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Old 09-12-2013, 08:43 AM   #1
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Default Soft defense explanations

I'm trying to figure out why we're so soft on defense, this year, when defense used to be the reason why we could stay in most games, with a mediocre offense.

I'm wondering, specifically, if the new targeting rules have had any effect. For example, remember when Coach Ward said, in a video, during fall camp, that they were coaching the DBs to NOT be headhunters, when he was quizzed by reporters about the new rules??? Well, we don't have any headhunters on defense.

I don't want to see guys get ejected, but, sometimes, is it worth taking a 15 yard penalty, for a late hit, or a hit out of bounds, or something of that nature, to get the kids fired up. I mean, a 15 yard penalty is better than an 80 yard TD on 3rd and 14!!!

We've got the thread on conditioning, and I very much agree with the sentiment from a lot of fans that we may be out of shape.

And, we've covered the fact that we're not blitzing, moving around, bringing different looks, playing vanilla defense.

I know that the guys are young.

Other than the things listed above, what else do you see that is out of place?

What's the difference between a D.J. Swearinger, a Captain Munnerlyn, an Eric Norwood, a Ko Simpson, a John Abraham, and a Sheldon Brown, as opposed to the current players???????????? We are missing these types of players, IMHO.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

At the risk of seeming like I'm flaming you, I would like to point out there is not nearly enough evidence to suggest the defense (or any other part of the team) is soft, or great, or anything else. We've played two games. In the first, the defense performed very well [allowed 10 points (7 of which came on a drive that was wrongly extended by a penalty) and a little under 300 yards]. In the second, the defense struggled (41 points and around 550 yards). But the defense wasn't the only group that was inconsistent.

In the first game, our offense looked pretty good for a short while, then seemed like they couldn't even move the ball when we really needed them to do it. In the second game, the offense (overall) looked pretty good. If not for an unfortunate fumble, bad snap and hold on a PAT attempt, and a bad call on a 4th and goal, the group could have matched or exceeded the point total put up by UGA.

But wait, there's more! Let's talk about the special teams. In the first game, the kickoff team (specifically Ard) struggled mightily, yet he was booming kicks with regularity against UGA. On the flip side, the FG/PAT group was perfect in the first game, but we all saw how things broke down against UGA the one time.

My point is we are only two games in, so we need more data points, if you will, before we slap a label on any group for being soft, great, or anything else.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

i dont think personal fouls or intimidation are an answer to our woes. the problem was on the 3rd downs we werent even close enough to a receiver to get a personal foul. its something im glad i heard spurrier specifically address this week.
its one thing to get beat by a great throw or a great individual play a wr, that isnt what happened on obvious passing downs vs georgia.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

I hate to say this... But this defense reminds me of our defense under Charlie Strong. We constantly gave up 3rd and forever
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

Honestly, the defense was overrated coming into the season. We're young. Plain and simple. You don't lose guys like big Byron, Swearinger, Holloman, all 3 senior lbs, A Auguste and D Taylor without a drop off. I believe we have a very talented defense, they just need the reps. On top of all that, throw in a new dline coach with different philosophies.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

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Originally Posted by cockybusiness2 View Post
I hate to say this... But this defense reminds me of our defense under Charlie Strong. We constantly gave up 3rd and forever
I was thinking the exact same thing
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

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Originally Posted by Jim Lahey View Post
Honestly, the defense was overrated coming into the season. We're young. Plain and simple. You don't lose guys like big Byron, Swearinger, Holloman, all 3 senior lbs, A Auguste and D Taylor without a drop off. I believe we have a very talented defense, they just need the reps. On top of all that, throw in a new dline coach with different philosophies.
Stop making sense.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

I absolutely understand 3rd downs were a problem against UGA, but like I said before, that's only one game you guys are using to say the defense struggles on 3rd downs. Did they in Athens? Yes, but you have to look at more than just one game. If we were to use only one game as the basis for determining something like how good or bad a unit is (in this case defense) then why not use the UNC game? I mean it was a valid game, too. In the UNC game, the tarheels were 7/19 on third downs. I repeat...7/19. That means that Fedora's "high-powered" offense (in his second year, no less) converted an astounding 36.8% of their 3rd downs.

