2011 Defense - salty?
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    2011 Defense - salty?

    Watched the game highlights just now at Cyclones.com. Something caused me to wonder how effective our defense could be next fall. Then, I read a couple of Chris W's comments in his "Nebraska report card" analysis:

    "Jake Lattimer – The improvement in Iowa State’s defensive line from September compared to now is colossal. Junior defensive end Jake Lattimer has everything to do with it. Lattimer tacked seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble onto his season stats in yesterday’s loss and he was instrumental in slowing down Nebraska’s elite rushing game.

    ". . . is there a defensive coordinator in America who gets more out of less than Wally Burnham?"

    2011 defensive unit summary:

    * 7 starters return, and 23 of 28 players listed on the Nov. 1 depth chart

    * DL - 2 of 4 starters, 8 of top 10 (not including DE redshirt Rony Nelson)
    * LB - all 3 starters (including Tau' fu' 'ou here), and all 7 listed on depth chart
    * DB - Both corners return, and 8 of the top 11 secondary players

    * On the entire unit, only one No. 2 doesn't return, SS Mike O'Connell, behind departing David Sims. Important because most all of the backups are getting tons of PT this season, correct?

    The 2011 defense, how good might it be against the rush? Still a "bend" unit, maybe? But, would most everyone here agree next year's defense will be saltier than Coach Wally's first two units?

    Will Rony Nelson be an important contributor next fall, anyone know how he's developing while practicinig this fall? Last Monday, CPR said he expects to sign about 20 on NLD (he said 22 earlier this fall). Got 16 commits now, one of whom is a JUCO. If we're gonna take only four more about, it'll be interesting to see if we get a JUCO down DL who can make an impact.

    A point about DT Cleon Laing. He was recruited as a DE; during his last season in Ames, Chizik said both he and Maggitt were speed ends. Laing is behind senior starter Bailey Johnson this fall. Laing's development through the spring could be a key in the improvement of the pass rush game, if he's able to use quicks and speed and technique to confound OLinemen now and again.

    Also, the least experienced unit this fall, linebacker, is going to be the most experienced one next fall. That doesn't include fine freshmen who are redshirting this fall and could make a move into the two deeps in the spring.

    2011 Returnees (numbers are depth chart position today, class is next fall)

    LEFT END
    1) Lattimer, sr; 2) Neal, #sr; 3) Scott, #so

    DT
    2) Laing, #jr

    NG
    1) Reumpolhamer, sr; 2) McDonough, #jr

    RE
    2) Maggitt, #jr; 3) Moore, #so

    SAM
    1) Tau' fo' 'ou, #sr; 2) Morton, #jr; 3) Washington, #so

    MIKE
    1) Klein, jr; 2) George, so

    WILL
    1) Knott, jr; 2) Hamlin, #jr

    LC
    1) Benton, sr; 2) Reeves, jr; 3) Watson, #so

    RC
    1) Johnson, sr; 2) Young, sr

    SS
    2) Washington, #so

    FS
    3) Brooks, #sr; 4) Broomfield, #so


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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Sims is a huge part of this defense...



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Defense should be pretty solid next year. Other then the saftey position...i think we will be much better every where else.


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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyValley View Post
    Watched the game highlights just now at Cyclones.com. Something caused me to wonder how effective our defense could be next fall. Then, I read a couple of Chris W's comments in his "Nebraska report card" analysis:

    "Jake Lattimer – The improvement in Iowa State’s defensive line from September compared to now is colossal. Junior defensive end Jake Lattimer has everything to do with it. Lattimer tacked seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble onto his season stats in yesterday’s loss and he was instrumental in slowing down Nebraska’s elite rushing game.

    ". . . is there a defensive coordinator in America who gets more out of less than Wally Burnham?"

    2011 defensive unit summary:

    * 7 starters return, and 23 of 28 players listed on the Nov. 1 depth chart

    * DL - 2 of 4 starters, 8 of top 10 (not including DE redshirt Rony Nelson)
    * LB - all 3 starters (including Tau' fu' 'ou here), and all 7 listed on depth chart
    * DB - Both corners return, and 8 of the top 11 secondary players

    * On the entire unit, only one No. 2 doesn't return, SS Mike O'Connell, behind departing David Sims. Important because most all of the backups are getting tons of PT this season, correct?

