Friday, April 10, 2015

Projecting the Defense

Monday I took a stab at predicting our offensive depth chart based on our current roster. Today we move to defense and special team. Now, as you read this Florida mini-camp is getting underway and I think that will have big impacts on the eventual depth chart (particularly at LB) but we all need something to fill our Friday so let's get to it.

As a reminder my thoughts are based on the typical roster breakdown from last year which is 22 offensive, 21 defensive and 3 special teams.

As a general note, predicting our defense at this point is bloody hard. I can tell that guys like Brackenridge, Macho, Brown and MacDougall will be in the mix but at this point who knows what position they will call home

Defensive Line
Roster Spots: 7
Probable Players: Chick, Walker, George, Hall (starters) Ainsworth, White and Aghayere (back-ups)
Things to watch: Our front 4 are set. Ainsworth is good on teams and a Canadian so he's pretty safe. The other 2 sports are wide open. We need a back-up DT and DE (last year Guyton and Lee filled those spots). White and Aghayere make the list purely by default as we literally have no other DL's at this point. Hopefully mini-camp will uncover some competition for these spots. I don't remember much of White and Aghayere's brief playing time but they certainly didn't catch my eye as rising stars.

Roster Spots: 6
Probable Players: Emry will play MLB... after that, all bets are off. I assume Gesse and Regimbald make it as Cdn back-ups/teams guys. That leaves 3 wide open LB spots. Both outside starting spots and a back-up. Expect MacDougall and LeGree in there somewhere.
Things to watch: Lots of speculation that Brack moves back to his old LB spot which has a fair bit of logic but I'm not convinced Chamblin wants him out of the safety spot. MacDougall will be in the mix but I'm hard pressed to buy the hype that he can start day 1. Another guy to keep in mind is Mark LeGree. Like Brack he could play safety or OLB and I like him a lot based on what I saw last year.We also seem to be committed to someone brand new manning the other OLD spot. Selfishly I'm pulling for the Rider Prophet-endorsed Eltoro Freeman but honestly I'll take anyone who is better than Chad Kilgore... which literally could be anyone.

Defensive Back

Roster Spots: 8
Probable Players:  My best guess at the starters is Macho, Brown, Brack, Maze, Jackson. With Webster, Woldu and Green as the likely back-ups.
Things to watch: Coaches are high on Turenne so don't count him out. Could easily see some of Harris, Brown and Brack up in the LB group and MacDougall and LeGree in the DB mix. Really hard to say at this point. But if the secondary is as I predict that's pretty damn good. Brown and Maze at HB would be rock solid. I also could see a new DB coming out of nowhere like Mark LeGree did last year and steal a spot. As much talk as there is as running MacDougall at safety I still think they will opt to keep the steady presence of Brack there and move MacDougall around in a lot of spots in a lot of packages. Though that all assumes Cory Watson is our 7th Cdn starter... if that doesn't happen then MacDougall may play there out of necessity.

Special Teams
Roster Spots: 3
Probable Players: Milo (K), O'Neil (P) and Steinhauer (LS)
Things to watch: Not much really. Like it or not Milo will be our kicker. I expect a bounce back year from him... err maybe "bounce back" is a poor choice or words. Chamblin seems to prefer splitting the kicking duties so the bearded one makes it by default because we are unlikely to find anything better (at least for Canadians). It will be nice to have Steinhauer back and healthy.

I will be back Monday with thoughts on Florida mini-camp. Yeah actual football!

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