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We have a chance to be very solid next season, we have as much experience defensively as we've ever had.  DL Head, Robbins, Ziemba, Bryant, Sio, Johnson, Jones, King, Elliot- Experience, sol

Here you go. Get more excited.  

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Any thoughts on Robbins?  I’m not down on him but I think he was one of a few frosh that did not play at all when they have that rule about being able to play four games.  Will he stay at DE or is there any thought to bulking him up and moving him inside?  I’m not suggesting that should happen.  Just throwing some questions around.

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Excellent preview!  Couple questions/points.

Is it stated somewhere that Powell is expected to play center?  I kind of expected Crider to slide over since he started a game there last year when Littlejohn was out.  Just wondering if that is what you heard somewhere, or just a guess.

I'm glad to see someone else is on the Da'shaun Brown bandwagon.  Pretty sure I'm the driver of that bandwagon!  Can't wait to see him get some touches.  I hope he gets some looks in the spring game.  I've been waiting for a year and a half to see what he can do.  Can't wait!

With Sampson coming back, that should let Ellis slide back to WR a little more.  After Whop and Fryfogle, we have about 6 or 7 solid options for guys behind them.  It will be interesting to see who gets the most minutes out of that group.

Along with our long snapper and Campbell, I'm pumped that Whitehead was able to get another year of eligibility.  He has a fairly average leg, but he's as good as it gets at pinning guys deep.  He was 5th in the country at % of punts inside the opponents 10.  He's a huge weapon for us.

I'm not as high on the safety play as you are, but I think at least some of that can be attributed to our terrible pass rush.  We can have a really good defense if we can just get a consistent pass rush.  We haven't even had one guy who can consistently do it.  Nobody can get to the QB, nobody draws a double team, RBs don't have to know where any guys are.  Even if just one of Head, Robbins, Norris, or anybody else can get a pass rush, it could change the whole defense.

I do think we'll be solid against the run again.  I think with Lewis looking like he's coming in ready to play and having an extra year for guys, we could be pretty good stopping the run again.

I'm glad Penix has had more of an offseason to bulk up.  He was saying today that he's up to 220 pounds, and he is looking like he's put on some really good weight.  If he can stay healthy for a full season, I worry for opposing defenses.  Easily one of the top 2 or 3 QBs in the B1G.

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1 hour ago, btownqb said:

Allen mentioned that Fitzgerald will work at the Husky position in the spring. 

Layne and Johnson will work at the FS position. Smart. 

Did he have Fitzgerald do that last spring too?  Or am I thinking someone else?

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1 hour ago, Leathernecks said:

Did he have Fitzgerald do that last spring too?  Or am I thinking someone else?

Not sure. Burgess to SS full time, Fitz to Husky. Johnson and Matthew's to Free. 

Passing downs... Johnson at Husky, Matthew's at Free, Burgess at SS. 

Running downs.. Fitz/Ball at Husky. 

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On 3/6/2020 at 10:36 AM, btownqb said:

We have a chance to be very solid next season, we have as much experience defensively as we've ever had. 

DL

Head, Robbins, Ziemba, Bryant, Sio, Johnson, Jones, King, Elliot- Experience, solid against the run. HAVE to get more of a pass rush. I would like to see a "pass rush package" on 3rd 6+

Maybe something like- Johnson, Robbins, Bryant, and Head. King might factor in there somewhere. I wonder if Allen might ever put his hand in the ground, as well. I have to wonder if and when we will see Madison Norris in an obvious passing down. Person, Whitner, Passmore will see time, as well. The Lewis kid that's a FR, he's already on campus.. he could be a difference maker. 

LB

McFadden, Miller will be the anchors. Ball, Johnson are very solid on the outside. Cam Jones can make plays, as well. DK, Allen, Aaron Casey, and Cam Williams will all battle for the rest of the mins. 

DBs

Ball/Johnson are sort of DBs. The rest should be very solid... CBs- Mullen and Taylor are as good of a tandem as we've had. Williams is more than serviceable and has a lot of experience, Layne is ok and experienced and then you will also have- Tracy and Pierre will compete for the rest of the mins. At Safety- Bryant, Matthews, Burgess will all play a lot and they are all very solid, have a lot of experience, and all bring different attributes to the table. Behind those 3 I hope to see Josh Sanguinetti(RS FR) who was very highly recruited. 

SPT

Long snapper is back, he's a stud. Campbell will be the kicker... he hit a 48 yarder this year. 

