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Old 01-10-2019, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

from the "buck" as a big part of the pass-rush to a more 4-3 base because of the DL personnel available.
Looking at the proven and emerging guys at DL, I wonder if the "best players on the field" philosophy might help us shore up our weaknesses at linebacker.

Here's my thinking.
At DT, we can have a very talented 2 deep with bodies to spare. Kinlaw, Belk, Sandidge, and Kier Thomas provide a solid 2 deep with some rest when needed. The coaches are pleased with Inagbare as a swing player and think highly of Tyreek Johnson when healthy. We also have four more experienced scholarship tackles who might step-up during the off-season.

At DE, I think we could see Thomas and Inagbare against teams that run on us, and Sterling and Fennell or B Johnson used against passing threats.
That would allow DJ Wonnum to play LB on the strong side (he can tackle and cover tight ends) if we're getting gashed, and Buck when we can use extra pass rush. That puts Brunson at MLB with some needed relief from R Louis. The weak side can be manned by Greene (if he steps it up), Jones, and Staley. Backup at strong side LB could have B Johnson, Greene, and maybe Fennell.

Coming in, we have Pickens, Anderson, and Fitten (more buck/olb sized), all good-looking DE prospects. Add Devante Davis, a big DE, Boykins (a solid OLB), and Brown (likely needing to thicken).

We already play some 4-3, but we truly couldn't stop the run this year. Much of it was caused by weak second-level play. A lot of poor tackling in space coupled with missed assignments and getting blocked too easily which put us in bad shape on second and third down. Our safeties got banged-up making tackles they shouldn't have had to make.

It seems a shame to have better players watching while our 2nd and third level are both outplayed and worn down. If we use 2 of this year's bucks to push and relieve on the second level next year, we should find the whole group improved. I think we could try DJ and B Johnson or Fennell back there and still have a formidable 4 up front. We know Wonnum, Johnson, and TJ Brunson can all blitz if appropriate and needed. With the quick passing and mobile quarterbacks we face, we have to boost our second level a bunch or keep bleeding away games.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofyboy View Post
from the "buck" as a big part of the pass-rush to a more 4-3 base because of the DL personnel available.
Looking at the proven and emerging guys at DL, I wonder if the "best players on the field" philosophy might help us shore up our weaknesses at linebacker.

Here's my thinking.
At DT, we can have a very talented 2 deep with bodies to spare. Kinlaw, Belk, Sandidge, and Kier Thomas provide a solid 2 deep with some rest when needed. The coaches are pleased with Inagbare as a swing player and think highly of Tyreek Johnson when healthy. We also have four more experienced scholarship tackles who might step-up during the off-season.

At DE, I think we could see Thomas and Inagbare against teams that run on us, and Sterling and Fennell or B Johnson used against passing threats.
That would allow DJ Wonnum to play LB on the strong side (he can tackle and cover tight ends) if we're getting gashed, and Buck when we can use extra pass rush. That puts Brunson at MLB with some needed relief from R Louis. The weak side can be manned by Greene (if he steps it up), Jones, and Staley. Backup at strong side LB could have B Johnson, Greene, and maybe Fennell.

Coming in, we have Pickens, Anderson, and Fitten (more buck/olb sized), all good-looking DE prospects. Add Devante Davis, a big DE, Boykins (a solid OLB), and Brown (likely needing to thicken).

We already play some 4-3, but we truly couldn't stop the run this year. Much of it was caused by weak second-level play. A lot of poor tackling in space coupled with missed assignments and getting blocked too easily which put us in bad shape on second and third down. Our safeties got banged-up making tackles they shouldn't have had to make.

It seems a shame to have better players watching while our 2nd and third level are both outplayed and worn down. If we use 2 of this year's bucks to push and relieve on the second level next year, we should find the whole group improved. I think we could try DJ and B Johnson or Fennell back there and still have a formidable 4 up front. We know Wonnum, Johnson, and TJ Brunson can all blitz if appropriate and needed. With the quick passing and mobile quarterbacks we face, we have to boost our second level a bunch or keep bleeding away games.
I have thought the same thing. First time I have ever seen us with so much depth on DL.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

You've got some good points, but Kobe Smith is definitely ahead of Kier Thomas at DT in most packages. We need stronger interior play, and as much as I like Kier, he's much better at end than tackle. And, Kobe actually had a decent season there.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

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You've got some good points, but Kobe Smith is definitely ahead of Kier Thomas at DT in most packages. We need stronger interior play, and as much as I like Kier, he's much better at end than tackle. And, Kobe actually had a decent season there.
I think you're right. They've used Thomas outside some this year (I think mostly to set the edge against the run), and he might still be a good swing player going forward. He also offers an inside rush guy on pass-rush situations.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofyboy View Post
from the "buck" as a big part of the pass-rush to a more 4-3 base because of the DL personnel available.
Looking at the proven and emerging guys at DL, I wonder if the "best players on the field" philosophy might help us shore up our weaknesses at linebacker.

