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Author Topic: There's been a lot of talk about the Offense, but the Defense for 2018...  (Read 2881 times)

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MuskogeeHogFan

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Is where the rubber will meet the road for the Hogs in 2018. At least, that is my opinion. I think the Offense will be improved in terms of YPG and I think it will be more dynamic than the 2017 version of the Hog's Offense. Purely from a fan perspective, it will be more entertaining and probably more exciting.

But to me, the level of improvement that is achieved on Defense can be the game changer, especially in the first year of a new Offensive scheme in Fayetteville.

I thought I would go back and search for an article or two on the Defense and what impressions that the talent on campus had made on the new Staff at the end of the Spring. Here is one from Otis Kirk with some answers from the Head Hog and Chavis.

FAYETTEVILLE - It's no secret Arkansas hasn't been very good on defense in recent seasons. While much of the talk from national media members is about the offense, it's the defense that has to improve the most.

"We've got guys that are different stages," Chavis said. "We've got guys that have played football around here for a long time already. To be quite honest with you, they're good players and they were well coached. So they know how to play the game. And then you've got a bunch of young kids you're trying to bring along, and some of them are coming quicker than others.

"I saw a lot of good plays, but I thought Henry played really well after watching the film," Henry said. "He did some good things. That's good. We've got a lot of work to do with him in terms of getting him ready to play multiple positions for us. But I guess you could say when they turned on the lights he showed up in a good way."

"Like I've said, I'm not going to jump out there and say a whole lot about individuals right now," Chavis said. "We're trying to build a football team. But you have to build it one brick at a time. We've got guys that we feel very good about, and then we've got players that are another stage, and I'm not going to talk media-wise about what stage they're at. But we've got some that's got a little farther to go. We've got to keep pushing and they've got to keep pushing. That's how you build a good football team."

Morris and Chavis obviously feel good about senior Dre Greenlaw and junior De'Jon Harris at linebacker. Dre Greenlaw has been another one. Scoota Harris. I think our linebacker corps has been a surprise as well. *They became the first Arkansas (LB) duo to record 100+ tackles each in the same season since at least 2000.

"I thought Randy Ramsey was a very good surprise, transitioning back into the four-down front and seeing his pass-rushing ability coming off the edge," Morris said. "I think he's been a pleasant surprise. I would have really liked to have seen what we could have done with Sosa (McTelvin Agim) moving inside earlier in spring and see how he would have developed. But we'll get a chance to look at that during the fall camp.

"Back with Santos and Kam, I think those are two quality players that have had really good springs," Morris said. "Obviously, we knew Santos would. Knew the leadership, knew the style of ball he's played and the experience he'd had. Taking Kam Curl and moving him from corner to safety it seems like he's the right fit. He's got the range.


D'Vone McClure was praised by Morris following the Spring game. It's interesting, at least to me, that at one point McClure had told Bielema that he was "burnt out" and leaving the program, but a new coaching staff and a new outlook and he is back and perhaps being considered in the two deep in nickel packages at LB.

I'm hoping that the change in staff and philosophy will make this at least an average defense. There's renewed energy on the team with the change, according to the article. Let us hope that the renewed energy and a greater emphasis on "true" pressure up front, instead of just talking about applying more pressure and never doing it, will equate to better numbers and better results.

More inside the article from April:

https://247sports.com/Bolt/John-Chavis-trying-to-reshape-Arkansas-Razorbacks-defense-while-preparing-for-2018-season-117275541/

* http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2018/jul/03/richardsons-return-provides-arkansas-another-prove/
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 09:58:49 am by MuskogeeHogFan »
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bphi11ips

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A&M's defense was 102 in total defense the year before John Chavis took over.  The Aggies were 51 his first year. Arkansas was 101 in 2017. Chief may be stepping into a situation much like Dan Enos stepped into his first year at Arkansas, when he took senior Brandon Allen from a QB rating of 129.2 to 166.5.  He had similar results as QB coach in his first year at Cincinnati and Michigan State.  Maybe that's why Nick Saban hired him to coach QB's at Alabama. 

