Monday, February 13, 2006

2006 Defense

returning starter in black, *-redshirt, bold-player to watch

DETyler Clutts Jr.*

Adam McDowell So.*

Ricky Miller Sr.*Wilson Ramos Fr.*Devin Packard Fr.*

Clutts will take over Garrett McIntyre's leadership role on the defensive line. Clutts became a very effective DE towards the end of 2005, and will only get better. McDowell is in the same mold as Clutts but will be hard pressed to get playing time. Miller will be in a heated battle to replace McIntyre at the other DE spot, but should get plenty of playing time in the rotation. Ramos and Packard are very promising redshirts that add valuable depth.

Outlook- Very Good. Plenty of Depth.

DTJason Shirley Jr.*Jon Monga So.*Kenny Avon So.*Mark Roberts Fr.

Shirley is one of the best DTs in Bulldog history. Unfortunately, the talent behind him is not as good. Monga and Avon need to step up their game and be ready to fill in. Roberts could play as true, but Hill would like to redshirt him but that all depends on Monga and Avon.

Outlook- Good. Quality depth could be an issue.

NTLouis Leonard Sr.*Charles Tolbert Jr.*Justin McIntyre So.*Cornell Banks Fr.*

Leonard has not been the stalwart NT that many thought he would be. He is blessed with great size, but has not been as dominant as the player that wore No. 98 before him, Alan Harper. He should have a very good senior year if he stays healthy. Tolbert and McIntyre are both undersized but have great motors. Banks is the future star. He should compete with Tolbert for quality minutes behind Leonard.

Outlook- Decent. Back up size is an issue.

DEMarlin Brisco Sr.*Ikenna Ike So.*Jason Roberts So.*Mike Stuart So.*Nico Herron Fr.

How does a defense replace a player like McIntyre? It is not easy, but I am in the minority when I say his graduation is a blessing in disguise. He was a better DT than he was a DE, but that meant taking out one of the buffet busters from the lineup. Hill has an abundance of talent coming in at DE to help ease the loss of McIntyre's presence on the outside. Brisco is the veteran but he must fend off the young talent in spring if he wants to start. Ike might make the switch to DT in passing situations, similar to what McIntyre did last year. Roberts and Stuart will be good DEs for the next three years. Stuart will be the favorite to replace McIntyre, but Roberts will see plenty of action, as well. Herron is likely to make the move to DE, but could play LB or redshirt.

Outlook- Promising. Very good talent.

WLBMarcus Riley Jr.*Ahijah Lane Jr.*Quaadir Brown So.

Riley's return from injury is still in doubt. The Bulldogs can not afford to lose him for any part of the season. Lane has yet to prove he is nothing more than a great pass rusher. If the Bulldogs ran a 3-4, Lane would be the perfect rover. Brown came on at the end of the year, and has great speed.

Outlook-Great. But can't afford to lose Riley.

MLBDwayne Andrews Sr.*Robert Schenck Fr.Christian Carleson Jr.*Todd Chisom Fr.*

Andrews might be in for the battle of his life, if Schenck adjusts to the college game quick enough. Andrews, 6-0 240, is the incumbent and the leader of the defense, but does not match up physically with Schenck, 6-2 235. However, if Schenck does not adjust well, Chisom will have to step up. Chisom, like Schenck, ran track in HS, and adds much needed speed to the position. Carlson is the experienced back up, but will struggle to compete with the younger talent.

Outlook- Decent. Depth is a concern.

SLBAlan Goodwin Sr.*Ryan McKinley So.*Isaac Kinter Fr.*Reynard Camp Fr.*

Goodwin might not start his senior year. Fresno State struggled immensely at LB during its 4 game losing streak, and I would presume no LB position is safe come spring. McKinely played sparingly last year, but is not the answer. Kinter or Brown have the speed necessary to shore up the run defense. I will not be surprised to see Kinter starting at the SLB spot in the Fall. Camp could play either of the LB spots.

