How does the defense get fixed moving forward?

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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.
That's why we have AD White. He can "help" Heupel make those decisions.
 

LWSVOL

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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.
I think the staff could have done better. for example, they should have blitz the hell out of Rattler IMO. Maybe that would not have changed the outcome but maybe it would have. Needed to "rattle" Rattler. Never tried to make him uncomfortable. That would have helped the defensive backs who are not SEC level talents. my opinion.

Heuple had to take a chance on Banks because he could not get anyone better. Banks replacement will also be someone he has to take a chance on.. a Position guy or a DC at a lower level school. and he might do that.
 
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USCe was our D's first game creating zero turnovers (which contributing to their once-in-a-decade scoring drive percentage).

With our offense, it's no secret that the key is for our defense to create turnovers or punts, allowing our offense to add scores, which then makes the opposition's offense one-dimensional, making it even easier on our defense.

Whether it was scheming, more uncalled holding, or less effort from our pass rush, we didn't apply our usual amount of pressure on Rattler.

That leveraged their strongest asset against our worst, youngest, and now thinnest, part of our defense.

Just keep recruiting better, faster players and if our D is creating turnovers or punts, it won't matter where they're ranked in yards allowed, or even points. Heupel knew from Day One what kind of defense his offense requires. We over-achieved this season, and that can only improve recruiting.

Enjoy each day's good news, and remember this is a multi-year rebuild from the absolute pits.
 
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I don't think the defense under Heupel will ever be elite for several reasons. The defense spends way too much time on the field. 40+ minutes per game. That'll wear your legs out through a long season ad increase your probability of injury. Which is what I thought we saw at USCe. I don't think anyone quit or laid down or succumbed to infighting. I think the defense has lost their legs from playing so many plays all year. Because of Heupels offense philosophy I also don't think elite defensive players will come here to play. Why subject yourself to 50-70% chance of wearing out and also of getting injured when you can shine on an elite defense at more ball control oriented schools like Georgia, or Michigan, or the like.
 
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wmcovol

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Teach secondary how to execute. Teach players to wrap up and tackle.
My high school coach had a saying whenever someone on our team would get beat, "Its hard to win the Kentucky Derby riding a jersey cow"......

Teaching tackling starts with someone willing to tackle. Believe it or not but alot of guys dont have that desire in them. DBs especially can go a long way up the ladder without it.
 
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GreyWolf1129

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You will never convince me that our defensive players are bottom of the SEC in talent or near the bottom in all of FBS. Do we need better players? Yes, but the ones we have are not that bad.

Fish rots from the head down, and this defense is rotten. Time to make some changes.

Go Vols.
 
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I don't think the defense under Heupel will ever be elite for several reasons. The defense spends way too much time on the field. 40+ minutes per game. That'll wear your legs out through a long season ad increase your probability of injury. Which is what I thought we saw at USCe. I don't think anyone quit or laid down or succumbed to infighting. I think the defense has lost their legs from playing so many plays all year. Because of Heupels offense philosophy I also don't think elite defensive players will come here to play. Why subject yourself to 50-70% chance of wearing out and also of getting injured when you can shine on an elite defense at more ball control oriented schools like Georgia, or Michigan, or the like.
I think you make some valid points about why it is more difficult but don’t agree with the conclusion we will never have an elite offense under Heupel. Well let rephrase that: I think he could have one, but your points do make it harder for him. I think it’s possible what you say is true, but also think it could theoretically be done, but is difficult. Also I am not sure we have to have an elite defense to compete for championships. We need a much better one though.

We have to decide what we mean by elite. I think he could have a defense that plays snap for snap as good anyone. They will still always be playing a lot more snaps than in a traditional system though so some stats are going to look worse than a Georgia or Alabama. That said, they could be really good still and certainly we could win championships but all of your points stand as things that make it harder.

We need good athletes, better than we have but it’s not just that. We need a lot of them. Obviously people talk about depth, but it’s not just that we have be deep with good athletes. In a traditional system you want to be deep with great athletes but they have time to learn and develop before they take over barring injuries.

In a system like ours where defense is on the field so much we need to be able to rotate guys in and they need to be able to do the job well now, not in the future, because they will play earlier than they might somewhere else. They will be taking snaps regularly as part of the strategy, not because they have to due to being the next man up.

