Thoughts about our defense


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      • #172711
        5 4

        chinngiskhaan
        Ute Fan
        @chinngiskhaan

        After seeing Devin Lloyd perform so well in his first NFL game, it got me thinking about the great players we’ve had come through here, and the potential impact that has had on our coaching.

        Guys like Devin Lloyd cover up major deficiencies in other players, and in defensive schemes. They make everyone around them, including their coaches look better than they might actually be. In the case of our defensive coaches, I’m not saying he made bad coaches look good, but I do think that our defensive coaches didn’t have to work as hard with him on the defense. They knew, consciously or not, that if the proverbial s**t hit the fan, Devin would almost certianly be there to clean it up… You can see the effects of this in the Pac12 championship game against Oregon where everyone behind him (not his backups, but the players that actually line up behind him on the field) was hurt, and it became too much for him to cover. Once Devin was unable to cover for essentially not having a safety, the defense fell apart and we got gashed big time. This may be a poor example of this, but I think the point still stands.

        This also applied to the guys that played around Devin that are now having to step up and figure things out without him. When he was here, things just seemed to work out because he made them work out. Now that he is gone, players have to actually master their part of the gameplan. We don’t have anyone on this defense who has the experience AND the talent to mask other players’ deficiencies or lack of preparation.

        I believe that we will see the defense improve as the coaches and players now internally realize that if each of them doesn’t execute their responsibility essentially perfectly, things fall apart against good teams.

        Some other examples of players we’ve had like lloyd are:

        – Jaylon Johnson: basically eliminated one half of the field. Almost never saw him do anything in game because the QB just didn’t even bother to throw in his direction.

        – Marcus Williams: Best ball hawk safety we’ve had since Weddle, maybe better at that particular skill.

        – Star: definition of physically dominating. I will never forget him forcing the USC center to sack his own qb. LOL. He made life easier for everyone on the defense by eating up a minimum of two blockers on every down, usually 3.

        – aaaand of course Weddle, though he was a long time ago. Most dominant football player to ever play at the U. Most athletic person I’ve ever seen. ball hawking safety, super glue level cover guy, excellent tackler, great returner, decent punter and passer. He’s probably the reason Whitt and co are still around.

         

      • #172713
        2

        dystopiamembrane
        Ute Fan
        @dystopiamembrane

        Amen

      • #172714
        1 1

        RoboUte
        Ute Fan
        @hamplate

        Jaylon was amazing but I can remember a few occasions where he was thrown at with great success. Michael Pittman and N’keal Harry Pretty much freely ate his lunch.

        • #172716
          1 1

          RoboUte
          Ute Fan
          @hamplate

          Star was absolute beast. Weddle is another level though

        • #172720
          1

          Jake
          Ute Fan
          @jutahfootball

          Debatable. Jaylon gave up some against Nkeal but only gave up a touchdown against Pittman because he fell down. The opposite side got torched in that USC game.

          • #172725
            1 2

            RoboUte
            Ute Fan
            @hamplate

            It’s true that he wasn’t on Pittman the whole time but I also think falling down counts.

            • #172726
              1 2

              RoboUte
              Ute Fan
              @hamplate

              I would go so far as to say that not falling down is key to a DB’s success. Thank you for coming to my TED talk

      • #172715
        7

        stbone
        Ute Fan
        @stbone

        I agree that losing Nephi and Devin has been detrimental to the defense, but I don’t think it is fair to say that these players covered for coaching deficiencies. Rather, the greatness of these players was due to the coaching.

        • #172734
          2

          dystopiamembrane
          Ute Fan
          @dystopiamembrane

          Tomayto, Tomahto…

        • #172737
          4

          chinngiskhaan
          Ute Fan
          @chinngiskhaan

          That is another way to look at it, at least as valid as my approach. Though, even if the coaches are the reason he became so good, they may have eased up once he did become that good. Just a thought.

          • #172749
            3

            stbone
            Ute Fan
            @stbone

            Initially, I don’t like how Utah and the modern game coaches linebackers to play.

            That said, Utah consistently and dramatically improves players games at every defensive position from year to year, and this is especially the case at linebacker. I had no faith in Cody Barton, and then, he became brilliant. I had no faith in Devin Lloyd after his first year, and then he became one of the best all-time Utah defensive players. The only players that don’t significantly improve (and in most cases don’t improve far beyond their talent level) are the ones that get a bad attitude and don’t seem to try.

            I don’t like Utah’s defensive scheme – I hate nickel as a base defense. However, Utah consistently is able to suck the life out of teams with this defense and force them to eventually make crucial mistakes. Last year, this defense was never out of its depth until a third string RB was the starting CB. That is pretty amazing, and is 100% on the coaches ability to teach and 100% on the players being teachable. Last years results were so impressive, especially given that based on recruiting stars, that team had no business getting anywhere near the level they did.

            When I see this same thing play out every year, over and over, I can’t deny that Utah is doing an incredible job developing talent and scheming for other teams. The problem with this model is that development takes time, and the defense is now reloading at key positions. (if we had Devin or Nephi still, we probably beat Florida). Based on past results, I have complete faith in the fact that this defense, by the end of the year, will be stealing souls and winning games. Enjoy the ride.

            • #172750
              4

              stbone
              Ute Fan
              @stbone

              @chinngiskhaan – I don’t know if you meant to take a shot at coaches with your post (and I almost always agree with your take on games so I doubt you were). Anyways, every year, at about this time, all of the boo-birds call for Scalley’s or Whit’s head, and it isn’t justified. The program (coaches) consistently yields amazing results, all the more impressive for what they have to work with. If Utah football were a stock or crypto, I would put all of my money in, and be rich in five years.

      • #172735
        9

        Stone
        Ute Fan
        @stone

        Devin Lloyd was a relatively unheralded safety in high school. He developed into a first round draft pick at linebacker while at Utah. Do we give all credit to Devin, all credit to the coaches, or a mix? Probably a mix. The point though is that it seems odd to subtly knock the coaches by saying Devin covered their deficiencies when the coaches played a large role in developing Devin to what he has become. 

        Also, you reference the Utah team falling apart and getting gashed against Oregon in the Pac 12 championship game. Are you meaning to refer to the Rose Bowl, or the game where Utah dominated Oregon 38-10? Because if the latter, it seems hard to characterize that game as one where Utah’s defense fell apart and got gashed.

        • #172738
          1 3

          chinngiskhaan
          Ute Fan
          @chinngiskhaan

          I’m meaning the pac12 championship the first time we played oregon in that game. I know, it’s not a great example.

          Also, I’m not really attempting to knock the coaches, just throwing out a possible explanation for something that some people view as a problem.

          • #172743
            1

            Hellhound152
            Ute Fan
            @hellhound152

            Devin was JAG [just another guy] on that Defense.  He was doing his 1/11th back in 2019.

      • #172741
        2

        Charlie
        Ute Fan
        @charlie

        Utah is the product of great players. Our great players are a product of Utah. Each makes the other better.

      • #172744
        1

        pedro
        Ute Fan
        @pedro

        That goes boths ways.  Go look at our first three games last year.  There were many times Lloyd misread plays and\or missed his assignments and his teammates had to cover.  Good team produce good players and good players make teams good.  

      • #172757

        Crow
        Ute Fan
        @crow

        Whitt had to beg Meyer to let them recruit Weddle. But he soon earned Meyers respect.

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