Roles: starting defense's expectations based on last year

Roles: starting defense's expectations based on last year

LuCane
This is not a scheme thread.

It's a look at individual starters and units (generally) on defense. Basically, whether we'll be stronger or weaker at a single position and then a look at the unit overall. No science to this, obviously. Just a speculative thread to have some fun and incite some offseason discussion.

*The percentage jumps are NOT necessarily in terms of production. Example: doesn't mean a guy who I guess gives us 25% more will necessarily produce 25% more sacks or TFLs. It also considers consistency and overall stability.

Defensive Line

SSDE Chad Thomas -
Chad Thomas stays for last year and I see a slight bump up now that he'll be comfortable and playing for $. Let's call it a conservative 15% jump.
DT Norton - As I've said, history shows one of the biggest leaps in a DT's play comes in year 3. This is especially true for players who depend on strength and explosion from the 0-tech and 1-tech spots. Norton is likely to show out and I see a 25% increase from what we got out of his spot last year.
DT Mcintosh - Like Norton, he's coming into year 3. He's gotten stronger, but this guy makes his living getting skinny and upfield. Nevertheless, if he stays healthy, I think we're watching RJ Mcintosh's likely last year as a Hurricane before he turns pro. Therefore, he, too, is playing for $. I see a 20% increase from him.
WDE Joe Jackson - So you're telling me a true Frosh led us in Sacks last year and has about 4 guys who are hungry for PT at his position, including a steady senior who makes plays? In this environment, I expect Joe Jackson to break out. I expect a 30% jump from what we got out of this position last year.

DL Unit Comments: As you can see, I expect a jump across the board with some high potential spots, too. It cannot be understated we have incredible depth at DE. It will not only mean we're less likely to face dropoff in case of injury, but also starters will be pushed to compete and produce.

Linebackers

WLB Michael Pinkney - Was a shockingly consistent playmaker as a True Freshman. Because of it, I see a 20% increase in production from what we got out of the position last year. He already anticipated so well, yet some of those tipped balls coming across in pass coverage may be INTs this year. Hopefully, he gets stronger and can sustain the punishment.
MLB Shaq Quarterman - Also a really high floor guy last year as a True Freshman. Because of it, I see a 25% increase in production because of how much room he had to get better in pass coverage. Shaq's biggest areas for improvement are in his drops and in getting sideline to sideline on quick screens. Something tells me he's the type to work on it and make a leap.
SLB Zach Mccloud - We saw what was going on at the end of the year. This guy was making a real leap. He's gotten bigger and stronger already. I see him as making one of the biggest leaps on our defense next year. If he can remain healthy, he has a universe of potential to tap into. I see a 33% jump from what we got last year.

LB Unit Comments: Going to feel a lot more comfortable than last season because we were razor thin and starting 3 true frosh LB. The fact a technical guy like Manny Diaz heads up this unit cannot go overlooked. When I watched Fall practices last year, two guys (Owens, who was clearly recovering, and Gordinier) were at least in the conversation to be starters over Pinkney and Mccloud, respectively. These guys are clear backups now, so depth is vastly improved. We also saw Mike Smith serve as a solid enough backup to star Shaq Quarterman. The bottom line with this unit is you're looking at 3 True Sophomores who played a ton last year. You're also looking at the player, Zach Mccloud, with what I consider the most likely big jump. If these guys get tighter in pass coverage, the 3rd down defense improves and we see a potential Top 5 defense in the nation.

Defensive Backs

CB Malek Young - This season, he isn't going to give us everything a senior Corn Elder did. The hope is he can provide about 75% of what Corn produced.
S Sheldrick Redwine - I haven't seen him at FS yet, so this is a total guess. The hope is he can provide 70% of what Jenkins did, and I think that's reasonable.
S Jaquan Johnson - I actually think he is an upgrade from what senior Jamal Carter provided. Carter was often late in anticipation and coming across the field. While Carter actually tackled solidly, I think Jaquan has shown he'll be able to do the same. I think he provides a 20% increase from what we got out of the position last season.
CB Dee Delaney - It keeps getting said he would have been a 4th rounder. Comparing him to what we saw in flashes from Adrian Colbert is interesting. If he lives up to his billing, I think he gives a conservative 20% increase from what we got in that position last year, especially since Colbert was out a lot and Young was learning.