John Chavis inherits a defense laden with upperclass players.  He has eight returning starters.  Eight of the top ten tacklers return.  He is returning to the 4-3 that these players were recruited to play in. 

Anyone who wants to feel good about the upcoming season should pick up a copy of Phil Steele's 2018 College Football Preview.  It's the racing form for college football and is in Barnes and Noble now.  Here are a few highlights:

Arkansas is number 13 in Steele's list of most improved teams for 2018. 

Steele says "the Hogs are not in a rebuilding year" and "Morris steps into a good situation".

The Hogs "should be able to stop the declining trend" on defense.

"The Hogs go from #90 on my Exp Chart up to #46 and have a very manageable schedule with just three SEC road games and could be favored in 7 or 8 games this year if they start the season strong."

Steele gets deeper into stats than anyone else.  His life revolves around football, and he's done this for a long time.  We have many reasons to be excited about the 2018 season.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 11:08:07 am by bphi11ips »
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A&M's defense was 102 in total defense the year before John Chavis took over.  The Aggies were 51 his first year. Arkansas was 101 in 2017. Chief may be stepping into a situation much like Dan Enos stepped into his first year at Arkansas, when he took senior Brandon Allen from a QB rating of 129.2 to 166.5.  He had similar results as QB coach in his first year at Cincinnati and Michigan State.  Maybe that's why Nick Saban hired him to coach QB's at Alabama. 

John Chavis inherits a defense laden with upperclass players.  He has eight returning starters.  Eight of the top ten tacklers return.  He is returning to the 4-3 that these players were recruited to play in. 

Anyone who wants to feel good about the upcoming season should pick up a copy of Phil Steele's 2018 College Football Preview.  It's the racing form for college football and is in Barnes and Noble now.  Here are a few highlights:

Arkansas is number 13 in Steele's list of most improved teams for 2018. 

Steele says "the Hogs are not in a rebuilding year" and "Morris steps into a good situation".

The Hogs "should be able to stop the declining trend" on defense.

"The Hogs go from #90 on my Exp Chart up to #46 and have a very manageable schedule with just three SEC road games and could be favored in 7 or 8 games this year if they start the season strong."

Steele gets deeper into stats than anyone else.  His life revolves around football, and he's done this for a long time.  We have many reasons to be excited about the 2018 season.

If he can get the DBís to turn and fine the ball in the air, he should be DC of the year! We havenít done that since...🙄

The Kig

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Maybe that's why Nick Saban hired him to coach QB's at Alabama.

John Chavis inherits a defense laden with upperclass players.  He has eight returning starters.  Eight of the top ten tacklers return.  He is returning to the 4-3 that these players were recruited to play in. 


It was laughable that during all the fire CBB mess people were wanting Enos gone.  Saban must be losing it to hire him...

As for the Defense, while I think Chavis will get immediate improvement, retuning 8 starters from a historically bad defense doesn't exactly roll my socks up and down.  Chavis will use players differently and will apply much more pressure through blitzes, both of which will yield better results.  He also recognizes that the style of Offense is going to wear down his squad if he doesn't force turnovers and big plays. Improvement on defense is going to determine our level of success this year. 
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MuskogeeHogFan

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It was laughable that during all the fire CBB mess people were wanting Enos gone.  Saban must be losing it to hire him...

As for the Defense, while I think Chavis will get immediate improvement, retuning 8 starters from a historically bad defense doesn't exactly roll my socks up and down.  Chavis will use players differently and will apply much more pressure through blitzes, both of which will yield better results.  He also recognizes that the style of Offense is going to wear down his squad if he doesn't force turnovers and big plays. Improvement on defense is going to determine our level of success this year. 

