skilled" positions.


December 30th, 2010 at 11:35 AM ^

If I remember the recruiting stuff correctly, I got the impression that MRob came in pretty developed physcially (and had been since he was like 15).  So he may not have nearly as much room to bulk up for an LB type position.  While Furman is two inches taller and weighed the same as MRob, they may being added weight to him and end up as a ridiculously fast OLB using his pash rushing skills.

As for the safety terminology, I have no idea which safety they mean.  "Alley safety"?  Why can't we just unify the terms?  It all kind of hurts my head.