Furthermore, you guys are exaggerating how well UGA performed on their 3rd downs. To read you guys' comments, one would think UGA converted 70 - 80 percent of their 3rd downs. Well, it might surprise you to know UGA was actually 6/14 on third downs. That means they converted 42.9% of their 3rd downs. Yes, I realize there were several conversions in critical situations, but don't make it seem like UGA converted all or even a majority of their 3rd downs.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

I don't think we have a soft defense, but we do have some soft spots, and our tackling isn't quite as good as a it usually is. We miss Jerideau in the middle, Surratt and Dixon Jr. are nice DTs but neither clog the middle the the way Big Byron did. We also miss Holloman for his tackling, and Swearinger for making the big defensive play. We have lacked big defensive plays these first two games. Then there is Shaq Wilson, he wasn't so good out in space, but he could clog those running lanes very well. He would have made a difference if we had him. The other big thing I noticed, was that we didn't keep contain. Our LBs would crash in and Gurley would bounce it outside time and time again. It seems like our back 7 is a little too slow to react unfortunately. Not REALLY slow, just slow enough to let opponents get the hole they needed when running, or get a little space to a catch a football. We need to improve our reactions. DL too, they need to start their rushes quicker, simultaneously with the snap.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

Quote:
Originally Posted by AikenRooster View Post
I'm trying to figure out why we're so soft on defense, this year, when defense used to be the reason why we could stay in most games, with a mediocre offense.

I'm wondering, specifically, if the new targeting rules have had any effect. For example, remember when Coach Ward said, in a video, during fall camp, that they were coaching the DBs to NOT be headhunters, when he was quizzed by reporters about the new rules??? Well, we don't have any headhunters on defense.

I don't want to see guys get ejected, but, sometimes, is it worth taking a 15 yard penalty, for a late hit, or a hit out of bounds, or something of that nature, to get the kids fired up. I mean, a 15 yard penalty is better than an 80 yard TD on 3rd and 14!!!

We've got the thread on conditioning, and I very much agree with the sentiment from a lot of fans that we may be out of shape.

And, we've covered the fact that we're not blitzing, moving around, bringing different looks, playing vanilla defense.

I know that the guys are young.

Other than the things listed above, what else do you see that is out of place?

What's the difference between a D.J. Swearinger, a Captain Munnerlyn, an Eric Norwood, a Ko Simpson, a John Abraham, and a Sheldon Brown, as opposed to the current players???????????? We are missing these types of players, IMHO.
You left off injuries. We were young to begin with and then we have Hampton knocked out by dirty play from UNC, our starting strong safety is unable to play, and our projected starting Will. The dudes that came in are all inexperienced. Our experienced depth this year was lacking at the beginning of the year. OTH, we are rapidly developing some and by the end of the season we should be in decent shape.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

Why are we giving the WR's so much space? The 4th and 13 was a wide-open easy catch. I can't remember many deep balls thrown on us all year long. Seems like every pass is within 15 yards. The 85 yarder was a busted coverage yes. Keith Marshall's long catch was a catch/run swing pass. I just don't see teams taking many shots downfield b/c they're scared of the pass rush. Now, I know through two games we don't have the SACKS to make teams scared. But then again you don't see teams taking 5 step drops and double moves by the WR's (correct me I'm wrong) So what's the need of DB's giving them so much space?

If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will let me know. I never went back and rewatched the UNC or Georgia game, so I'm sure I missed some things.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Giovanni View Post
I absolutely understand 3rd downs were a problem against UGA, but like I said before, that's only one game you guys are using to say the defense struggles on 3rd downs. Did they in Athens? Yes, but you have to look at more than just one game. If we were to use only one game as the basis for determining something like how good or bad a unit is (in this case defense) then why not use the UNC game? I mean it was a valid game, too. In the UNC game, the tarheels were 7/19 on third downs. I repeat...7/19. That means that Fedora's "high-powered" offense (in his second year, no less) converted an astounding 36.8% of their 3rd downs.