OL

T- Jones, Bedford- Rafferty as the 3rd guy (he could also play be the other guard)

G- Crider.. other than that the other guard is up for grabs. I know they like Katic. Nworah/Beery could factor in there, as well. The FR Benson might contribute, but I would say they would like to RS him since he won't be on campus until June. 

C- Powell- O'Conner a serviceable backup. 

TE

Hendershot is a big time player and I expect him to be a part of our team. I do expect him to be suspended, I have no idea how long that suspension will last. I also know that CTA will make his off season a living hell. Outside of him... TJ Ivy is solid, as is Bjorson and I think they really like Gary Cooper. 

WR

Lost some experience, but not a ton of production. We bring back a top 5 WR in the league, Whop. Fryfogle really came on last year. I think he is going to have a breakout year. Outside of those two.. we have some inexperience, but I do think we have at least average talent. Miles Marshall is fine, Jordan Jakes and Jacoby Hewitt will compete for minutes. But to me.. watching film the MOST talented to WRs we have outside of Whop are DaShaun Brown and the incoming FR Rashawn Williams. If those two come on, this will be a good position group. 

RB

Scott is a good of a running back that's in the B1G. Tim Baldwin is on campus now and listed at 6' 210. We will be fine with that 1-2 punch, but we have to find 1-2 more guys. Depth matters at RB. I hope like hell we get the kid from Arkansas. 

****Well... add Sampson James back to the mix. We might have the best 1-2 punch in the B1G. 

QB

Penix might be the 2nd best QB in the B1G. Morgan from Minnesota had some BIG time targets last year, either way... Penix is absolutely a top 5 QB. Penix was on pace for 3600 yards and 26TDs last year if he plays the whole year. That would have been the most yards ever thrown for by an IU player and the third most TDs. 

 

I did not mention David Ellis... I expect him to return kicks and hopefully punts. Play WR and RB... and I would love a Wildcat package, he played QB in HS. 3-4 kick returns a game, throw it to him 5 times a game, give him 6 carries a game. He should touch the ball no less than 15 times a game. 

Very, very well done. Once again. Why would anyone subscribe to a newspaper or pay site when you get information like this. This post is all I need to reference headed into next season.

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So... 

Sampson comes back, we lose an average RB, a backup QB, a starting guard, our OC who we knew was probably gone, and basically nothing else. The strength and conditioning is honestly a wash. 

The only "big" loss was Deboer, but... ultimately it's a good thing we have a coordinator good enough to be someone else's HC. Ramsey wasn't going to play much if Penix was healthy, Walker wasn't going to play much, and apparently Cronk doesn't understand how the NFL works. We lost nothing on the defensive side of the football except Reakwon Jones, solid player... not irreplaceable. 

I understand the season Ramsey had, and I understand how tough he is... but he wanted to start, that pretty much wasn't going to happen here. Tuttle is a more than serviceable back up and by all reports Dexter Williams is a solid 3rd team.  

Basically... the reports of this tumultuous off season are a bit over exaggerated.. assuming the Hendershot situation works out in our favor. 

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13 minutes ago, btownqb said:

So... 

Sampson comes back, we lose an average RB, a backup QB, a starting guard, our OC who we knew was probably gone, and basically nothing else. The strength and conditioning is honestly a wash. 

The only "big" loss was Deboer, but... ultimately it's a good thing we have a coordinator good enough to be someone else's HC. Ramsey wasn't going to play much if Penix was healthy, Walker wasn't going to play much, and apparently Cronk doesn't understand how the NFL works. We lost nothing on the defensive side of the football except Reakwon Jones, solid player... not irreplaceable. 

I understand the season Ramsey had, and I understand how tough he is... but he wanted to start, that pretty much wasn't going to happen here. Tuttle is a more than serviceable back up and by all reports Dexter Williams is a solid 3rd team.  

Basically... the reports of this tumultuous off season are a bit over exaggerated.. assuming the Hendershot situation works out in our favor. 

As an outsider, I’m curious to see what your season looks like. Hopefully Penix stays healthy because you’ve lost your safety blanket in Ramsey. Tuttle is unproven and I’d take Ramsey over him anyway. 
 

Aside from Wisconsin, your first 6 games are pretty easy. The last 6 will be interesting to see what happens. I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys won anywhere between 6-9 games. 

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3 minutes ago, Stlboiler23 said:

As an outsider, I’m curious to see what your season looks like. Hopefully Penix stays healthy because you’ve lost your safety blanket in Ramsey. Tuttle is unproven and I’d take Ramsey over him anyway. 
 

Aside from Wisconsin, your first 6 games are pretty easy. The last 6 will be interesting to see what happens. I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys won anywhere between 6-9 games. 

