Void of DBs

In checking out the NFL rosters to open the 2016 season it is telling that there is not a single Arkansas DB and just one LB (Spaight) on them. And the LB is very promising, but currently second string in Washington.
So while we worry about the current season, this has actually been going on a long time. It is a glaring weakness.
This used to be a program that produced elite safeties. We all know their names. The last two to three years our safeties seem confused and passive. They’ve endlessly taken bad angles and missed tackles if they got there.
The corners have been almost as bad except for the second half of the 2014 season when the Triangle actually worked.
I was surprised hearing CBB and Coach Smith talk like they had been pressing A LOT against LA Tech when, as Jimmy Carter points out, they did only in a minimalist way. There is a communication breakdown there somewhere. I would be interested to know what Coach Rhodes thinks. Hopefully behind the scenes he is making his voice heard.
Watching Alabama dismantle USC the other day it was, as it always is, impressive how aggressively controlled (only way I can think of describing them) their DBs play. No matter who has been out there, year after year, they come at you with speed and power that make ours look slow and passive. Is that coaching? Is that talent? Is that system? I don’t know, but it is clear to see the difference. And NFL rosters are chocked full of their DBs.
Like others, I bought into all the “we are going to press more and have the players to do it” hype the coaches have presented and it is still very early. But until the system and DBs themselves stop playing scared and start attacking I fear the worst in coming weeks.
I have said for the last 13 games, some of them big wins against good teams, that the defensive play calling looks scared, scared of being burned. I think the first game this season the play calling still looked scared. And if these kids are not dumb, and they are not, they recognize the lack of trust and that has to affect their confidence based on the lack of faith.
I look back fondly to Chris Houston lining up across from the receiver and the second the foe moved Houston would pop him. From time to time he would get burned and that would make you crazy, but Houston had a long NFL career and our secondary was much better back then.
Tolliver, Ramierez, Pulley and Coley are guys that look like they would be very comfortable POPPING someone at the line of scrimmage. I think it is time we let them. Some athletes make mistakes if they have too much time to think. They are at their best when they react to challenge, like a good third baseman. I am starting to think we have a group of guys like that. And they should be treated as such.

Amen too that!

I love this post! it hits the heart of fan interest in defense against spread teams.

I know it is hard for the coaches to say that they do not have the players to do the job, but the fact is they have been saying that they do. And if they do not give them the chance to show what they can do in a more aggressive system they/we will never know.

I watched the first half of TCU’s game last night and their receivers are better than what we faced last week. I think if we truly do make changes and adjustments we can beat them because Hill looks like a game losing mistake waiting to happen and there were holes in their vaunted D. But Hill’s mistakes came when he threw downfield. If we let his receivers be wide open seven yards down the field he won’t have to do that.
This is going to be a very interesting week.

It’s a lot different than back then. Only 2 receivers out at a time. Also refs called the gme different. Chris was called numerous times on pass inference.
I wished they would line a quick LB on the slot with a little help and knock the snot out of them. once u start getting popped EVERY down u get slower

It is their fault that we don’t have the DBs. Recruiting does matter and you can’t just “coach them up”

Good Post!!

Hurst you said what so many see and the video review from Jimmy showed

I watched in person the bama game and Bret keeps talking he wants to out bama bama well…

We are no where close with our defense we lack instinct and aggressive plays on the ball…most of the time we look lost

Yes it was one game but spread teams have been eating our lunch over & over since Coach B arrived and while he may not like the spread he better figure out how to defend it!

Spread teams ate our lunch last year. They did not the year before when we had a Top 10 defense (Bama was 12th that year).

I guess it’s all about perspective. You all in this thread say we were scared. I would call it being aware. Last year against TTech and others we lost close games by turning loose slot receivers by playing them tight despite mismatches.

And, while I get as frustrated as the next guy when a team catches an uncontested short pass on us, to be honest, I’m not sure why everyone is acting like breathless 13-yr old girls this week.

We gave up a grand total of 20 points (6 in the second half) despite repeatedly giving LaTech the short field.

LaTech threw for all of 212 yards on 31 attempts and ran for 79, a large portion of which came on a draw before half when we were expecting pass.

It’s too bad we don’t have an upcoming opponent with which to compare those statistics–say a ranked power 5 team who gave up 121 more passing yards than us on the EXACT same number of attempts from a lesser opponent than La Tech.

It’s too bad we don’t have an upcoming opponent with which to compare who gave up 20 more points than us to a lesser opponent than LaTech.

It’s too bad we don’t have an upcoming opponent with which to compare who have up almost a half a yard more per rush against a lesser opponent than LaTech.

Look–I get it. The approach is frustrating. And, the secondary may up being an undermanned, ineffective unit.

But, it was one game and the performance wasn’t nearly as bad as people are acting. For as much as everyone wants to gripe about the approach–it worked.

And, while we can and should aspire to being as good in defense as the biggest CFB dynasty in the last 30 years (and were on par with them, statistically at the end of a season 20 months ago, the truth is that maybe 1-2 teams stack up with them, defensively, every year in terms of talent, experience and coaching.

So, maybe, just maybe, the defense is better than you think. It will undoubtedly give up a lot of yards, tomorrow, but if they get a few stops and turnovers and we win the game, that’s a winning performance in the CFB world in which we live.

That’s why there were only 2 SECW teams in the NCAA last year in total defense and those were Bama at 3 and LSU all the way down at 25.

If we don’t improve drastically from last year on defense, I’ll be right there with all of you. But, so far, we’ve played 1 game and despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth it was far from the defensive disaster that it is being labeled.

Even while giving up a bunch of yards and points out seconds came up big, tonight, overall. They definitely dispelled the notion that we are devoid of dbs.

One safety was again a source of some of the major busts. He’s gonna have to cut that out to keep playing. But, overall, they weathered the storm.

This was a top 15 opponent, and we abused one of their main Dbs.

It’s just hard do completely shut down teams like this. Even the omniscient Saban has had issues with the spread.

But no, we aren’t devoid of Dbs. We have some talent there. But, just like all but a handful of schools, we thin out when you start talking 5th, 6th and 7th CB.