DB Unit Comments: Going to hurt when you lose arguably all 4 senior starters or at least 3/4 (because of Young's experience). The coaching staff pulled a magic trick by convincing Dee Delaney it is in his best interest to improve his NFL draft stock by coming to Miami for his Grad transfer year. That alone changes the dynamic of the entire defensive backfield. Early word on Redwine is very positive. I'll be hesitant on that because Jenkins was a quietly consistent contributor with some range. I conservatively see a dropoff in both Redwine and Young's spots. That said, I've mentioned how much I like Young and think he can exceed expectations. Still, he's replacing Corn Elder. Finally, Jaquan Johnson coming back in a leadership role is a subtle gamechanger in our defense. Units, like teams, take on the personality of their leaders. In this case, Jaquan is a guy who is extremely hard working, hits everyone in the mouth and will keep everyone accountable. Big deal. Especially, with talented guys like Dean, Bandy and Amari Carter pushing up from the bottom.

Coaching: As you can see, I'm extremely excited. All of it is really brought together by the combination of Coach Diaz and Kul. Their mentalities are the foundation for this defense. They also happen to be incredible teachers and technical coaches. Like I said in another thread, the combination of (1) aggressive mentality + (2) technical coaches + (3) top athletes is what makes Miami a scary program. At least on defense, I project we're almost there. I expect this coaching staff's comfort with players and implementing their system (blitz packages, coverages, etc.) to provide a 20% increase in that aspect.
 

Comments (107)

Broad takeaway: everything should be better but the db's, but there is reason for hope amongst that group.

To your point about improvement not necessarily equaling increased production: I would expect total team defensive stats to jump, but individual stats to stay relatively flat. If our defense is better, they are on the field less and therefore will accumulate fewer individual stats. Just a guess. Excited to see what happens.
 
Defense will be top 5 in the country easy possibly number 1 if they want it bad enough
 
I also am liking Jaquan as the leader of the defense.

Pretty crazy how much more experience there is across the board compared to summer 2016, especially after we lost GRace and AQM.
 
Defense will be top 5 in the country easy possibly number 1 if they want it bad enough

can't wait till you're bishing cause we're 9th, jk but man those are lofty expectations

lol i definitely wont complain if theyre in the top 10 hell even top 15 but I know these guys are being instilled the right mindset from this coaching staff to expect to be the best of the best so it's going to be fun to watch.
 
I like what you did here LuCane. Basically it looks like the expectations of our front 7 should be that it is a top 5 unit in the country. If our defense is top 10-15 that will be even better. I dont think we can overlook the importance of bringing in Delaney and if he is as good as advertised then this D will be amazing.

Call me crazy but I am not 100% convinced on Malik Young yet. I like the fact that he got better as the year went along but he is going to be depended on heavily this year. I am not sure how he is going to handle that. If MJackson can come on strong and JDean comes in ready to go then I will feel alot better.

To the poster asking about Dean...I think many of us are going to temper our expectations until we start hearing that he is getting acclimated. He did his thing on the JUCO level and he damn sure has the talent (6'1 185 4.3 speed) but can he adjust to D1 ball fast enough? If he can then watch out because this defense will be fun to watch.
 
The combination of Rumph's technical coaching + Felder and Banda's aggression is gonna have us very excited and anticipating passing downs like the old days! The secondary will be the surprise group on D.
 
I like what you did here LuCane. Basically it looks like the expectations of our front 7 should be that it is a top 5 unit in the country. If our defense is top 10-15 that will be even better. I dont think we can overlook the importance of bringing in Delaney and if he is as good as advertised then this D will be amazing.

Call me crazy but I am not 100% convinced on Malik Young yet. I like the fact that he got better as the year went along but he is going to be depended on heavily this year. I am not sure how he is going to handle that. If MJackson can come on strong and JDean comes in ready to go then I will feel alot better.