I don't remember a lot of folks voicing that they wanted Enos gone. It was curious how he could come in and improve QB performance immediately and then our passing attack began to regress...maybe because the quality of pass protection by the O-Line, RB's and TE's decreased over time? As for Saban, I'm pretty sure he realizes what Enos is capable of and I think he brought him in for one reason, to tutor his QB's in their passing technique. That was a big part of Hurts problem.

I agree about the defense and what changes Chavis will bring to the table. I have no doubt that he will find different and creative ways to bring pressure up front, but we can't do that and sacrifice playing run defense as well. And probably the real key to this defense is going to be not allowing so many big plays in the Secondary. On the other hand, we can't lay back in the Secondary and allow opponents to throw at will under coverage. The Secondary is going to have to cover and challenge thrown balls. If Chavis can pull all of that together at one time, this could be a heck of a defense, but I expect it more in year two than year one.
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Pigsknuckles

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Fire Willy!!!
Chanted it myself during some of Petrino's aTm nail biters. I'm afraid Chavis will find little fan patience given our past defensive  under achievements. I will give him, and our D the benefit of the doubt going in, but that part of our game simply has to show marked improvement to keep the natives happy.
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GuvHog

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I don't remember a lot of folks voicing that they wanted Enos gone. It was curious how he could come in and improve QB performance immediately and then our passing attack began to regress...maybe because the quality of pass protection by the O-Line, RB's and TE's decreased over time? As for Saban, I'm pretty sure he realizes what Enos is capable of and I think he brought him in for one reason, to tutor his QB's in their passing technique. That was a big part of Hurts problem.

I agree about the defense and what changes Chavis will bring to the table. I have no doubt that he will find different and creative ways to bring pressure up front, but we can't do that and sacrifice playing run defense as well. And probably the real key to this defense is going to be not allowing so many big plays in the Secondary. On the other hand, we can't lay back in the Secondary and allow opponents to throw at will under coverage. The Secondary is going to have to cover and challenge thrown balls. If Chavis can pull all of that together at one time, this could be a heck of a defense, but I expect it more in year two than year one.

I never blamed Enos for what happened the last 2 years because I believe Bret Bielema tied his hands. It's no secret that Enos wanted to go the No Huddle Spread last year and did for a bit but Bret wouldn't let go of his BIG 10 offense mentality.
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ChicoHog

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I never blamed Enos for what happened the last 2 years because I believe Bret Bielema tied his hands. It's no secret that Enos wanted to go the No Huddle Spread last year and did for a bit but Bret wouldn't let go of his BIG 10 offense mentality.
It's not a Big 10 mentality.  It's a Wisconsin/Bielema mentality.  It worked for them so he thought it would work here.  It did sometimes but more often than not the last couple years it failed. Time to move on.  I hope Morris is the right guy and we will find out how it works in a couple of months! 
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JIHawg


I've got a feeling that both offense and defense will be improved this year.  It's not either or.

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I am excited to see what the Chief can do with you his bunch!
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Dark Helmet Hog

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It will be refreshing to see a defense that will actually go after the QB. I'd rather go down swinging than get picked apart like we have the last several years.

MuskogeeHogFan

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By the way, did anyone miss the stat provided by WholeHogsSports that this is the first time since 2000 that we return two LB's who both exceeded 100 total tackles last season?

Harris-115 (#20 nationally out of 494)

Greenlaw-103 (#45 nationally out of 494)

Maybe we have something developing here?
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GuvHog

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By the way, did anyone miss the stat provided by WholeHogsSports that this is the first time since 2000 that we return two LB's who both exceeded 100 total tackles last season?

Harris-115 (#20 nationally out of 494)

Greenlaw-103 (#45 nationally out of 494)

Maybe we have something developing here?

The SEC Network replayed last year's Hogs v Mississippi State game today and after watching that replay, it was obvious that the Defense wasn't the problem in that game. The offense was the problem.
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Mike_e

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The thing about our D last year that chapped me the most was a lack of discipline.  OK, I know I need to explain what I mean by this so here goes.

