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  1. #1
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    Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    We all know that DT is a major concern, though having a young and talented Nose like Devlyn Cousin is not the worst place to start in rebuilding that area. Further, in a recent interview Ayeni mentioned that he was up to 275 and striving to add more weight, so I believe he will be the guy to move inside next to Cousin. That position is far from solid, given the inexperience of both players and their backups...but it is wrong to assume there is not potential there. Aka, Trent, and Garcia have all been mentioned as possessing good raw ability and its quite possible some of that ability will start to convert to actual productivity on the field this season.

    Back to some surprising strengths for this team.

    Defensive End may wind up as the strongest position on the team, and Pierson, Morrissey, Meyers and Luna are going to be an aggressive and very capable four players...at a minimum. Morrissey is likely a 2nd team to Honorable mention all conference guy, but its Pierson that is likely to be the star of this position. Yes, this is speculative, but his pass rushing skills seem...based on his film and juco stats...to be exemplary. If he comes through as it seems he's likely to do, and puts Meyers in a backup role...well that's VERY good position group with nice depth.

    LB is evolving into a strength as well, though they may be hampered a bit by mediocre DT play during the season. Nonetheless, Brackens has looked fast and capable, Knott looked quite good when healthy last season and is likely to be a bit bigger/stronger/faster this year. Meeks, Mills and Peters all are young and talented guys who will make mistakes, but possess the ability to have a positive impact on games. Miller is Miller, and that means he's a guy who looked much better as the season progressed and should give solid minutes...I expect he starts early and shows continued improvement OR will be bypassed by some of these solid young backups. Jordan Harris is the guy that can take this group up a notch IF he starts "getting it" in terms of learning curve with D1 football...he seems to have the ability to be a Jeremiah George, though it may take some time for him to catch up to the speed of the game. By midseason, its reasonable to expect him to be very good.

    The DB's also seem to be "ahead of schedule", and Mutcherson and Tribune appear to have the kind of talent to grow into all league type players...perhaps not this year, but their ability on the field will show through. Lynn looked solid in the spring and Sam Richardson is very capable, especially as a tackler in run support. Depth is a huge problem in the secondary and there's no ignoring that fact, we need some young guys to step up early and we need good health at all four positions...so DB play in the starting four looks solid but we need a bit of good luck here to avoid injuries.

    Overall, the defense with all its new additions and Juco dependence will struggle early...and will likely focus on using speed and big plays to overcome an inherent weakness in the DT position (a weakness that may not be as big an issue as many believe IMHO). The talent level, however, is actually better than last season...but some guys are going to have to grow up fast in the middle of the defense. The key to success will, as always, rest with the offenses ability to increase its scoring output and possession time. Improvements there, alone, will give this young defense the opportunity to grow and develop...which is really all it needs.

    FYI, I may be off on some of the LB positioning...it gets confusing as to who is practicing at which position. In the end, I expect Wally will put the most talented 3 guys on the field together.


    DT Devlyn Cousin So 305 6'1 Vernell Trent So 280 6'3 OR Robbie Garcia Fr 280 6'3
    DT Terry Ayeni Jr 275 6'4 OR Pierre Aka So 285 6'3 Ma'Kayle Phillip Fr 330 6'3
    290 6'2.5 283 6'3 310 6'3
    DE Dal Pierson Jr 265 6'4 OR Mitchell Meyers Jr 265 6'4 Trent Taylor Jr 255 6'3
    DE Corey Morrissey Sr 260 6'4 Gabe Luna Jr 250 6'1 Darius White So 241 6'1
    263 6'4 258 6'2.5 248 6'2
    LB Jordan Harris Jr 5'11 241 OR Jevohn Miller Sr 6'2 245 Kane Seeley So 240 6'1
    LB Jared Brackens Sr 6'1 215 Alton Meeks Fr 6'2 249
    LB Luke Knott So 6'0 220 Brian Mills Fr 5'10 227 OR Levi Peters So 220 5'10
    6'0.5 225 6'1 240 230 6'0
    CB Nigel Tribune So 5'10 185 Matt Thomas Sr 5'10 170 Brian Peavy Fr 5'9 170
    CB Kenneth Lynn Sr 5'10 175 Sam Richardson Sr 5'8 175 Victor Holmes Fr 5'11 180
    S TJ Mutcherson So 5'11 203 Kamari Syrie Fr 5'9 203 Darion Cotton Sr 5'11 190
    S Qujuan Floyd Jr 6'0 190 Kam Cot-Moya Fr 6'0 180 Devron Moore?? Jr 5'11 195
    5'10.5 188 5'10 182 5'10.5 183
    NB Drake Ferch Sr 5'11 212 Darion Cotton Sr 5'11 190


    Last edited by Mesaclone1; 04-19-2014 at 02:57 PM.
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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    In my opinion our defensive line will be so bad. Our defensive backs are going to look terrible because we cant put any pressure on the quarterback. Just my opinion.


