Pass defense. Talent, coaching or both?

#26

volmanNC

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#26
Talent needs an upgrade, but that takes time even with the portal.

There also needs to be a word limit on posts.
There is for sure MORE than just a talent problem. Now a lot of talent might hide the other issues, but there are other issues.

I am just not sure if it is the coaching, the play calling. or all the above.

This came to head in the USCe game, but it had been showing almost all year and even last year also! (and that was with Taylor)

Remember last year's bowl game?
 
#27

Allvols1996

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#27
An exceptionally great coach won't make an average corner into an above average one. All of the whining and complaining is worse than the secondary. The game was last week, yet the moaning continues on....
Yes, imagine that, discussing the very last game we played. Hell brother, people are still lamenting and discussing losses from 20 and 30 years ago.
 
#28
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#28
Any team that jumps out to a lead and continues running a hurry up offense is going to leave their defense on the field for extended periods of time, in almost exclusively passing situations.

My non-expert opinion? Heupel better learn to protect his defense. This was a sore spot when he was at previous stops.
 
#30

JoeBob

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#30
Now that UT has a proven winner in Coach Hype, they might be able to attract better defensive assistants/coaches as the risk isn’t as great.
Heup got to UT 2 weeks after signing period '21. Tim Banks was one of the experienced db coaches with few other coaches available so Heup had to take him.
2 years later, we cannot afford not to make a change. We need quality and depth because the offense plays so fast.
 
#31

EZE

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#31
It’s both but mainly it’s coaching. Our talent level at linebacker and the secondary isn’t 130 out of 131, Coaches Banks and Martinez are just awful.
I agree, and to take it a bit further….

There are technique issues, and those go on the position coach.

But, more than that to me, our scheme makes little sense a lot of the time. And this goes on the DC. The depth at which the DBs play makes it way too easy for the QB to play pitch-and-catch with his WRs…especially on routes in the middle of the field. At least mix it up.

And, finally, we definitely could use more speed in the secondary. Their reaction time when the ball is in the air is nonexistent.
 
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#32

ETSU VOL

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#32
I spent some time looking through our roster and the current players who are available in our secondary. The problems in this group are obvious to anyone watching. The Vols rank 130 out of 131 teams in pass defense, giving up 303 yards passing per game.

The big question is to what degree does UT’s secondary problem fall on the coaches versus the players? It’s hard to know for sure, but looking through the recruiting profiles of those who signed out of high school, as well as the transfers, they should be getting better performance than the stats portray.

Another question is why other players aren’t seeing the field. Andre Turrentine seemed like a name that was sure to see action. He played a bit early in the year, but has seen little more than sparse mop up duty since. Dee Williams has shown his worth as a shifty and sure-handed punt returner, immediately elevating that position. At CB it’s been a completely different story. Williams has been virtually non existent even in mop up duty.

The bottom line is while there is no clear superstar at DB, the roster has a number of highly recruited and ranked players, that with proper development, should provide decent play in the secondary. Still, this unit performs poorly in all areas, from coverage to tackling.

There is no question the staff needs to upgrade the talent, but what we are seeing goes far beyond skill. These players are poorly coached and lost in this defensive system.

Recruiting rankings are never a guarantee, but teams can typically count on a fair percentage of players living up to their star ranking. With proper coaching and development you’ll have the occasional player who exceeds their ranking, and UT has certainly had its share of those over the years. With this roster, you’d have to believe that there are 6-8 players who were complete busts and somehow, magically, all ended up on the same roster. I’m not buying it.

In the final evaluation, Heupel’s offense doesn’t need a top 20 defense to succeed. I don’t think anyone expected that from this staff by year two. Unfortunately, things appear to be heading in the wrong direction on that side of the ball, and UT will be lucky to finish in the top 100 in total defense.

I’d say a defense anywhere in the top 60 would provide enough support to keep the Vols consistently ahead of the sticks against 90% of the league. With the resources at UT that is an easily obtainable goal.

Just a few seasons ago we believed that averaging 35 points per game was out of reach. With an innovative system and quality development, the Vols shattered that ceiling becoming the most potent offense in the nation. It seems unreasonable that the offensive roster could have so many players exceed their ceiling while the defense has had so few.

