Step Forward/Step Back (DEF)

SidewalkJacket

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Step Forward
DT: I feel like Gotsis will continue to improve here, and even though the depth is unproven, I think we have some athletic guys that can step up alongside the Aussie.
ILB: Hunt-Days seemed to struggle when most thought he would take a leap. I'm banking on improvement here, and Harrell's hot on his heels.
CB: I know DJ White took some flack this season, but I was impressed with him. Sammy Watkins made a lot of people look bad, and I thought White was almost always in good position to make plays. If he works on awareness when the ball is in the air, he could be a very solid starter for 3 more years. I'm also putting a lot of stock in what Eric and others say about Step Durham.

Step Back
DE: Until I see otherwise, I think its gonna be hard to replace JA's production over the second half of the season.
S: I LOVE our young DBs with their speed and athleticism. But I don't see anybody that can replace Jemea just yet. Plus, I'm not sold that IJ will come in and reclaim his starting spot. I want to be proven wrong on this position.

????
OLB: I will miss Watts. He was so versatile. But I love Nealy, too. The other spot will tell the truth here.

BONUS BIG STEP FORWARD
STs: An experienced Butker and a huge shot in the arm with the addition of Golden and possibly Autry to the return game. Plus, I think our athletic DBs are sometimes most valuable on STs with their reckless abandon. I love seeing Milton, Noble, Griffin flying down the field on coverage units.
 

alaguy

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DT- could be on par with last yr as Gotsis improves
DE- could be a disaster if someone (Whitehead?) doesn't step up big
LBs-could be best depth of PJ era,if things go right
S- might be ok if IJ/Golden are really well
CB- White is ok but overall the position has limited talent and exp
STs-if punter (Rodwell?) comes through,STs should be ok
 

SidewalkJacket

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1,591
Sorry to resurrect my own thread, but it didn't get much play the first time around, and now that we've been through spring practice, I thought I'd revise my original thoughts (when necessary).

Step Forward
DT: I feel like Gotsis will continue to improve here, and even though the depth is unproven, I think we have some athletic guys that can step up alongside the Aussie.
Sounds like Green is healthy (finally!) and these two could be a strong combo. I'll cautiously stick to my "step forward."
ILB: Hunt-Days seemed to struggle when most thought he would take a leap. I'm banking on improvement here, and Harrell's hot on his heels.
Well, this will certainly change. Now that our base D is nickel, I'm not sure how we label the 'backers, but it appears we will be very good here with Nealy, Marcordes, Davis and crew. I'll say step forward for sure.
CB: I know DJ White took some flack this season, but I was impressed with him. Sammy Watkins made a lot of people look bad, and I thought White was almost always in good position to make plays. If he works on awareness when the ball is in the air, he could be a very solid starter for 3 more years. I'm also putting a lot of stock in what Eric and others say about Step Durham.
Didn't hear enough to change my prediction. Still not sure here. I think we'll be more talented physically, but experience...?

Step Back
DE: Until I see otherwise, I think its gonna be hard to replace JA's production over the second half of the season.
Very hopeful that Whitehead can come right in and make an impact. Not sure, though. This position seems like the key to the whole D.
S: I LOVE our young DBs with their speed and athleticism. But I don't see anybody that can replace Jemea just yet. Plus, I'm not sold that IJ will come in and reclaim his starting spot. I want to be proven wrong on this position.
Nothing much different for me now.

????
OLB: I will miss Watts. He was so versatile. But I love Nealy, too. The other spot will tell the truth here.
See above comments on LBs.

BONUS BIG STEP FORWARD
STs: An experienced Butker and a huge shot in the arm with the addition of Golden and possibly Autry to the return game. Plus, I think our athletic DBs are sometimes most valuable on STs with their reckless abandon. I love seeing Milton, Noble, Griffin flying down the field on coverage units.
Still pumped about this one. New long snapper is also a big plus here.
 

dressedcheeseside

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Sorry to resurrect my own thread, but it didn't get much play the first time around, and now that we've been through spring practice, I thought I'd revise my original thoughts (when necessary).
I'm surprised you didn't mention SDE, it's the biggest question mark in my book. I sure hope Stargel and Co. can pull their weight.
 

SidewalkJacket

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I'm surprised you didn't mention SDE, it's the biggest question mark in my book. I sure hope Stargel and Co. can pull their weight.

You're right, I should have addressed it specifically. I didn't see any of the spring practices myself, so I just don't have an opinion on Stargel. He better be good there, it seems, or we're weak at that spot.
 

AE 87

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FWIW, Johnson and Roof seemed to be feeling pretty okay with Jabari at WDE.

Also, I think Keshun Freeman and Tyler Stargel will be okay at SDE.
 

RamblinCharger

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I think the DL will actually be improved overall in their second year under pelton and roof. If green can play well next to gotsis I think we can get enough pressure off the edge to make up for missing Attouchu and improve overall
 

danny daniel

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DE- a weakness on both ends against the run and pass but we may see a lot of improvement as the season progresses. At least we have depth to work with: Stargel, Whitehead, Days, Freeman, Chungong, Henry and Menocal. We need a couple to breakout. I predict Whitehead, Days, and Freeman. We may need Gamble.

DT- good+ with starters Gotsis and Green healthy; OK depth (the backups have some upside, Gamble and Kitchen, with hopeful help from Commission and Kallon).

LB- a real strength against the run (not as good against the pass) where we are 5 deep with quality players-Nealy, Marcordes, Davis, Harrell, Hankins and solid performer McNair and promising performers Allen and Alford

CB- solid against run and pass with starters White and L Griffin and quality depth with Milton and likely Durham; and if we have injuries Noble and Golden

S-good + against the run but weaker against the pass with Johnson, Golden, and Smith. Very promising backups with C Griffin and Marvin and a very solid Noble

This a hustling and aggressive bunch with adequate skills. We will do well if we can play some pass defense on third down and use enough of our depth to not wear out late in the game.
 
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