Well, by golly, we did end up losing exactly seven guys off the D.

MNVCGUY

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One huge help for our defense early will be if the offense can hit the ground running next year. With Iowa looming in week 3 I wouldn't expect to see a lot of new wrinkles in those first few games but with the amount of returning talent we have they should be able to put up a lot of points in those first few games running the stuff from 2019.
 

MNVCGUY

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I think some of you are underestimating Coughlin......
The biggest thing we lose with Coughlin is leadership. It will be interesting to see who takes on that leadership role on defense because above all else I feel like that is what guys like Barber and Coughlin brought to the table.

From a production standpoint I think the new guys on D should be fine. But some new leaders will need to step up, especially with Winfield going pro. Guys like Durr and MSM would seem like obvious candidates but will be interesting to see how that shakes out over spring and fall.
 

OldBob53

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It does put a giant ? mark over next years defense. FAU and BYU will both be challenging games and we'll learn more about the D then. Oh, and vs Iowa in September.
 

PitinoFan

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It does put a giant ? mark over next years defense. FAU and BYU will both be challenging games and we'll learn more about the D then. Oh, and vs Iowa in September.
Scared of BYU and FAU?
 

salzie

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The biggest thing we lose with Coughlin is leadership. It will be interesting to see who takes on that leadership role on defense because above all else I feel like that is what guys like Barber and Coughlin brought to the table.

From a production standpoint I think the new guys on D should be fine. But some new leaders will need to step up, especially with Winfield going pro. Guys like Durr and MSM would seem like obvious candidates but will be interesting to see how that shakes out over spring and fall.
Coughlin did some things that don't show up in the box score and despite not great sack numbers last year was our best pass rusher.

I rank our losses:
Winfield
Coughlin
Johnson
Martin
Smith


You could argue Johnson ahead of coughlin, but I'm more confident in our WR depth.....
 

Panthadad2

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Coughlin did some things that don't show up in the box score and despite not great sack numbers last year was our best pass rusher.

I rank our losses:
Winfield
Coughlin
Johnson
Martin
Smith

You could argue Johnson ahead of coughlin, but I'm more confident in our WR depth.....
TJ made scores of incredible clutch 50/50 catches (with him, more like 90/10) that Tanner throws so well. The other receivers don't quite have that skill set (yet) so I'm not sure that production can be replicated. You're right, though, in that Coughlin got a lot of QB pressure while still keeping contain that doesn't show up in the stats.
 

salzie

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TJ made scores of incredible clutch 50/50 catches (with him, more like 90/10) that Tanner throws so well. The other receivers don't quite have that skill set (yet) so I'm not sure that production can be replicated. You're right, though, in that Coughlin got a lot of QB pressure while still keeping contain that doesn't show up in the stats.
Yeah, I don't CAB will be as good as TJ, but I think increased roles to Bateman, Cab, young guy, and maybe even Brevy Spann Ford when can replace that production through committee, not necessarily one individual player.
 

MNVCGUY

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Yeah, I don't CAB will be as good as TJ, but I think increased roles to Bateman, Cab, young guy, and maybe even Brevy Spann Ford when can replace that production through committee, not necessarily one individual player.
The one advantage CAB has over TJ is to this point he hasn't had nearly as many easy drops, his hands seem really reliable. TJ got a lot better in regards to the drops in his senior year but it was something that plagued him some over his career here.

Next year I would expect to see the ball spread around a bit more then it was this year. Doubt we have the two headed monster we had this past year but I do think CAB could be poised to break out in a huge way, he just hasn't had the opportunity to really be showcased yet with Bateman and TJ in front of him.
 

Veritas

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Everyone saw that happening.

BS, it has been argued on this site, this fall, that only six would leave and even more importantly that their leaving will be either only a small problem or, sillier yet, that it is likely we will be even better on D with the new guys. Just read some of the posts in this thread. IMHO our program is not in any position at all to just assume that "next man up" means things will be better even in September. I, for one, will be delighted and totally surpized if that proves to be true.
 