Outlook- Questionable. Needs improvement.

CBMarcus McCauley Sr.*Lawrence Hood Fr.Jason Crawley Fr.*Marlin Moore Fr.*

Many fans are moaning over the early departure of Richard Marshall, but the Bulldogs' best CB is still on campus. Marshall might have been faster and got media attention, but McCauley is bigger, can blanket a receiver and is a very punishing hitter. As long as he is matched up against the opposing teams' best receiver the 'Dogs should be fine. Hood is coming off of a grayshirt, but will immediately compete for the Marshall's vacant spot. Crawley is listed as WR, but he did play DB his senior of HS. He has excellent size, 6-2 170, and could make the transition to CB. Moore is listed as an athlete, but more than likely will play DB.

Outlook- Outstanding. But no proven depth.

CBElgin Simmons Sr.*Damon Jenkins Jr.*Damion Owens Fr.Moore

Simmons will be listed atop the depth chart come spring. The senior will be neck and neck with prep all-star Jenkins, who has yet to live up to the hype. Owens could make a impact as a true freshman. Crawley, Hood and Moore will compete for this spot in spring, too.

Outlook- Down. Someone needs to step up.

SSJosh Sherley Sr.*Moses Harris Fr.*Moore

Sherley is a big hitter, but is over aggressiveness was exposed later in the year. He needs to have a good spring or face the possibility of losing his starting spot to Harris. Harris could be next in line on a list of great Bulldog safeties. Moore could find a home at SS, as well.

Outlook- Questionable. Needs a playmaker.

FSVince Mays Sr.*Jake Jorde So.*Marvin Haynes Fr.*

Mays has one year left to prove his 4 star rating coming out of HS in 2002. He was unable to beat out Sherley for SS after Sanders left early for the NFL last year. Now, as the heir apparent to Tyrone Culver at FS, he has big shoes to fill. There is no doubting his talent, but he has yet to put the whole package together. If Mays falters there is very little experience behind him. Jorde moved over from WR last year, and could play SS or FS in a reserve role. Haynes is a very promising talent, but will benefit with one year as a reserve.

Outlook- Down. Mays needs to step up.


bdogpridevalleywide said...

ahh, finally. i needed a D-fix. thanks mdg.

gofsudogs2006 said...

I have to say the defense looks shotty at best. I can really only find one or two stoppers on our entire defense. I didn't think we would be as shorthanded on defense as we are. The only one I have complete confidence in is McCauley, but you already knew that. I would say I believe Riley is one of the better LB's as long as he is healthy, but I always worry about his health. The way the Dogs are begining to look on paper reminds of the Trent Dilfer-David Carr led Bulldog teams. The Dogs will put up plenty of points next season, but i am sure they are going to give up their fair share. I just hope they can outscore these teams they are playing. I can't imagine what the score of the FSU-Hawaii game is going to be. God this is going to be a stressful year

mdg said...

It all starts at the defensive line. Roberts and Stuart will give the Dogs the speed on the ends that has been lacking.

Riley needs to recover, and I would like Lane in more blitzing packages.

As long as McCauley is covering the opposing team's best WR the Dogs should be ok. Harris will unseat Sherley at SS, just like Sanders unseated McGill in 2002. Mays has to be the man.

gofsudogs2006 said...

But do you really think we are going to be able to get past all of the defensive woes that we have seen the past few years? I mean we always seem to have the problem against the run, and our damn safeties love to gamble. I guess the reason i worry more so this year than any other is because this season we play some teams that have offenses that could very easily exploit the Dogs defense.
The problem that comes with playing these great teams is you have to have a great game week in and week out. I expect FSU to score off the charts this year, but I expect them to give up plenty of points. I think games such as the Oregon loss (37-34) or the USC loss (50-42) is an indication of what we are going to see often this year. Do you really think we have any chance of stopping the elite teams from scoring?

mdg said...

