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Thread: 2018 Defense

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by short ornery norwegian View Post
    FWIW: looked at last year's stats for selected DL

    (solo - assists - total tackles - tfl - sacks)
    Richardson 11 - 12 = 23 4 0
    Moore 12 - 7 = 19 2.5 1
    Jackson 6 - 9 = 15 3.5 2.5
    Umlor 4 - 7 = 11 0 0
    Stelter 7 - 3 = 10 2 1.5

    Richardson is a loss - but for the other guys, it's not like they have to replace a bunch of guys who were all-conference caliber.
    Which group is better:

    1. Richardson, Jackson, Stelter, Moore (2017)
    2. Silver, Smith, Umlor, Moore (2018)

    I don't think anyone can say that on paper that group 2 is a lot better than group 1.


  2. #32

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    That’s just one position. Yes a critical one ... but they’re all critical, if you want to have a great defense.

  3. #33

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    Nobody knows how good Smith, Silver, or to a lesser extent Umlor will be.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Which group is better:

    1. Richardson, Jackson, Stelter, Moore (2017)
    2. Silver, Smith, Umlor, Moore (2018)

    I don't think anyone can say that on paper that group 2 is a lot better than group 1.
    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by GopherWeatherGuy View Post
    I normally agree with a lot of what Burns says but I'll disagree with him here. We lost 3 starters, both Epke's and Elmore off the DL into last year. All solid players with more size than what they were replaced with. We had limited options along the DL especially at DE last year. Our DE's were undersized and we'll have more options this year. Time will tell if they are better, but there's no doubt the DL will be bigger and that will help against the run.

    As long as Winfield and the DBs stay healthy, I think there is plenty of reasons to think the defense will be better this year.
    I enjoyed this back and forth with you and Hates Monikers. I was surprised when I listened to the podcast with how critical Ryan Burns was of Robb Smith. Not because he didn't have statistics and results that made those criticisms warranted, but it's by far the most critical he's ever been of a returning coach. Compare this episode to how he'd speak about the Gophers typically anemic offense (passing game in particular) under Kill/Claeys and how little criticism a particular coach would receiver. Burns job necessitates having people associated with the program give him information and it also helps to remain relatively positive to sell subscriptions to his site. For those reasons, I took his criticisms to heart in that he really is likely legitimately bothered by Smith's performance more so than any other coach which is alarming considering those previously mentioned offenses under the last staff.

    That said, I agree with you in that not having any full size DE options really contributed to the trouble against the run. For a lot of the year we had a tru Freshman in Umlor and an undersized former LB in Coughlin playing those spots. Winston is/was also undersized at the DE position as is Devers who saw little game action. I also think two other factors hurt the run defense last year that were out of Smith's control. The offense was so anemic at times that the defense had to be on the field a lot (even a lot by recent Gopher standards) and a tired defense is not a recipe for good run defense. The other issue was that all the injuries in the secondary basically demanded that the Gophers play a conservative style. Can't exactly play 8 in the box or send exotic run blitzes when former walk on safety Kunle Ayinde becomes your no.1 cornerback for a stretch of the B1G season.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by EG#9 View Post
    I enjoyed this back and forth with you and Hates Monikers. I was surprised when I listened to the podcast with how critical Ryan Burns was of Robb Smith. Not because he didn't have statistics and results that made those criticisms warranted, but it's by far the most critical he's ever been of a returning coach. Compare this episode to how he'd speak about the Gophers typically anemic offense (passing game in particular) under Kill/Claeys and how little criticism a particular coach would receiver. Burns job necessitates having people associated with the program give him information and it also helps to remain relatively positive to sell subscriptions to his site. For those reasons, I took his criticisms to heart in that he really is likely legitimately bothered by Smith's performance more so than any other coach which is alarming considering those previously mentioned offenses under the last staff.

    That said, I agree with you in that not having any full size DE options really contributed to the trouble against the run. For a lot of the year we had a tru Freshman in Umlor and an undersized former LB in Coughlin playing those spots. Winston is/was also undersized at the DE position as is Devers who saw little game action. I also think two other factors hurt the run defense last year that were out of Smith's control. The offense was so anemic at times that the defense had to be on the field a lot (even a lot by recent Gopher standards) and a tired defense is not a recipe for good run defense. The other issue was that all the injuries in the secondary basically demanded that the Gophers play a conservative style. Can't exactly play 8 in the box or send exotic run blitzes when former walk on safety Kunle Ayinde becomes your no.1 cornerback for a stretch of the B1G season.
    Agree with most of this but I’ll say that per Connelly’s statistics the defense was worst in the first quarter by quite a wide margin. This does jibe with the Claeys maxim of play softer early and make adjustments as the game goes on.

    https://www.sbnation.com/college-foo...chedule-roster

    No question the defense was hurt by some key losses so can’t judge too harshly, although they played very soft vs a fourth string QB in Bortenschlager vs Maryland prior to some of those key injuries which some might say played into their hands. Some would attack that and force an inexperienced QB into bad decisions instead of laying back.

