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The Importance of a DL

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by Boomergump, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Boomergump

    Boomergump Moderator Staff Member

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    I am going to start this thread with an "I told you so" and it will be directed at those members of another board who called me crazy two years ago for suggesting that TECH was very talented in the back 7 on defense. Some of you, in this audience, participate over there and may possibly remember. During the 2012 season, when things were in disarray on defense, I made the statement during one of my weekly film reviews that we had 5 future NFL players in the LB and DB ranks and that our problems were not due to a lack of ability in the back end. Well, of course, considering the recent results, people went crazy and told me it was all about a lack of talent and poor recruiting and that I had no idea what I was talking about. According to them, we had stolen all our recruits from East TN ST or Western Kentucky and they can't cover or tackle nearly good enough to compete in big boy football etc etc etc. It was all about lack of talent.

    By now, I think we can all see that, most likely we did indeed have those 5 NFL bound guys on the field. Sweeting is already playing, Attaochu and Thomas are pretty much sure things in terms of making a roster. On top of that, Watts, who was one of my 5, looks poised to make an NFL roster, most likely as a special teams specialist and back up LB. He is not enough of a punishing tackler to be considered a front runner for an NFL LB draft pick, but his kind of athleticism and open field ability, combined with size, makes him very attractive. Those pro day speed and agility numbers were pretty eye popping for a 230 pound guy. If you are an NFL team, who do you want, in terms of a prototype, covering your punts and kicks? Now you see what I am talking about. So far, that is 4 players. The 5th, in my mind, was Hunt-Days. He still has a lot to prove, but he has time to do it. We will see.

    So, why were we so bad if the talent was there? Well, it is because the DL was in total disarray. You could have put the pro bowl DBs back there for us and they wouldn't have been able to cover as long as we needed them to. Plus, if your DLs can't control or stabilize a gap, how are LBs to do proper run fits? Our LBs were always leaving their gaps, either because the gaps were so fluid they didn't really exist, or they knew DLs weren't going to make the plays and needed help. They felt the pressure to do too much. In order to try and get pressure, we would send a bunch and ask the DBs to back off in loose zone, making them look like they couldn't cover.

    You may ask, why am I taking the time to write this? Well, I do so, not to pound my own chest and say "I told you so" (well maybe a little), but because I fear we are going to find ourselves in a similar position this year. If you want something to worry about in the off season, make it the development of a DL. Once again, I find myself feeling good about the back 7, but wondering about us up front. We have a slew of pretty capable guys roaming the second level. What are they going to be asked to do and how much? I feel sure that CTR will eliminate confusion (like CAG couldn't) as a part of the problem and that he will have the kids in a scheme that plays to their strengths (rather than his - once again CAG). BUT, without some major growth along the DL, he will only be able to scheme so much to mitigate the foundational problem.
    This is what I am most eager to find out as spring and summer camps unfold. In my mind, it is the biggest question about our team BY FAR. More so than QB, BB, OL or any other. Hopefully, we will have a very positive development in the near term.
     
  2. RamblinCharger

    RamblinCharger Helluva Engineer

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    I remembe and I agree. It hurts to lose 2 guys from the position that was already our most vulnerable. I really hope someone can step up and make an impact off the edge and gotsis and someone else can at least keep the middle from being pushed around. I think gotsis will be an NFL player especially if he keeps progressing, but we need someone else in the middle so he doesn't face a bunch of double teams. I'm definitely nervous about the DL but I guess that's nothing new.
     
  3. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    I am worried as well.

    I am optimistic that Green is going to having a strong final season and I have a lot of hope in Whitehead adding pass rush this season...the SDE spot is a worry still.
     
    Whiskey_Clear likes this.
  4. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

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    Well I had Kevin penciled in at SDE but now IDK.
    Gamble perhaps.
    Going in this unproven is a big concern.
     
  5. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Robbins was my guess as well.

    Gamble is likely to stay inside.

    Stargel is currently the starter at SDE...Chungong is another to watch.
     
  6. DSGB

    DSGB Ramblin' Wreck

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    We should have taken a few shots at a couple more DL at the end of recruiting season. Pittman or Bowen would be nice gets right now.

    This might move Klock to DE, which is where I want him anyway.
     
  7. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    We signed for DE's...Merriweather, Whitehead, Simmons and Freeman.

