1. Cameron

    Wisconsin is just capitalizing on a classic market inefficiency in recruiting, which is grabbing tweeners for the linebacker position. I think tweeners get undervalued because recruiting rating programs have trouble valuing versatility in a high school player. And Wisconsin’s defensive scheme is built to capitalize on that inefficiency.

    The downside to the scheme, however, is that it depends heavily on getting pressure on the QB. All the disguises and bluffs are fine if you’re getting pressure. If you’re not getting to the QB, you’re just out of position. There’s always a trade off to these types of schemes.

    So if Orlando’s going to install a similar system, he better either not buy a house in Austin or have a lot of confidence in his pass rushers.

    • ianaboyd

      Have you watched them much though? Their LBs play the run very well, just smart and sturdy dudes overall. If run D was the weakness then Wisconsin would have been exposed long ago playing in the Big 10.

      • Cameron

        I’m totally confused by your comment because I didn’t say anything about Wisconsin’s run defense, which was very good last year. Rather, I was observing their defense was heavily dependent on getting pressure on the QB.

        • ianaboyd

          Well not really, they dropped seven into coverage on those calls. The nature of their blitzing didn’t hurt the coverage at all.

          • Cameron

            Respectfully, I disagree. Justin Wilcox’s defense employed versatile linebackers who were asked to play a lot of different roles, i.e., they were not specialists. In addition, the disguise elements to their blitzing frequently left linebackers dropping into coverage far away from their intended coverage area. Thus, even when they were dropping 7 and rushing 4, Wisconsin’s defense was frequently out of position coverage-wise as a trade off to frequently confusing offensive linemen.

            For example, Wisconsin was 15th in success rate and 34th in sack rate on passing downs, but 72nd in IsoPPP in the same situation. That’s indicates a defense that is heavily dependent on its pass rush, and that when it fails, they give up some big plays.

          • ianaboyd

            When I’ve observed their drops their LBs were often given pretty manageable tasks and they performed them pretty well, mostly by getting good depth on the initial drop.

            The IsoPPP number is jarring though, so maybe you’re onto something. I noticed against Penn State though that it wasn’t the LBs that got them into trouble when the blitz didn’t get home, it was getting beat by Penn State’s knack for back shoulder fades on their corners. That’s just one game but they gave up a ton of deep passes in that one. We’d have to watch a lot more film to be sure.

            Also, as far as Orlando and Texas; Orlando likes to go nickel and dime to ensure that he always has enough DBs on the field to allow for unpredictability on the blitz. If both OLBs in a 3-4 are DBs you can bring just about anyone and still get into a good 3-deep/3-under matchup zone. Anyways, all that to say that Orlando is less susceptible to the issue you’re describing and the Texas roster is loaded with worthy DBs so I see no reason he wouldn’t use lots of dime packages to shield his unit from “boom or bust” cycles.

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