This group had a very strong performance Saturday. They were equally effective stopping the run and rushing the passer. They displayed both the quickness to penetrate and the brute strength to bull rush the opposition. It was a dominant performance.
There were a lot of different looks from defensive coordinator Ron English Saturday. He deployed some 4-2-5, some 4-3, and featured a lot of movement from the linebackers.
David Harris showed no signs of dropping off after a great season. He reads plays better than any other linebacker on the team, and showed that on a few screens and draws Saturday.
Prescott Burgess struggled some in coverage drills, but looked good inside when the team went to a 4-2-5 look. Brandon Logan was beaten in 1-1 drills a couple times, but in 7-7 and 11-11 work, he looked like one of the best coverage linebackers out there. Chris Graham looked solid in 1-1 coverage drills, but was quiet in the scrimmages. John Thompson did not participate due to injury.
The minor surprise for many today was that Charles Stewart saw the bulk of the work with the first team defense. However, those close to the situation have seen this one coming for much of the spring. If the season started today, Stewart would be the
Johnny Sears was strong against the run and closed quickly on shorter patterns, but was a step slow to read and react to certain routes. He’s a work in progress, but he has the size and athleticism to be a good one.
Morgan Trent has been challenged by the coaches for to be more physical. He did not stand out much on the day and appears at this point to be behind Sears and Stewart.
Chris Richards is a smaller, but is very quick and showed good ball skills on a pass breakup later in the scrimmage. At this point, though, it looks like bigger receivers could give him trouble.
This group had a good showing Saturday. Three safeties were regularly on the field during scrimmages. Ryan Mundy returned from injury and had a very solid day. He played over the slot a lot of the time. He looks bigger and stronger and showed no hesitation for making contact on a few nice tackles on the day.