Revamped Syracuse football defense faces biggest question again at linebacker (LB Preview) | Page 2 | Syracusefan.com

Revamped Syracuse football defense faces biggest question again at linebacker (LB Preview)

Guthrie, Whitner and Shy showed significant improvement last fall. Shows it is mental more than physical at this point. Recognizing assignments and reaction time. We have more and better physically skilled options for 2019. I am confident going in and when Shy makes it back the overall D looks impressive.
 
Guthrie, Whitner and Shy showed significant improvement last fall. Shows it is mental more than physical at this point. Recognizing assignments and reaction time. We have more and better physically skilled options for 2019. I am confident going in and when Shy makes it back the overall D looks impressive.
it would certainly help. really need a DT to step up big and the ends to play much better against the run this year.
 
Guthrie, Whitner and Shy showed significant improvement last fall. Shows it is mental more than physical at this point. Recognizing assignments and reaction time. We have more and better physically skilled options for 2019. I am confident going in and when Shy makes it back the overall D looks impressive.
Need to note that Guthrie was all-American juco, with over 100 tackles each of his two seasons. Probably as talented and accomplished as any juco we have recruited. Whitner had a couple of starts here, at safety, as a true frosh - his issue was lack of ideal LB size, not smarts or experience in the program. Both guys were seniors.

The current LB candidates have good size, some speed, but not much experience other than Armstrong and Cullen. There is more depth and promising young talent. The 2019 defense has multi-year starters in the DL and secondary, so it should be easy to offset some youth in one or two LB spots. If one of the newbies can be like Cisco and play right away, all good.
 
They WILL play well. Inexperience is the only gap -- we have depth and talent:
  • Andrew Armstrong [spot spotter, and 3rd down coverage specialist]
  • Lakeim Williams [size / speed, experienced ST contributor]
  • Tyrell Richards [mobile, agile, hostile, tremendous size, contributed last year at DE]
  • Juan Wallace [fought off Georgia for him, contributed on ST as true frosh, now has a year under his belt]
Then we have the two highly touted true frosh, who had tremendous offers, enrolled early, and are getting a head start as a function of participating in spring practice:
  • Mikel Jones [commitable offers from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia]
  • Lee Kpogba [rated in national top 300 by one recruiting service]

That's a very solid nucleus to work with -- and doesn't even include Shy Cullen returning, or a big kid like Tre Allison who might challenge for a spot on the two-deep as a redshirt frosh.

Depth / talent is better than last year. I think we'll be singing this unit's praises after the first month, once they get their sea legs.
Who is going to fill the middle and plug this holes? That’s my question.
 
Who is going to fill the middle and plug this holes? That’s my question.
Richards has size and speed. Shy also has both. Never loved Armstrong at lb as he didn’t have downhill tendencies but it coulda been coaching style. Now they are asked to be more aggressive vs run we shall see.
 
A healthy DL will hide some inexperience at the LB position and if the DT's stay healthy and these LB's pick up their assignments quickly, watch out because the talent is there. Shy coming back will help ease the transition not only on the field but off.

These younger guys are a bit taller than those of the past few years, correct? If they can fill their lanes correctly they can take away some of those passing lanes and would love to see some picks and deflections from them along with the obvious plug/pursuit in the holes and stuff the run with their larger/faster frames.

Curious to see if the staff will go with the most talented but mental error prone guy or the one who knows where he's suppose to be but not as fast or big. Richards looks like he wants to hurt people but not sure how disciplined he is.
 

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