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Old 06-02-2014, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

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?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137 View Post
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?
TJ Holloman is a LB. Golightly, Diggs, and Bryant are the SPURs.

Secondly, they may be good, but I don't see where they're good enough to offset what could be a very average DL.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

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Originally Posted by garnet_black215 View Post
TJ Holloman is a LB. Golightly, Diggs, and Bryant are the SPURs.

Secondly, they may be good, but I don't see where they're good enough to offset what could be a very average DL.
I thought Holloman and Golightly both played Spur last year?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

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Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137 View Post
I thought Holloman and Golightly both played Spur last year?
Not Holloman.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Well my apologies for the mistake, but the amazing depth at LB and Spur cannot be ignored. With BAW coming in, who knows how high that ceiling can go.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

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Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137 View Post
I thought Holloman and Golightly both played Spur last year?
Nope...Holloman was part of the LB depth and started 3 gms. He made up the depth with Lewis (10 starts), Roberts (9 starts) and Moore (4 starts) for the position's 26 total starts. Golightly started 12 of the 13 gms at SPUR last season, with Diggs getting one start.


USC has lost a lot of defensive players over the last 4 seasons: lost Taylor, Swearinger, Holloman, Jerideau, and the entire LB 2-deep before last season; lost Ingram, Gilmore (2 1st-rd. picks), Robertson, Allen, and both Whitlock and Markett at the other CB spot opposite Gilmore before 2012; lost Matthews, Ajiboye, and Culliver before 2011...

Had Clowney had another 25-TFL, 15-sack season last season, I'd be more concerned. Opponents keyed on eliminating Clowney last season, and won't have him as a chief target this season. But by keying on him last season, it forced others to step up and try to carry the slack, and I think that will help our DL this coming season adjust more quickly to not having him to lead the way on the field...
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137 View Post
Well my apologies for the mistake, but the amazing depth at LB and Spur cannot be ignored. With BAW coming in, who knows how high that ceiling can go.
You're right, the depth at both positions cannot be ignored. In that regard we should be fine.

That being said, that doesn't mean they'll make up for gaping holes and huge question marks at other spots on the field.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

I really like Wammy's ability to teach. He will have the D chugging by week 4. You gotta also remember our offense will score more next year. We are going to win but we won't be winning the same way we did last year.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

I think the DL will be better than most think. The removal of pressure of having clowney on the team will allow our boys to just go out there and play.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

I hope people talk shite all summer about how crap our D will be. I want them to play with a chip on their shoulder. I recall we platooned a lot on DL last year. They will be bigger, stronger and experienced. I like our chances.


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Old 06-02-2014, 08:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

My thing is this. Maybe I am wrong but our D really started to grow in 2009. We got depth at positions we only had one player at before. We are thin at CB but we are stacked at LB and IF one of our DE's can develop into a threat we have the same chance to repeat our past performances or get better. We have had great success with a mishmash cast of characters and I expect for that trend to continue. Clowney is irreplaceable but so were all those other guys.

2009:
DE DT DT DE
Cliff Matthews Ladi Ajiboye Nathan Pepper Clifton Geathers
Byron McKnight Melvin Ingram Kenny Davis Devin Taylor


2010:
DE DT DT DE
Cliff Matthews Ladi Ajiboye Travian Robertson Devin Taylor
Melvin Ingram Kenny Davis Aldrick Fordham Byron McKnight

2011:
DE DT DT DE
Melvin Ingram Kelcy Quarles Travian Robertson Devin Taylor
Jadeveon Clowney Aldrick Fordham Byron Jerideau Chaz Sutton


2012:
DE DT DT DE
Devin Taylor Kelcy Quarles Byron Jerideau Jadeveon Clowney
Aldrick Fordham J.T. Surratt Gerald Dixon, Jr. Chaz Sutton

2013:
DE DT DT DE
Chaz Sutton J.T. Surratt Kelcy Quarles Jadeveon Clowney
Gerald Dixon Gerald Dixon, Jr. Phillip Dukes Darius English
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

[quote=rdwylie;4174657]My thing is this. Maybe I am wrong but our D really started to grow in 2009. We got depth at positions we only had one player at before. We are thin at CB but we are stacked at LB and IF one of our DE's can develop into a threat we have the same chance to repeat our past performances or get better. We have had great success with a mishmash cast of characters and I expect for that trend to continue. Clowney is irreplaceable but so were all those other guys.

2009:
DE DT DT DE
Cliff Matthews Ladi Ajiboye Nathan Pepper Clifton Geathers
Byron McKnight Melvin Ingram Kenny Davis Devin Taylor


2010:
DE DT DT DE
Cliff Matthews Ladi Ajiboye Travian Robertson Devin Taylor
Melvin Ingram Kenny Davis Aldrick Fordham Byron McKnight

2011:
DE DT DT DE
Melvin Ingram Kelcy Quarles Travian Robertson Devin Taylor
Jadeveon Clowney Aldrick Fordham Byron Jerideau Chaz Sutton


2012:
DE DT DT DE
Devin Taylor Kelcy Quarles Byron Jerideau Jadeveon Clowney
Aldrick Fordham J.T. Surratt Gerald Dixon, Jr. Chaz Sutton

2013:
DE DT DT DE
Chaz Sutton J.T. Surratt Kelcy Quarles Jadeveon Clowney
Gerald Dixon Gerald Dixon, Jr. Phillip Dukes Darius English and Kelcy Griffin in the mix as well right?
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137 View Post
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?



