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My big 3 are:
The Defensive line. I think the defensive line will be a real strength this year and will end being the reason we win the UL game (in a close one). We have some real hosses in Rumph & Cobble and Ukwu should have a strong senior year. Young Bridgewater (as good as he is) will be hard pressed with these 3 pushing UL's squishy offensive line around.
Running back. I am very excited to see Josh Clemons this year. He showed me a lot of promise before his injury last year. Very strong, agile, and hits the hole will lots of force. Also at the RB position I think Co WIlliams will surprise people during his Senior year. He has always had great burst and ellusiveness, just had a few issues holding on to the ball. Add Raymond Sanders in the mix and we have a very solid RB core.
Rick Minter. He may be our savior this year allowing us to pick up a win or two we are not planning on getting. With an aggressive defense filled with speedy young talent like Dupree and Caffey (Caffey will be a nightmare on corner blitzes) and a solid defensive line (and nothing to lose) Minter can gamble more on defensive and really force the offense to make quick decisions resulting in turnovers and tackles for a loss.
**(Wildcard): Quarterback. I know I will get drilled on this one, but I like Max. He has some experience from last year that will serve him well, and getting 1st reps in practice this year will make him better, sharper, and more confident than last year. Max has a lot of upside and a good head on his shoulders. I look for him to have a good (not great) year protecting the ball and making good decisions that results in positive yards.
I agree with most of what you said. You mentioned Minter, the problem with gambling is that you are very prone to give up the big plays. I'm not sure the defense can afford that luxury unless the offense averages 30 a game.
Keepin in fresh since 1986.
I'm placing my faith in Mike Summers and Pat Washington. I think we're athletic enough to compete and win a few games but progress on LG, LT, and RT are critical along with a competent corp of receivers.
I think our D will be pretty good even with the loss of Trevathan and Guy.
Critical, if I could pick the one single-most critical point on the team this year it would be at right tackle.
I agree....but on the flip side...if our offense can't put up 30, this may be the best way to help them. If our defense can put points on the board or give the offense a short field, it will make their job that much easier.
It's kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't. In which case, I'd prefer to see us make things happen as opposed to sitting back and reacting. JMO
That was my point as well. I think we are in a position that is best suited to gamble on defense. We will need some turnovers this year. And Rumph and Cobble have the ability to get into a quarterbacks personal space helping to cause some turnovers.
This post was edited by Big Sarge 21 months ago
I think along the same lines, Rob. Solid D in spite of losing our top two tacklers. Just really concerned about the OL, esp. RT. I hope both Mitchell and/or Woods provide the breakout year we've been looking for. I read a couple of things on the net that gives some hope, but I know we'll all be a quite anxious to see how the OL comes together.
I loved Danny T's style of play and Winston Guy really thrived in his position when he played assignment football. However, the fact that we lost 250+ tackles from last season's defense isn't really an indicator of how the defense will play in 2012.
Whenever I see someone post (not speaking of this thread in particular, but in general) about how the defense will be worse because we lost 250+ tackles, I wonder if they think that it means 250 more plays will just go for touchdowns in 2012 because those tackles don't exist any more.
I think our D will actually be better, and that's not a slap or meant to diminish the effort and performance of DT or WG. A lot of my optimism has to do with improvement coming from this being the 2nd year of the Minter D, plus the improvement(and maturity) in performance and depth upfront (including Collins being healthy). I look for our D to be more aggressive, in the backfield more and have more takeaways.
I'm really excited about AW being our leader in the middle and I'm anxious to see some of the battles play out....like at the LB/S hybrid position.
We needs some guys with ability to rush from edge to truly get pressure on Bridgewater. Whether that be Dupree, Ukwu, Douglas whoever. When those guys are getting pressure is usually when guys like Rumph and Cobble get sacks and those could cause some fumbles as big and strong as they are. But just saying that I hope we can get some pressure from the edge. No doubt that the two big guys inside will help with that.
Woods is looking pretty damn big and strong. If Mitchell is playing over him maybe thats a good sign of Mitchells ability but I too am worried about RT.
Danny & Winston did more than just tackle guys once they past the line of scrimmage. They both were the leaders in sacks, tackles for loss, and interceptions. The 2 of them were the sole playmakers on the defense, hopefully some guys step up to make those same big plays for us this season.
Big Sarge. Salute.
I think most teams everywhere lost production like that, especially if they put players in the draft. The point being that getting tackles, or tackles for a loss, or interceptions aren't the exclusive purview of Guy and Trevathan. I don't see any reason to act like any of those statistical numbers simply won't exist in 2012 because the players who made them in 2011 aren't here.
Sole playmakers??? Does the name Neloms ring a bell. Bud Dupree was a playmaker towards the end of the year as well.
Thanks. Just subscribed this morning. GO CATS
Yup, he does. Neloms had 2.5 TFL, 1 of them a sack, and 1 INT for the 2011 season. Are those defensive playmaker stats?
I'm excited about the future of Bud Dupree, we certainly need him causing trouble on the opponents side of the line of scrimmage this season
Guy and DT were big losses, but people should also note that in the Minter defense the Tackles are primarily block absorbers and the linebackers are setup to make most of the plays so all things being equal the linebackers should show higher numbers in this defense over a conventional 4/3 for example. That's not meant to dimension the accomplishments of these two fine players and Simpson and McDuffen definitely have huge shoes to fill but we upgrade both the Rushbacker and Mikebacker positions with Dupree and Williamson IMO.
"Ignorance is constricted awareness" - Deepak Chopra
and Big Sarge said it best, the 2 things I have hopes will help us steal some wins are D line & our talented deep running backs. Football is a simple game, the old addage of stopping the run and running the football is the surest way to win games.
I of those sacks was a sack, forced fumble, touchdown. Remember that. He's definitely poised going into his senior season to put up some numbers. No doubt a playmaker for us. You forgot him, its okay.
No, he wasnt forgotten. We just have different standards as to what qualifies someone as being a playmaker or not, Okay? You were impressed by that one single play made during a 12 game season, glad to hear it.
He was 3rd on the team in tackles tied with Sneed while playing 2 less games, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 touchdown, 1 int as a junior like I said in 10 games. He's definitely a rising senior playmaker on defense. Now you know.
I watched each and every game last season and that play, while a big one, wasn't even his best of the season. Kid's a monster hitter for his size and is a guy who can make plays.
That wasn't his only play, and to suggest that it is does a disservice to a pretty damn good athlete.
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