MNVCGUY

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BS, it has been argued on this site, this fall, that only six would leave and even more importantly that their leaving will be either only a small problem or, sillier yet, that it is likely we will be even better on D with the new guys. Just read some of the posts in this thread. IMHO our program is not in any position at all to just assume that "next man up" means things will be better even in September. I, for one, will be delighted and totally surpized if that proves to be true.
Are you really going to pretend you are the only one that saw Winfield going pro? Obviously there was always the strong chance we were going to have 7 new starters next year but many of us weren't going to count Winfield as gone until he you know actually declared for the draft.

Some of us choose to believe the gains we have made in recruiting are going to translate onto the field. Maybe we will be dead wrong and the D will fall apart like you expect it to. Good news is you will have the chance to start a thread in the fall telling just how dumb we were to have hope that the staff is developing players that can compete and fill in for departing seniors.
 

Maverick

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TJ made scores of incredible clutch 50/50 catches (with him, more like 90/10) that Tanner throws so well. The other receivers don't quite have that skill set (yet) so I'm not sure that production can be replicated. You're right, though, in that Coughlin got a lot of QB pressure while still keeping contain that doesn't show up in the stats.
Yeah.... CAB can't make clutch catches in the end zone and get his foot down....gotcha....
 

Panthadad2

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Yeah.... CAB can't make clutch catches in the end zone and get his foot down....gotcha....
Making clutch catches isn't my point. Bateman has oodles of them, CAB had several, and even Jones had some. My point is TJ has a unique skillset at using body position vs. defenders in making, say, jump ball and sideline catches against good coverage. Tanner is very good at that throw. I haven't seen as much of that from other receivers (yet).
 

MNVCGUY

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Making clutch catches isn't my point. Bateman has oodles of them, CAB had several, and even Jones had some. My point is TJ has a unique skillset at using body position vs. defenders in making, say, jump ball and sideline catches against good coverage. Tanner is very good at that throw. I haven't seen as much of that from other receivers (yet).
Yeah, TJ's basketball background probably helped a lot on those kinds of balls.
 

salzie

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BS, it has been argued on this site, this fall, that only six would leave and even more importantly that their leaving will be either only a small problem or, sillier yet, that it is likely we will be even better on D with the new guys. Just read some of the posts in this thread. IMHO our program is not in any position at all to just assume that "next man up" means things will be better even in September. I, for one, will be delighted and totally surpized if that proves to be true.

We all knew it was possible. Quit acting like you were fighting uphill battle. The argument was you were claiming we were doomed because our young guys were clearly inferior since they didn't beat them out, and in your world, no way young guys can get better with additional offseason training along with PT last year
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Why I'm not concerned with what we lose on defense is mainly due to the size upgrade we'll see, especially on the defensive line. Renner was really good this year, and Coughlin was extremely good last year but seemed to be slowed by injuries this season. You can argue both played out of position the majority of their careers, out of necessity.

Our starters on the DL this year were: 6'3" 260, 6'4" 315, 6'4" 275, 6'4" 245, for an average of 6'3.75" 274.

Our projected starters for next year look to be: 6'6" 275, 6'4" 315, 6'3" 295, 6'4" 260, for an average of 6'4.25" 286. We lose experience, but we gain size, with the potential of these guys adding more weight in the off season.
 

Johnnyboy18

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I think the 2nd biggest loss on defense will be Williamson.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Or good for the program and recruiting when prospects see how many players are getting drafted. They see a coach look after his players'best interest and help them make an informed decision. IMHO, it is good for Winfield to leave early and not risk injury playing an extra year.

Let's start seeing multiple players landing in the NFL.
I think you missed the joke
 

60's Guy

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I agree, I think the playmaking of Winfield is going to be tough to replace. Frequently making game changing plays isn’t something many guys do.