At least in theory, I think that could work, but there are challenges that make practically doing harder, so whether CJH can do it or not I’m unsure. You gotta get all those good defensive guys to come here, and you need a lot of them. To your point getting them to do so could be tough. I think they could be fine in terms of injury risk if you can switch guys in and out, but some defensive stats are still going to suffer in comparison to other teams.

The question I wonder is if you do get the guys, can enough of them be ready to play at a high level in the same season where rotating as suggested can be done without seeing a drop off? More people playing in each game means people having less time to be able to develop before they have to play. It seems like it would totally change you have to practice in distributing reps, which makes one wonder if you’d get more guys ready to play, or does it mean no one may be ready enough?

It also means the people substituted in have to be functioning with the rest of the defense correctly. The defense is a unit with pieces that have to learn to work together. The communication and such can’t suffer. We have seen deep teams in regular systems be able to have great line play while moving guys in and out. I’d argue we have done a great job at that too, but can the same principles work in the secondary?

Now back to what we mean by elite. My theory is the defense on every snap could play as well as anyone could on that snap if what I mentioned above can be achieved. It’s a big if, though. It also maybe doesn’t have to be achievable for us to play well enough to be dominant enough that we are likely to win any game.

Our defense needs to be a lot better, but maybe a “great” or even “good” defense would be enough to compete at a high level every year and “be as good on every snap as Georgia or Alabama would be able to play that snap” is not necessary.
 
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I don’t buy that the D laid down. Remember Beasleys tackle in Rattler in the open field. Don’t look like a guy who laid down. Rattler played the game of his life and everything he threw was perfect. We got basically no pressure on him which makes it impossible to cover a receiver for 5-10 seconds. Alabama basically did the same to us. We just outscored them.

IF there is drama in the defensive squad look for us to lose players to the portal and recruits.
 

volfeeva

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Teach secondary how to execute. Teach players to wrap up and tackle.
I'd also say teach them that if you're getting beat on a wide open play that is a for sure TD, go ahead and PI the guy cause that is only 15 yards vs allowing a TD. Of course you gotta be close enough to PI them first.
 
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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 e coour defense fixed? How long should we we’ve realistically expect it to take?
While we have three 4star CB recruits we do not know how it will translate to next level. 4 stars is generally based on speed and does not mean they have the skill set to be a man to man press coverage corner. Clearly, our current CBs do NOT have that skill set. There’s a reason we’ve played soft zone all year. The best way to find a few DBs with that skill set is through the portal but hard to assess how many will be available. If we do not see a few DBs pulled in through the portal then I would suggest we have a much deeper issue.
 
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If Beamer's staff "unmasked" our defense's secret vulnerability, we will see the same scheme/strategy employed by Vandy Saturday--and our staff's countermeasures. ...unless, the vulnerability is that of specific defensive players who we cannot replace.

But does anyone really believe USCe found and exploited something that the coaching staffs from Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Missouri couldn't?

After seeing the stats and hearing all the arguments, I'm still convinced we either saw the "perfect storm" (note: we've yet to perform well in front of a loud, hostile crowd) or evidence of a ruptured brake line--internal damage to the team's mindset.
 
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I think you make some valid points about why it is more difficult but don’t agree with the conclusion we will never have an elite offense under Heupel. Well let rephrase that: I think he could have one, but your points do make it harder for him. I think it’s possible what you say is true, but also think it could theoretically be done, but is difficult. Also I am not sure we have to have an elite defense to compete for championships. We need a much better one though.

We have to decide what we mean by elite. I think he could have a defense that plays snap for snap as good anyone. They will still always be playing a lot more snaps than in a traditional system though so some stats are going to look worse than a Georgia or Alabama. That said, they could be really good still and certainly we could win championships but all of your points stand as things that make it harder.

We need good athletes, better than we have but it’s not just that. We need a lot of them. Obviously people talk about depth, but it’s not just that we have be deep with good athletes. In a traditional system you want to be deep with great athletes but they have time to learn and develop before they take over barring injuries.

In a system like ours where defense is on the field so much we need to be able to rotate guys in and they need to be able to do the job well now, not in the future, because they will play earlier than they might somewhere else. They will be taking snaps regularly as part of the strategy, not because they have to due to being the next man up.

