15.Aug.2010 Discussion: Defense

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With less than three weeks to go, it's time to analyze the most important component of any football team: the defense.

Defensive End:

The one thing that concerns me at DE is depth. Beaver fans should have faith in both starters. Henry was a force last year and should have received more playing time than he did. Miller is equally adapt. Both should have breakout years and put pressure on the QB in passing downs. Neither is particularly stout against the run. Henry could wind up being a (very good) third down specialist.

When you're talking Andrew Seumalo as the number one backup that's flat out scary. Glover and his 4-star rating look good on paper, and I do think he'll be a player by the time all is said and done, but right now in camp he is unproductive. Glover's size will help immediately on running downs, and as I note below, the Beavers are going to need that. Devon Kell is a guy to keep an eye on.

Grades:

Starters: B+

Depth: C-

Defensive Tackle

Again, much like DE, the starters are excellent. Brennan "the clown" Olander and Paea are as good as it gets. Behind them are Masaniai and Frahm. Not only is that a scary backup situation for this year, but next year we're looking at a bottom of the conference finish unless we find some help or one of the scrubs emerges.

Grades:

Starters: A

Depth: D-

Linebackers

To me, this group is the weakest on paper. For a school that dubs itself "Linebacker U, west coast" they sure have a lot of problems at the linebacker position. Dwight Roberson is the only solid starter whom you can count on to make routine tackles. Pankey flails and misses tackles constantly. As a senior, he is still undersized for his position. Based on pictures, Reuben Robinson appears to be undersized and have scoliosis (look at the arch in his lower back). Tony Wilson looks out of shape and by all accounts cannot shed blocks. I think the Beavers are going to have a very bad year on defense, and this group is the reason why. Teams are going to lineup and pound the ball at the Beavers and tackles will be made 10-15 yards down field by the safeties. Kevin Unga is the play at MLB, and if he starts bump the unit up to a C. The under classmen are extremely talented but won't get any time.

Grades:

Starters: C-

Depth: B+
 

Cornerback

Hardin and Poyer are quite the players. Dockery is what he is: a batted pass here, a blown coverage there. If Poyer were allowed to overtake Doc, this unit would be so solid, but as it will play out…

Grades:

Starters: B

Depth: B

Safeties

Moving the oversized-for-his-position Cameron Collins to MLB would have been the proper strategy this off-season. Collins is way too bulky to be chasing down and/or covering WRs and TEs. He'll be good in run-support if he's able to get to the spot in time. Tuimaunei is making a push this fall because Collins isn't getting it done. That's a scary thought, isn't it? Even after the debacle in the Rose Bowl, Mitchell is the number one play-maker in the secondary. LaGrone and Dilbeck are backups who can get the job done.

Grades:

Starters: B-

Depth: C+

Special Teams

With the plethora of safeties, young LBs, and wide receivers, this unit should once again be excellent defending kickoffs.

Starters: A-

Depth: B+

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

As fall camp progresses, it's becoming clear what type of team this will be. On offense they will be able to move the ball, yet turnovers will be their detriment. On defense, they won't be able to stop the run. This is a fairly deadly combination. We can blame the MLB (#45) for leaving the team, but at the end of the day it's the head coach's responsibility to recruit capable backups and have them properly developed. Like I said, moving Cameron Collins to MLB would have been a good play for many reasons. I'd like a reason as to why it didn't happen, but it's unlikely the media is going to ask that question. Anyway, you heard it here first: the run defense is going to be the achilles heal. Order your toupees now, beavlettes, because you're going to pull your hair out versus TCU's excellent ground attack.

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  • ObjCritic says:
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    I think that’s a pretty fair assessment. Moving Collins is an interesting idea. I’d wonder if he could shed blocks well enough to be effective, but I think his overall experience with the defense and his speed make him a better candidate for MLB this year than Wilson et al.

    I had some similar thoughts about the defense I expressed in the forum (topic “how many wins this season”). I think if there were an injury to Paea and Miller the wheel’s would fall off real quick. The lack of depth on the D-line is troubling, and looks worse next year.

