How does the defense get fixed moving forward?

#76

Stephen Gray

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#76
Its funny that I’m reading your comments now as a Mizz fan told me three weeks ago this would happen. I told him he was an angry Mizz fan so me Heup left them over night but to accept the coaching job at Central FL. Well, maybe he was correct.

He said a couple of things:

1. Oklahoma- Stoops fired him because he didn’t want to adapt certain schemes to improve time of possession. I wasn’t there so who knows.

2. Mizz- same as number one. He was only interested on his side of the ball, meaning not as concerned with complimentary football. Again, I want there

3. Central FL- head coach and offense put up points. He thought he could outscore everyone each week.
He recruited mostly offensive players and less time on defense

My take - Heup is a former QB with an offensive mind. He has two years of head coaching experience in the best league in the country. He now understands the feeling (as head coach) of being number one for a week and losing a possible playoff birth due to inexplicable and inexcusable defensive performance.

My hope is he will help land elite defensive players and find the position coaches (if they are not on staff) to develop them. Also, I hope he hits the portal as the incoming freshmen won’t be ready to play SEC football.
You aren’t crazy about Heupel being an offensive mind, but he doesn’t call the defense. I doubt he has ever believed that a great offense is all he needs. Many are calling for some defensive coaching changes. I am still undecided, but I am more concerned with whether CJH will do so if it needs to be done than I am with him thinking offense is all you need. It can’t be easy to fire your friends, even when it needs to happen.

Yeah offense is what he loves and is best at but as long as he has a good coordinator, position coaches, and talented recruits there is no reason what he does on offense should hinder the ability to also have a good defense.

The fast tempo stuff might result in less time of possession, and conditioning becomes very important for the defense, but if anything, doing as well as we have running that offense with the defense we are fielding makes me think we would dominate if we had anything close to what Alabama or Georgia fields every year.

He’s the head coach, not the offensive coordinator, so he has to care about both sides of the ball. He doesn’t have to teach defense or call the plays, but he does have to put the right people in to do that. Someone, probably those defensive coaches, have to get the recruits needed.

It’s great we have an elite offense, and I am proud of many things the defense has done. That said, we can improve on that side of the ball, and we must improve there. If we can do it with who we have, fine, but if a change is needed it is up to the head coach to do so. A good offense might win you plenty of games, and give you a puncher’s chance in most any of them, but you will be in trouble anytime there are some hiccups. To consistently have good chances against top tier competition we need to play better defense.

We have had some really good success, but also have some clear areas to improve, especially on the defensive side of the ball. At the end of the day it is Heupel’s job to make the entire team as good as possible.
 
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#77

titansvolsfaninga

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#77
What's your proof? I've seen that accusation floating around.

This isn't the first time Banks has been out prepared and been made a fool of in play calling.
Tackling, missed assignments. It was 3rd and 10, Rattler ran for a 1st down. Flowers didn't even come up to engage Rattler until he had the 1st down, and then he got stiffed armed like Rattler was DH. The entire display was pathetic.
 
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#79

titansvolsfaninga

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#79
Maybe none I have no idea.

With the O Tennessee has they don’t need an elite D to be really good.

Tennessee certainly has the personal to not allow Martin to gain almost 400 on them……to let SC gain 600+ on them……to let Ball ST gain nearly 400 on them…….to let Richardson pass for 450+ on them.

This is not the most lopsided lack of talented D roster in FBS……….therefore Anemic O’s should not be allowed to preform better than they do vs FCS teams.

I’ve made excuses for the D for 2 seasons. I’ve tried everything to skew the D stats. It simply is what it is. And Banks is not working at Tennessee.
At some point you have to look at the players. The tackling was abysmal, that's not being out schemed or out coached. That's lack of effort. Slaughter is a safety he shouldn't be playing corner. Flowers shouldn't be on the field. Tank shouldn't be on the field. It is what it is. Changing coaches, you will still have the same players.
 