Here's my thinking.
At DT, we can have a very talented 2 deep with bodies to spare. Kinlaw, Belk, Sandidge, and Kier Thomas provide a solid 2 deep with some rest when needed. The coaches are pleased with Inagbare as a swing player and think highly of Tyreek Johnson when healthy. We also have four more experienced scholarship tackles who might step-up during the off-season.

At DE, I think we could see Thomas and Inagbare against teams that run on us, and Sterling and Fennell or B Johnson used against passing threats.
That would allow DJ Wonnum to play LB on the strong side (he can tackle and cover tight ends) if we're getting gashed, and Buck when we can use extra pass rush. That puts Brunson at MLB with some needed relief from R Louis. The weak side can be manned by Greene (if he steps it up), Jones, and Staley. Backup at strong side LB could have B Johnson, Greene, and maybe Fennell.

Coming in, we have Pickens, Anderson, and Fitten (more buck/olb sized), all good-looking DE prospects. Add Devante Davis, a big DE, Boykins (a solid OLB), and Brown (likely needing to thicken).

We already play some 4-3, but we truly couldn't stop the run this year. Much of it was caused by weak second-level play. A lot of poor tackling in space coupled with missed assignments and getting blocked too easily which put us in bad shape on second and third down. Our safeties got banged-up making tackles they shouldn't have had to make.

It seems a shame to have better players watching while our 2nd and third level are both outplayed and worn down. If we use 2 of this year's bucks to push and relieve on the second level next year, we should find the whole group improved. I think we could try DJ and B Johnson or Fennell back there and still have a formidable 4 up front. We know Wonnum, Johnson, and TJ Brunson can all blitz if appropriate and needed. With the quick passing and mobile quarterbacks we face, we have to boost our second level a bunch or keep bleeding away games.
Our incoming players are all players that will excel in our current system more than the old 4-3 or 4-2-5. The smallest pure DL we've brought in is 268 before stepping on campus and will likely play next year (if he doesn't RS) between 280-285. Pickens may play at 295-300 this year. Green is a NT if he qualifies. Devontae Davis is entering campus right around 270-275. Fitten is a BUCK all the way. We're finally getting set to play the style of defense up front that Muschamp wants, we certainly aren't changing now.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

Muschamp has one of the best defensive minds in the country. But nobody can play the defense he wants without talent. 2019 is the first year we have brought in enough good players that can play multiple positions that can do what he’s looking for.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

i dont think its the way we should have to go moving forward because im hopeful we'll find some answers at lb but going along with what you're saying we can run a scheme closer to a traditional 3-4 rather than our hybrid scheme. having said that, for me if we're not straying from what we're doing schematically, start pickens or thomas at end then you start a bigger body likely belk next to kinlaw with wonnum at buck. then you work in sterling/johnson/fennell at buck and end in pass rushing situations. i think we also need to find the optimum weight and/or spot that thomas should play, de and inside only in passing situations or put on a little more weight and be more of an every down dt but a guy you still expect to affect the passer. then theres another suggestion that was kicked around by one or more on here that you move kinlaw to end.

Last edited by crowcutta; 01-11-2019 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

I don't care what defensive alignment we use as long as our defense is ranked in the top 50 next season in total defense, points allowed, and/or red zone defense.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

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I don't care what defensive alignment we use as long as our defense is ranked in the top 50 next season in total defense, points allowed, and/or red zone defense.
I think they won't disappoint next season. Lots of pieces finally in place.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

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I think they won't disappoint next season. Lots of pieces finally in place.


I sure hope so... I was thinking... When SOS was our coach (known for his offense) and the defense carried the team.


Now Champ is our coach (known for his defense) and last year the offense carried the team.


I guess this is par for the U of SC.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

I don't see them changing defensive philosophy totally. I could see us lining up more in a true 4-3 or 4-2-5, but as long as muschamp is here the 3-4 with a buck will be our base defense. Much like when spurrier was here we adapted with Shaw to run some zone read and inside zone scheme our passing trees and offense was still the fun-n- gun. In today's game if you are playing a flex player, I prefer running the 4-2-5 with the lb/ safety hybrid than a 3-4 with the de/lb flex.