People kept saying that we were too slow.  Except when trying to defend freaks of nature, and yes we played several, the thing that really slowed us down was starting in the wrong direction.  Even just a step in the wrong direction makes you have to come to a stop and then start again.  Just who can win a race when they have to stop their momentum and then restart their run?  Not. Going. To. Happen.

Why is this a lack of discipline?  Not knowing your man's tells for one thing.  Over running plays for another.  It is so unlikely as to be laughable that the coaching staff last year wouldn't tell the team to get in and stay in the film room until they knew their opponent inside out.  It is also unlikely that the team was told to play out of control.

Who's fault is this?  The coaching staff mostly.  Sure the team bears a lot of responsibility but it's the coaches job to get them to do what they are told.

The awful tackling is also due to a lack of discipline and has gone on for years.  Looking for highlight hits is not how you go about form tackling.  Pushing somebody down?  Really?  Letting somebody stiff-arm you?  Really really?  If somebody sticks their hand in your face then tackle their arm and say sorry when it comes out of the socket.

Anyway, it's too early for a rant so I'll let it go. 

Happy 4th.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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The SEC Network replayed last year's Hogs v Mississippi State game today and after watching that replay, it was obvious that the Defense wasn't the problem in that game. The offense was the problem.


I would agree. That was an abysmal Offensive performance. The Defense held a Miss State Offense that averaged 419 yds/gm to just 348 yards (249 yards through 3 quarters) and we held a 21-14 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. Miss State's 2 TD's in the 4th quarter is what gave them the win. The killer for us was going for it on a 4th and 2 on our own 44 yard line with an incomplete pass from Allen to Pettway...on 4th and 2 from our own 44 with a tied ball game, mind you. Another game just given away, this time by the Offense. Miss State took advantage of the good field position and drove down and scored a TD, though all they needed was a FG.

I think our defense has a chance to better under Chavis than many of us think, and they need to be.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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The thing about our D last year that chapped me the most was a lack of discipline.  OK, I know I need to explain what I mean by this so here goes.

People kept saying that we were too slow.  Except when trying to defend freaks of nature, and yes we played several, the thing that really slowed us down was starting in the wrong direction.  Even just a step in the wrong direction makes you have to come to a stop and then start again.  Just who can win a race when they have to stop their momentum and then restart their run?  Not. Going. To. Happen.

Why is this a lack of discipline?  Not knowing your man's tells for one thing.  Over running plays for another.  It is so unlikely as to be laughable that the coaching staff last year wouldn't tell the team to get in and stay in the film room until they knew their opponent inside out.  It is also unlikely that the team was told to play out of control.

Who's fault is this?  The coaching staff mostly.  Sure the team bears a lot of responsibility but it's the coaches job to get them to do what they are told.

The awful tackling is also due to a lack of discipline and has gone on for years.  Looking for highlight hits is not how you go about form tackling.  Pushing somebody down?  Really?  Letting somebody stiff-arm you?  Really really?  If somebody sticks their hand in your face then tackle their arm and say sorry when it comes out of the socket.

Anyway, it's too early for a rant so I'll let it go. 

Happy 4th.

Anytime you have two returning LB's with over 100 tackles each, someone is doing some tackling.

Now I don't disagree about some of the team being misaligned at the snap or perhaps not being on top of their keys. That's possible, though I don't know that to be a fact. I do know that something went horribly wrong at times, not against Miss State until the very end when the Offense didn't hold up their end of the bargain. As mentioned above they pretty well shut Miss State down for 3 quarters (249 total yards) and only gave up 348 overall.

Here's a question. If the defense could average holding opponents under 370 yards of total offense each game, would you say that they are giving the Offense every possible opportunity to help win more games? Probably not a 10 or 11 win team, but certainly better than a 6 win team. Now that performance against Miss State was with very similar defensive personnel as what we are going to see this season, so we know that the talent is there to play and execute at a higher level.

