Potential DC for Next Year

Northeast Stinger

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I think the narrative the defense got no coaching is BS. The coaching was unsatisfactory. This year’s defense is worse than last year’s defense which is hard to imagine.

Are you saying they still getting no coaching this year?

The defense lacks talent for sure. Last’s year’s DL played much better than this year’s. White mattered. Coaching matters as 2 years ago the DL play was awful similar to this year. The difference is both White and the DL coach from 2 years ago who is back this year.

Same DB coach. Are they better? Seem about the same as they have been for the past 4 years. New LB coach. Their play has been terrible all year. They had a solid game against a team without a QB but that’s not a real test for LBs. New LB coach this year.

In my opinion the narrative that the defense has improved is BS. They are bad which is being kind.
Most people agree that the defense is playing better now than they were at the beginning of the year. For instance, tackling in space is 100% better than it was at the beginning of the year.

Most people agree that last year’s defense had some key personnel that are no longer here. Those players made a big difference to the team last year, even with uneven coaching philosophy from TFG.

Most people agree that we need more talent on defense and hope that we get that in the portal and/or in top recruits.

And many of us believe that the presence of TFG hampered all the position coaches with his insistence on having fun, light workouts.
 

Bogey

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I think everyone agrees we need more talent. But not sure what you mean by BS. The challenge that many on here have repeated often is that the defense went without coaching for almost four years and engaged in “soft” practice sessions. Unlearning bad habits takes time. Frankly I think the improvement has been dramatic given the lack of talent and some having to learn College 101 football for the first time.
I agree. I don't understand how anyone cannot see the improvement in our tackling during the season.
 

TechPhi97

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I think the narrative the defense got no coaching is BS. The coaching was unsatisfactory. This year’s defense is worse than last year’s defense which is hard to imagine.

Are you saying they still getting no coaching this year?

The defense lacks talent for sure. Last’s year’s DL played much better than this year’s. White mattered. Coaching matters as 2 years ago the DL play was awful similar to this year. The difference is both White and the DL coach from 2 years ago who is back this year.

Same DB coach. Are they better? Seem about the same as they have been for the past 4 years. New LB coach. Their play has been terrible all year. They had a solid game against a team without a QB but that’s not a real test for LBs. New LB coach this year.

In my opinion the narrative that the defense has improved is BS. They are bad which is being kind.
Our DFEI was 41st last year. We weren’t a terrible defense last year.
 

Northeast Stinger

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I agree. I don't understand how anyone cannot see the improvement in our tackling during the season.
I know, right? We went from not being able to tackle in space and players being out of position to now actually being able to get stops on defense.

At the beginning of the year it was clear that the loss of our quality players at LB and DL was putting more pressure on our DBs, who are actually pretty decent. Now we’ve got players in position to make plays and they’re wrapping up so other players are able to focus on their assignments. We obviously can still get “out-athleted” by better teams but our defense is no longer beating itself.
 

Root4GT

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Our DFEI was 41st last year. We weren’t a terrible defense last year.
We were 84th in scoring defense Nationally and 12th in the ACC. Points are what matter. Yes our STs sucked last year as well. We gave up 28.4 points per game. Not good but better than this year.
 

Root4GT

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I know, right? We went from not being able to tackle in space and players being out of position to now actually being able to get stops on defense.

At the beginning of the year it was clear that the loss of our quality players at LB and DL was putting more pressure on our DBs, who are actually pretty decent. Now we’ve got players in position to make plays and they’re wrapping up so other players are able to focus on their assignments. We obviously can still get “out-athleted” by better teams but our defense is no longer beating itself.
39, (13FCS) 48, 16, 38, 20, 38, 42, 17,42, 22. Those are our scores give up. 6 bad out of 9 against FBS Teams. The trend is not better. We play better defense against really bad offenses. Cuse is 11th, UVA is 12th and Wake is 14th in scoring in Conference only games. See the correlation!
 

Bogey

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Our DFEI was 41st last year. We weren’t a terrible defense last year.
Yeah, with Ace 2nd team and Charlie and White 3rd team all ACC. They covered the bad coaching under Thacker who was still DC and was why Key kept him to start this season. CAT was GC3's boy and was soft as hell. When it became apparent that Thacker could not duplicate last year's results without the 3 guys mentioned, he made the change and our tackling and defense has improved drastically under Sherrer.
 
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roadkill

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I think all of these things can be true at the same time:

Our defense wasn’t great last year but was made better by some playmakers who are no longer with the team and may have masked some coaching deficiencies.

Our tackling was awful at the beginning of this year but has improved. It still isn’t always great. I watched one of our DBs try to tackle Syracuse’s 240lb tight end/QB after he made a breakout run by grabbing him up high by the shoulder pads. It didn’t work. It may be that practicing against our TEs, some of whom seem to consistently hit the ground after a minor bump, is part of the problem. I don't have access to our defenses's PFF grades, but I imagine they would tell an interesting story.

Overall, our defensive execution improvement hasn’t kept pace with our offensive improvements this year. I believe we have benefitted from both a talent and a coaching upgrade on offense.

