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Making the pieces fit on DL

DMoney

D-Moni
Administrator
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
16,748
An influx of transfers has remade our defensive front. Now, we have an abundance of guys with similar body types- long, lean for a DT, built more like a 3-4 DE. They average out to 6'4, 272 and all fit into that general profile:

Jared Harrison-Hunte- 6'4, 285
Jake Lichtenstein- 6'5, 270
Antonio Moultrie- 6'4, 260
Akheem Mesidor- 6'2, 272
Elijah Roberts- 6'4, 275

Leonard Taylor is a little stouter (6'3, 305) but still far from a nose tackle. So how do we make all of these pieces fit in a four-man front? On one hand, length and athleticism is always good and Steele did wonders with a similar body type in Marlon Davidson. But it is still a unique situation when you are lacking a true nose and are thin at EDGE.

Curious to hear any thoughts from others on how we should deploy this group.

@Coach Macho @WestEndzone @San Amaro Dr @Liberty City El @gogeta4 @LuCane @gcane44 @Lance Roffers
 

rsa coral gables

Absolute Pingudo
Premium
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
4,190
An influx of transfers has remade our defensive front. Now, we have an abundance of guys with similar body types- long, lean for a DT, built more like a 3-4 DE. They average out to 6'4, 272 and all fit into that general profile:

Jared Harrison-Hunte- 6'4, 285
Jake Lichtenstein- 6'5, 270
Antonio Moultrie- 6'4, 260
Akheem Mesidor- 6'2, 272
Elijah Roberts- 6'4, 275

Leonard Taylor is a little stouter (6'3, 305) but still far from a nose tackle. So how do we make all of these pieces fit in a four-man front? On one hand, length and athleticism is always good and Steele did wonders with a similar body type in Marlon Davidson. But it is still a unique situation when you are lacking a true nose and are thin at EDGE.

Curious to hear any thoughts from others on how we should deploy this group.

@rsa coral gables*@Coach Macho @WestEndzone @San Amaro Dr @Liberty City El @gogeta4 @LuCane @gcane44 @Lance Roffers
you forgot me
 

Pentagon Cane

Junior
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
6,789
An influx of transfers has remade our defensive front. Now, we have an abundance of guys with similar body types- long, lean for a DT, built more like a 3-4 DE. They average out to 6'4, 272 and all fit into that general profile:

Jared Harrison-Hunte- 6'4, 285
Jake Lichtenstein- 6'5, 270
Antonio Moultrie- 6'4, 260
Akheem Mesidor- 6'2, 272
Elijah Roberts- 6'4, 275

Leonard Taylor is a little stouter (6'3, 305) but still far from a nose tackle. So how do we make all of these pieces fit in a four-man front? On one hand, length and athleticism is always good and Steele did wonders with a similar body type in Marlon Davidson. But it is still a unique situation when you are lacking a true nose and are thin at EDGE.

Curious to hear any thoughts from others on how we should deploy this group.

@Coach Macho @WestEndzone @San Amaro Dr @Liberty City El @gogeta4 @LuCane @gcane44 @Lance Roffers
Aren't Mesidor and Roberts playing SDE? You would think Moultrie as well.
 

Jassid82

Senior
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
9,044
@DMoney...Maybe it was the pads but Moultrie looked like a clean 280-290 standing on the sidelines at the Spring game. You sure hes only 260?
 

Jassid82

Senior
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
9,044
Good topic of discussion and a major elephant in the room. We have alot of guys who are basically the same size and skillset. So somebody not going to be happy come Sept...And we have no true 1 tech outside of Miller and Haye. How do we make this work especially seeing that our run defense looks to be sorely lacking..and our LB situation doesnt make it any better. There were some HUGE holes being created for the RBs by our OL in that Spring game. If that doesnt get fixed we could absolutely see a team run for 300-400 yards against us once this year. (exagerrating but not really)
 

NCCanefan

Freshman
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
219
Good topic of discussion and a major elephant in the room. We have alot of guys who are basically the same size and skillset. So somebody not going to be happy come Sept...And we have no true 1 tech outside of Miller and Haye. How do we make this work especially seeing that our run defense looks to be sorely lacking..and our LB situation doesnt make it any better. There were some HUGE holes being created for the RBs by our OL in that Spring game. If that doesnt get fixed we could absolutely see a team run for 300-400 yards against us once this year. (exagerrating but not really)
If there were an elephant in the room, we wouldn't be discussing this.
 

