Spring Thoughts (Defense)

Spring Thoughts (Defense)

DMoney
For the first time in over a decade, it’s fun to watch Miami play defense. My main takeaway from spring is that everyone stayed healthy.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE- Deepest group on the team. Coach Kool can replace Kendrick Norton and Richard McIntosh with Anthony Moten and Gerald Willis without missing a beat. This allows him to demand high effort. Willis was on the bike all spring but should be ready to roll in August. The story of spring was Pat Bethel. He looked quick at DT and showed off a nice spin move. He still needs to gain some weight but this should be a great spot for him. Tyreic Martin and Ryan Fines are a level below the other guys. Martin needs to get stronger and Fines needs to get quicker. Expect Kool to recruit some JUCO war daddies to replace them.

DEFENSIVE END- Similar story here. Chad Thomas and Joe Jackson caused havoc last year and Trent Harris is a proven commodity. I expected Demetrius Jackson to be a skinny pass rusher but he’s evolved into a solid, heavy player who bats down more passes than anyone I’ve ever seen on Greentree. Jonathan Garvin is every bit as impressive as Joe was last year. He doesn’t have the same horsepower but he’s plenty fast and extremely quick laterally. He also has long arms and surprising power that knocked a couple backup OL on their ass. His sack and forced fumble on Jack Allison set the tone for the full-contact scrimmage. Looking forward to adding Scott Patchan and D.J. Johnson to this group. D.J. just ran 11.22 100M and he may get faster before he’s done. For perspective, Dalvin Cook’s personal record was 11.18.

LINEBACKER- Mike Pickney spent most of his time with the second group, but we know what we’re getting when it counts: the best linebacking corps since the Bermuda Triangle. Shaq Quarterman is fully established as one of the leaders of the defense. Zach McCloud looks primed for a breakout. We know what we have here.

The surprise has been the emergence of the backup linebackers. Mike Smith was one the stars of the spring for me. We forget that he was one of the best defensive players in South Florida before blowing out his knee. Now, a few years and a position change later, he finally looks like his twitchy self. He’s rushing the passer, flying to the ball and he’s even had some nice moments in pass coverage. Very confident. Darrion Owens isn’t all the way back but he’s a lot closer. His strength right now is taking on blocks and being physical. The next step is getting back his former safety speed.

I was a big Charles Perry fan coming out of school and he’s finally starting to make athletic plays. He is a McCloud injury away from playing a big role. Terry McCray is just a guy. Bradley Jennings played mostly with the third unit because of the experience in front of him. He looks best during full contact. Violent striker with good instincts in the run game. Not as good as Shaq, but similar playing style. It’s a shame we can’t see Waynmon Steed yet. He fits in perfectly with this defense.

SAFETY- This was one of the key groups going in the spring. We knew what Jaquan Johnson could do, but Sheldrick Redwine and Amari Carter were unknowns. I feel much better now, as both guys look like Miami safeties. Redwine is an underrated athlete (remember the backflips after the Duke game?) who is playing with a lot more confidence since the switch. He’s by far our best cover guy at safety and he can tackle. Amari Carter reminds me of Jamal Carter from a physical standpoint. Similar speed and impressive on the hoof. But he has three advantages over Carter: (1) he has more bend; (2) he’s more aware; and (3) he has better ball skills. For a clean-cut student, I was surprised by how nasty Carter is after the whistle. You can tell he likes mix it up. He’ll be the third guy.

When Quan comes up to play nickel, Robert Knowles steps in as first-team safety. Knowles continues to make strides under Coach Banda and Coach Zuckerman (GA) but he’s still not ready for that. Look for Trajan Bandy to challenge for that nickel role, allowing Quan to stay at safety. Romeo Finley played with the third team all spring. He is a hitter with straight-line burst but he struggles changing directions. I think ultimately his best position may be SLB. Still a tough, talented player who will help on special teams. Derrick Smith will have a great opportunity to play now that Cedrick Wright and Jeff James flamed out. Physically, he is ready to roll. The mental game will be the key with him.

