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CU Defensive Front Seven Alignment

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by ScottyBuff, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    With the roster moves and recruiting that have happened over the past two seasons, and the hiring of Jim Leavitt; Coach MM certainly has tipped his hand that the base defense will be revised going forward.

    I've spent some time researching the coaching style and formations and applying each player's individual skill sets to where they would best fit and here is my best attempt at what the D will look like (exact position names are not known exactly yet):

    SLBSDENTUTWDEMLBWLB
    J. GilbertS. KafovaluJ. TupouL. JacksonD. McCartneyA. GillamK. Olugbode
    G. FrazierJ. CarrellJ. SolisC. NorgardD. WilsonR. SeversonD. Rippy
    T. HasselbachJ. FrankeE. LopezN. RobbinsM. ReidR. GamboaT. Talianko
    L. CottrellM. MatthewesF. UmuT. HeningtonC. BoundsC. ShaverJ. Awini
    N.J. FaloB. TonzL. TuilomaT. ColemanS. BennionG. Watanabe
    H. Shaw
    S. Berry

    Couple of thoughts: the SLB needs to be the most versatile player (pass rush/rush defense/coverage), It is the "hybrid DE/LB" position; think Von Miller role. Gilbert has the necessary athleticism and played that role in HS, same for Hasselbach, Cottrell, and Falo.

    The SDE is a "big" DE, much like Derek Wolfe or even Haloti Ngata; they play in the 3 gap and command a double-team from OT-OG and primarily are run-stoppers, but need to be able to penetrate if the O-line shifts and present single coverage. Kafovalu is excellent at this role and Carrell seems to fit that mold as well. Franke and Matthews seem to have the build and ability to play this spot. I put Tonz here as he is a "tweener" DE/DT type at this point; Tuiloma could also fit here at this stage in his career.

    The NT is a role everyone is familiar with; command double teams and stuff the run. I moved Solis around a lot as he could fit the SDE position very well, but our lack of nose tackle bodies meant that I ended up putting him here. Lopez and Umu seem tailor made to be NT.

    The Under tackle spot is the "Warren Sapp" position. A big body (but doesn't have to be typically DT size), who takes on single guard coverage and penetrates the O-line. Leo Jackson mostly played against tackles in JuCo but he is definitely a penetrating d-lineman, Norgard, Henington, and Coleman fit this role and I believe that Robbins does as well, but he could also fit the SDE spot.

    The WDE is the true "rush" player, think Terrell Suggs or DeMarcus Ware. McCartney is certainly that player for us and I believe that is Wilson, Shaver, and Reid's best position. Bennion played there in HS, but who knows what his size will be in 2016 when he joins the team.

    The Mike and Will LB spots are the same as last year, but the lack of depth at LB doesn't hurt us as bad with only 2 positions. Certainly we need some LB in the next recruiting cycle as 5 of the players are juniors; but the 3 deep should be sufficient for us in 2015.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
    aik, patebuff, SuperiorBuff and 7 others like this.
  2. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Good stuff
     
  3. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    If Kafovalu is back at full strength this will work, because Carrell gives us veteran depth there. If he isn't, and we have to rely on underclassmen, this D alignment doesn't look as threatening. However, I do like how, on paper, this appears to give us a very good chance of being versatile and aggressive in our defensive play calling.
     
  4. Highlander

    Highlander Club Member Club Member

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    Thanks for this. It is going to take a bit for players to grow in to the roles. There are too many names on that list I basically don't even recognize (8-10 or so). Is it me, or are that many of them "under the radar" recruits?

    Only other comment is that it seemed like Umu was destined for the OL - are folks projecting him as DL or OL?
     
  5. Mr. Babar

    Mr. Babar I have no elephant books Club Member

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    It is refreshing to see depth on the DL. We went through so many years with depleted resources - I appreciate HCMM's commitment to the DL and knowing how important it is to success. Good analysis, Scotty. Rep.
     
  6. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Umu is projected for the DL. 100%

    A fair amount of new names because some redshirted, some aren't here yet, and some are walkons that are listed.
     
  7. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Would like to see what the weight of some of these guys is now.
    Gamboa generally was not a well-conditioned athlete in High School
    Talianko, Severson, Olugbode, Rippy are just the LBs that have been undersized. I don't see Severson as a MLB in any system.
     
  8. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    So all our defense needs is Von Miller, Haloti Ngata, Warren Sapp and Terell Suggs to be successful?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  9. KingPants

    KingPants Club Member Club Member

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    The numbers at LB look ok, but the names don't. Past Gillam and KO (who I am not sold on yet) not much there. Really need Watanabe or Gamboa to be ready, and Rippy to step up.

    Good stuff Scotty.
     
  10. sliderNcider

    sliderNcider MacLovin Club Member

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    LB is scary. Not much potential there either
     
  11. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Rippy has tons of it. Needs to make use of it though.
     
  12. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I also think Evan White is going to grow into a LB.
     
  13. sliderNcider

    sliderNcider MacLovin Club Member

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    Possibly. He was rail thin last year. Laguda is a possibility as well.
     
  14. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    I could definitely see White and Laguda transitioning into athletic LBs. They'll both need to put on a 20-30 lbs in the 5-2/3-4, though. That's why I'm a proponent of the 3-3-5. Allows the D to have 3 traditional LBs and 2 hybrid LB/S that can be extremely versatile. I also like the single high S, Cover 3 scheme that is typically used in the 3-3-5.
     
  15. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    If Samson isn't ready to go, then I think Solis becomes the SDE starter. Carrell gives us depth and rotational duty. Those two underclassmen: Franke and Matthewes shouldn't be overlooked though. By all accounts Franke was really pushing the starters even last spring/fall.
     
