Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137
I see a lot of posts in a lot of different threads here lately where everyone is literally ready to jump off a building because they believe our defense is going to be horrible this year.
My question to all of you, who are down on the D line, crying about the CB situation, Do you guys even remember watching our LB's last year?
It seems that everyone has forgotten who Skai Moore is, who Lewis is, etc. Our spur is in great hands with TJ Holloman. I don't understand why people are thinking we will go 7-5, or 6-6 when we are returning what could be the best LB core in the SEC. Sure we will have some freshmen at CB, but we had plenty at LB last year.
As for the D Line, everyone is freaking out about that, to which I say, it is not like any of these players have never played in a major college game before. The Dixon Brothers had plenty of playing time last year, and at times the games where Clowney was out, they did a damn good job, so why the worry guys?
Yeah, the LB's last year got better after several games and some game experience. We can't afford to drop a game this year if we want to go to the SECCG and we have 5 conference games in our first 6 games.
We're very likely to have 2 if not 3 true FR CB's in the 2Deep this year. They were studs in HS, but the SEC is full of guys who were great in HS, some of those guys have been playing SEC ball for a couple seasons already. There is a learning curve, no matter how good someone is coming out of HS. The last time we had a true FR CB it was Gilmore, he did awesome, but he also had Culliver, Darian Stewart and Auguste who were all 2+ years out of HS to help him out. We are now looking at the possibility of starting 2 FR CB's.
I think we're stacked at DT, but we're far from stacked at DE. Dixon and English got some snaps last year, but their stats weren't amazing. In years past, we had guys prove they could make big plays in their backup role years. We had Ingram getting ready to take over for Matthews, then Taylor for Ingram, then Clowney for Taylor.... Basically, we felt like we had an up and coming stud DE ready to go the next year, b/c he made some plays the year before.
If you add English and Dixon's sack total from last year, you get .5, that's it... 1/2 a sack. Past those guys we have a bunch of WDE's who had even less playing time than those two guys. So pass rush this coming season is a valid concern, especially since we'll have young CB's who might not have the skills to blanket SEC WR's and give their DE's another second to get pressure.
We're even switching up the look from 4-2-5 to a 3-4 in order to get our best athletes out there. Adding the extra LB allows us to pressure from different angles and/or have another body out there to help in coverage. This might payoff huge though, adapting to the strengths of the personnel on the team was a great move for Spurrier when he went to the zone read.
All teams have personnel changes and sometimes have big rebuild jobs. We have a big rebuild/reload job this year b/c the DE's and CB's work closely together for a successful pass defense.