#81

Tnphil

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#81
JMO....I see no way that Heupel can retain his defensive cord after the season. You can't give up 63 points to the 92nd ranked offense that was USC and keep the status quo...Theres no explaining or making excuses for that...Our pass defense is last in the country and we are ranked 100th in total defense. Things have got to give....and I think Heupel is smart enough not to ride that ship down to the bottom.
 
#82

JoAllan

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#82
At some point you have to look at the players. The tackling was abysmal, that's not being out schemed or out coached. That's lack of effort. Slaughter is a safety he shouldn't be playing corner. Flowers shouldn't be on the field. Tank shouldn't be on the field. It is what it is. Changing coaches, you will still have the same players.
At some point you have to look at the players. The tackling was abysmal, that's not being out schemed or out coached. That's lack of effort. Slaughter is a safety he shouldn't be playing corner. Flowers shouldn't be on the field. Tank shouldn't be on the field. It is what it is. Changing coaches, you will still have the same players.
With your first part your thinking just the SC game.

Who puts those players on the field? If they are scoring almost every time they get the ball would it hurt to “try” someone else……anyone else?

Would it hurt to blitz the house? Or blitz frequently?

At the point Saturday was……..do anything differently……..Banks didn’t.

However none of this accounts for 400 and 24 given up to FCS Martin. Ball State gaining nearly 350……..this can’t happen even with the players on the field that Tennessee has.

Banks has seen what his D can and cannot do…….he knows what his team’s strengths are……..he simply hasn’t been able to deliver even vs the weakest of teams on any type of consistency. Nor has he been able to develop or improve.

These things are on HIM.

Heupel can come in with a VERY limited roster. Take an O that was horrendous and turn them into amazing within months………so it CAN happen.

Don’t need him to make the D amazing. Don’t need him to make the players be something their not………but what he has is WAY better they they have performed!!!!
 
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#84

Stephen Gray

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#84
What's your proof? I've seen that accusation floating around.

This isn't the first time Banks has been out prepared and been made a fool of in play calling.
I agree with you. There has to be some blame shared with the coaches. The players did not play well, and clearly they did not show up as the best versions of themselves. That they laid down or threw the game is something many are saying, but I just don’t see it. Competitive athletes who hate to lose and have pride do not lose on purpose. All of this locker room stuff may or may not have some truth and definitely it could have been distracting and as a result people were not focused on what they should have been. Any number of other things could have also caused people to do so. Even just hearing how easy the game would be repeatedly and how bad the SC offense was could have been enough. Teams can and do overlook opponents.

The players obviously need to be evaluated to figure out where they made mistakes and what can be done better. That is always true, and while they play the game, the coaches also need to look at what they did themselves and how they could have done things better as a staff. Ultimately the coaching staff failed to field a team prepared to give an acceptable effort and level of play for that game. If there were locker room issues, other distractions, or whatever, they were not handled adequately. If players were not as focused and urgent as they should be, they needed to be motivated and reminded about what their priorities should be and responsibilities are. Mostly I really just hope they figure it out and the team plays well against Vanderbilt.
 
#85

DirtyDawg

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#85
To add to my earlier post, TN just needs to recruit top players. Coaching in CFB today is much more than the X’s and O’s. Every coach needs to be a great evaluator of talent and a great recruiter for success. And of course needs to develop that talent. TN is certainly capable of that much to my dismay, but it’s true. I don’t know how TN coaching across the board is but I do believe CJH is a good head coach. Your recent success isn’t only bc you’ve had a great QB.

I speak of GA’s recent success only bc it’s what I’m familiar with. We wouldn’t be where we are without Kirby being a relentless recruiter. And also all the position coaches following that example. TN is in prime recruiting territory, and the incoming class looks pretty good. Make it better every year and things will continue to look great.

I seem to remember Fulmer owning the recruiting trail once upon a time. Yes GA, Bama, LSU, and FL are tough competition for recruiting, but TN has recruited ridiculously before. The right people working for this program can do it again.
 
