What about the defense?

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by xenythx, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. xenythx
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    xenythx Well-Known Member

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    Did the defense just get a complete pass this season because of how god-awful the offense was?

    We played well the first half of the season against mostly cupcakes but the defense was downright bad at times during the back end of our schedule.

    The injury excuse was a legitimate one. But we still had more than enough talent, especially in the secondary, to play better than we did.

    I know the common belief is that Muschamp runs the show on defense, but wouldn't it behoove us to actually have an elite defensive coordinator instead of DJ Durkin?
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  2. eastowest
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    eastowest Well-Known Member

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    Finished ranked #8th in total DEF.
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  3. GatorSean
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    GatorSean Well-Known Member

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    Replaced 8 starters from last year.

    By the end of the year we lost our starting DT, MLB, OLB, plus our 2nd string OLB for the season, plus numerous other starters missed games.

    Neither our offense or special teams helped the defense in the slightest, yet we still finished #8 in the nation in total defense.

    I don't think any DC could have done any better. And if Muschamp runs the show anyway, what would be the point of getting someone new?
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  4. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    Assuming we are talking total defense (measured in yards not points)...Our offense actually helped our defense a ton with time of possession. Not to mention the numerous turnovers probably gave our opponents shorter fields than normal thus less yardage to be racked up. Same with bad punting.

    If we are talking points allowed then that's another story
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  5. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the defense was ever going to be elite like it appeared to be early on. If you rely on one player and your defense crumbles when they are gone you're not an elite unit.

    Our linebackers barely made a play all year.

    The strength of the defense was the secondary but even the safety position was kind of a patch work unit. Our corners were good but didn't seem to play to their potential at times and shown they were very vulnerable when our pass rush was ineffective, which for some reason has never been great under Muschamp.

    All that being said I think they over achieved as a unit and got good results due to good coaching.
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  6. tommyuf21
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    tommyuf21 Well-Known Member

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    I think Easley's injury doomed us. With him, its an elite defense that can shut down the running game and force you to have to challenge our secondary. Without him, just not enough disruption and penetration out of our DT's. Our linebacker's inexperience was really exposed once #2 went down. Losing Jenkins, Bostic and McCray hurt us pretty bad in that area.

    Special Teams hurt us much worse. I lost count at how many chippys were missed...
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  7. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    And yes perhaps if we had a better defensive coordinator Muschamp could delegate more and focus on head coaching and offensive issues, which are the two areas he struggles to manage, possibly due to too much focus on defense.

    Nick Saban runs the show but the spend about a million dollars per year on Kirby smart.
  8. GatorSean
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    GatorSean Well-Known Member

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    Well, TOP works both ways... your offense doesn't get a ton of TOP if you're defense sucks. You only get it if your defense is consistently getting the opponents offense off the field.

    But I'd agreement with the general sentiment... our defense wasn't as good as some of the stats may indicate, but certainly not bad enough to fire the DC. I thought the only unit that underachieved were the CBs.
  9. mdfgator
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    mdfgator Well-Known Member

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    I think the d with easly was very good, not elite, our lb's are average at best. Without easly, I think our d was good, but nothing special. When we needed them most, they didn't play that well. The top really helps the defensive rankings. It would be interesting to see how we ranked per possession.
  10. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with that. The corners had better talent than they showed. The rest of the positions were mostly playing second string SEC caliber players, or guys that were converted from other positions, or severely lacked depth.

    I think we got about as much as we could have asked for. Now why did our depth chart look like that in the first place going into the season is a whole another matter.
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  11. Welshgator
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    Welshgator Well-Known Member

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    We missed Easley not just as a force up front but also as a leader. I watched a replay of the Toledo game on Breakfast with the Gators today, he made his presence felt on the field.
  12. number1
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    number1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah something wasn't quite right with the defense ever since the Florida State game last season.
  13. ces1948
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    ces1948 Well-Known Member

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    Like one of the other posters said. Just when we needed them most they seemed to come up short.
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  14. OaktownGator
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    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    We were young at LB and younger still when the injuries mounted. Without Easley disrupting, the LBs got exposed.

    What bothered me more than anything with the defense was how poorly we often started games. If we come ready to play against Miami, we'd have won that game even with our turnover meltdown. Several other games including UGA we had poor starts as well, and games could have been won if not for the poor start.

    We need to get the defense ready to play from the opening snap.
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  15. bbreece1
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    bbreece1 Active Member

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    I judge a defense by its ability to stop the other team and get off the field in pressure situations? How did we do in that aspect.

    AND if these 2 cornerbacks are selected in the 1st Round that will prove beyond a doubt the only thing that matters are the combines. It would seem to be all about how you project going forward with not a modicum of worth assigned to how you actually produced.
  16. tegator80
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    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    To me the main difference between this year's D and last year's was the lack of turnover-makers. VH3 was about it although Purifoy had a good game or two. So the D took a step back somewhat. Then add in the Easley injury and it took two steps back. Now we get to the Muschamp Way, which is a total team concept and includes offense via TOP and lack of TOs as well as good special teams via making FGs and strategic punting, and the other two areas has a huge effect on the production of the D. So while they did take a step back, the 2013 season was much more about the entire team's malaise.
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  17. atlantagator86
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    atlantagator86 Well-Known Member

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    This may not be a popular opinion, but I think more than the injuries, the defense lost faith in the offense and gave up once we were down by more than a score.

    The only games they really didn't uphold their end of the bargain for was Mizzou and Georgia Southern. The defense really played well against the better opponents, like LSU, UGA, South Carolina and even early against FSU.
  18. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    Very well-said. A healthy Easley and I think the Gators would have gone bowling this year when you add him to Fowler and Bullard (who are better off the edge than in the middle). We would have done much better against the run and especially in defending the pass.
  19. rserina
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    rserina VIP Member

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    The defense definitely had some weaker stretches than I expected. The Mizzou game was an unmitigated disaster. So was GSU. But on the whole I thought they were fine. I agree the Easley injury killed us, not only because it took away the unquestionable leader and biggest playmaker defensively, but also because it decimated our depth. Easley could legitimately play three positions for us and he was getting a good 50 reps a game. We were already thin there. Cox was struggling, leaving us with five guys to to rotate between four spots--six when we chose to play Powell at end for the majority of his reps. That was the exact opposite of the previous season, when we ran 8-10 guys out there. We desperately need Cox, McCallister, and one of the 2013 tackles to step up next year and deepen that unit.
  20. oneatatime
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    oneatatime Well-Known Member

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