CORNERBACK- It’s hard to evaluate this position because three key guys aren’t here yet. Dee Delaney and Jhavonte Dean will compete for the spot opposite Malek Young, and Bandy is the favorite in the nickel. Young held down the fort this spring and looked incredible. He had four INTs in three scrimmages and all four were highlight reel plays. His spot is locked.

Michael Jackson was the starter all spring and did a nice job of competing. I suspect he’ll be more of a depth option come fall. Just not as talented as Delaney or Dean. Ryan Mayes didn’t really challenge Jackson, which was a surprise. Him and Terrance Henley are going to have a tough time getting on the field. Tyler Murphy did a real nice job as a walk-on and looked better than the scholarship players at time.
 

Comments (130)

Appreciate it.

I think the DE position is deeper than the DT position, but it's nitpicking.
 
I think the DE position is deeper than the DT position, but it's nitpicking.

Probably right in terms of pure numbers. If Patchan and DJ can contribute, that's seven guys.

What I like about DT is the quality of the top four. Those are four starters.
 
Love the writeup. Disagree entirely that this LB corps is already better than the 2002 group, but they could be on their way.
 
D. Wilder on the way too. Hopefully he pushes the competition.
 
A walk-on has surpassed Jag 1 and Jag 2 (Henley and Mayes).. why am I not suprised.. and idk how much I should worry about Knowles knowing that if the 3 CB are as good as advertised that I would figure one of them will nickel while keeping Quan at Safety.
 
Love the writeup. Disagree entirely that this LB corps is already better than the 2002 group, but they could be on their way.

Yeah, "most talented" would be more accurate.

As for 2003, Vilma and DJ can obviously play with anybody but Darrell McClover (while solid) was a level down. These guys are three studs, which reminds me of the Bermuda Triangle.
 
I think the DE position is deeper than the DT position, but it's nitpicking.

Probably right in terms of pure numbers. If Patchan and DJ can contribute, that's seven guys.

What I like about DT is the quality of the top four. Those are four starters.

You know if they're planning on redshirting any of the DE's?
 
I think the DE position is deeper than the DT position, but it's nitpicking.

Probably right in terms of pure numbers. If Patchan and DJ can contribute, that's seven guys.

What I like about DT is the quality of the top four. Those are four starters.
I think you find a lot of the same at DE, if not better than the scenario at DT. The top 4 DTs are not perfectly complementary. You have only one true 1Tech in the group. Moten will play there and be fine, but he's not optimal and there's a dropoff between what Norton provides as a 1Tech and what Moten can give us in that role. Mcintosh can probably give us some there as well. Is it absolutely vital in our scheme? Well, not as much as other schemes. It's still nice to have someone who can command, sustain and even beat a C/G double team against the run. Willis is a 3Tech. Behind them, you have Pat Bethel as someone growing into a 3Tech.

On the other hand, at DE you have a bunch of interchangeable parts. Is there zero dropoff between the Chad Thomas/Joe Jackson tandem and the rest? Probably not. However, if one or both go down, I have virtually no concerns about Trent Harris making plays. He's proven he will. I have no concerns about Demetrius Jackson playing on either side of the line. I have no concerns about a true Frosh like Garvin offering an edge rush. DJ Johnson is not even on campus and some argue he'll be better than Garvin, though on the other side of the line. You toss in Scott Patchan potentially being healthy and you have an entire arsenal of skill sets to mix and match. It's an unbelievable depth chart.

I give the DEs the nod and not because of numbers. I think they're arguably the deepest group in the country.
 
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You know if they're planning on redshirting any of the DE's?

I doubt it. Garvin is the goods and Patchan already redshirted. We'll see what DJ can do, but anytime you redshirt a big name OOS player you run the risk of transfer.
 
I think the DE position is deeper than the DT position, but it's nitpicking.

Probably right in terms of pure numbers. If Patchan and DJ can contribute, that's seven guys.