#86

titansvolsfaninga

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#86
With your first part your thinking just the SC game.

Who puts those players on the field? If they are scoring almost every time they get the ball would it hurt to “try” someone else……anyone else?

Would it hurt to blitz the house? Or blitz frequently?

At the point Saturday was……..do anything differently……..Banks didn’t.

However none of this accounts for 400 and 24 given up to FCS Martin. Ball State gaining nearly 350……..this can’t happen even with the players on the field that Tennessee has.

Banks has seen what his D can and cannot do…….he knows what his team’s strengths are……..he simply hasn’t been able to deliver even vs the weakest of teams on any type of consistency. Nor has he been able to develop or improve.

These things are on HIM.

Heupel can come in with a VERY limited roster. Take an O that was horrendous and turn them into amazing within months………so it CAN happen.

Don’t need him to make the D amazing. Don’t need him to make the players be something their not………but what he has is WAY better they they have performed!!!!
I'm hard pressed to find players to replace the ones on defense that are horrendous.
 
#87

Carl Pickens

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#87
How does Huepel go about fixing our defense? I know a lot of us would say recruiting. We have three 4 star CB's committed at this point. We have several highly ranked d-line commits which will help put pressure on the QB which we know is important. Will 3 highly ranked CB's help us out enough next year? Does it even matter if our defensive coaching staff stays the same? I mean look what our offense has produced with what we have! Most of our offensive guys were not highly ranked in recruiting. Coaching has just brought out the best in them. Defense has not been the same. It seems that Huepel had a hard time getting a defensive coordinator when he was hired. Could he do any better now if he decided to move on from Banks or is the offense we run make d-coordinators just not want to come here? Huepel has done such a good job overall but if he wants to ever take the next step we have to have a top 20-30 defense. I think that would be enough to have us competing for championships if our offense stays towards the top. What do you think Huepel has to do to get our defense fixed? How long should we realistically expect it to take?
3 mannequins from Dillard’s will help
 
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#91

VAVol85

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#91
I think it is people trying to explain something they don't understand with conjecture about something else they don't understand.

It is a common occurrence in combat that guys who hate each other put aside their differences to fight the enemy. IMO, there is essentially zero chance one player much less a conspiracy of players so completely bought in for over a year threw it all away over one incident... even a bad one.

You are right. Something like that may have distracted their preparation. The only reason players might take that kind of risk is if they're fairly certain they can get someone they hate or distrust fired. I don't believe that either.

USCe found some things. Some things have worked for other teams. But they pieced it together. They played as if they knew the game plan and were in Banks' headset. Shoot. That's more realistic than a player rebellion. Maybe they spied. There's probably more evidence that the officials threw the game than UT's players did.
I agree - this talk of throwing the game is ridiculous. Look at LSU against us this year. They looked clueless and the receivers were fighting with the QB. Now they are in the SEC championship. For most teams, the difference between success and failure is pretty small and it doesn’t take much to knock a team off their game.
 
#92

JBVolunteer

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#92
The most successful point in the season for the defense was because of a successful pass rush. For whatever reason we have not been able to get pressure on the QB since the Kentucky game. The defense looked beaten from the start of the game Saturday. My assumptions have to be that players are probably battling injury and we just don’t have the depth it takes down the stretch.

I definitely understand the frustration with Tim Banks and Martinez and I mostly agree with the consensus that it ‘may be’ in the program’s best interest to move another direction. However, making staff changes won’t help team continuity right away… it doesn’t improve the depth charts… it doesn’t help with incoming recruits whom have built relationships with these coaches.

The entire country has seen a glimpse of what this program is capable of and it is exciting. More than anything else; we need program stability and personally, I’m sick of coaching changes. We finally have the right leader for our program. If Coach Heup believes changes are needed; so be it but if he believes he has the right staff; I trust his judgement.
 
