Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tougher to build on defense?

The last few weeks, I’ve had a theory about the Aggies and their quest to build on the defensive side of the ball under head coach DeWayne Walker.

I want to make it clear: I think you can build from the defensive side of the ball at NMSU. But I also think it’s harder to do so and takes longer to accomplish.

Here’s why....

Under Hal Mumme — the Aggies went 11-38 in Mumme’s four year at the school but were more competitive in his second year at the helm than they are now — the team ran an explosive offense and got rolled on defense.

There point production at least allowed them to put a scare in teams.

The Aggies used a lot of undersized players on both sides of the ball — it’s almost a necessity at a school like NMSU to recruit athletes who are on the smaller side of the Division-I scale.

And the point is that it’s easier to be undersized, yet still pose on threat, on offense. Think Chris Williams, Marcus Anderson, Derek Dubois, Tonny Glynn, Nick Cleaver and Wes Neiman. In Mumme’s unconventional, chuck-it-and-duck-it offense, these players were utilized to actually take advantage of their skill set — fast athletes who were effective with the ball in space and could make a bigger defender miss in the open field.

Even Chase Holbrook, who was a big quarterback, worked better in Mumme’s offense because it was unconventional. He wasn’t mobile, nor did he have to be, and made simpe, straight forward reads and throws to those receivers.

This was the team’s backbone and core.

Now, we move on to the defensive side of the ball, where the Aggies are trying to make their foundation under Walker.

It’s much harder on defense to be successful with undersized talent.

The Aggies starting defensive ends are Pierre Fils (6-foot-3, 245 pounds) and Donte Savage (6-3, 239). Both are considered small for their position and face opposing tackles that outweight them by 50-to-75 pounds on the weekly basis. That’s a tough way to play for both players.

Only two defensive tackles are listed over 300 pounds on the Aggie two-deep — John Finau (6-1, 302) and Tommy Stuart (6-3, 303).

Frank Padilla has legit size at strongside linebacker (6-2, 243 pounds) but middle linebacker Boyblue Aoelua (5-10, 227) and weakside linebacker B.J. Adolpho (5-11, 207) aren’t considered big for their positions.

The point isn’t the criticize these players. The point is that in football, you need to have talent to play, and in most cases, you need the physical attributes as well. And, defensively, you really need that. You need flat-out athletic freaks at defensive end and linebackers that are big, tough, physical and can fly around to the football. They have to get to the quarterback and cover backs and receivers in the passing game.

It will take Walker a little longer to bring in players with that types of physical qualities. I’m not saying he won’t I’m just saying it will take time.


Anonymous said...

They really need to recruit the defensive end and safety positions. DTs need only to clog up the middle so what they have currently will suffice. Existing corners are also be good enough.

So the plan for next year would be to move Savage and Fils to the linebacker postions where they have prototypical size. Bring in the new safeties and defensive ends and the defense should be fine.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's tougher to build a defense but, defense wins championships!

Keep in mind that the kids need to beef up to play.
Look at David Niaumatalolo. He was starter under Mumme and when he came back from his mission, he needed a full year to bulk up.

Yes, it takes time but, I like the blueprint!


Anonymous said...

Are linebackers are small, real small!! There is no way Padilla is 6'2. no chance at all. I am 6'1 and standing next to him, he was at least 1 in shorter than me. The other 2 Linebackers are not 5'11 either. Its inflated on the roster, all teams do it. But They do have heart. I think both freshman Dylan Davis and Anthony Joyner will have a huge impact on the Aggies defense next year. None of the linebackers so far have done anything to impress me, and get ran all over. Give our future and the young kids a chance. We have a good young core of players, give Walker some time and LOOK OUT!!!!

Anonymous said...

The Baltimore Ravens defense would struggle if it was forced to remain on the field for prolonged periods of time.

The key to a good defense is not size, it's having a ball control offense that limits the number of plays that the opposing offense is able to run!!!

we won three games last year due to running a ball control run oriented offense. Let's go back to that and you will see a great improvement in the defense.

The fortunes of the defense depend on the team finding an offensive identity. 6 games into the season and we still don't know who we are?

Pound it or pass it?? Make a choice!! I say pound it, and pass it when you are forced to. This approcah will keep you in more games.

So far the SDSU game was the only game that featured sustained drives. (defense could not get stops).

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what's tougher to build on defense or offense?

A murderous schedule!!

McDaddy Boston,
No more money games!!
Give Coach Walker a damn schedule where he can have a shot at being succesfull!!!

Anonymous said...

Some of my best memories of growing up in Las Cruces were of going to Aggie football games with my Dad...they didn't win much but they were usually competitive. This year's team is just pathetic..sorry to all you Walker supporters but this is the worst the Aggie team in over 20 years. Even Mumme's 0-12 team was more competitive. I feel like Mike Knoll is back again. I had plans to travel to Las Cruces for a couple games this year but I cancelled those plans after the first game against SDSU. I'd rather save my money for basketball season.