    Is an evaluation of the offense next? A question I have is if Riley and staff are spending extra time preparing Katz/Vaz for the unconventional defense alignments TCU and BSU will be throwing at these young QB’s?

  • JackBeav says:
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    I’m for giving Bibbee the job at Mike. He has the physical tools, the mentality and the intelligence to be successful. He just needs the time. What we need most is someone with that wrecking ball mentality, and Bibbee has it. At 6’3″, 240, he can blow up blocks while learning his technique.

    I would have thought that Wilson would have steeled his mind to take this job, but he sounds a little too tentative at the moment.

    I think Collins may have to play into his starting role. I know the coaches love Tuimaunei because of his work ethic, but he’s really only good in run support. Even when he seems to have good coverage, the receiver always seems to make a great catch and play. What kills #28 is that when he doesn’t have good coverage it’s a score.

    I fully expect Dax Dilbeck and Zeke Sanders to make some noise this fall. With the depth at S, it really sounds like Ryan Murphy will RS. But he might have the tools do do something as well.

    • angry says:
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      I wasn’t worried about MLB because I assumed Wilson would step up and do a great job. He hasn’t done much at all so far in camp. We’re a week in now, which is enough time to see who’s who.

      Cliff is telling me the move is Roberson to MLB if Wilson doesn’t pan out. Roberson’s lateral speed is meh. I think the Beavs are in a world of hurt. There’s nothing more frustrating than being run over time and time again.

  • antiangry says:
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    Of course YOU think the Beavs are in a world of hurt, it’s you. You ALWAYS think negative.

    Cliff pretty much told you in his reply on his blog that you were wrong acorss the board on all your ideas to move guys around. He just did it a little bit nicer they calling you out as an idiot.

  • antiangry says:
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    BTW… Cliff didn’t tell YOU that Roberson might move to MLB if Banker felt it was necessary. He posted that about 3-4 days prior to you asking about.

    It cracks me up though, that your ego is so big you actually posted that Cliff told you, as if he were telling you directly of some inside knowledge.

    It’s no wonder the other websites call you out for stealing their info….you do!

    • Beavker says:
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      Again. Nothing. Go Away and post somewhere else. I want to read about he Beavers whatever the take may be, not your comment on someone else’s comments.

      Just say you disagree and state what you think.

    • angry angry says:
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      Cliff did respond to me. I asked him a question, he answered *my* question, hence a response to me. As Robert Shaw would say, “ya follow?”

      PS. people tend go away and/or outside on weekends.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Discussion: You and your personalities stopped posting on Aug. 11 at 5:09pm. Then all of your personalities started responding again on August 15th. Nobody cares if you are responding to your own comments using different names, but don’t insult Beaver Nation and pretend it’s not true…

    • JackBeav says:
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      Since antiRealDiscussion has been proven to be the only one who posts with multiple personalities–through a proxy server no less–it’s ironic that s/he’s the only one who even half believes the highly moronic idea that the many Beav fans on this site are even remotely similar.

      Good talk.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Is it really so hard for some Beaver fans to believe that Banker and Riley have made several missteps in recruiting and development on defense?

    Apparently so.

    Didn’t last year’s squad (with its few sacks, and lack of ints) demonstrate that this squad has progressively gotten worse since ’06?

    I guess those same fans loved watching us getting dominated on the ground during the last two civil wars and at this point they are like a submissive calling out for more punishment.

    Does Anti/Real discussion have anything to contribute?

    No.

    And I wouldn’t think of Cliff as a good answer man…Buker and the rest of them are towing the party line and they never ask anything compelling. We have a ton of safeties and I think with a little weight gain and technique they are LB’s waiting to happen.

    After a while, certain positions require optimal weight/speed…and people willing to learn the technique. This is why we’ve seen OL’s turned into DL’s, LB’s turned to TE’s.

