The moment that did it for me happened when
tackle Kurt Falke went down during the
That emotion is something that has been missing around here. I don't know if it's because Paul Pasqualoni was so devoid of emotion, or Greg Robinson is so full of it, but either way the change is a positive. When you have the ability to get your players fired up, like I believe Robinson does, you can get them to do all kinds of amazing things.
I'm not just impressed with Robinson's demeanor
either. I really like the way he runs his defense. He goes after it. On most
third down and more than five situations this season, the defense has blitzed
instead of sitting back in coverage. And, so far, it has worked.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying
Defensive Line: If the secondary
weren't playing so well, this would be far and away the best unit on the team.
James Wyche may be the best end in the Big East, and on the other side Ryan LaCasse is a maniac. He never stops running. I bet he's doing swim moves around
his dorm room right now. Kader Drame is good at stuffing the run, and seems to
have a knack for knocking down passes. The unit combined for 27 tackles against
Linebackers: As a unit, I like the way they've shown up, although the coverage has slipped at times. I don't think it's a lack of playmaking ability, just being out of position. For the most part though, they are doing their jobs. I never thought I would say this was the weak point of the defense, but it looks to be that way. As for individuals:
Kelvin Smith- I couldn't be happier with him moving to the middle. He is the best tackling linebacker, and he's tough too. You need that in your middle linebacker. He has to be a nasty, mean kind of guy. I remember when I played in high school our middle linebacker had internal bleeding in his thigh and never mentioned it to the trainer until after the season. See what I mean? Nasty. Smith fits the bill here. He leads the team in tackles after two games, and barring injury, is set up for a great year.
Kellen Pruitt- First off, having two guys named Kelvin and Kellen playing right next to each other is always a good thing. Second off, Pruitt seems to have lost weight. Whether it was intentional or not, I don't know, but his speed has improved. He seems to have transformed himself from a run stopper into a reliable coverage guy.
Tommy Harris- Probably the weakest of the three, he was in intense competition with Jerry Mackey, until Mackey hurt himself during the preseason. We saw him a lot last year, but he didn't really do too much (12 total tackles). I see him splitting time if with Mackey if Mackey gets and stays healthy.
Secondary: Wow! How can a unit get so
much better in one year? There were points in the
The cornerback spot is probably the biggest improvement from last year's team. What was coach P thinking last season when he moved Steve Gregory to receiver? Probably one of the reasons he's not coach anymore. Gregory has been great so far this year, and that shouldn't surprise anyone.
He did well his freshman year. In his sophomore
year, he was the best corner on the team. That meant in his second year, he had
to guard the best receiver from every team. There were some great receivers in
the Big East that year. Guys like Larry Fitzgerald from Pitt and Andre Johnson
Anyway, after that they moved him to receiver, and took away all the progress he had made at corner. Now he's back where he belongs and excelling.
Tanard Jackson has been great too. I feel like
Jackon and Anthony Smith are tag team partners. It seems like one of them is
always in on every big play
Punter/Kickoff Guy: Somebody call the
NFL about Brendan Carney. Every year he adds five yards to his kickoffs. He's
already hit all but one of into the end zone, and at this pace, by next year
he'll be booting it into the beer man in the fifth row. That's not even the best
part. It's his punting. He skies the ball every time and is averaging almost 47
yards a punt. He has bailed
Ok, it's time for the disclaimer. I have been
pumping up the defense for the last 800 words or so, but they have played only
two games against sluggish offensive performances.
During next game against