    All that said this year should be more illuminating although we’re still razor thin on the back end and injuries will possibly be crippling again.
    “I mainly rely on internet accounts for my legal advice.”

    Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect...
    -Jonathan Swift

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I think Winfield is so important that losing him last year was the difference between 5-7 and 7-5.
    No question about this. Winfield is possibly the most dominant defensive player the Gophers have had since.......

  7. #37

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    I see that former Gopher defensive line coach Bruce Paup has returned to his former school UNI. If I remember correctly, he left the Gophers supposedly for the NFL. Nothing materialized. Back to college. Apparently couldn’t or didn’t hook on with any P5 program. Reading between the lines, I think he and PJ - or maybe the DC - had conflicts on teaching techniques. Or perhaps recruiting or lack thereof might have also created a tough situation.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMWinSTP View Post
    O better than D? So is the O going to be really improved or is the D going to take a big step backwards in his opinion?
    Honest question - which was better last year? Even if you say D, how much better would the O have to be to be better than it (if it doesn't improve)? Crap, through Special Teams in. I still don't know which of the three was "best". Probably ST? Oof.

    Both O and D were pretty historically bad last year. I hope someday I'm asking the same question after a 15-0 season in a whole different tone...

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeville Goldy View Post
    Honest question - which was better last year? Even if you say D, how much better would the O have to be to be better than it (if it doesn't improve)? Crap, through Special Teams in. I still don't know which of the three was "best". Probably ST? Oof.

    Both O and D were pretty historically bad last year. I hope someday I'm asking the same question after a 15-0 season in a whole different tone...
    The offense was historically bad but the defense wasn't. S&P still had our defense at 46th in the country.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I think Winfield is so important that losing him last year was the difference between 5-7 and 7-5.
    And unfortunately again with a lack of quality depth in the defensive backfield, Winfield staying healthy could be the difference between those two numbers again. Might be the thinnest area on the whole team with the greatest drop off between the 1's an 2's.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by LakerFan View Post
    And unfortunately again with a lack of quality depth in the defensive backfield, Winfield staying healthy could be the difference between those two numbers again. Might be the thinnest area on the whole team with the greatest drop off between the 1's an 2's.
    We should be okay at corner if Williamson, Durr and Thomas are healthy. Safety is razor thin though.

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    We should be okay at corner if Williamson, Durr and Thomas are healthy. Safety is razor thin though.
    Yeah, we are so thin that I think we'll see quite a few unconventional defensive sets (4 CB and 1 S). We're seeing this quite a bit in the NFL and I think Mike Zimmer even openly talked about it during the NFL draft. I think we always would have seen quite a bit of this (even with safety depth), but now we'll see even more because of our lack of depth back there.

    That said, I think we'll see a bit less structure in terms of "positions". It sure sounds like Kamal Martin is going to rush the QB and play LBer. Coughlin is definitely capable of that flexibility. We are even seeing it with our defensive lineman (Mayan Ahanatu, Umlor, Hickox, etc.) see to be guys who can play inside and outside. So I think we'll see more of that as well.

  13. #43

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    I think playing pure man (no deep safeties) or cover 1 (one deep safety) is too risky in college football. You can get away with it on a blitz, now and then. But if you live by it ... you'll die by it.

    And I think Winfield is a strong safety, correct? So he acts more like a linebacker on running plays, often getting a tackle or assisting on a tackle. So that puts his body under more stress/blows. Hope he can stay healthy!

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    It sounds like Shenault was the worst graded CB in college football last year against the run. He also got targeted a lot in the passing game.
    Couldn’t agree more. Hopefully Shenault has improved in this off-season. Most of our opponents saw the weak sister on defense and schemed against him. Most of the time the CB/S who leads the team in tackles, there’s a reason.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gophers_4life View Post
    I think playing pure man (no deep safeties) or cover 1 (one deep safety) is too risky in college football. You can get away with it on a blitz, now and then. But if you live by it ... you'll die by it.

    And I think Winfield is a strong safety, correct? So he acts more like a linebacker on running plays, often getting a tackle or assisting on a tackle. So that puts his body under more stress/blows. Hope he can stay healthy!
    Winfield can really do it all. It'd be awesome if he was playing with a safety who could just play all over the field. That said, I think he'd probably be our best free safety as well.

    As far as playing cover 0 or cover 1 in college, I think it's less risky (depending upon the QB). There aren't a lot of college QBs, especially with the wider hashmarks, that can take advantage of throwing deep to the wide side of the field.

    It really depends on the quarterback. There is quite a bit a bit of it played in college football, we saw a lot of it with Sawvel and Claeys.

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