The biggest complaint most BC fans have leveled against Defensive Coordinator Frank Spaziani is that he gives the opposing team too much cushion in pass coverage. With our talent at the cornerback position this year, some are hoping that Spaziani gets more aggressive. I am not expecting a change. On the contrary, I actually think we’ll see the same heavy zone-based pass coverage used under Spaz and TOB.
The biggest hole in the secondary will be the departure of Ryan Glasper. I am not too worried. The pass defense has been definition of consistent. Take a look at the past few years and defensive stats courtesy of Phil Steele’s preview.
|Year||Avg D PTS||Defensive|
Yards Per Catch
S -- Paul Anderson, JR, 6’1, 210lbs
S -- Wes Davis, SO, 6’1, 205lbs
CB -- Chris Fox, FR, 5’11, 186lbs
CB -- Taji Morris, SR, 5’9, 181lbs
S -- Jamie Silva, SR, 5’11, 208lbs
CB -- Roderick Rollins, SO, 6’0, 170lbs
CB -- Razzie Smith, SO, 5’10, 178lbs
CB -- DeJaun Tribble, SR, 5’9, 190lbs
Tribble is the game changer. Undersized, he still does a good job with the top players in the conference. He’s become a much better tackler and run supporter over the years. When he picks off the ball, he’s liable to take it to the endzone. The only area where he still struggles is with bigger, physical players in endzone. But he’s still the best we've got and has a very good chance to be first team ACC. Paul Anderson is listed as the likely starter at Strong Safety, but I think he’ll split time with many of the younger players. Anderson has never shown great coverage skills and doesn’t provide the run support that Silva does. FS Jamie Silva is a very good player and one of the best discoveries of the TOB recruiting efforts. He’s got great understanding and is probably one of the hardest hitters in the conference. Silva’s one problem is freelancing and straying from his zone. Young Wes Davis showed great promise last year. He has good size and decent speed. I think he’ll be starting by November. The other corner spot opposite Tribble is a little less certain. Rollins developed well over the last season and posses good speed, but he is still very untested. The backups (who will see time) include Razzie Smith and Taji Morris. Neither are particularly fast nor good tacklers. Hopefully one of the will improve this season. Chris Fox is the most promising young player. The local kid redshirted last year. He’s small, but has good speed and comes from a football family.
As I’ve said, I am excited about the whole defense. The secondary is young, but still very talented. Tribble and Silva both have a chance to be first-team ACC. And while some fans will still be frustrated by our coverage cushion, give Spaz and his players the benefit of the doubt. While the scheme lacks aggression, it’s been very productive for us the past five years.