Furthermore, you guys are exaggerating how well UGA performed on their 3rd downs. To read you guys' comments, one would think UGA converted 70 - 80 percent of their 3rd downs. Well, it might surprise you to know UGA was actually 6/14 on third downs. That means they converted 42.9% of their 3rd downs. Yes, I realize there were several conversions in critical situations, but don't make it seem like UGA converted all or even a majority of their 3rd downs.
Totally agree. Just a mixture of inexperience, youth, high expectations, an offense that needs to have longer drives, and it being 2 games in. I mentioned this in another thread but it was stated during the game that Mike Bobo had scouted our defense and noticed that we were lighter and smaller in our front 7 versus last year. Makes a big difference. Georgia tried and succeeded to exploit that. Also, we showed our blitzes a little early and Murray caught on to that on a few plays and audibled out of the play.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

IMO we looked soft against Georgia because of the defensive plan, and a stubbornness to not make adjustments by the defensive coaches when we started getting gashed for yards. I know Ward must of watched the Clemson tape; I can only come up with 1 reason why he didn't try to bring the same kind of pressure that was successful for Clemson: He thought our pass-rush could do with 4 people what Clemson needed 5 or 6 for, and that our LB/DB's could sit back in a soft zone with one eye on Gurley. Problem is, it didn't work. Bigger problem is, that when it was obvious it didn't work, he did nothing to fix it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

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IMO we looked soft against Georgia because of the defensive plan, and a stubbornness to not make adjustments by the defensive coaches when we started getting gashed for yards. I know Ward must of watched the Clemson tape; I can only come up with 1 reason why he didn't try to bring the same kind of pressure that was successful for Clemson: He thought our pass-rush could do with 4 people what Clemson needed 5 or 6 for, and that our LB/DB's could sit back in a soft zone with one eye on Gurley. Problem is, it didn't work. Bigger problem is, that when it was obvious it didn't work, he did nothing to fix it.
We brought extra rushers plenty of times, that didn't work either. The main reason nothing was working was because Gurley and their other backs were eating up yards even though we were stacking the box. They basically pulled a Lattimore on us.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

i wasnt saying that our 3rd down defense was awful every play, we came up with two 3rd down and long stops to start the 2nd half, but then (small sample size, sure) we gave up 4 consecutive 3rd and longs that allowed georgia to take it twice from a one score game to a two score game.

when i bring up the 3rd downs im only talking 2nd half of the uga game. sure its inexperience and confusion, but it has to get fixed. its one thing to give up plays when the other team is just out executing you or making a spectacular play, but you cant give up the conversions we gave up when we had them backed into a corner on 3rd and long. that and how easily they got those 1st downs are what was concerning.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

We are basically running a 4-1-6 scheme. With no 210lb murderer of a safety...no confidence in physicality outside of Hampton in the secondary...
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:17 PM   #17
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

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We are basically running a 4-1-6 scheme. With no 210lb murderer of a safety...no confidence in physicality outside of Hampton in the secondary...
Clowney to safety?
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

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Originally Posted by cockybusiness2 View Post
I hate to say this... But this defense reminds me of our defense under Charlie Strong. We constantly gave up 3rd and forever
You sure ? I thought of Tyrone 3rd and 22 Nix..
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: Soft defense explanations

The issue is that the players are not getting the calls quick enough for these fast paced no huddle offenses. This issue has been explained by the players and the coaches. If there is a soft spot on the defense, it is the DL. Our DL was rated the #1 DL in the SEC by the media/coaches and they have not shown up in our first 2 games. Most people, including myself, thought our young LBs jobs would have been much easier because they would be playing behind an Elite DL and in front of a secondary with proven experience. Our DL is far from Elite so far. The fact that our players are not getting the calls quick enough and the DL has yet to show up, our defense has not been able to perform to it's potential (or at least I hope so).
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