Archive For The “Defensive Line” Category
Spotlight On: DE Tyler Cavenas and NG Jimmy Mitchell
This past year, the NCAA mandated that two-a-day practices would no longer be allowed, which naturally has changed the way Lehigh has been camping this August. “A single day may include a single, three-hour, on-field practice session and a walk-through. During walk-throughs, protective equipment such as helmets and pads can’t be worn, and contact is prohibited,” the NCAA said.
“The guys like the new procedure, the new process we have in place here,” head coach Andy Coen said. “The guys are more fresh not having the two-a-days. [Sunday] was the first day we went full pads and had live tackling and the kids were fired up about that. We didn’t do a lot, just enough to get our feet wet.”
With no contact during the two-hour walkthrough session, pads and contact are a more rare occurrence. To senior DE Tyler Cavenas, though, what did that mean?
“I [still] feel like we can push ourselves,” he told LehighSports.com. “It’s weird, we have these walkthroughs now, but I think when we do go out, we’ll be more intense out here and we’ll be getting after it more. We’re only going to be out here one practice a day, so we’ll have to give it all we have.”
Knowing Tyler, he does.
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|Lehigh NG Tyler Cavenas|
The 2014 numbers don’t get any better when you look at them five months later.
Team Sacks: 104th.
Team Tackles for Loss: 118th.
Rushing Defense: 100th.
In order to have any chance of improving those poor numbers from 2014, one of the biggest areas for improvement will have to be in Lehigh’s defensive front seven, a fact that head coach Andy Coen is all too aware of.
“When we put pressure on the quarterback it was because we were blitzing,” he said in Lehigh’s spring preview. “We need to be able to get a rush to the quarterback and create more of a mechanism to get after that guy. We have to get back to being more aggressive in that respect.”
It stands to reason that Lehigh’s defensive line will be the start of that aggressive defense. And fortunately, the Mountain Hawks have some young talent that started to emerge last year that could be poised to firm up this part of the defense in 2015.
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With the secondary out of the way, it’s time to focus on Lehigh’s spring roster battles as they relate to the rest of the defense, the linebacking unit and starting defensive line.
On the coaching front, rabid Lehigh football fans will recognize the two position coaches at both linebackers and defensive line.
Both coached alongside of current head coach Andy Coen during two of the Brown and White’s best-ever defensive seasons in 1998 and 1999.
Joe Bottiglieri was the defensive coordinator for the legendary 1998 team, which went 11-0 in regular season play and shocked the world by knocking of Atlantic 10 champions Richmond in the first-ever playoff victory for the Mountain Hawks since Lehigh joined the Patriot League. Along with current defensive line coach Donnie Roberts, Lehigh’s defense held the eventual I-AA champions, UMass, to 26 points and putting Lehigh in a position to win with a minute left in the quarterfinals.
This season, Coach Bott and Coach Roberts will try to recreate that same magic with this year’s team.
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