But my number two is Renner. He often occupied and or beat two blockers. It can be done a different way with different guys but Sam was elite this season!

No doubt Coughlin’s leadership is going to leave a void. I could be wrong but I think somebody will step up and offer similar production on the field.

I don’t know if we are a top 10 defense again next year. But I think we’ll be similarly effective. PJ’s philosophy helps! Time of possession, focus on ball security etc we generally put our defense in manageable situations.
 

ethomasp31

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BS, it has been argued on this site, this fall, that only six would leave and even more importantly that their leaving will be either only a small problem or, sillier yet, that it is likely we will be even better on D with the new guys. Just read some of the posts in this thread. IMHO our program is not in any position at all to just assume that "next man up" means things will be better even in September. I, for one, will be delighted and totally surpized if that proves to be true.
I think what a lot of people are saying is that they have confidence in the depth we had in our front 6 (not front 7 as some have mentioned). With rotations there were a lot of guys who were able to get significant playing time that some fans may not have noticed. Martin did not play in our PSU win or our Auburn win. Winfield didn't play when we smoked Wisconsin the year before either. I'm not going to try to pretend that the guys we lost aren't good players. But I don't think the situation is as dire as you, OldBob and a few others are trying to make it out to be.
 

MNVCGUY

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I agree, I think the playmaking of Winfield is going to be tough to replace. Frequently making game changing plays isn’t something many guys do.

But my number two is Renner. He often occupied and or beat two blockers. It can be done a different way with different guys but Sam was elite this season!

No doubt Coughlin’s leadership is going to leave a void. I could be wrong but I think somebody will step up and offer similar production on the field.

I don’t know if we are a top 10 defense again next year. But I think we’ll be similarly effective. PJ’s philosophy helps! Time of possession, focus on ball security etc we generally put our defense in manageable situations.
Renner is a perfect example of what those of us that have hope for the defense are talking about. Renner absolutely had a really good year and will get a look from NFL teams. He was also a guy who came out of nowhere this season. He played in 2018 but was not nearly the player he was in 2019. Guys develop, improve, get bigger, stronger, more experienced.

We are not going to be turning to a bunch of freshman and redshirt freshman next year. The projected starters have all been in the program for multiple years and seen a lot of playing time.

Projected starters (obviously a lot could change before next fall, and apologize if I got any classes wrong):
Otomewo - RS Junior
MDT - GR Senior
Schad - Senior
Mafe - RS Junior
Sori-Marin - Junior
Oliver - RS Sophomore
Durr - RS Senior
St. Juste - GR Junior? - lots of experience either way
Howden - Junior
Nubin - Sophomore
Smith - Junior

That is a ton of returning experience. Guys who will be entering their 3rd, fourth, or fifth year in the program in most cases.

Key reserves who have been around for a while:
Teague - Junior
Swenson - RS Senior
Sapp - Junior
Hickcox - RS Junior
Thomas - RS Senior
Rush - Junior
Aune - RS Sophomore

And all of that doesn't factor in what appears to be some really talented RS Freshmen and true Freshmen on paper who the coaches have spoken highly of. Guys like Cheney, Gordon, Willis, Richter......

We are losing some good players but that is always going to be the case in college football. Guys come in, develop, and then move on. If the staff is doing their job the guys behind them should be ready to take over when their time comes. Replacing All-American's like Winfield is a tall order but replacing good players (like the majority of our departing seniors were) is something that quality programs that want to compete at a high level do.

Depth is not something we are accustomed to having around here as for years it seemed like we were being forced to rely on really young players all the time. Considering the amount of experience we are losing it is pretty shocking to look at the projected starters for next year and see a ton of upper classmen ready to get their shot as starters.

Sure it could all go sideways and the D could end up taking a big step back next year. But based on the experience we have coming back I have high hopes for this unit to be able to replace the departing seniors and hopefully even take a step up in the way the offense has.