I want to see what Chavis is going to be able to do with these kids.
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GuvHog

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I would agree. That was an abysmal Offensive performance. The Defense held a Miss State Offense that averaged 419 yds/gm to just 348 yards (249 yards through 3 quarters) and we held a 21-14 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. Miss State's 2 TD's in the 4th quarter is what gave them the win. The killer for us was going for it on a 4th and 2 on our own 44 yard line with an incomplete pass from Allen to Pettway...on 4th and 2 from our own 44 with a tied ball game, mind you. Another game just given away, this time by the Offense. Miss State took advantage of the good field position and drove down and scored a TD, though all they needed was a FG.

I think our defense has a chance to better under Chavis than many of us think, and they need to be.

The offense was abysmal for most of the year. It did get a little better when Bret let Enos go to the No Huddle up tempo offense for a bit with Kelley at QB but Bret couldn't stand prosperity and went back to his old offense.

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My main concern with the offense is will we run the offense as fast as Morris wants to right off the bat.

As for the defense, I am ready to see an attacking defense instead of read and react one.
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HF#1


I'll be honest, Chavis is the one coach I have zero concerns with as far as being able to turn the defense around. He won't take us from worst to first but he will take us from worst to middle of the pack in pretty short order.

liljo


I'll be honest, Chavis is the one coach I have zero concerns with as far as being able to turn the defense around. He won't take us from worst to first but he will take us from worst to middle of the pack in pretty short order.

I think so, too. It seemed the past two seasons in particular, we just couldn't get off the field. It would be 3rd and 8, and we couldn't make a play.

I do think the Chief's defense will turn some of those 3rd and 8s into 4th and 15s. Of course we'll give up some big plays, but I think we'll make a bunch of 'em as well.
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HF#1


I think so, too. It seemed the past two seasons in particular, we just couldn't get off the field. It would be 3rd and 8, and we couldn't make a play.

I do think the Chief's defense will turn some of those 3rd and 8s into 4th and 15s. Of course we'll give up some big plays, but I think we'll make a bunch of 'em as well.

All these folks screaming he is only good because of all the talent he has had made available to him are not using logic. You can have all the talent in the world but if you don't put them in a position to be successful then they are just warm bodies.

Chavis has improved most every defense he has been in charge of. His coaching ability shouldn't be questioned at this point.
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HogPharmer


I think so, too. It seemed the past two seasons in particular, we just couldn't get off the field. It would be 3rd and 8, and we couldn't make a play.

I do think the Chief's defense will turn some of those 3rd and 8s into 4th and 15s. Of course we'll give up some big plays, but I think we'll make a bunch of 'em as well.

I've noticed that this is a lot of people's concerns with Chief coming in. Bad thing is, that with the "bend, don't break" defense we've been playing the last several years, we've still given up the big plays. I'm going to say (with slightly more confidence now) what we've said every year for the last several years now and I hope I don't jinx us: Our Defense literally couldn't be any worse than it has been. I'd just like to see some aggressive play from our Defense.
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jgphillips3

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Our defense has been historically bad.  Chavis will make us, at worst, middle of the pack and in comparison to 2016 & 2017 we will seem great.  Sure, we arenít likely to be our 2014 level defense any time soon but if we can get from the 100ís in rank to the 30ís or 40ís we will win a lot of games.  Also, almost our entire first string defense is SEC quality.  Not ALL-SEC level, but solidly SEC caliber with some ALL-SEC level players.  They are going to keep us in games while the offensive install progresses.
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HF#1


Our defense has been historically bad.  Chavis will make us, at worst, middle of the pack and in comparison to 2016 & 2017 we will seem great.  Sure, we arenít likely to be our 2014 level defense any time soon but if we can get from the 100ís in rank to the 30ís or 40ís we will win a lot of games.  Also, almost our entire first string defense is SEC quality.  Not ALL-SEC level, but solidly SEC caliber with some ALL-SEC level players.  They are going to keep us in games while the offensive install progresses.