To the poster asking about Dean...I think many of us are going to temper our expectations until we start hearing that he is getting acclimated. He did his thing on the JUCO level and he damn sure has the talent (6'1 185 4.3 speed) but can he adjust to D1 ball fast enough? If he can then watch out because this defense will be fun to watch.

Oh no doubt re: Dean. Just thought Lu may have forgotten him, esp since he addressed Delaney.
 
If Rumph can continue to coach them up, I think the corners can be even better this year than last. Of course, losing Corn hurts but Young got a lot of playing time last year with Colbert banged up. I think there's better talent to work with this year with Dean and Delaney on board too.

Jaquan is a big improvement over Jamal Carter. If Redwine/A.Carter can be solid at the other safety spot, we'll be top 5 nationally. I'm super stoked to see what packages Diaz can pull out of his hat now that he doesn't have to water down the defense as much for freshmen linebackers.
 
Hopefully there isn't too many sophmore slumps which I feel like happens to a lot of our players after they have stellar freshmen outings.
 
Hopefully there isn't too many sophmore slumps which I feel like happens to a lot of our players after they have stellar freshmen outings.

Under Golden we saw talented players flash as freshmen then fail to progress or improve for the rest of their career. Best case scenario with these guys was usually getting back to the level of the flashes they showed freshman year at some point in their junior or senior years.

That phenomenon was a direct indication of failure to properly teach and develop the talent we had.

We've got real coaches now. So, I'm sure everything won't be perfect or go exactly as we all expect/hope, but I expect sophomore slumps to be the exception rather than the norm
 
I don't get the whole RJ leaving early talk. He had s good year but far from dominant. He's a true jr and it's rare for DTs to be selected high as TrJrs. If he does, great that means he had a dominant season but he's not close to that yet.

The depth at DE is unreal. Hoping Wilis lives up to the hype.
 
If Rumph can continue to coach them up, I think the corners can be even better this year than last. Of course, losing Corn hurts but Young got a lot of playing time last year with Colbert banged up. I think there's better talent to work with this year with Dean and Delaney on board too.

Jaquan is a big improvement over Jamal Carter. If Redwine/A.Carter can be solid at the other safety spot, we'll be top 5 nationally. I'm super stoked to see what packages Diaz can pull out of his hat now that he doesn't have to water down the defense as much for freshmen linebackers.

Jaquan Johnson has the potential to be an improvement over Jamal Carter imo... but a lot of fans on this site dont seem to be aware of how good Jamal was last year. Not anything special but he had a better than above average year last season.
 
If Rumph can continue to coach them up, I think the corners can be even better this year than last. Of course, losing Corn hurts but Young got a lot of playing time last year with Colbert banged up. I think there's better talent to work with this year with Dean and Delaney on board too.

Jaquan is a big improvement over Jamal Carter. If Redwine/A.Carter can be solid at the other safety spot, we'll be top 5 nationally. I'm super stoked to see what packages Diaz can pull out of his hat now that he doesn't have to water down the defense as much for freshmen linebackers.

Jaquan Johnson has the potential to be an improvement over Jamal Carter imo... but a lot of fans on this site dont seem to be aware of how good Jamal was last year. Not anything special but he had a better than above average year last season.

I'd disagree. He had an average year last year. For every big hit, there were at least 2 missed assignments
 
Defense will be top 5 in the country easy possibly number 1 if they want it bad enough

Hold on cowboy . . . Not enough depth, experience, or talent (yet) to be #1 imho

We have an NFL DL, with several NFL kids as backups. We have 3 NFL lb's. At least one NFL CB. That's 8 NFL level starters.

Aside from the depth issues at LB, CB, and S, there is no reason why we can't contend for the number 1 spot.
 
I don't think I've ever seen LuCane this excited.

Actually, I KNOW I haven't.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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2020 Schedule

09/10
UAB
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09/19
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Louisville, KY
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09/26
Florida State
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W 52 - 10
10/10
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Virginia Tech
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11/21
Georgia Tech
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Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
12/05
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
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