    The 2011 defense, how good might it be against the rush? Still a "bend" unit, maybe? But, would most everyone here agree next year's defense will be saltier than Coach Wally's first two units?

    Will Rony Nelson be an important contributor next fall, anyone know how he's developing while practicinig this fall? Last Monday, CPR said he expects to sign about 20 on NLD (he said 22 earlier this fall). Got 16 commits now, one of whom is a JUCO. If we're gonna take only four more about, it'll be interesting to see if we get a JUCO down DL who can make an impact.

    A point about DT Cleon Laing. He was recruited as a DE; during his last season in Ames, Chizik said both he and Maggitt were speed ends. Laing is behind senior starter Bailey Johnson this fall. Laing's development through the spring could be a key in the improvement of the pass rush game, if he's able to use quicks and speed and technique to confound OLinemen now and again.

    Also, the least experienced unit this fall, linebacker, is going to be the most experienced one next fall. That doesn't include fine freshmen who are redshirting this fall and could make a move into the two deeps in the spring.

    2011 Returnees (numbers are depth chart position today, class is next fall)

    LEFT END
    1) Lattimer, sr; 2) Neal, #sr; 3) Scott, #so

    DT
    2) Laing, #jr

    NG
    1) Reumpolhamer, sr; 2) McDonough, #jr

    RE
    2) Maggitt, #jr; 3) Moore, #so

    SAM
    1) Tau' fo' 'ou, #sr; 2) Morton, #jr; 3) Washington, #so

    MIKE
    1) Klein, jr; 2) George, so

    WILL
    1) Knott, jr; 2) Hamlin, #jr

    LC
    1) Benton, sr; 2) Reeves, jr; 3) Watson, #so

    RC
    1) Johnson, sr; 2) Young, sr

    SS
    2) Washington, #so

    FS
    3) Brooks, #sr; 4) Broomfield, #so
    Great breakdown. Thanks for the post. I agree that our D should be much improved next year. If they can continue to play like they have for the last 3 games, they will give us an opportunity to win a lot of games next year! Exciting stuff!!



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Our safties are going to be hard to replace next year, and I think we are going to miss Baily Johnson and Rashawn Parker more than people expcet. That being said the guys bellow them on the depth chart have a lot of talent. I've been impressed with Laing especially over the last few weeks. He's been very active on the DL. We'll still need to find someone else who can fill in at that spot so we can have a nice four man rotation.

    Jaques Washington looks like a sold player but I'm not sure about Brooks yet. I could see us signing a Juco safty just in case. Also what happend to all the safties we signed last year? Have they all been moved to LB? We had C.J. Morgan, Adrian Bennett, and Durell Givens. It seems like it would be overkill to make them all LB's, because that would give us Knott, Klein, Tauf'au'ou (sp?), George, Mattison, Morton, Morgan, Bennett, and Givens. That's a lot of bodies especially if we are thin at safty.



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Benton should be moved to SS. He already has shown the ability to learn new positions quickly and be very effective. With Benton at SS that puts Reeves starting opposite of LJ with Washington at FS.

    I think we'll see a lot less nickle next year.


    Last edited by CyForPresident; 11-07-2010 at 03:54 PM.

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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyForPresident View Post
    Benton should be moved to SS. He already has shown the ability to learn new positions quickly and be very effect. With Benton at SS that puts Reeves starting opposite of LJ with Washington at FS.

    I think we'll see a lot less nickle next year.
    I was wondering about this as well. My guess is he is going to be in the nickle most of the time anyway though so I'm not sure how much help he would give us at SS.



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Sims and Bailey Johnson will be hard to replace, and we will take a step back at those spots. Overall, the defense should be better, plus increased depth should help.



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyForPresident View Post
    Benton should be moved to SS. He already has shown the ability to learn new positions quickly and be very effect. With Benton at SS that puts Reeves starting opposite of LJ with Washington at FS.

    I think we'll see a lot less nickle next year.
    Ideally, if we were healthy I think you're spot on. Benton is basically used as a safety now and has been really solid against the run. No matter who plays either safety spot I think we're going to see improvement at every other spot. I do think our DL has given us more this year than I expected and a lot of that has to do with being stronger at LB and DB. I fully expect that improvement to continue.



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyForPresident View Post
    Benton should be moved to SS. He already has shown the ability to learn new positions quickly and be very effect. With Benton at SS that puts Reeves starting opposite of LJ with Washington at FS.