    We had academic concerns with Bowen and Pittman.

    DT has to be a big target for us there year and along with a few more good DEs.
     
  8. DSGB

    DSGB Ramblin' Wreck

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    I know we pulled in DE. We did well, but I always like more. Never can have enough when we always ships in our back pocket.

    Evidently we had academic concerns with some of the guys in the program too.
     
  9. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    We didn't, they did.

    We did not save any scholarships this year...after NSD we were at 85.
     
  10. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

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    How Freeman looks out there? He could end up getting early playing time, same with Merriweather.
    Simmons probably more of a WDE due to his size and will need weight.

    I think we may be OK at tackle for now with Com/Kallon/Gamble/Green & Gotsis rotation.
    DE is a major concern, I almost would feel better standing them (Merriweather, Whitehead, Simmons, Freeman, Stargel, Chungong, Cheeks) up and using them as OLB rushers. Still won't know who can actually pass rush.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  11. gtg936g

    gtg936g Helluva Engineer

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    Two DTs that need to be double teamed on every pass rush situation will make our D look great. I would rather have serviceable DEs and a great push in the middle.
     
  12. Boomergump

    Boomergump Moderator Staff Member

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    I wish I could agree about DT. Hopefully you are right. If Gotsis makes as big a jump from '13 to '14 as he did from '12 to '13, then we probably have something with him. However, I feel like he is being forced to play out of position because of a lack of depth at nose. I like Green in a lot of situations, especially short yardage, but as an every down player, especially in nickel type down and distance, I'm not so sure he gives us what we need. So far, I'm am not as high on Gamble as a lot of people are, but I am definitely a supporter and want to see him grow. Kitchen is a solid number 2. To me, it is going to come down to Kallon and the Commish. What will we have in these two? At this point I really have no idea. I just know that their growth and impact will be exceedingly important to our success as a unit. You build successful defenses from the inside out and from the front to the back. If those two guys in the middle are dominant players, everybody else will look like a pro. At this point, expecting dominance isn't very realistic.
     
    Whiskey_Clear likes this.
  13. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

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    2012 we had problems with DBs knowing where to be not just DL, though I agree talent wasn't the biggest issue. I think IJ is going to have a big year and shut the mouths of his 2012 detractors.

    I agree that DL is a 2014 question mark but don't see cause for anxiety. With Gotsis, Green and Kitchen, we have three guys that can play inside. With Stargel, Cheeks, and Chungong, we have at least potential at SDE and likewise at WDE with Hunt-Days, Whitehead, et al. Gamble, Kallon, and Commissiong are bonus.
     
  14. Ggee87

    Ggee87 Helluva Engineer

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    Thats 3 people to play both DT positions with 2 having very little experience and coming off injuries with changes from 3-4 to the 4-3. Gotsis is the only sure thing at this point and thats tough. We need guys to step up and soon. I agree the back 7 are good to go. Time for DL to catch up... I hope JHD excels at DE or at the least shows promise.
     
  15. GTNavyNuke

    GTNavyNuke Helluva Engineer Featured Member

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    Maybe we go to the 5-3-3 defense? {:lame joke}
     
  16. CornerBlitz

    CornerBlitz Ramblin' Wreck

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    I agree with Boomer, as DL appears to be a major issue. To have a good to great defense at this level, a team needs to be 2 deep on the DL. The UGA game was a perfect example last year. The front 4 played hard, but were completely gassed in the 4th quarter.

    Unfortunately, I don't see a one deep to get excited about right now. From what I can tell, the light has to click for Kallon and a few others. Or we are going to need to score a bunch this year.
     
  17. Whiskey_Clear

    Whiskey_Clear Banned

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    Yall stop depressing me...This is the time of year yall are supposed to convince me we go 14-0
     
    augustabuzz likes this.
  18. dressedcheeseside

    dressedcheeseside Helluva Engineer

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    I think a lot will depend on two guys: Whitehead and Commissiong. If these two guys pan out, we have a nice first unit. I know Commissiong is a more natural NT, but he's versital enough to move outside to SDE, I think. That would give us Whitehead, Gotsis, Green and Commissiong along the front.
     
  19. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

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    Commissiong is 6'2 and 300 lbs I don't think that's good DE size.
     
  20. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Commissiong will be staying inside.
     

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