The LAJ’s Don Williams and a three-deep defensive depth chart and we’ve got the highlights, who is out with an injury, where Mike Mitchell will line up and where Breiden Fehoko starts on the depth chart.
Defensive Depth Chart & Notes. LAJ’s Don Williams has a ton of notes from talking with defensive coordinator David Gibbs and there’s a ton of stuff there so please make sure and click on the link. There are a handful of interesting things, so we’ll just get started. I’m sure I’ll miss something, so please supplement in the comments (that’s why I love you guys). Also, Don has the entire three-deep defensive depth chart so make sure and take a look at that.
- There will not be any more bandit and / or raider, which means that I won’t accidentally call the bandit position the raider and vice-versa. You have more traditional positions like a 4-3, but Pete Robertson is your stand-up defensive end so it is essentially the same thing.
- Texas Tech will not play field and boundary positions, but play left and right cornerbacks, Gibbs feels like this is easier because the secondary players are not having to flip-flop sides of the field based on the position of the ball.
- Out for the spring will be DT Donte Phillips, DE Andre Ross, S Jah’Shawn Johnson and S J.J. Gaines are all out with shoulder injuries and /or surgeries. CB Joseph Clark, the greyshirt, won’t practice as he still rehabs from his awful high school knee surgery, and CB La’Darius Newbold has hamstring injuries that may keep him out.
- All of those safeties that we thought might play an outside linebacker position will stay at safety. That’s Derrick Dixon, Payton Hendrix and Jalen Barnes. I’m cool with that. In other secondary news, Justis Nelson is back at cornerback rather than safety with Nigel Bethel II opposite him.
- Mike Mitchell will start out at weakside linebacker and I’m really good with this, with Micah Awe at middle and Sam Atoe at the strong linebacker spots.
- The defensive line may get the most discussion because Breiden Fehoko is currently the third team, but Gibbs is sure that he’ll work his way up. I sorta like this. Gotta earn it. Also, Anthony Smith is second team and defensive tackle behind Rika Levi and Mike Smith said that Ant has lost 20 pounds, he’s down to the 330’s and he’s trying to do it the right way. Also down to the 330’s is Levi. That’s highly encouraging on both fronts.
LAJ’s Don Williams also talks with Gibbs about incumbent defensive end Branden Jackson, who Gibbs says has prototypical size and skill, but just needs someone to believe in him:
“I just think he needs some consistency, he needs somebody to believe in him and he needs somebody to teach him,” Gibbs said. “It’s not like you can double team him and let Pete go run around free on the other side, so I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t have a big year.”
I’ve got a few more links, but they may need to wait a day. Lots of good things to discuss this morning.