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#93

West Vol

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#93
The book has been written on Martinez. Getting torched repeatedly is what happens when he is coaching your DBs. He’s got an excuse with the talent level this year, but if we want things to improve we need a better coach there.
 
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#94

vols40

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#94
Well for the most part “us fans” don’t have the answers to what I brought up. However I’m sure Heupel, White, or someone in the program could. We don’t even know what kind of $$ their willing. That’s why I said what I said.

I don’t mind giving names; however without answers……no one will know.

Many have suggested:

Ryan Walters, young, good experience, coached with Heupel, has one of the best D’s in the country this season.


Barry Odem, I’m not keen on this one. Former HC, big name, but are his D’s great?

Derek Mason, former HC, had great success, terrible this season (one season does not define).

Phil Parker, probably a no go but also probably the best in the country. Offer the man a ton and see what happens.

DJ Durkin, great DC in a terrible situation at A&M
I like Walters and we know what Mason can do on D.
 
#95

LWSVOL

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#95
How does Huepel go about fixing our defense? I know a lot of us would say recruiting. We have three 4 star CB's committed at this point. We have several highly ranked d-line commits which will help put pressure on the QB which we know is important. Will 3 highly ranked CB's help us out enough next year? Does it even matter if our defensive coaching staff stays the same? I mean look what our offense has produced with what we have! Most of our offensive guys were not highly ranked in recruiting. Coaching has just brought out the best in them. Defense has not been the same. It seems that Huepel had a hard time getting a defensive coordinator when he was hired. Could he do any better now if he decided to move on from Banks or is the offense we run make d-coordinators just not want to come here? Huepel has done such a good job overall but if he wants to ever take the next step we have to have a top 20-30 defense. I think that would be enough to have us competing for championships if our offense stays towards the top. What do you think Huepel has to do to get our defense fixed? How long should we realistically expect it to take?
needs to get a lot more talent on defense.

Until then, the only way to improve it is to slow the tempo on offense. JMO
 
#96

GreyWolf1129

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#96
needs to get a lot more talent on defense.

Until then, the only way to improve it is to slow the tempo on offense. JMO
So you think the defensive staff could not have done any better with what they have on the roster?

Our players are at the bottom of 130 against the pass? In all of the FBS?

Sorry, but not buying it. Time for a change at (at least) the DB coach. Probably best to make a change now at DC as well.

Edit: With this offense, there are rising position coaches and DC's who know they can tear ass in the SEC behind this offense. An aggressive, attacking defense would likely do well behind this offense. When the opponent knows that every possession counts, you have them at a disadvantage if you attack on every down.

Gimme a meat-eater at DC, and let him pick his staff.

Or we can just do this again next year, and hope to right the ship in '24.

Go Vols.
 
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#97

Stephen Gray

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#97
So you think the defensive staff could not have done any better with what they have on the roster?

Our players are 130 out of 131 against the pass? In all of the FBS?

Sorry, but not buying it. Time for a change at (at least) the DB coach. Probably best to make a change now at DC as well.

Or we can just do this again next year, and hope to right the ship in '24.

Go Vols.
It’s not even just if the staff could do better. Maybe we need better staff but we need better dudes. Make changes on defense right now and the recruits tied those coaches might not stick around. I’m not saying we don’t make a change by the way. Just that it’s not so simple as get better coaches.
 
#98
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#98
I think at this point in time a whole restructure is in order. You need to strike while the iron is hot.

We are at a crossroads of sorts. we go out with a huge splash of a hire and progress to the next level of program. Or we settle or mediocrity and hope our recruiting finds a way to make things work. I just hope we make the right choice….
 
#99
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#99
It’s not even just if the staff could do better. Maybe we need better staff but we need better dudes. Make changes on defense right now and the recruits tied those coaches might not stick around. I’m not saying we don’t make a change by the way. Just that it’s not so simple as get better coaches.
Hire the guy that they all want to play for and it’s a non issue..
 
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