IMO, a big emphasis is going to be placed on the run defense. The recruiting class filled the needs to achieve that by recruiting faster LBs. The DE's recruited and the OLB recruited to switch to DE are faster than any of the DE's Hill has had. FS has never had great DEs that could put constant pressure on the QB. Blitz packages had to be implemented to get pressure on the QB and that exposed the D to traps and draws up the middle.

I don't care for Brown as DC, but maybe with the influx of speed the scheme might change, yeah right!

In all I agree the defense needs work, but it is by far better than any D from the Dilfer days. The problem with the defense in 2001 w/Carr was there was little depth. The 97 class was deep, but the 98 and 99 classes were very week.

This year's D has some depth concerns at MLB and DB, but the talent level is much higher than in Hill's previous years.

gofsudogs2006 said...

Well as far as I see it we do have more speed than we have in the past, I do not doubt that. I guess I just dont expect an enormous improvement from last year's defense because I mean in one season can you really expect them to get rid of all of their defensive woes? We will still be vulnerable to the run outside because we always have been.

However, I think if someone like Norton takes over the reigns and does not implode in the fourth quarter like the qb I loved to hate (Pinegar)then the games will all be close. I just hope that the new qb can bring us through in the end. Only one game last year was out of reach at the end (La. Tech) and with a more efficient qb we might have a chance to pull those games out.

mdg said...

Believe me I am not expecting miracles in 2006. But the defense was not all that bad last year prior to USC. The Dogs completely shut down Boise State. Losing Riley was huge, and Pinegar was not the best closer.

gofsudogs2006 said...

True we played well against Boise, I am not arguing that at all. I know Riley going down also hurt us but in your preview you said he might not be healthy when the season starts. If that is the case who could possibly step up and make plays the way Riley did this past season? It is pretty obvious no one from last year's team had anything close to the talent that Riley has at LB. Is there someone who is anywhere near his talent level? Just wondering, and yeah Pinegar was terrible with the game on the line, and you know I thought that since the first time I saw him play. You still headed to the LSU game, I am in on that one.

mdg said...

I really think Quaadir Brown could fill the role. He is built like Riley, just as fast, and really came into his own towards the end of the year. He was a just a true, and another Spring and Fall practice will benefit him. Sanchez was a passing down LB and was overmatched when it came to run support, and sucked at it.

But on the other hand, Goodwin needs to step up his game at SLB. If he falters, Kinter needs to fill that role since he has excellent speed, otherwise Brown or Lane could be playing both OLB spots. I really like Lane, but is nothing more than a good pass rusher. Hopefully he will upgrade his run defense to supplement the rotation.

Schenck may be too good to keep on the bench. If he can not beat out Andrews for MLB, I can see playing some OLB. McKinely could have a big year, too. But all these guys except for Kinter and Schenck couldn't make a difference last year. Lane was injured a good part, and really could be a surprising force. But Brown is really the only one I see that could fill Riley's void, if he is not 100% come September.

LSU is still a go, got to get together as soon as the tickets become available.

gofsudogs2006 said...

See I don't know much about the new recruits and definitely do not know how good these guys are that were not in games last year. I do know Sanchez was absolutely horrendous during the season. If you go back to the game against Tulsa, they ran a fake end around on the 60 yard touchdown run and Sanchez literally ran sideways five yards following the receiver before he realized the running back was halfway to the end zone. What happened to waiting to see who has the ball? Our defense pursues well but at times they end up in bad spots because they are overanxious.

I do hope your optimistic side to the Dogs works out, i guess when we go to the spring game and practices we will have a much better idea of who is who out there. As far as the LSU game we better be on that as soon as it happens, I really want to go down there and check the place out. 90,000 plus fans, what could be better?

In the end the two most important guys this upcoming season will be the qb (regardless of who it is) and I honestly think Stitser (a close second will be our rb corp). If he is healthy and bombing the ball like he does we will have great field position all of the time and he can kick 45 yard field goals easily. Hey did you know Visintainer is the kicker for the Cowboys? I was not aware of that.