Buck laid down the funky offensive beats for yesterday’s Best Case/Worst Case analysis, so today it falls to me to answer with some defensive BC/WC thoughts:
Let’s start, just like a quarterback reading the pre-snap alignment, with the defensive backs and work our way down:
Best Case: DJ Swearinger translates his offseason grind-hype into even 10% of its potential. Opposing B and Y receivers become B and Mers at the very sight of him. Brison Williams develops from the dependable practice player that all the coaches love, to the gamer that all the fans adore. One of either Kadetrix Marcus or Sheldon Royster develops into the next E. Cook or D. Stew as the season progresses. Between the hash marks at Williams Brice is a bitter no man’s land for anyone who dares to try a post or crossing pattern.
Worst Case: Swearinger’s offseason grinding results in stripped gears when it comes race time. We get used to seeing the safeties pointing at each other post-touchdown in the age-old “no-you-had-inside-leverage” debate. Opponents convert on various iterations of 3rd and 10, 3rd and 20, 4th and 23, etc., etc. And run support? Yeah, but here it’s of the “run-down-from-behind-after-twenty-yard-gain” variety. What I’m describing here is the “Bad Cully” part of good old #17’s schizophrenic career.
Best Case: Auguste is back to his 1987 form (What? He’s been around that long, right?) Victor Hampton takes his flashes of brilliance from last season and turns them into one season-long klieg light of shutdown domination. Ahmad Christian and/or Jimmy Legree develop into solid backups – kind of like a more physical, cerebral, focused, and athletic version of Kevin House.
Hey, all any of them really need to do is keep the pattern covered for 3 seconds, as we will further explain in the Defensive Ends section, below.
Worst Case: Since the TRC editorial ground rules prohibit discussing injuries during a BC/WC post, I’ll just quickly mention Akeem Auguste again and post this picture of a teddy bear:
Oh, and in a worst case scenario, Vic Hampton goes back to hanging out with known human organ traffickers and loses his place on the depth chart.
Best Case: Wilson, Smith, Bowens, Jeffrey, and Holloman, seniors all, play the best football of their careers. Run fits and coverage drops are second nature to these guys, and our veteran corps wrecks havoc on opposing running backs and tight ends. Young guys like Cooper and Lewis look like young Brinkleys in mop up duty, as we prepare them for the 2013 season.
Worst Case: Wilson, Smith, Bowens, Jeffrey, and Holloman, seniors all, play like senior . . . citizens. Slow and out of position, these guys make us long for the days when Shane Burnham roamed the area immediately back and to the left of the right hash mark on the 42 yard line (you know the spot where he was trying to unload the piano). By midseason we are forcing things with the younger guys, who make up for their lack of experience by running in the wrong direction, but faster.
Best Case: Jadeveon Clowney is the Best Case Scenario. <—-that is a period, so read it that way.
Worst Case: We move #7 around between DT, DE, Will, and Mike so much that he gets frustrated and just starts eating people. This includes, unfortunately, all the other defensive ends as “Don’t Say Nothing” can’t summon the presence of mind to yell for help. Chaz Sutton manages to get two penalties called on him in the same punt return (wait – that already happened, see the third quarter of the Capitol One Bowl)
Oh and we waste Darius English’s redshirt year by accidentally playing him on the punt team during the Wofford game.
Best Case: Byron Jerideau Fever sweeps the nation as the svelte happy one becomes the feel-good story of CFB. All the attention just makes him mad, so he plugs the gut of the Dline like an all-meat diet. Kelcy Quarles develops into a premier run stopper in the mold of what we thought Stanley Doughty was gonna be, but never became. Opponents give up trying to run up the middle, and can’t run around the end, for the reason we explained in the Defensive Ends section, above.
Worst Case: Kelcy Quarles, Philip Dukes, and however many Gerald Dixons we may or may not have on the roster get beat out on the depth chart by Aldrick Fordham. I know, I know, he’s a heck of a ballplayer and we love him, but he’s got the frame of linebacker to go with his heart of a lion. Byron Jerideau notices the Bojangles beside the stadium and starts trying to eat his way happy again.
We grew to love Travian, but all too late.
Next up, Gman analyzes Special Teams . . . or something.