Conclusion: There are enough pieces in the secondary to perform better than what the stats reveal. Heupel needs to make staff changes on the defensive side of the ball, and find a coach that can better evaluate talent, develop the roster, and teach the game.
I have been wondering the same. The secondary does not seem to be communicating well with each other. Especially the safeties. I am wondering why the pass rush has disappeared. We light up some teams QB but others it seems like we can’t get close. Anyone know why there is consistency issues here as well?
 
#34

VolForLife83

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#34
weren't all of us asking the same questions when Martinez was here the last time? So Is it then coaching or is the offense causing the defense to look worse because teams are passing to try and keep up?
Scheme, talent and position coaching. Too much cushion, but that may be to hide poor cover skills cause we never adjust. Coaching shows that db's don't look for the ball and are probably taught to attack after the catch. Players usually look like they are shocked when their guy gets the ball. Changes need to happen this off season.
 
#35

cgrish

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#35
I have been wondering the same. The secondary does not seem to be communicating well with each other. Especially the safeties. I am wondering why the pass rush has disappeared. We light up some teams QB but others it seems like we can’t get close. Anyone know why there is consistency issues here as well?
We didn't do very few all out blitzes Sat. night. We rushed 4 and 5 most of the time, I watched the game again and very few all out blitzes.
 
#36

DaddyChad

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#36
1)Talent definitely needs to be in place.
2)Even though we need talent, we shouldn’t be damn near last in pass defense in the entire country. That’s on the coaches period end of story.
3)I’ll also add attitude as well in that secondary is piss poor. Someone on the defensive staff should’ve told Haden to STFU in the Carolina game and stop making himself look like a buffoon as he was getting burnt over and over again. That’s also on the coaches.
 
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#38

Vfl2407

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#38
I think most intelligent Vol fans that know what good football is realize that it’s both a lack of talent and an inability of the current defensive staff to “coach up” what players we do currently have.
The question is does CJH agree.
If he does, The followup question is what is he going to do about it.
id love to see him hire the best DC that money can buy.
And a cherry 🍒 on top of that would be if that new DC would bring some quality defensIve backs with him.
 
#39

JoAllan

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#39
Tennessee certainly could use more talent; however you don’t give up 300+ passing and 24 points the FCS Martin because of “lack of talent.”

Not just one game either……..you don’t give up 600+ to SC because of a talent deficiency, for 350 to Ball ST, for 450+ passing to Richardson, so on and so on.

D COACHING
 
#41

BondJamesBond

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#41
I have heard several former players and media members say we are talent deficient in the defensive secondary. I don't doubt them for a minute on that but I don't think we have the worst secondary talent in the country and that is how they are performing. That tells me there is a deficiency in coaching. Our personnel can't be 130th in athletic ability.
But didn't we have a walk-on playing the second half of the Ga game? Smarter people than me have said that are starters aren't SEC starters and a depth is terrible. Slow is slow and a good coach with talented athletes can create a bad match up.

Martinez did well at other stops since leaving Tennessee the first time. I don't believe he is incompetent and we are the only ones who can see it IMO.
 
#42
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#42
They are slow, so.
1. Coach's put them in a cushion D/bend but don't break sooner or later turnover or penalty to aid (didn't happen)
2. Cushion but missed tackles after catch. (No sure tacklers)
3. Plan was 12 to 14 play drive that would stall. They were getting chunk yards due to missed assignments 5 to 6 plays. (no stops)
4. Coach's stayed with plan to bitter end (hard to comprehend).
 
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#43

landscapingvol

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#43
Any team that jumps out to a lead and continues running a hurry up offense is going to leave their defense on the field for extended periods of time, in almost exclusively passing situations.

My non-expert opinion? Heupel better learn to protect his defense. This was a sore spot when he was at previous stops.
The only way Heupel could have protected that defensive performance would have been to never punt and onside kick it every time.
 
#48

Allvols1996

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#48
Not a fan of reading?
Thanks! That was my thought as well.
I honestly don’t get this page. You’ll have people putting up these random, stream of consciousness, thought of the moment, posts that get left up. A well thought out post that is designed to evoke discussion? TLDR. The fratricide on this forum is something to see.
 
#50

hog88

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#50
LBs and DL coaches are good IMO! everything else that has to do with defense FIRE right after vandy game. give others a chance to audition during bowl or hire others

with this situation it cant be any worse
You make changes AFTER signing day. There’s no hurry in replacing a DB coach or DC, don’t risk some of the class acting in haste.
 

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