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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knownothing View Post
    In my opinion our defensive line will be so bad. Our defensive backs are going to look terrible because we cant put any pressure on the quarterback. Just my opinion.
    I think Pierson and Morrisey...and to some extent Meyer, are going to provide much better pass rush than we've had in the past. We showed some nice team speed in the spring and the LB's and and blitzing DB's were able to add to the pressure on the QB's. Given that we have a pretty darn good OL, that's a very good sign. I think where the defense will struggle is against the run...pass rush is the one area where we can expect solid improvement over last season IMHO.


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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Kane Seeley is a SO. Had to look it up as I was very confused why a SR wasn't in at least the top 2 of the depth chart.



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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mesaclone1 View Post
    I think Pierson and Morrisey...and to some extent Meyer, are going to provide much better pass rush than we've had in the past. We showed some nice team speed in the spring and the LB's and and blitzing DB's were able to add to the pressure on the QB's. Given that we have a pretty darn good OL, that's a very good sign. I think where the defense will struggle is against the run...pass rush is the one area where we can expect solid improvement over last season IMHO.

    I would challenge your your assertion that we "have a pretty darn good OL".



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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. Guys not getting hurt will be critical. I would look for Wally to be much more aggressive on defense this year. They need to take some chances to limit the ridiculous number of snaps that the defense has taken in the last few years.



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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Spring ball is against our guys. We will see how fast they are when they are going against big 12 elite guys


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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    I still don't think the DL is that bad off at all. DE will defiantly be fine. We have probably the most talented NG Wally has had yet, he just isn't experienced. Having Irving and/or Coe at DT would have made the DL our strength, but we've still got some Jucos coming in at it will still be solid at least.

    Not every team has every position as a "strength" 3 of our 4 DL should be pretty good.



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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    If we can get a Juco NG soon, I will feel a lot better. Could rotate the Juco with Cousin at the Nose and possibly move Trent as a dual backup DT with Aka. If Cousin goes down, we are toast. If we get another true NG, that isn't a dropoff from Cousin, or possibly better, we should be ok. I agree, our DE's will be the best unit as a whole in the CPR era.


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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by RustShack View Post
    I still don't think the DL is that bad off at all. DE will defiantly be fine. We have probably the most talented NG Wally has had yet, he just isn't experienced. Having Irving and/or Coe at DT would have made the DL our strength, but we've still got some Jucos coming in at it will still be solid at least.

    Not every team has every position as a "strength" 3 of our 4 DL should be pretty good.
    What does "pretty good" mean? Better then what other teams DL in the Big12? Im not making an opinion either way, but want a better definition of what "good depth" "not as bad as we think" and "pretty good" means. Like we can beat ND to open the season and lose the rest? Like we can beat Iowa on the road and go on to win 7 games? Or we can maybe eek out 3 games again?



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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedcyclone View Post
    What does "pretty good" mean? Better then what other teams DL in the Big12? Im not making an opinion either way, but want a better definition of what "good depth" "not as bad as we think" and "pretty good" means. Like we can beat ND to open the season and lose the rest? Like we can beat Iowa on the road and go on to win 7 games? Or we can maybe eek out 3 games again?
    Good question. I would define it by how it relates to past ISU units under Coach Rhoads and their performance.


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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Sometimes I just don't get the eternal optimism of some people about our football team, God bless you, but I don't get it. The defense, which wasn't good, lost 7 of 11 starters from last year Jensen, Irving, Scott, George, Watson, Washington, and Broomfield along with some key contributors in Coe and Rogers. The guys that are going to be starting this year could not beat them out last year, there is a VERY small chance they will be better than the guys that started last year! 90% (guesstimate) of the time this happens, with the off season work they will be, AT MOST, as good as the guy they replaced, rarely are they better. The coaches know this, they went out and signed six juco players for defense, the cupboard is thin. Maybe by mid-season will those jucos bear fruit.

    'All's I'm sayin' is lower your expectations a little (a lot) so you can enjoy the season on defense for what it will be, a rebuild.

    Edit: By the way, I hope I'm completely WRONG!


    Last edited by Clonedogg; 04-19-2014 at 04:20 PM.

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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Agree with clonedogg but one thing to note is by all accounts that I have seen and heard the attitude within the players is better this year. It's amazing what a difference that can make. Doesn't mean that it will but if all things are equal as could be possible just a better attitude may make them better as a unit.


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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Some key questions for the D:

    1. Will they recruit any late JUCO DLs?
    2. Is Taiese set to play OL, or can he be a NG?
    3. What kind of weight do Cousins, Aka, Trent, Garcia put on during the summer?
    4. What position does Trent Taylor play? Pretty sure he was listed at 280 at TN, but 250 at JUCO. If he can get back to 280, that would help.
    5. When does the light go on for Harris?
    6. Does Moore come back? Seems like he's missed a lot of class at this point.

    I think that we're going to see some TRFR playing at DB.



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    Re: Defensive 3 deep...some surprising strengths.

    Being optimistic about your team is what's great about sports, you always think you are going to be better next year. This team was bad last year and chances are it won't be a lot better this year. But there is always hope, and that's what we as fans cling to every year.



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