In 2020 - for the first time in quite a while we should have a very veteran team on both sides of the ball. Lots of guys that have been around since day one for Fleck. 2020 was the year Fleck pointed to as the year things start to take off, the makeup of the roster is the exact reason why. For the most part good teams are led by Juniors and Seniors on a year in year out basis.

Sorry for the long rambling post. :)
 

Spoofin

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I think what a lot of people are saying is that they have confidence in the depth we had in our front 6 (not front 7 as some have mentioned). With rotations there were a lot of guys who were able to get significant playing time that some fans may not have noticed. Martin did not play in our PSU win or our Auburn win. Winfield didn't play when we smoked Wisconsin the year before either. I'm not going to try to pretend that the guys we lost aren't good players. But I don't think the situation is as dire as you, OldBob and a few others are trying to make it out to be.
The rub is all year we have sung the praises of Martin, Coughlin, Renner -- now, they are all easily replaceable - and weren't all that great this year anyway.
Our OC is a genius all year - now we hear all about his issues and the new guy being as good or even an upgrade.
I know some people are eternal optimists and have to put a positive spin on everything, but it just gets so darn silly sometimes......
 

swingman

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St Juste will be 23 in September.

2020 would be year six for Treadway.
 

MNVCGUY

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The rub is all year we have sung the praises of Martin, Coughlin, Renner -- now, they are all easily replaceable - and weren't all that great this year anyway.
Our OC is a genius all year - now we hear all about his issues and the new guy being as good or even an upgrade.
I know some people are eternal optimists and have to put a positive spin on everything, but it just gets so darn silly sometimes......
You can say a player is replaceable without diminishing the way they played. Martin, Coughlin, Renner, Barber, Winston, Williamson, all really good football players, seniors, leaders. Not one of them was a superstar player on the level of Winfield. Guys like Winfield are really really hard to replace, the rest are not easy to replace but it is also not impossible, especially when you are turning to very experienced upper classmen to fill their roles. Good teams do this all the time, it is how it works in college football.

As to the OC, from a recruiting standpoint I don't know how the move could be seen as anything but an upgrade. Remains to be seen on the play calling and game planning front. The good thing is he has a lot of returning talent to work with and doesn't plan to reinvent the wheel.

Just as some are eternal optimists we also have a decent number of eternal pessimists in this forum. Gets silly how determined they are to find doom and gloom waiting around every corner.

Will freely admit there are no guarantees next year. But even with a new OC, the offense should be very good with a system that doesn't sound like it will change much and a ton of returning talent. On defense there will be a lot of new faces playing larger roles. But these are not fresh faced kids just out of high school. These are players who have been in the system for a while, growing, developing, learning. They could flop, but good programs find a way to replace solid players on a yearly basis. If Fleck is building what we think he is building then we should be at the point now where we reload when players depart.
 

btowngopher

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The rub is all year we have sung the praises of Martin, Coughlin, Renner -- now, they are all easily replaceable - and weren't all that great this year anyway.
Our OC is a genius all year - now we hear all about his issues and the new guy being as good or even an upgrade.
I know some people are eternal optimists and have to put a positive spin on everything, but it just gets so darn silly sometimes......
Well the thing is Martin and Coughlin are great players, but one could argue that they didn’t have great years. I think that is one reason why people are optimistic. The defense didn’t drop off when these guys didn’t play, they didn’t rely on them dominating every game.
 

stephenfoy

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Well the thing is Martin and Coughlin are great players, but one could argue that they didn’t have great years. I think that is one reason why people are optimistic. The defense didn’t drop off when these guys didn’t play, they didn’t rely on them dominating every game.
Don't bother responding to spoofin hes an idiot
 

PMWinSTP

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Coughlin did some things that don't show up in the box score and despite not great sack numbers last year was our best pass rusher.

I rank our losses:
Winfield
Coughlin
Johnson
Martin
Smith


You could argue Johnson ahead of coughlin, but I'm more confident in our WR depth.....
No Barber?
 
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