    I think we'll see a lot less nickle next year.
    I like this idea but I think Reeves should move to SS/FS, but if either of them did it it'd be good. Benton is very good at coverage in my opinion. Our D-fense should be solid next year and hopefully Rony Nelson can make an impact, because if he can we will see a big difference in pass rush from this year to next.


    Thank you for posting this, too, original poster



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclonenate View Post
    I like this idea but I think Reeves should move to SS/FS, but if either of them did it it'd be good. Benton is very good at coverage in my opinion. Our D-fense should be solid next year and hopefully Rony Nelson can make an impact, because if he can we will see a big difference in pass rush from this year to next.


    Thank you for posting this, too, original poster
    Reeves is not big enough to play safety imo.



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Quote Originally Posted by CYinPA View Post
    Reeves is not big enough to play safety imo.

    Agree. Plus Benton is the bigger hitter. Better on run support.



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    The defense could be significantly better next year, particularly if we are able to get the two JUCO linemen that have visited. They don't have to start, but if they are at least good enough to provide depth, we should be pretty solid up front.

    Linebacker next year becomes a much more experienced and deep position. Klein, Knott, Tau'fo'ou, and Morton have all started this year and return, but depth will be much better with George, Morgan, Mattison, and Bennett. The talent from last years class at that position will begin to show.

    The corner position should be just as good. Safety is obviously a concern, but the fact that we aren't recruiting a JUCO safety tells me that the staff feels okay about what they have in the program already. Don't forget, an improved front seven usually means an improved secondary. I wouldn't be surprised to see Benton move to safety just to get the four best DBs on the field.

    The offense is far more concerning to me than the defense, simply because we have to replace a three year starter at QB. I think it would be best for the team if Barnett or Capello win the job in the spring, Richardson and/or Daniels look good enough in the fall to provide depth, and Tiller makes the move to WR. Tiller playing the Kerry Meier role would be great for the offense and would really help out a young QB.



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    Re: 2011 Defense - salty?

    Safeties are a huge concern for me next season. Although I have been slightly disappointed in Sims this year, he is still a guy who can help erase mistakes and make plays due to his speed, athleticism, and toughness. Also, you can't underestimate the importance of smarts and always being in the right position-O'Connell and Sandvig. We have 3 solid corners. If another LB can step up next to Klein/Knott, that would be great because I would love to see Benton slide to full-time corner. Benton and Leonard could really lock down the outside, then you have an experienced Reeves and an improving Young as backups. Not sure where Broomfield, Brooks, Washington, Watson, Givens fit into the Safety/nickel equation. With Leonard/Benton/Reeves next to them, and Knott/Klein in front, they don't need to be all-stars, just solid players knowing where to be every play, make tackles, and not allow big plays. Now after next season, then I will be very concerned about losing Benton and Leonard.

    Aside from that, the Dline still has plenty of room to grow. I have been pleased with their improvement the last couple weeks-Lattimer's presence has been noticeable, along with Rump/Johnson/McDonough improving and Maggitt being productive when he plays-but the Dline pretty much had nowhere to go but up as far as performance goes and they still get gashed quite a bit. As much as I love the effort and toughness of Neal and Parker, they are obviously outmatched and tend to be a liability when it comes to keeping outside contain against the run and creating any pressure against the pass. I do think we will quietly miss Bailey Johnson, but continuous improvement from McDonough/Rump/Laing/Lattimer/Maggitt, guys like Black/Woods/Scott/Moore starting to step up and do something, and Nelson/Jensen coming off redshirts will hopefully keep the Dline going in the right direction.

    We know what Knott/Klein bring, and it would be nice to have 2-3 more guys we can really trust out there to give them a breather once in a while. Tauufoo(?) seems more like a situational-only player. I expect George to step up, then we'll just have to see what Morgan, Mattison, Bennett bring. I think it would be great to slide Knott down to DE on obvious passing downs once in a while, or at the very least bring him more and more on blitzes. The guy just makes plays.

    Overall I am looking forward to hopefully a better D in 2011. Need our starters to continue to improve and get more into that All-Conference caliber role, and then have 1-2 younger guys per position step up and provide some relief. Can't say enough about the coaches we have directing these players. We really need to keep the continuity of this staff for the program to keep making positive strides.



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