This year will be a replay of last year. The D will struggle the first 5 or 6 games until our youth comes together. Our LBs and DTs and Safeties will be the strength of this team. It is DEs and CBs where we will have growing pains although I caveat that with Darrius English getting bigger and if Bryson stays at CB. If English comes on or Jhaustin Thomas gets in and becomes a baller, the D may be better faster than we think. Bottom line is that O will have to win the first 6 games before the D. Can do it. Same as last year. Our losses at UGa and UT were on the O in my opinion.. Still think 11-2 is real and wins the east this year.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Should be a bit of a new look Gamecock team this year. Personally, I'm excited about it. You'd be foolish not to acknowledge that we will probably experience a decrease in defensive production this season. I haven't seen anyone jump off a building yet, but maybe I'm not paying attention.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

I am optimistic. These guys are HUNGRY. Watch their winter video. They are killing each other.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137 View Post
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.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

I really don't see the strength widely touted at linebacker and spur. I'm hoping it will develop. I don't like bashing players (except for the yelling I did at my TV last year). At middle LB last year, I saw very bad diagnosing skills, too many bites on misdirection, and woeful pass coverage. I think we have a lack of stopping power at MLB, WLB and spur. Making tackles several yards downfield is a problem against power running teams. Poor pursuit downfield led to several big gainers and cost us the Tennessee game. Our highly-rated rising-soph wil linebacker has tons of football talent, but arm tackles a lot. A couple of our linebackers looked lost in short pass coverage last year even past the 8th game. I'm hoping to see a pickup in size and hitting ability matching the potential these players have.
On the DL, we likely have a bevvy of really good DT's and some questions at DE, especially with losing the disruptiveness Clowney brought. Last year, teams basically abandoned dropback passing in favor of 2 step stuff. They mostly attacked one side. This year, I think we have DL quality by depth with no stars and players going hard every play knowing they won't be playing 80 reps and with a big rotation at DT and special packages at DE. 3-4 will likely be mixed-in as appropriate if the team gets it mastered.
Corner worries me if we can't get pressure up front. We seem stronger at safety, and I think have some ball-hawks there. I think our linebackers and spurs might be able to turn in some opportunistic ints to help out as well.
J Thomas and D Johnson are a couple of DE's I'm hoping will shore up our edge-sealing. If they can pass rush well, I think we will have a few less headaches (and cuss sessions). Dixon 44 played solidly last year, and seems to have the desire and drive to get better. English has great promise that I hope gets fulfilled. Let's hope our tweeners fill the lack of size with heart and ill intent. Can't wait to see how fall camp opens.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:26 PM   #18
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137 View Post
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?
I don't recall reading anyone who said our defense would be horrible but I'll take your word since I don't come close to reading every post.

I am curious as to why you think our LB could be the best in the SEC. I went to every game (but 1) & I never got that impression at all. What I saw was a unit that got better over the course of the season. A unit that allowed far too much yardage thru the middle & players frequently out of position because they were inexperienced.

I expect them to be much improved & I do see talent there. I also think Whammy is excellent. I'm just not close to saying a unit that was never better than average last year could be the best in the SEC this year. I suppose it's possible, same as every other position on the field. Just seems way premature.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

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Originally Posted by conwaycock2 View Post
I don't recall reading anyone who said our defense would be horrible but I'll take your word since I don't come close to reading every post.

I am curious as to why you think our LB could be the best in the SEC. I went to every game (but 1) & I never got that impression at all. What I saw was a unit that got better over the course of the season. A unit that allowed far too much yardage thru the middle & players frequently out of position because they were inexperienced.

I expect them to be much improved & I do see talent there. I also think Whammy is excellent. I'm just not close to saying a unit that was never better than average last year could be the best in the SEC this year. I suppose it's possible, same as every other position on the field. Just seems way premature.
Solid points throughout this post. Hard to disagree.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Our Linebackers and Defense this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by conwaycock2 View Post
I don't recall reading anyone who said our defense would be horrible but I'll take your word since I don't come close to reading every post.

I am curious as to why you think our LB could be the best in the SEC. I went to every game (but 1) & I never got that impression at all. What I saw was a unit that got better over the course of the season. A unit that allowed far too much yardage thru the middle & players frequently out of position because they were inexperienced.

I expect them to be much improved & I do see talent there. I also think Whammy is excellent. I'm just not close to saying a unit that was never better than average last year could be the best in the SEC this year. I suppose it's possible, same as every other position on the field. Just seems way premature.
Go back and re watch the last 5 games. See if our LBs are just normal and inexperienced.
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