    So, these moves shouldn’t be viewed as inconceivable…and this defense, until they stop either TCU or Boise, deserve constant criticism.

    • angry says:
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      Good response, and they particularly shouldn’t be considered inconceivable given the state of the LB position. Also, safeties become LBs every year in college football.

      Question I’d ask Riley: Mike, did you consider moving Collins to MLB after #45 left the team?

      No? Why not?

      Maybe there’s a valid reason, and he’d give it. That these questions are not asked bothers me greatly.

  • osbeavs says:
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    Angry, I have to say that I think you both hit and missed on this one. I think you missed a little bit everywhere, overall I agree our D is gunna bleed against the run but I see things a little bit different. Most of my fall eval is based on reports but spring is based on my attendance at practice.

    First, depth at D End is worrying. Kell is way undersized and lacked strength/push all spring. At D tackle I am not as worried, Frahm and Castro are no Paea but they are more than capable in the middle. I hated Frahm at DE but at tackle he is quite a bit better. Frahm will also prob play a lot of 3rd down pass rush from the middle which will likely serve as a surprising strong point this year. Our pass rush will be pretty damn good but our run stopage will be weak (outside of Paea and Miller). That said Frahm as a starter in the future is worrying. Castro will get it done.

    For the most part I agree with the LB assessment but I do think that Wilson will pull through. Starting Robinson would be a huge mistake. I think that Wilson will be a gamer, throw out practice now, come game time he will get it done. Pankey does arm tackle and Dwight Roberson will be the stud of this LB core. Depth here is great with the young talent that we have, bright future ahead.

    CB: Agree with you but I do think that Dockery will be much improved this year. If he lacks its because he is taking on the #1 WR every week.

    Safety: #28 should never ever see the field. Collins is a great player and should stay at safety. His size is a huge life saver for run support from that position (he will function like a strong safety). Lance Mitchell is the stud and be more like a FS. LaGrone leaves something to be desired. I wouldn’t be too high on him for depth, he is a career backup kinda guy. The young depth here again looks like a bright future.

    Overall, good assessment though.

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      I don’t think you’ll have to worry about LaGrone getting too much PT this year…and we was a DE before he left the team in the spring…other than that, you make some good points!

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        OK…I’m a retard… Forgot about the “other” LaGrone. That tells you how big of an impression he’s made on me.

        Angry: Can we please get a “delete comment” button on here?

  • angry angry says:
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    You guys really hate Josh LaGrone.
    I think he’ll be pretty good.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Dilbeck brings the smarts, and Sanders brings major speed and size. LaGrone needs some real work on his game to catch up to just those two.

      • angry says:
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        LaGrone was having a nice camp last year before he went down. I’m not sure why everyone’s down on him.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    I don’t expect to see much of Dilbeck or Sanders this fall on D – special teams, probably. Would love to see some players like them with speed getting time at a FS spot (though Banker apparently doesn’t differentiate FS and SS much).

    This team’s D has been suffering from a slow decline in successful recruiting that most folks don’t notice. I agree its been on the descent since 2006. Look at the O-Live’s “top players of the decade” and be reminded of the talent that used to be there.

    • angry says:
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      Dilbeck has been intercepting a lot of balls this fall and flying around. He looks a bit lanky but has speed and some ball skills. Flawed player but a capable backup (and starter somewhere down the line). I concur that Sanders isn’t close to being ready.

  • angry says:
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    Here’s an article on the maligned #28:

    http://gazettetimes.com/sports/beavers-sports/article_7acbd4c6-a975-11df-817e-001cc4c002e0.html

    His attitude sounds good, and apparently he is in great shape. I’m willing to give him one last look–maybe he learned from all those burnings and has a decent year.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Forgive and forget? It’s hard to forget Cincy’s late first half TD, but I guess forgiveness is all that’s needed right now.

  • […] wait…Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)The Beavers have moved Cameron Collins to linebacker, as I wrote they should do on August 15th. He could have been learning the position; that's two weeks […]

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