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***The Nebraska Defense - Blackshirts 2021***

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On 7/28/2021 at 10:54 AM, Canadian Fan said:

So for the guys that know more about what is actually going on in Lincoln than I do....


In looking at the defensive roster, the more I dig into it, the more striking it appears the DL depth significantly exceeds the LB depth.


More specifically, to my eye, it looks like you have 1 "sure thing" LB in Domann.  Beyond that as you start looking for #2, #3 and #4, it appears there are a lot of significant question marks, especially after Honas's injury.  


On the other hand, when I look at the DL, it appears to me that there are 4-5 proven guys, and then you've got mooses like Nash who are showing glimpses of being pocket destroyers who have demonstrated enough talent that you have to get them on the field.


My instinct based on both that depth chart and the size and strength of B1G offensive lines, is that we should be experimenting with 4-DL fronts (4-2-5?) as the base D for first and second downs, during Fall Camp to see how they perform versus the the formations that have traditionally been Chin's favourites.


So my questions are:

1.  Does anyone else agree (or disagree} with that assesment?

2.  If it was your call (based on what you know now), what would you 2-Deep Defensive Depth Chart look like in your preferred base formation?

3. Do we think if Chin/Frost sees a similar talent split between the DL and the LB groups, is he flexible enough to build his base from there?  Or as a 3-4 adherent, is it more likely he pushes talent development in his linebackers so he can run his preferred system?


Agree w/your assessment, but your proposed solution is actually counter productive w/respect to getting the superior D-line depth on the field.  


NU's 3-4 DE's are not interchangeable 4-3 DE's.  Robinson, Stille, & Rodgers are more DT than edge players.  When NU switches to a 4-2-5, which they did quite a bit of last season, you are actually taking 1 of the D-Lineman off the field, & replacing him w/an extra OLB.  


Most teams nickel package would put an extra DB on the field, slot CB or S.  Doman is that guy for NU, so when NU switches to nickel, they replace a DE with an OLB, & their 4 in the 4-2-5 consists of 2 IDL & 2 OLB.



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I think this is the first season in a very long time where heading into the schedule I basically have no real worries about the defense at all.


Seems reasonable to say that there is enough talent and physicality on this defensive roster that this unit can keep us enough games to where if offense & special teams turn around their problems we can easily go 8-4.


I'm not saying 8-4 should be easy or that it'll happen - just saying the defense should be good enough to keep us hanging around till the fourth quarter against every team except Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and then 1/2 between Iowa & Northwestern.


And I doubt I'm alone in thinking that hardly anybody thought this would be the case when Frost was announced as head coach originally; I thought that in year four if anything would be a problem it would be the defense.

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Casey Rodgers is going to be a huge part of this defense being really good.  If you just watch some of these plays, he is the one in a lot of them making it possible for other guys to make plays.  He had a lot of penetration causing backs to bow out or cut back allowing for some of our (slow) lbs to make plays they otherwise would have been beat.

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