Staking The Plains Roundtable: Assessing the Post-Spring Defense

Your favorite bloggers get together to discuss the Texas Tech defense.

sethjungman: And as we work on this, Cochran chooses Oklahoma State, so Brian, you win the big prize because there really aren’t any other options other than time.

Let’s get to that defense. Generally speaking, I think that the defense looks improved, but what about some negatives for the defense? What’s your biggest concern (other than Texas Tech has had a historically bad defense)?

briandc: It’s hard for me to discern real concerns from the general existential dread our defense has given me the past few years. I was on record as saying I thought our pass defense was much worse than our run defense last year, so I’m going to go with the secondary. I know the additions of Vaughnte Dorsey & Octavius Morgan are supposedly playing dividends so far, but I’m in “fool me 462 times. . .” territory. Until we can stop teams from popping the top off our defense to expose soft, welcoming running lanes, I’m wary of the pass defense. Oh, and also the tackling. I need to see real fundamentals (edited)

michael: For those of you reading at home, it took almost 24 hours for us to address Seth’s defensive question. It’s just that hard to talk about. I’m also in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” camp. I did see that the DB’s were sticking like glue to the WR’s, but they still seemed undersized. The line could actually improve without Fehoko, especially on the pass rush.

meestahrogers: I think we can all say we’re a little gun shy about believing in any meaningful defensive improvement until we see it on the field on Saturdays in the fall. I did think the tackling looked pretty improved in Lubbock on Saturday and that no one (outside of Coutee) found space on the ground or after the catch. The defense seemed much quicker to meet the ball carrier than before

kyle4073: To echo everyone else’s sentiment I don’t think the defense can get any worse so anything above being the worst defense in all of college football represents improvement. My biggest negative at this point is that we don’t really know how these guys will perform once they step foot on a D1 field. The secondary and linebacker groups are going to rely heavily on juco players and the line will need heavy production from either young guys or players who transferred in and sat a year. Hopefully scrimmage production translates to game success.

meestahrogers: My concern with the defense is going to be the secondary, along with Brian. We all know of the adjustment needed to go from Junior college to D1, yet we’re relying heavily on transfers in the secondary to make an impact immediately. And we’ve seen existing players struggle in their current roles last year and we’ve seen coaching abilities come into question on whether players are developing during their time on this team. This could be a big year to either dispel those concerns or affirm the abilities of this coaching staff

sethjungman: So it sounds like you all have chosen the only option that was specifically off-limits, which was “other than Texas Tech has had a historically bad defense”. I applaud and commend each one of you for your steadfastness. What about some of the good things? What’s excited you thus far with the defense?

briandc: Hey I said the secondary!

As for bright spots, believe it or not I’m a bit excited about the defensive line. They may not be world beaters, but I think they’ll be more than competent and even flash a little. I’d also like to invite everybody aboard the Lonzell Gilmore hype train, as I’ve been a fan since his commitment & it looks like he’s starting to really come along

michael: I had a couple of positive comments up there somewhere… I think.

kyle4073: The all around depth on defense has me excited. It looks like Gibbs will be able to run in at least two levels of players at all three levels. It’s great to have those kinds of options and it’s something that the defense has lacked for a few years now. Last year the defense looked like they were finished by the 3rd quarter because it felt like Gibbs was running through a rotation of about 15 players each game.

sethjungman: I was just kidding, truly though, with the defense’s deficiencies it really is just sort of a pick your poison sort of thing. You could choose the secondary or the line and maybe even the linebackers and no one would have been wrong.

And like a lot of you, I’m in the boat of an improvement in depth is hopefully just the beginning and there’s finally some nice pieces to the puzzle. I simply don’t know if we have enough to see a complete picture just yet. The linebackers should be so much better. The secondary should be two-deep and the line should be competent. /furiously rubs rabbit’s foot/

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