With most of our pecies intact, it is safe to make a accurate analysts of what to expect from our defense next year. To start it is improtant to present what we have as far as talent and skill from each of our expected 11 starters on defense. Up front we have Mccoy at Dt who is a fierce penetrator which is valuable at the dt position in this league being that everyone loves to throw the football. He also has shown that he is effective aginst the run, being that people questioned his strength due to his poor amount of reps on the bench at the combine. Also at Dt we have Price who is a poor mans Mccoy, I say poor mans Mccoy because he is not as consistent as Mccoy, but he is still solid( both guys need to stay on the field). At end we have a throwback player in Adrian Claybourn. He is solid both as a rusher and run defender, and he always gives max effort which means he has that convented high motor. Also at end we have Micheal Bennett, Bennett is not spectacular you should not expect pro bowl numbers from him. What Bennett brings is consistency aginst the run, and can apply pressure from the edge at times, you should expect nothing more and nothing less from him.
On the next level we have a rookie who will be playing the WILL linebacker in Lavonte David. David is a traditonal Nebraska linebacker, what I mean by that is most of those guys are instinctive and great tacklers that much we know. But David also is a fast guy and he seems pretty strong for his size, he is another guy who is going to give you max effort. Mason Foster will man the middle at MLB. This guy was not able to fully show what he can do on the field last year, because of the larening curve, and he will face some of the same challenges this year being that we are running a new system. But to his advantage he does has a year of ample playing time under his belt, and the system we are running will not be as diffcult and complex for a MLB to grasp. Foster is fast, strong, and a a good tackler. Again being confused diminishes your ability on the football field, so at the same time it is not far to judge his instincts based on last year. I think this system will aslo work to his favor being that most of the play calling and alignment duties will be on the safeties. At Sam I dont want to break down the starter cause we really dont know who that is going to be yet. Many will say Black will be back as the starter, but I think Watson will beat him out. I dont like Black I think he does not belong in any starting NFL lineup, but I do hope he proves me wrong if he is out there, cause our BUCS will benefit from it.
Moving on to the secondary, lets begin with the break down of Eric Wright. Wright is a guy with good cover ability man more so then zone but I do think he will not be a liabilty in zone meaning he is a solid corner. He is aslo a good tackler, which is like a requirement for every new buc we have picked up this off season. Wright is pretty fast but he does not have Phillip Buccanon speed , and he does not have a great vertical but he does play the ball agressively while its in the air. Talib will also start at corner, I think we all know what he can do but incase you did not know. Talib athletic abilty is solid, he is aslo fast but not a burner, but his abilty to go up and get the ball is almost like that of a nfl wideout. You can leave him on a island but you can qustion his consistency somewhat. I say somewhat becuse Talib does give up the big play every once and a while, I think Greg is going to hold him accountable more then Rah did. Talib is not Barber at tackling or even Wright for that matter, but he is a better tackler then Deion Sanders was. At safety we got good old Ronde Barber at FS. It is easy to say Barber does not have the speed to ply in the league anymore because of age but I just dont see him getting burned enough to say that, heck in that case teams would of picked on him instead of EJ BIggers last year. You will never question Barbers instincts, tckling ability and effort, you know that is going to show up. I think the main reason Barber is going to FS is because, from what Greg has said most of the quarterbacking on defense is going to come from the safety position. He said that it will be Barrons responsibilty, but I think Barber will take on that main role and let Barron transition into becoming the quarterback of the defense. Speaking of Barron, what cant this guy do. Barron is hard hitter at the fs position.He is good in man and in zone, most teams try to match up tes and slot receivers with safeties but Barron wont be a liability there. He is also physcial, another guy who is not going to take a play off, and he is a great tackler.
Now that we have eatablished what we got going on as far as player personell goes lets put it all together. Up front we have penetartors at DT, guys who can also play the run. At DE we have guys who can stop the run, the pass rush is just ok at that position. At linebacker we have athletism and guys who are good at tackling, guys who can play side line to side line. And at the DB positon, we have versitility, guys who are not phased by the pressure when being left on a island, and guys who can tackle the ball carrier well. The main thing you have to do in this defense is stop the run. One of the ways Greg likes to use his player personell and one of the main reason he wanted Barron is because he likes to use the SS a lot to help stop the run. Our linebackers mostly the WILL wont have as much gap resonibility as we will be playing that one gap defense aggressively with the front four so the linebackers will stay at home mostly being that second line of defense. To be exact our linebackers wont be flying around like Brooks, they wont be droping down into the middle of the field like Ruud. Our corners will mostly be in cover zero. Now the key here is getting guys off of the SS. I m not sure but I think Ronde will be in coverage mostly, but the ss will be in the box a lot. He(Barron) will be ineffective if the 1st line of defense and 2nd line of defense is not doing their jobs effectively and efficiently, that is tying up can confusing blockers.
Overall, our defense is one that is going to try to shut down the run and force 3rd and longs. With the exception to the SAM O and being healthy all year, we have the players to run Gregs defense effectively, can we run it efficiently has to be proven. I am expecting us to be a little confused the first quarter of the season on that side of the ball, but I do expect for the guys to be comfortable and buy in to the system from that point on. I am expecting for this group to look a lot more like the bucs defense during the glory days, even though we are far away from the cover and Tampa 2. I expect us to finish some where near the 12 to 15th ranked defense. And I am expecting Mccoy, Foster, and Barron to be the new version of Sapp, Books, and Lynch.
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