In the 3-4 with a buck you are a little small to line up and stop power runs and you lack the coverage speed against a 5 wide. A 4-2-5 with an oversized safety/ undersized lb still gives you a 4 man front with big mlb to stop the run and also plenty of speed in coverage.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #12
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

Spurrier ran the 4-2-5 and did pretty well with it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

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Spurrier ran the 4-2-5 and did pretty well with it.
To me, that defense was successful because you had guys like Antonio Allen and Devonte Holloman playing the “spur” position. Guys that could cover in the secondary but also come down and play linebacker. Also helps with all the NFL talent we had on the line.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

I agree that we wil finally have the talent/depth/experience to run the Defense that Boom wants to run, and also players to tweak the line-up to counter the opponents' schemes/strengths and make situational adjustments (smaller DTs on pass-rushing downs, e. g.).

But what I want to see, regardless of schemes and packages, are three things:
  • One, the ability/strength to stop short yardage runs, especially when the Wildcat is used.
  • Two, the ability to contain a running/DT QB on 3rd and long.
  • Three, the ability to put pressure on a passing QB in 3rd and long situations.

We have not been close to doing any of those things last year. That needs to change in 2019.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

4-2-5 was as multiple as it got and I loved that. You could mold the scheme around your best player. If it was norwood you could make him an OLB in a 3-3-5 or DE in normal 4-2-5. That particular scheme is really not much different from muschamps buck. It just puts an extra DB on the field. Which you would think muschamp would love to do. His defense is so multiple though, that’s not the issue. He brings in a nickel as well but it’s practically useless in run support.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

It looks like we will have these guys at LB next year:

TJ Brunson (solid, but worn thin this year. Too many snaps and moved around)
Rosendo Louis (unproven, but came along toward the end)
Sherrod Greene (experienced, but poor production, beaten badly on key plays)
Earnest Jones (came back from injury and looked promising)
Damini Staley (looked small and played inconsistently - good tackle, bad tackle)
Eldridge Thompson (if he gets a medical waiver)
Rodricus Fitten (incoming freshman, good size, but no experience)
Derek Boykins (incoming freshman, really good athlete, 208 lb good height to grow)

That's it. Seven (maybe 8) scholarship bodies at a position that you need to make 60% of your tackles. I think one looked good this year, one looked promising, and the rest have a lot to prove. If we are going to stop the run and screens this year, we have to get big improvement at the position. I can't see any reason to not switch at least one buck, maybe 2 to linebacker to beef up the group size-wise and to take some pressure off Brunson. That was my main point in the original post. I want to see the best on the field, even if it takes some new thinking. We have what I consider a lot of talent up front, and hate to see B Johnson and Fennell waiting on snaps while our second level is getting worked over and beaten about.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

Y'all are probably tired of hearing me say this, but this is a no-brainer. We have, like, 1 guy on the line built for a 3 man front.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

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Our incoming players are all players that will excel in our current system more than the old 4-3 or 4-2-5. The smallest pure DL we've brought in is 268 before stepping on campus and will likely play next year (if he doesn't RS) between 280-285. Pickens may play at 295-300 this year. Green is a NT if he qualifies. Devontae Davis is entering campus right around 270-275. Fitten is a BUCK all the way. We're finally getting set to play the style of defense up front that Muschamp wants, we certainly aren't changing now.
Zacch Pickens is a pure 4-3 DE. Why would we want to line him up clogging gaps as an undersized 3-4 DE when we need him rushing the passer? Enagbare, Smith, and wonnum all work better as 4-3 DEs, and we don't have a roster full of dudes big enough for a 3-4 front. We have no true nose tackle. Guys like Keir Thomas would work better as a 4-3 disruptive DT anyway. This also keeps us from having our tiny linebackers trying to set the edge. We don't have the personnel for a 3-4. I don't believe we ever will at USC.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

Must be able to play press coverage!!!
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: I wonder if Muschamp and TRob might adjust

Quote:
Originally Posted by crowcutta View Post
i dont think its the way we should have to go moving forward because im hopeful we'll find some answers at lb but going along with what you're saying we can run a scheme closer to a traditional 3-4 rather than our hybrid scheme. having said that, for me if we're not straying from what we're doing schematically, start pickens or thomas at end then you start a bigger body likely belk next to kinlaw with wonnum at buck. then you work in sterling/johnson/fennell at buck and end in pass rushing situations. i think we also need to find the optimum weight and/or spot that thomas should play, de and inside only in passing situations or put on a little more weight and be more of an every down dt but a guy you still expect to affect the passer. then theres another suggestion that was kicked around by one or more on here that you move kinlaw to end.
We shouldn't be working in sterling/johnson/fennell at buck when our linebackers are getting manhandled and worn out. A couple of them can likely be on the field more at linebacker in a 4-3 with the bigger bodies we have up front in at least a good 2-deep 4 man front with good rush options and passing-down specialists available in our 14 scholarship DL group - with Pickens and Anderson being added as top-tier freshmen.
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