  16. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    Agree on Severson, he should be WLB if anywhere here; but that is where he was listed at end of last season. I would like to see Frazier see some Mike LB time rather than at DE; I liked him at MLB coming out of HS.
     
  17. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    The only problem with that is that it exposes our main weakness on defense: SPEED. Our secondary and linebackers can't cover WR/TE/RB in the PAC-12 and a lack of pass-rush from a 3 man line only gives the other team more time to throw.

    The best defense we can implement is one that brings the most pressure on the opposing backfield to minimize the time they have to use their speed against us. I think this is exactly what MM and staff have been recruiting for and exactly the type of defense that Leavitt has operated in the past.
     
  18. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    I also forgot to mention Chris Bounds, who could factor in here as well. He is big body who played DE and TE in HS. His game tape suggests more of a run-stuffer rather than a penetrating D-lineman; so I would put him in the SDE column unless he can cover (a good possibility if he is athletic enough to play TE) which might put him into the SLB position.
     
  19. J.R. Ewing

    J.R. Ewing Club Member Club Member

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    Bounds has project written all over him. If he plays this year, we're in trouble.
     
  20. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    Certainly a project; merely addressing the "system" depth chart so we can see what the current starters and future contributors.
     
  21. 89BUFF89

    89BUFF89 Well-Known Member

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    Hope Falo comes in and surprises. Seems to be one of the true frosh that might play and make an impact.
     
  22. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, he could easily be the #2 at that position; not a knock on Hasselbach or Cottrell but he really does fit that role perfectly. I could see him getting into the rotation throughout the season and making his presence felt.
     
  23. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    Actually, one of the goals of this defense is to get more speed on the field and was designed, early on, to stop the emerging spread offenses. You remove a DL (in your standard 4-3 alignment) and add a large, athletic DB to the field, so the speed on the field isn't the issue. The issue with this defense is you have to have the athlete at the single high safety to cover A LOT of ground (think Earl Thomas with Seattle) and the two hybrid players have to be your most versatile guys that are fast, physical and great tacklers.

    As far as the pass rush goes, typically in the 3-3-5, you're always rushing 4 with the 3 DL and one of the LBs (usually predicated on the strength call, pre-snap), unless called otherwise. This makes it inherently tough for an offense to know who's coming and who's dropping. It then gives the DC a multitude of blitzing options with anyone (other than the CBs, usually) on the field, without having to move guys around.

    The basic concepts of the 3-3-5 are very easy to learn, and can be implemented and played at a very high level with minimal thinking. My experience coaching it at the high school level was phenomenal and would love to see a variation (albeit a more intricate version) of it used in Boulder.
     
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  24. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Solis as a regular contributor at SDE? Yikes.
     
  25. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I get the defense I just don't think there is anyway that we have the size on the DL, nor the speed/talent at LB to run anything effective in a 3-3-5. You would have to transition too many natural DE types to OLB and ask too much of an undersized DT/DE group to be effective. we couldn't stop the run effectively with a 4-2 nickel alignment that we were forced to use last year, much less with 3-3 in the box. We really don't have enough OLB talent to read/react for that defense; let alone the speed at LB to accomplish that D.

    The 3-4 Under alignment that has been inferred we will run (and is outlined in the original table) is much more suitable to our players right now, IMO.
     
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  26. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    SDE in this defense means he will be a run-stuffing player who is essentially a DT.
     
  27. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    Wouldn't the 3-4 Under alignment be predicated on the same 3 man DL that the 3-3-5 uses, as well as converting DEs to stand up, pass rush OLBs, who occasionally have to play in coverage? I think these two defenses are very similar in nature but the 3-3-5, IMO, would remove one player in a position of weakness (LB) from the field and add a player from a position of relative strength (DB).

    As far as stopping the run goes, each of the "front 6" players are responsible for one of the 6 gaps. I think this sort of defense works so much better against the Read Option than the 4 man DL we used last year, as you add an extra guy in the front 6 that is tasked with stopping the run that is able to read and react from the LB spot, instead of a DL position. It also allows those two outside hybrids to force everything back in, instead of relying on your less athletic OLBs and DEs keeping contain.

    That's just my two cents, and I'm not fully aware of the skill set of each one of the defensive players on the CU roster, like some people are. I just like the 3-3-5 better from a schematic POV. Thanks for the conversation, though!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  28. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    He is not a good fit. Results would not be pretty.
     
  29. Buff_nc

    Buff_nc Club Member Club Member

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    So in the original post & table, it was commented SLB needs to be the most versatile player But are any of those guys listed appropriate for that position? Seems a big stretch.
     
  30. BuffTuff

    BuffTuff New Member

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    SLBSDENTUTWDEMLBWLB
    J. GilbertS. KafovaluJ. TupouL. JacksonD. McCartneyA. GillamK. Olugbode
    G. FrazierJ. CarrellJ. SolisC. NorgardD. WilsonR. SeversonD. Rippy
    T. HasselbachJ. FrankeE. LopezT. HeningtonC. ShaverR. GamboaT. Talianko
    L. CottrellM. MatthewesF. UmuN. RobbinsM. ReidG. WatanabeH. Shaw
    N.J. FaloB. TonzL. TuilomaT. ColemanS. Bennion
    S. Berry

    Is the table also meant to be in predicted depth chart order? If so, no way Norgard is #2 at UT. I see Robbins, Henington, Jackson batteling it out for that spot. Norgard a non factor

    Holy s*** is that really the LB depth.? We may be in more trouble than I thought. Don't we have 2 scholarships left to use? Need 2 transfers or 2 unsigned JC LBs for sure.
     

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