Warrior808

Recruit
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
753
Wish had more beef in the middle but at least we now have a good number of DL that at least belong on the field. If you are a little light up front but are able to roll in a lot of guys that helps neutralize some of the size disadvantage. They don't get worn down and can go 100% every snap then sub out to recharge.

So to answer the question, deploy them in waves and get all of them in games to keep the snap counts down and effort up. Also gives a lot of options for situational football since most of those guys can potentially play inside or out.
 

WestEndzone

Retired staff
Premium
Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
2,283
I would need to see what our guys are good at to give a complete answer, but first thought would be to mix it up with multiple even fronts and line movements. For the fronts, anything would be fair game: over, under, over (g), double eagle, double g, over with a 9 tech, etc.

You have the option to run 1, 2, 3 or 4 man movements. In an even front, I have the most experience with 2 and 4 man movements where you're moving both DT's or you're moving the whole line towards or away from the front strength. They're safe enough to run on base downs and are generally good against the run. The goal is to create a mess by messing with blocking assignments. Usually you only ever want to move from one technique to the next--never two techniques over unless you're backing it up with overload pressure from the backer and/or secondary. For example, a pinching 3 tech would cross face of his guard, but a pinching 2i would remain in the A gap, but would then be playing the hip of the center instead of the guard.

A versatile 3 man stunt that can be run in a number of situations is the old pirate stunt the Bucs used with Warren Sapp. Out of an Over (g) look, your SDE 5 tech and 3 tech pinch one technique over (cross face), while the 2i pinches down to a 1 tech and plays the run if he finds pressure--if he reads pass, he loops around the pinching SDE and DT to replace the vacated strong side C gap--the cross face 3 tech would in theory cover up the vacated weak side A with his angle. You need guys that can move for this to work well.

Obviously you can also pinch or twist guys--but those are more specialized down movements like short yardage or passing situations. We would usually have specialized personnel to match those situations.
 
Last edited:

gcane44

Junior
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
3,363
I think this is definitely an interesting topic of conversation. While it's obviously ideal to have a stout runstopping NT in the middle of the DL plugging things up, it doesn't currently seem like we'll have that luxury.

Nonetheless, in a similar way that a runstopping NT can help anchor the point of attack in run defense, a stout SDE can have an anchoring effect as well. It's all about establishing stress points along the LOS for the offensive line to have to deal with and minimizing gaps to exploit. Compared to the Spring game where we had light DEs paired with light DTs, we will be getting reinforcements in the size department at other positions aside from NT.

- Mesidor is a key addition that can probably be an anchor point for our run defense on the edge (move him inside on passing downs, but maybe on some early downs too)
- Influx of SDE bodies paired with Mesidor and the rest of our guys continuing to develop should provide some cumulative benefit
- Can one of Allen Haye or Jordan Miller step up as a rotation-worthy NT?

It will likely need to be a sum of parts approach with runstopping as we're less likely to have consistent stout presence right up the middle. How creative can Steele and co. get with mixing and matching our personnel and play schemes to net the right balance of runstopping and passrush? We have some versatile guys on the roster (and coming in). I think we will need to see major doses of stunting and slanting mixed in with varied personnel looks to keep defenses from targeting and exploiting one specific weakpoint.

