Returning starters of little importance unless........

…they use that experience and the off-season to become SEC impact players. We returned 3/4’s of our defense last year and we got worse, not better. We return 4/5’s of our offensive line next year and that, by itself, is not good enough. If some of those returnees solidify, grow stronger, grow smarter, grow mentally tougher and take a big step up in ability, I can get excited. Just showing up after starting last year is no guarantee of progress. Our supposedly tough team turned into mental wimps against Missouri and, when they really coached hard for a strong second half, stunk it up even worse against VaTech. Those players returning doesn’t inspire a lot of hope. Those players after a tough off season, after new inspiration is applied, after a sports psychologist is hired to develop mental toughness, then, maybe, we can have hope for better results next year.

Last year’s team embarrassed themselves and the program against Auburn, Missouri, and VaTech. Those players need to be replaced with new and much improved versions of themselves or other better players. Long was not exaggerating when he said changes need to be made.

There isn’t anyone around our program who doesn’t know changes need to be made. Jeff Long knows. Bielema knows. The players know; they’re embarrassed by what happened at Charlotte, and they know if they don’t bust tail in offseason, in the spring, in the summer and in camp in August, someone else will take their minutes. The assistants know too; they’re just hoping the changes don’t have them calling a moving van. The easy answer is to replace a coordinator, but the easy answer is not always the right one.

We run a gap control Dline funneling plays to the LB’s and that is fine…if you have run pluggers on the line and SEC quality LB’s. The problem is that we had fast twitch athletes like Agim and Ledbetter playing gap control. Wise and Taiwan Johnson are not big enough to be run pluggers. Did you notice how well our Dline got after the VaTech QB in the first half? We turned the gap control Dline loose and let their real talent shine via an attacking Dline. I think the front 7 is going to be OK with Greenlaw, Ramsey and Harris but the back 4 scare me outside of Pulley.

I think Henre’ Toliver is fine in the back end. Safeties must improve. I want more size in the middle of the defensive line. I want to see what Austin Capps, Briston Guidry, Jonathan Marshall and McTelvin Agim can do in the front. I believe they’ll be good. I also like what I hear about Michael Taylor. The coaches seem excited about the young linebackers and I like Dre Greenlaw and De’Jon Harris. I hear good things about the others, but have not seen it yet with my eyes. Perhaps they are going to be good players, too. Dwayne Eugene was up and down.

I forgot about Tolliver and Taylor. I like Tolliver but wish he had more speed. Many fans forget Capps is true FR that has not had an offseason with Herb.

he did not have a redshirt year available is what I remember, so unless he has broken all the way through it would not seem like he will be much of an answer. Speed kills and that was his forte was it not? Greenlaw is great at running them down, but easy as (choose your expletive) to run straight at. I was embarrassed for he and Ramsey in the bowl for taking little side steps to bring down the big QB when he was on straight out run plays like on the goal line. Easy to spot, hard to hide and even easier to exploit. What the heck is the end point for Bijhon? Good, bad or indifferent. He definitely seems to be much more of the last. How many of those guys labelled returning starter who got that designation late actually feel like they are potential team leaders?

It seemed like Toliver played better on the outside instead of in the slot.