You have no info on who to choose between Tuttle and Ramsey. Of course Tuttle doesn't have the experience, but you and I and no one knows who is better. 

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I like how our schedule lines up to get Tuttle some playing time.  After Wisconsin, we might have 5 straight games where he could get in at the end to get some experience.  Our 3 OOC games, followed by Maryland and Rutgers.  I would like to see Tuttle get at least 20+ passes combined in those games just in case Penix does get injured later.

Also, for selfish reasons, I'd like to see him play where he's actually throwing the ball around.  After all this time, I'm really curious to see what he looks like in a live game where he isn't coming in with 5 minutes to go.  Not that I think Penix will go pro after this year, but we are at the point where if he does have a monster year, he could declare.  Need to have that next guy ready just in case.

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5 minutes ago, Leathernecks said:

I like how our schedule lines up to get Tuttle some playing time.  After Wisconsin, we might have 5 straight games where he could get in at the end to get some experience.  Our 3 OOC games, followed by Maryland and Rutgers.  I would like to see Tuttle get at least 20+ passes combined in those games just in case Penix does get injured later.

Also, for selfish reasons, I'd like to see him play where he's actually throwing the ball around.  After all this time, I'm really curious to see what he looks like in a live game where he isn't coming in with 5 minutes to go.  Not that I think Penix will go pro after this year, but we are at the point where if he does have a monster year, he could declare.  Need to have that next guy ready just in case.

Right... the games/passes Tuttle threw last year, you cannot judge him on. Good point. 

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I am sure everyone knows that Tuttle was a big time recruit and even Saban was looking at him.  You can't get any more big boy ball than that.  If you look at him, he has presence in the pocket, standing tall, and the ball pops out of his hand.  Great arm.   I am not at practices but I think he's been getting accustomed to reading defenses, the speed of the game, etc., more than anything else.  He will be a RS So, so he's young.   Hopefully he makes a big jump this offseason.  I don't see why he wouldn't.

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3 minutes ago, btownqb said:

Right... the games/passes Tuttle threw last year, you cannot judge him on. Good point. 

And we didn't get to see him in last year's spring game either.  With only 11 career passes, all in the last series, maybe last 2 series of major blowouts, it has been tough to see what he has.  I'm looking forward to seeing him in the spring game this year.  He definitely has off the charts potential.

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Some notes from the first 2 practices.  Just summarizing from this article.

  • Ellis seems to be getting a lot of practice at RB.  Currently listed as a RB and returner.  I would guess a lot of his time at RB would be with Scott or James in the game too.  He seems like he could be a real weapon if teams are having to plan to stop Scott from running them over, and then we give the ball to Ellis.  If only Ellis is in and they know he's getting the ball, I don't think he'd be as effective.
  • The starting OL was Bedford, Powell, Crider, Nworah, and Jones left to right.  Sheridan says he likes to change guys up and have guys who can play both center and guard, so I like the versatility there.  I would imagine that 5 would change a lot over the next few weeks.
  • It looks like Sanguinetti has been moved to corner.  Wommack said he's instinctual, and isn't big enough to play safety at this level.  I know they were high on him last year before he got hurt, so it will be interesting to here how he does at corner.
  • Damarjhe Lewis has impressed Wommack.  It sounds more and more like he's going to be tough to keep off the field this fall.
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Read where we finished in the Top 50 in scoring defense, yards against the run and the pass for the first time since 1993. 

I expect to have a very good defense this year. We have depth every where. We have to be able to rush the passer with 4 though. 

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10 hours ago, btownqb said:

Read where we finished in the Top 50 in scoring defense, yards against the run and the pass for the first time since 1993. 

I expect to have a very good defense this year. We have depth every where. We have to be able to rush the passer with 4 though. 

Overall I was pretty happy with our defense last year, but I would have liked to have seen us play better against the middle tier of teams.  We need to start keeping teams like PU, Maryland, Nebraska, and MSU to less points.  We got wins in 3 of those 4, but we gave up at least 28 points in each.  We need to get that down to about a 25 point average against those types of teams.  I think that will definitely come with more experience for our young guys.

I thought our defense played incredible against Tennessee until the 4th quarter.  With more time to prepare and get our guys experience, I think we'll see some big jumps.  I expect some really good play from our defense this year.  Our new DL coach Peoples will have to earn his money quick so we can get some more pressure this year.

This year if we can hold the combination of Maryland, MSU, Illinois, and PU to around 25 points on average, that will be a big step forward.  I fully expect us to take that next progression this year.  Also, we hardly lose anybody again this year.  2021 could be a monster defense.

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