We have a grey beard DC with a history of creativity and a platoon of DL coaches. They should be able to figure out ways to get it done.
 

supacane

Senior
Joined
Feb 13, 2013
Messages
6,842
If they are strong enough it wont matter. Mesidor was playing NT. Plus you have felxibility to change the front at random and confuse the blocking. We still have 91 and Haye who can just stay one place. Thats if they can get better and smarter. If we can get the big guy from Maryland we should be ok. We will need Kelly, Jahfari, Chantz etc to become better pass rushers. They might get more space with multiple players able to bring pressure from the inside. No better person to learn pass rushing moves from than JT
 

LuCane

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
14,210
An influx of transfers has remade our defensive front. Now, we have an abundance of guys with similar body types- long, lean for a DT, built more like a 3-4 DE. They average out to 6'4, 272 and all fit into that general profile:

Jared Harrison-Hunte- 6'4, 285
Jake Lichtenstein- 6'5, 270
Antonio Moultrie- 6'4, 260
Akheem Mesidor- 6'2, 272
Elijah Roberts- 6'4, 275

Leonard Taylor is a little stouter (6'3, 305) but still far from a nose tackle. So how do we make all of these pieces fit in a four-man front? On one hand, length and athleticism is always good and Steele did wonders with a similar body type in Marlon Davidson. But it is still a unique situation when you are lacking a true nose and are thin at EDGE.

Curious to hear any thoughts from others on how we should deploy this group.

@Coach Macho @WestEndzone @San Amaro Dr @Liberty City El @gogeta4 @LuCane @gcane44 @Lance Roffers
I’ll go into my perspective a little more deeply after meetings today, but as I mentioned yesterday off the board, that’s a lot of 5 tech body types and upfield players. Yet, I don’t see a prototype Edge who’s currently ready to shine nor do I see the necessary complements who can be stout 0-1 tech types. I’ve mentioned a few times that the DT we lost to Auburn really impacted my optimism for the DL - unless of course we find someone else who can chip in. Jordan Miller and Allen Haye, even at their best, need help.

Steele has previously been creative with his sets. Most notably subpackages. Of note, he deployed that creativity against the Burrow Bomber squad. That was primarily on the back end of the defense, I understand. I can’t imagine we go into the season expecting to truly compete (high level ACC) without more strength inside.

I noted yesterday off the board that the volume of our current body types indicates possibly pushing out some odd fronts, but I acknowledge people have mentioned we WONT be an odd front team. Yes, yes, ‘multiple.’ I guess we shall see. So, without going out to find Miller some help, that’s a hell of an issue for Steele to reconcile. I’m actually excited to see what they come up with.

When I come back to this thread this afternoon, if it hasn’t been done already by some of these dudes you tagged who breathe DL, I’ll go into each player and how they might help Steele make chicken salad out of Manny Diaz’s disjointed DL recruiting, but the short of it is L. Taylor needs to have the summer of his life and we need a surprise leap at Edge.
 

DTP

Section 102
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
11,633
I’m really curious how they’re going to make this defensive line work. They’re overloaded with big end/small tackle types. We don’t have a real option at 1 tech and our best natural pass rushers are tiny and not suited to be every down players. The good thing is, there’s a lot of depth and versatility. They can rotate guys in waves and move multiple pieces inside and out. There’s a bunch of solid run defenders on the line now and we should be a lot more disciplined. I don’t know if we’ll be able shut down good running teams but we will make them work for it. Meaning our defense won’t be giving up huge chunks of yardage like the last couple of years.
 

Lance Roffers

Junior
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
1,530
I’d like to see us stack our LB’s a bit more and play with double 3T at times. Obviously the scheme of opponent would matter because you can get gashed in the A gap if you don’t fill behind it, but if you have personnel who excel at 3T, but not so much at 1T, I might just lean into it instead of making my defense worse just to keep roles static.

Jordan Miller isn’t one of our six best DT’s really, so unless the defense just can’t function without a 1T, why play him?

If you listen to Flagg speak and some other things said, the LB’s are 2-gapping more, which is what you’d need to do if your DL isn’t and you don’t have a 1T clogging it up inside.

The DL can still penetrate and cause havoc, while your LB’s read and react more, while filling a bit less.

It’s an unusual roster composition. In college, you would normally have a 1/0 or even 2i at least 50 plays a game, so not playing it much at all would be a learning curve.

Lichtenstein and Moultrie and Mesidor all can play a 2i pretty easily though. Thinking through it, that would be a way of pinching things, while still utilizing strengths of your personnel.

Just please don’t line up Mesidor as a 0 all game like WVU did.
 
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