Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 Offseason Checklist: Defense

Quick list of things that need to be addressed during spring and summer practices:

1. A second cornerback

Stephan Virgil will likely do what Macho Harris did last year and move from field corner to boundary corner. But who will move into Virgil's old spot? The leaders for the job going into the spring are junior Rock Carmichael, who in my opinion wasn't very good last year and sophomore Cris Hill. I'd like to see hill have a good spring and summer camp and go into next season as the starter.

2. Improved play from the free safety and rover

Communication between Kam Chancellor and Dorian Porch improved as the season progressed. Porch was impressive at rover after the injury to Davon Morgan and Chancellor saved his best game for the Orange Bowl. It took him awhile, but perhaps Kam has finally settled in at free.

3. Defensive line depth

The Hokies were very lucky with injuries to the defensive line in 2008. Nothing major until the Orange Bowl when Jason Worilds' shoulder finally became too much to take. Worilds and Nekos Brown will be the starting defensive ends going into next season, but behind them are a lot of question marks. The progress made by Bruce Taylor and Steven Friday at DE this spring and summer will be an important storyline to watch.


HokieGrom said...

2nd CB = Eddie Whitley

furrer4heisman said...

Eventually it will probably be Whitley. Maybe even by the end of the 2009 season. But in my mind, he has way too much progress to make between now and Sept. 5 to be named the starter.

Hokie Guru said...

I think by the time we begin ACC play, Eddie Whitley will be the guy

MadJay said...

I couldn't agree more about defensive end depth. It is my number two concern in 2009 (second only to my concern about the offensive coordinator - he blows more talent than a fluffer at an All-Star porn shoot).

But defensive end lacks ANY depth. Nekos is pretty good and Worilds, if he stays healthy, has the potential to have the best season for a Hokie d-end since Tapp in '04, so I'm not worried about the starters. But Friday is not the answer and Joe Jones, Isiah Hamlette and Bruce Taylor, while all extremely talented have exactly zero snaps at the collegiate level.

4 man pressure on the QB is critical to a Bud Foster defense and while tackle looks deep and strong, most of the pressure comes off the edge. We need players to back up Worilds and Brown to keep them fresh and (Worilds at least) healthy. I'm nervous about that.