What I like about DT is the quality of the top four. Those are four starters.
I think you find a lot of the same at DE, if not better than the scenario at DT. The top 4 DTs are not perfectly complementary. You have only one true 1Tech in the group. Moten will play there and be fine, but he's not optimal and there's a dropoff between what Norton provides as a 1Tech and what Moten can give us in that role. Mcintosh can probably give us some there as well. Is it absolutely vital in our scheme? Well, not as much as other schemes. It's still nice to have someone who can command, sustain and even beat a C/G double team against the run. Willis is a 3Tech. Behind them, you have Pat Bethel as someone growing into a 3Tech.

On the other hand, at DE you have a bunch of interchangeable parts. Is there zero dropoff between the Chad Thomas/Joe Jackson tandem and the rest? Probably not. However, if one or both go down, I have virtually no concerns about Trent Harris making plays. He's proven he will. I have no concerns about Demetrius Jackson playing on either side of the line. I have no concerns about a true Frosh like Garvin offering an edge rush. DJ Johnson is not even on campus and some argue he'll be better than Garvin, though on the other side of the line. You toss in Scott Patchan potentially being healthy and you have an entire arsenal of skill sets to mix and match. It's an unbelievable depth chart.

I give the DEs the nod and not because of numbers. I think they're arguably the deepest group in the country.

DE is based off numbers right now. Djack hasnt really did much, patchan hasnt ever really played, garvin is a true freshmen and the same for dj.
 
I think you find a lot of the same at DE, if not better than the scenario at DT. The top 4 DTs are not perfectly complementary. You have only one true 1Tech in the group. Moten will play there and be fine, but he's not optimal and there's a dropoff between what Norton provides as a 1Tech and what Moten can give us in that role. Mcintosh can probably give us some there as well. Is it absolutely vital in our scheme? Well, not as much as other schemes. It's still nice to have someone who can command, sustain and even beat a C/G double team against the run. Willis is a 3Tech. Behind them, you have Pat Bethel as someone growing into a 3Tech.

I'm higher on Moten as a 1-tech. He's gotten pretty strong there. I think all four guys can be quality NFL players, and I'm not as confident about Harris and Jackson.

But this is nitpicking, like you said. I could easily see the case for DE and the freshmen might end the argument pretty quick if they develop as expected.
 
Great news that malek is taking that next step. If our offense scored 24 points(which is not difficult) and our defense stops the run and gets 2 turnovers then we will beat fsu
 
Thanks for posting D

Honestly we look solid at all 3 levels. We all thought secondary could be a problem but I think JJ is a good player and all indications are that the Redwine switch is going to work out for both him and the team. With Young looking like the light switch is turning on, the additions of Dean, Delaney, and Bandy have this group looking like a strength more than a weakness.

Factor in the depth we now have in the front 7 along with Diaz's aggressive scheme and this defense looks poised to be one of the best units in the country. This defense will win us 7 or 8 games based on talent and the relative ease of this years schedule.

Let's pray the O can do their part...and we just might surprise the nation.
 
I think the DE position is deeper than the DT position, but it's nitpicking.

Probably right in terms of pure numbers. If Patchan and DJ can contribute, that's seven guys.

What I like about DT is the quality of the top four. Those are four starters.
I think you find a lot of the same at DE, if not better than the scenario at DT. The top 4 DTs are not perfectly complementary. You have only one true 1Tech in the group. Moten will play there and be fine, but he's not optimal and there's a dropoff between what Norton provides as a 1Tech and what Moten can give us in that role. Mcintosh can probably give us some there as well. Is it absolutely vital in our scheme? Well, not as much as other schemes. It's still nice to have someone who can command, sustain and even beat a C/G double team against the run. Willis is a 3Tech. Behind them, you have Pat Bethel as someone growing into a 3Tech.