The jury is still out on Sherrer but there are many teams with equivalent or worse talent that appear to be outperforming us on defense. So, talent may be an issue, but it's certainly not the only one, and possibly not even the dominant one. Poor habits/coaching over the prior four years could also be a factor that makes it difficult to completely correct in a single season.
 

roadkill

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Yup, FGs have gone from a couple years ago when a block was as likely as a make to having a very good and reliable FG kicker. I am not as high on our punter as many are. Too inconsistent for me. Has gotten better every year so next year might be his year
We were spoiled having a Ray Guy award winner at the punting position. Then we went from elite to arguably the worst punt team in D1 in a single season. I credit Key for recognizing the problem and taking immediate steps to remedy it. Our punter needed some coaching along with the rest of the punt team. He has improved significantly to the point where every punt attempt is no longer a huge liability, but Saturday was not his best game for whatever reason.
 

Northeast Stinger

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I think all of these things can be true at the same time:

Our defense wasn’t great last year but was made better by some playmakers who are no longer with the team and may have masked some coaching deficiencies.

Our tackling was awful at the beginning of this year but has improved. It still isn’t always great. I watched one of our DBs try to tackle Syracuse’s 240lb tight end/QB after he made a breakout run by grabbing him up high by the shoulder pads. It didn’t work. It may be that practicing against our TEs, some of whom seem to consistently hit the ground after a minor bump, is part of the problem. I don't have access to our defenses's PFF grades, but I imagine they would tell an interesting story.

Overall, our defensive execution improvement hasn’t kept pace with our offensive improvements this year. I believe we have benefitted from both a talent and a coaching upgrade on offense.

The jury is still out on Sherrer but there are many teams with equivalent or worse talent that appear to be outperforming us on defense. So, talent may be an issue, but it's certainly not the only one, and possibly not even the dominant one. Poor habits/coaching over the prior four years could also be a factor that makes it difficult to completely correct in a single season.
Yes. More than one thing can be true at the same time. And, people can look at the same data and the same results, and even agree on their meaning in a narrow context, but still have different interpretations at a meta level. Simply put, some of us see reason for optimism and some of us think we are doomed.
 

InsideLB

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I think you go get the best DC you can get/afford. Could be Sherrer, could be a new hire. We improved on D during the season and credit to Sherrer and the players for that. That said, defense is still by far the biggest liability and definitely is not anything approaching good. They did have success forcing TOs this year, which is way of getting stops.

We needed Sylvain to have a big year and he got hurt. Have some guys on DL who are improving (Biggers, Scott, Kennard), and nice to see us develop a young LB in Efford who will be a staple.

Add some pieces through the portal, decide on a DC and there is some hope for the future.
 

UgaBlows

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We need some portal DE’s who can get to the QB, and a couple of solid LB’s to compliment Efford. I think Key will make an evaluation and decision on Sherrer at the end of the season, and it will be a tough one, but in the end he will do what he thinks will bring maximum improvement and wins going forward.
 

stinger78

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I think you go get the best DC you can get/afford. Could be Sherrer, could be a new hire. We improved on D during the season and credit to Sherrer and the players for that. That said, defense is still by far the biggest liability and definitely is not anything approaching good. They did have success forcing TOs this year, which is way of getting stops.

We needed Sylvain to have a big year and he got hurt. Have some guys on DL who are improving (Biggers, Scott, Kennard), and nice to see us develop a young LB in Efford who will be a staple.

Add some pieces through the portal, decide on a DC and there is some hope for the future.
If we can increase efficiency of the D by 30% (call that 10% by player dev, 10% by transfers, 10% by scheme/coaching) then we might have a respectable enough D to win 2 more games and might get us to 8-9 wins. If there are 130 teams in FBS and 1% would roughly equate to 1.3 slots, then 10% would equate to about 13 slots and 30% to about 40 slots, moving us well into the top 100 in total D (from about #115 to about #75). That would put us in the neighborhood as Ole Miss and Kansas - near the top half. This is doable. I would even call it a stretch goal.
 

Bogey

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I have confidence in Key making a good decision on the DC. If he brings in a new DC, I hope the new guy keeps Marco and we find help in the portal at rush end and LB.
 

stinger78

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I have confidence in Key making a good decision on the DC. If he brings in a new DC, I hope the new guy keeps Marco and we find help in the portal at rush end and LB.
I think we have two guys in Efford and Tatum who will be good LB's for us. With Sylvain back to go with Kennard we should be OK at DE but need depth. Fortson and Biggers are a good start at DT, but again, we need depth, an interior guy who can penetrate, and more S&C. Mostly, those guys just need another year to grow in maturity. I think we have a good enough foundation but need maturity and depth. I suspect we'll see a significant improvement year over year next fall.
 

Bogey

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I think we have two guys in Efford and Tatum who will be good LB's for us. With Sylvain back to go with Kennard we should be OK at DE but need depth. Fortson and Biggers are a good start at DT, but again, we need depth, an interior guy who can penetrate, and more S&C. Mostly, those guys just need another year to grow in maturity. I think we have a good enough foundation but need maturity and depth. I suspect we'll see a significant improvement year over year next fall.
^^
This, I agree we have a good foundation we need to build on
 

CEB

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I think we have two guys in Efford and Tatum who will be good LB's for us. With Sylvain back to go with Kennard we should be OK at DE but need depth. Fortson and Biggers are a good start at DT, but again, we need depth, an interior guy who can penetrate, and more S&C. Mostly, those guys just need another year to grow in maturity. I think we have a good enough foundation but need maturity and depth. I suspect we'll see a significant improvement year over year next fall.
For the love of God, don’t tell anyone we’ve got ‘em either!! Need to keep these guys around the program so we can build something!
 
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