At least in theory, I think that could work, but there are challenges that make practically doing harder, so whether CJH can do it or not I’m unsure. You gotta get all those good defensive guys to come here, and you need a lot of them. To your point getting them to do so could be tough. I think they could be fine in terms of injury risk if you can switch guys in and out, but some defensive stats are still going to suffer in comparison to other teams.

The question I wonder is if you do get the guys, can enough of them be ready to play at a high level in the same season where rotating as suggested can be done without seeing a drop off? More people playing in each game means people having less time to be able to develop before they have to play. It seems like it would totally change you have to practice in distributing reps, which makes one wonder if you’d get more guys ready to play, or does it mean no one may be ready enough?

It also means the people substituted in have to be functioning with the rest of the defense correctly. The defense is a unit with pieces that have to learn to work together. The communication and such can’t suffer. We have seen deep teams in regular systems be able to have great line play while moving guys in and out. I’d argue we have done a great job at that too, but can the same principles work in the secondary?

Now back to what we mean by elite. My theory is the defense on every snap could play as well as anyone could on that snap if what I mentioned above can be achieved. It’s a big if, though. It also maybe doesn’t have to be achievable for us to play well enough to be dominant enough that we are likely to win any game.

Our defense needs to be a lot better, but maybe a “great” or even “good” defense would be enough to compete at a high level every year and “be as good on every snap as Georgia or Alabama would be able to play that snap” is not necessary.
I concur with all that. They just need to be “good enough”. That’s a tough one to define, though. As far as needing a lot of them I was thinking about how hockey has a lot of them and they play in short shifts of high energy. That’s kinda what our defense needs to be able to do.
 
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I concur with all that. They just need to be “good enough”. That’s a tough one to define, though. As far as needing a lot of them I was thinking about how hockey has a lot of them and they play in short shifts of high energy. That’s kinda what our defense needs to be able to do.
Maybes a lot of sense. Seems like the strength and conditioning aspect probably is a little different if you run this kind of offense.
 

cgrish

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One other thought with this. When it comes to defense do you have to have better players to make a leap on defense? I mean with the offense you can scheme better it seems like. So in theory you can do more with less talent on offense than you can on defense. Do we think that it's just a matter of talent then? Should Huepel wait for better talent to get there on defense before he decides on Banks? Also how does him being fired as an assistant play into this? Would he give people a longer leash knowing what it's like on the other end of that? Will he have the guts to do it when he needs to? Has he ever had to fire anyone in his short time as a head coach? So many thoughts on this. I don't really know what the answer is.
IMO the defensive scheme needs to be changed. We play too for off from the receivers; give too much of a cushion. We also have to pressure the qb, and we have done that a lot this year, even if we had to do an all out blitz. Which I think we need to do more of this especially on 3rd and long, this down has killed us all year. Go with an all out blitz on 3rd and long, we have nothing to lose as their receivers are going to be open anyway if we drop back in coverage. Sack the qb or put enough pressure he makes an inacurage throw. With all this said, I do believe we need better players also.
 
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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?
The NIL and portal until we've recruited the answers we need.
 
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beachvol23

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I don't think the defense under Heupel will ever be elite for several reasons. The defense spends way too much time on the field. 40+ minutes per game. That'll wear your legs out through a long season ad increase your probability of injury. Which is what I thought we saw at USCe. I don't think anyone quit or laid down or succumbed to infighting. I think the defense has lost their legs from playing so many plays all year. Because of Heupels offense philosophy I also don't think elite defensive players will come here to play. Why subject yourself to 50-70% chance of wearing out and also of getting injured when you can shine on an elite defense at more ball control oriented schools like Georgia, or Michigan, or the like.
TOP is misleading because most of the time is spent by teams running down the clock. With all the analytics, I’m sure they keep track of what actual play time is. It would be good to know! Number of plays also is related.
 
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TOP is misleading because most of the time is spent by teams running down the clock. With all the analytics, I’m sure they keep track of what actual play time is. It would be good to know! Number of plays also is related.
Good point. Haven’t found stats for this year yet. But last year the offense averaged 70 plays per game and defense was on field for average of 77 plays per game. That was third most in the country.
 
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