Unlike most Duke fans, I am probably a bigger supporter of our football team than I am our basketball team. This article talks about the biggest question for every team in the ACC Coastal Division entering 2011. They absolutely nailed it with us. Our front seven is going to have to play a lot better if we want to reach a bowl.
Thanks for the link. I thought this was interesting, and it seems to coincide with Cut's emphasis on speed. But I do not pretend to be extremely well-versed in the 4-2-5.With Jim Knowles switching the Blue Devils to a 4-2-5 defensive scheme, one of the unproven linebackers will have a chance to step up and earn the lone starting spot next to Kelby Brown.
The move to the 4-2-5 should help Duke’s defense tremendously. The Blue Devils have a lot of depth and talent at the safety position, and the current plan is to slide Duke’s best defensive player, Matt Daniels, down into a hybrid outside linebacker-safety position in order to get Duke’s best players on the field.
I think switching to a 4-2-5 is a good idea, because the attempts at playing a 3-4 just failed miserably as Duke didn't have the personell. I can see why they tried it but it just didn't work. With depth in the defensive backfield it makes sense. Thanks for the link.
The upside is it is aggressive. The downside is Duke's downfield coverage was suspect last year. There is a lot of depth though and hopefully with a year under their belt they will be wiser and can makes some plays.
Also if the line and backers can't make plays and the DBs get stretched you open up the middle of the field for big running plays with no backers plugging the middle in the case of of a blitz. So it is risk and reward but I think it will be better than the attempts at a 3-4 that failed last year.
This tactical change is overblown from an x-and-o standpoint. Duke has run a 3-safety set for a majority of the downs over the last two seasons.
I agree that the key is the front seven. mkline is right that Duke's downfield coverage has been suspect, but I'm not sure how much of that problem was inferior DBs and how much of it was an absolute absence of a pass rush.
I think our safeties are solid -- and the depth there is good. I can live with the cornerbacks.
My concern are the young guys who will have to play on the DL and at LB. About the only guys who are solid are DT Charlie Hatcher and LB Kelby Brown. But we have some young guys who had to play before they were ready last year, but that doesn't mean they don't have potential -- DE Justin Foxx, DT Sidney Sarmiento, LB Austin Gamble have promise. I feel the same about Cockrell at CB -- he made a lot of mistakes last year, but he also showed a lot of promise.
But those guys aren't enough. The key are the redshirts from last year's deep crop. Jordan DeWalt-Ondjio and Dez Johnson are great looking DEs. Jamal Bruce, Nick Sink and Jamal Wallace are promising DL guys. Will Bryant and Steve Ingram are huge DTs.
I don't expect those guys to be great right away. That's the problem -- the offense is almost there (last year, Renfree paid his dues at QB and the OL took a big step forward. The special teams -- remember what a mess they were when Cut arrived? -- are in good hand.
If the defense was at that level, I'd be making bowl plans. It's not and that's a concern. I'm praying for the kids to grow up quickly.
Improving is a process, and Cut started from a pretty low point. So onwards we grow. But man o man would it be nice to have a real "turn the corner" season.
In many ways, I think the biggest question facing Duke football this year is: How do we play in (and if necessary, recover from) the Stanford game? The Alabama game last year knocked us back for a month it seemed -- there were some opportunities in the post-'Bama games that seemed to elude us due to lack of confidence. Just one man's opinion.
I think that lack of pressure was due in part to the 3-4 which thankfully is being scrapped. I think the 4-2-5 takes pressure of the DBs and hopefully will get some pressure on opposing QBs.
Preseason honors mean nothing but it is good to see a Duke football player, and with all this discussion of DBs, it is a defensive back getting some recognition. Matt Daniels the Duke safety has been put on the Lott Impact Player Watch List.
The article is mostly about Meineke dropping Charlotte for its host city for its name sake bowl. Scroll down a bit to see the bit on Daniels.