If our defensive recruiting improves just a small amount, we will be instantly better.
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bphi11ips

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Our defense has been historically bad.  Chavis will make us, at worst, middle of the pack and in comparison to 2016 & 2017 we will seem great.  Sure, we aren’t likely to be our 2014 level defense any time soon but if we can get from the 100’s in rank to the 30’s or 40’s we will win a lot of games.  Also, almost our entire first string defense is SEC quality.  Not ALL-SEC level, but solidly SEC caliber with some ALL-SEC level players.  They are going to keep us in games while the offensive install progresses.

They may very well dominate the first three games while the install progresses. 
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GuvHog

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Our defense has been historically bad.  Chavis will make us, at worst, middle of the pack and in comparison to 2016 & 2017 we will seem great.  Sure, we aren’t likely to be our 2014 level defense any time soon but if we can get from the 100’s in rank to the 30’s or 40’s we will win a lot of games.  Also, almost our entire first string defense is SEC quality.  Not ALL-SEC level, but solidly SEC caliber with some ALL-SEC level players.  They are going to keep us in games while the offensive install progresses.

As far as last year goes, the Defense can only do so much when they are repeatedly put in bad positions and left on the field too long by an inept offense.
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Bubba's Bruisers


I will never project us having a good defense until I actually see it happen.  I agree with the OP, though, that defense is where the rubber meets the road, although I think it will be QB play as well.

Until I see an actual improved defense I'll always project it to be mired in mediocrity like always.  Every summer we dream about scenarios that we think will happen that will make the defense respectable.  Not buying it this year, just like I didn't buy it all previous years.
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LAHOG1962

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This years defense will be top 50, IF we stay healthy. Lack of depth at LB and in the secondary worry me.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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This years defense will be top 50, IF we stay healthy. Lack of depth at LB and in the secondary worry me.

I think we are good 2 Deep at LB, we will see at CB and Safety.
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I live in Alabama, and concerning the defense, on the sports cast this morning, our latest recruit in Zach Williams has drawn some great attention from the media heads here.  The general consensus is that Morris will do well getting his Offensive players to Arkansas, but many are/were wondering if he could land the defensive players he would need to really build a balanced SEC program.  I know Williams is an Arkansas kid with a legacy, but the fact he still chose to stay home his huge.  It could lead to more big time defensive recruits joining him.  I would imagine that having Chavis as the DC here could be pouring some extra fuel to the defensive side of recruiting.   Making some outside folks stand up and take notice anyway. 

rtr


I think Arkansas is more like Tennessee, hence it is a good fit for Chavis.  He will be more comfortable and better than he was in Aggieland.  By the way, I love the recruiting effort from this staff.
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I hope the days are gone of making the opponent's 3rd string true freshman QB look like Joe Namath on the field.
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The NewEra


I don't mind making a prediction on the defense.  The worst that can happen is I'll be wrong.  I have several reasons to be optimistic though.  Chavis and Caldwell are just two of those reasons.  I predict a defense that's at least in the top 50 and maybe even top 40-35 in the country by year end.  Several starters are returning.  Guys that could have played well and produced if allowed to see ball, get ball.  Linebackers look strong, but depth is a question mark as Muskogee mentioned.  I like what I see in the secondary, but depth there is also a question mark.  Billy Ferrell, Dorian Gerald, Nick Fulwider, Isaiah Nichols, Bumper Pool and Andrew Parker all excite me.  Can they add depth?  I think so for the most part.

I understand the skepticism.  On the other hand I think our talent has been vastly under rated because of the scheme, or lack there of and the lack of solid coaching these guys received the past few years.  I also think the staff lost the team and we haven't seen these kids perform at a level even close to what they are capable of.  One last thing is practice.  Chavis and Morris believe in physical practices and I think we will finally see a defense that's ready to play on day one and guys that will really get after you.

I hope I'm right.


HeathWimp

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Classy of Chavis to complement the prior staff.  Rhodes was not a terrible coach.  Not elite, but not terrible.  The simple fact is he was hamstrung by a lack of talent, as compared to our SEC opponents.  This year is no different - we will be outclassed by every SEC team we play, with the possible exception of Vandy.  Of course there is the chance that Vandy will be better-coached, and overcome the slight talent gap.