On the other hand, at DE you have a bunch of interchangeable parts. Is there zero dropoff between the Chad Thomas/Joe Jackson tandem and the rest? Probably not. However, if one or both go down, I have virtually no concerns about Trent Harris making plays. He's proven he will. I have no concerns about Demetrius Jackson playing on either side of the line. I have no concerns about a true Frosh like Garvin offering an edge rush. DJ Johnson is not even on campus and some argue he'll be better than Garvin, though on the other side of the line. You toss in Scott Patchan potentially being healthy and you have an entire arsenal of skill sets to mix and match. It's an unbelievable depth chart.

I give the DEs the nod and not because of numbers. I think they're arguably the deepest group in the country.

DE is based off numbers right now. Djack hasnt really did much, patchan hasnt ever really played, garvin is a true freshmen and the same for dj.
According to you, Demetrius Jackson hasn't done much. However, he started 6 games for us last year, adeptly played both sides of the line when we needed it most, had 6.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks and 4 PBUs. The other backup, Trent Harris, has 18 career starts, had 9.5 TFLs last year, 3 sacks, a FF and 2 PBUs.
Behind them, we have Garvin, DJ Johnson and the oft-injured Patchan.

At DT, Anthony Moten had 6 total tackles, .5 TFLs (3 TFLs and 23 total tackles in his entire career despite getting 4 starts while in Golden's system).
The other backup DT, Gerald Willis, gave us 19 total tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, and 2 PBUs.
Behind them, we have Bethel, Martin and Fines.

What about that tells you DE has more depth because of mere quantity?
 
Here's my guess at the Defense:

SDE - Chad Thomas/ Demetrius Jackson/ D.J. Johnson/ Scott Patchan

DT - RJ McIntosh/ Gerald Willis/ Pat Bethel/ Jon Ford/Martin
DT - Kendrick Norton/ Anthony Moten/ Tyreic Martin/ Ryan Fines

WDE - Joe Jackson/ Jonathan Garvin/ Trent Harris/ Patchan

WLB - Michael Pinckney/ Darrion Owens/ De'andre Wilder/ Terry McCray

MLB - Shaquille Quarterman/ Mike Smith/ Bradley Jennings Jr

SLB - Zach McCloud/ Charles Perry/ Jamie Gordinier/ Waynmon Steed(RS)

(Once Steed comes back healthy, he can actually play both W/S LB spots, he's that good, but I think he's best at Will)

LCB - Malek Young (will play the Elder role in Diaz's Defense, with better Ball skills)
RCB - Dee Delaney
NCB - Trajan Bandy
CB4 - Jhavonte Dean (will backup Delaney)
CB5 - Michael Jackson (will backup Young)
CB6 - Ryan Mayes/ Tyler Murphy
CB7 - Terrance Henley (ST's only)

FS - Sheldrick Redwine/ Amari Carter/ Derrick Smith
SS - Jaquan Johnson/ Robert Knowles/ Romeo Finley
 
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I think you find a lot of the same at DE, if not better than the scenario at DT. The top 4 DTs are not perfectly complementary. You have only one true 1Tech in the group. Moten will play there and be fine, but he's not optimal and there's a dropoff between what Norton provides as a 1Tech and what Moten can give us in that role. Mcintosh can probably give us some there as well. Is it absolutely vital in our scheme? Well, not as much as other schemes. It's still nice to have someone who can command, sustain and even beat a C/G double team against the run. Willis is a 3Tech. Behind them, you have Pat Bethel as someone growing into a 3Tech.

I'm higher on Moten as a 1-tech. He's gotten pretty strong there. I think all four guys can be quality NFL players, and I'm not as confident about Harris and Jackson.

But this is nitpicking, like you said. I could easily see the case for DE and the freshmen might end the argument pretty quick if they develop as expected.
Guess I'd have to see Moten's progress as a 1-T. Last season, I talked him and Willis up a bunch. I love our DTs. I've also mentioned I think they're all NFL players to varying degrees. Don't think we're discussing which position has better NFL prospects/longevity, though. I answered in a post above why I think there's a quality and quantity argument to DEs over DTs. We're in a good spot at both. I just worry a little more about DT injuries.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
WR
5'9"
190
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 Senior, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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