December 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm #17220
I believe it is safe to say that the defense will be on the “hot seat” during this off-season. I don’t claim to be a football guru and I have not gone to any practices but this is the slow season
My 1st Observation…Looking at the depth chart for the Colgate game, our ILs both went 210#, while our OL were 240# and 185#. Tyler Cavenas, who goes at least 270# is listed as a backup DE while our NG is 15# lighter. IMHO, that makes us too light to effectively stop the inside running game and too slow to stop the outside running game. Interestingly enough, Caslow who is 6-1, 210, was a SS/LB in HS, Ripanti, who was a FB in HS was recruited as a safety to Lehigh. Meanwhile, highly regarded Kaufmann, Harvey, McCain and Crawford are either sitting on the bench or being shifted to a little used FB position.
So in my more perfect world, based mainly on body type and skill sets, I would consider these changes.
Move 6-5, 275# Cavenas to NG to use his reach and size to clog up the middle. Move Laub, either inside (preferably) or DE. Consider moving Caslow to SS where 6-1, 210 would add some size to the secondary and allow him to use his ball hawking skills more effectively. Move Ripanti outside, in Campbell’s spot with Favoroso, if ready to the other side. Use either Evan or McCain at the other inside LB and now you may have the size and the speed in the right places. Just one man’s uneducated opinion :-).December 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm #17225
I’m no expert, either; so just looking in from the outside.
While size matters, so does speed. Do our current LBs have speed to play in the secondary at the FCS level? Sometimes I wonder whether our current ones do.
I’ve heard some of our players have LOST weight since coming to LU.
But I do not know what LU’s defensive strategy/mission is …December 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm #17226
How fast does a SS have to be? Tyler Ward ran a 4.7 40 in HS, the same as Caslow. They are about the same height but Caslow is about 30# heavier. Ward had a great career at Lehigh. I think Caslow would make a great run stopper, especially in the areas exploited by Lafayette. He has the size and speed to cover tight ends, help in coverage and handle many of the bigger receivers. He has that same nose for the football. Just for discussion purposes, that move alone could make us bigger and stronger at 2 positions.December 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm #17227
Well,we now have a SS also. Max Frankel 6’0 217 Carrolwood ,Tampa Fl.December 13, 2014 at 10:18 pm #17233
Agree pretty much across the board. Dont forget Coffman inside also. To me hinges on how well Cavenas develops. If he does,as I think he will,DL should be sturdier. Gille and Johnson could really help if they’re ready.
The BUT is coaches’ ability to get the unit focused and coordinated.December 14, 2014 at 2:16 am #17238
If we can get some a couple more ‘monsters’ like Cavenas on the DL will be a great start. Part of the issue, also, is philosophy. While we seemed to get better during the second half of the season (except Laughyette), most of that is attributable to lesser competition. We did not seem to attack a lot this year. QB’s with way too much time to find a receiver. A couple years ago we were among the leaders in FCS with QB sacks. Seems like that plummeted when Coach K left. Maybe it has something to do with personnel, but that is effective recruiting.December 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm #17265
More than anything Lehigh needs a sweeper in the inside linebacking that simply eats up a lot of tackles, a guy that provides the stuffing on 3rd-and-2. It might be too much to ask for another Mike Groome but another one would be a giant help IMO.
However, all the great athletes in the world won’t help if you can’t outside contain on sweeps and wheel routes/bubble screens. I keep having nightmares about that one time each game we would miss the contain and give up a touchdown. A “lowlight reel” of all of those times that happened this year might be interesting.
Defenses are a machine where everyone needs to do their job. It’s not enough to have a few skilled pieces and have the rest lacking. You need at least enough to fill all the critical roles. If you’re missing one, that’s bad. If you’re missing two, that’s a recipe for disaster.December 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm #17266
Pieces,talent,coaching,communication,positioning,NG,big plays….take your pick. Some,any or all. Just needs to be identified by Andy and fixed. Not going to hope for a dominant D ,just a competent one. My Christmas wish
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