I will hope for the best, but implementing a new system with players who are not as talented as our opponents is not a recipe for success.

AugustaHog

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Let's start with what I like about this defense.  We have two very good LB's (that may even be under-selling Scoota a bit) and a really good CB if Ryan Pulley is healthy.  Sosa is a beast on the inside and will hopefully be used more effectively this season.  I think Ramsey is someone who has shown an ability to get to the QB as well.  There's a few known quantities that we are working with here.  From the back to the front, what worries me the most is depth, depth, and more depth.  I like some of the pieces around Agim and Ramsey, especially Capps, Guidry, and Gerald.  We are still wafer-thin on the DL.  A couple key injuries would be crippling.  Even thinner is our LB corps.  I think Bumper Pool will have to be ready to play this year.  If Harris and Greenlaw are healthy all year, we may survive.  If either go down for an extended period, we will be in a mess.  The CB's look promising around Pulley.  Calloway has some skills and KRich has great leadership and instincts.  At Safety, I'm really worried.  Ramirez runs hot-cold.  He aint afraid to lay a lick which is refreshing.  He gets beat in coverage way too much.  Curl looked good in the spring.  Just too early to tell on him honestly.  After those two, I'm not really sure who the guy would be.  I hope we hear Brown's name a ton in Fall camp and he becomes the play-maker we all expected.  I know there are holes, but I hope for better pressure, more sound tackling, and better alignments.  I hesitate to say we couldn't get any worse than last year because I said the same thing last year and somehow it did.
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havok


If this team is to make to any bowl chance, the Defense has got to be vastly improved for sure.

When a Sub-Division level school. almost beats you (At home on homecoming) with True Freshmen all along the o-line, and forced to use back Up QBs, moves the ball at will up and down the field... you know there is something wrong that needs major correction/improvement.

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razorbackfaninar

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If this team is to make to any bowl chance, the Defense has got to be vastly improved for sure.

When a Sub-Division level school. almost beats you (At home on homecoming) with True Freshmen all along the o-line, and forced to use back Up QBs, moves the ball at will up and down the field... you know there is something wrong that needs major correction/improvement.

Last years team was abysmal in so many areas,  but we missed being bowl eligible by 10 points.  I think if they are even moderately improved, we have a fine chance of making a bowl game.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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Let's start with what I like about this defense.  We have two very good LB's (that may even be under-selling Scoota a bit) and a really good CB if Ryan Pulley is healthy.  Sosa is a beast on the inside and will hopefully be used more effectively this season.  I think Ramsey is someone who has shown an ability to get to the QB as well.  There's a few known quantities that we are working with here.  From the back to the front, what worries me the most is depth, depth, and more depth.  I like some of the pieces around Agim and Ramsey, especially Capps, Guidry, and Gerald.  We are still wafer-thin on the DL.  A couple key injuries would be crippling. 

We've got 6 DE's with experience from last year. 3 with a lot of experience in the SEC games, 2 with a little experience in games and one that is the #1 JC player at DE. 3 DT's who all have experience as they were in the rotation LY.

Player          GM's LY      Starts LY         Tackles      TFL       Sacks      PBU's     INT's
Ramsey(DE)      12               8                 31         5.5           2           2          0
Agim(DE)          12              11                26         7.5          2.5          3          0
Smith, TJ(DE)    12              12                18          4             2           0          0
Guidry(DT)        11               0                14.5       3.5           1            0          0
Capps(DT)        12               0                 13         1.5          1.5          1          0
Marshall(DT)      12               0                 4          0.5           0            0          0
Watts(DT)          5               0                  3          0             0            0          0
Richardson(DE)    4               0                  1          0             0            0          0
Taylor(DE)          2               0                   0          0             0            0          0
Gerald(DE)          0               0                   0          0             0            0          0
Totals               82             31                110.5     22.5          9             6          0
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