Defense!

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Did you know that exactly 10 years ago, the North Carolina State Wolfpack had the best defense in entire country? With coordinator Reggie Herring and defense that included a player that made an NFL roster AT EVERY POSITION, the Wolfpack dominated opponents and held them to less yards than any other team in the country.

My oh my how things change! When I took a look at the following graphic I couldn’t help but notice our NC State had surrendered almost 1,100 MORE yards than Louisville in 2014 — and we are only HALF way through the season.

Then I ran across this tweet:

Giving up all of those yards on single plays is one thing. Now imagine how many 3rd down and SUPER LONGs that NC State has surrendered in the last two years and it will make you pull out your hair. While we all recognize and accept the talent situation inside of the NC State program as chronicled here, there have definitely been some rumbling from fans about defense coordinator Dave Huxtable as many fans remember his presence/role at UNC-CH when their defense was so porous in the John Bunting years. What are your thoughts on the topic? I’d love to pick up a little more insight from some of you that might have a more educated opinion.

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Home Forums Defense!

This topic contains 19 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  tjfoose1 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
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  • #59050

    StateFans
    Keymaster

    Did you know that exactly 10 years ago, the North Carolina State Wolfpack had the best defense in entire country? With coordinator Reggie Herring and
    [See the full post at: Defense!]

    #59051

    PapaJohn
    Participant

    Wow, had forgotten that. NC State football the best in the country at something. What a concept!

    “… a defense that included a player that made an NFL roster AT EVERY POSITION”

    Unbelievable!

    We’ve got a loooonnngggg way to go.

    #59053

    YogiNC
    Participant

    As I’ve already commented…where is Reggie Herring when you need him???? I’m pretty sure we could pay him more as DC than the Bears are paying him as linebackers coach.

    #59056

    mak4dpak
    Participant

    Figures we get a unx hand me down, that was sorry then, and still incompetent. Wake up Doeren! This guy is killing us. Even if the season is well along, would gladly welcome Herring back.

    #59057

    Greywolf
    Participant

    If you have big, fast athletes on the defensive side of the ball, it doesn’t matter much what kind of scheme you run. If you have small, slow athletes on the defensive side of the ball, it doesn’t matter much what kind of scheme you run. It’s not that I don’t think some DC’s are better than others, I just don’t think any of them can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

    I’ve noticed a coincidence. All the really good defensive coordinators coach at schools with top athletes as determined by recruiting class rankings. So I must surmise that Huxtable is a really lousy DC because he coaches at a school with poorly ranking recruiting classes. Besides we owe Hux a real debt of gratitude – who would we blame the poor defense on if not our DC?

    We need to bring in a DC who knows how to coach speed and quickness — boys who can overpower offensive tackles and stuff running backs for loses. Hux clearly doesn’t know this aspect of his job.

    “…where is Reggie Herring when you need him???? I’m pretty sure we could pay him more as DC than the Bears are paying him as linebackers coach.” I wouldn’t bet on it. Besides there is a lot more to coaching in college than meets the eye. Reggie’s not a spring chicken any longer and he might have had all the kissing HS prima donna’s arses he wants.

    Having said all that, it’s too bad Chuck couldn’t keep Reggie here. He may have been the best we’ve had in modern times. Maybe we could resurrect Al Michaels. He is my nomination for All-Time Best DC we’ve ever had at State. (For you young’uns Coach Michaels was Earl Edwards DC in the late 50’s and 60’s — in the era that we had some very highly ranked teams playing in old, 20,000 seat Riddick “Stadium.” In those days we played our home games with eweNC over on Brokeback Hill.

    (Who knows? That may have been when we brought recruits in for their official visit. I was in school with those guys and I’m pretty sure some would have believed it was where we played all our home games.)

    Bringing in the top ranked defensive player in the state 2 years running is the kind of thing that can change a defense in a hurry. The thoughts of Roseboro and Street manning the end positions give me “the grins.” ;-) No offense meant to Rose and Norman but…

    My only character defect is my excessive humility.
    #59061

    ryebread
    Participant

    +1 to most of what Greywolf said.

    Defense comes down to the players, particularly at the college level and in the era of the spread and hurry up offenses. You need your player to be able to beat their player 1:1, and there’s simply not many spots on our defense where we can do that.

    Ten years ago, Herring was gifted the most defensive talent I’ve ever seen at NC State. He had a fantastic year. I could have coached that defense.

    It wasn’t like Herring was a magician either. Like Hux, he’d made plenty of stops. Some were good. Some were not so good. He had arguably his best year at NC State. I’m sure if he’d have stuck around longer, when the talent dropped off, our opinion of him would have as well.

    The same thing goes for Norm Chow. I loved the guy and was sad when he left, but he was aided by coaching some good talent and a QB that was greatly better than advertised. His track record since leaving has been pretty mixed (and downright awful as the head man at Hawaii). He’s one for Wolfpack legend though.

    If we want an external reference, check out the big plays VT has given up this year. Is Bud Foster now suddenly a horrible DC? Nah, the talent level at VT is just down from where it was 5-10 years ago.

    As for Hux, he had a good defense at Pitt before joining NC State. I’m guessing that he can again.

    #59064

    ncsu1987
    Participant

    The Jimmy’s, Johnny’s, and Joe’s make the defense, and Grey’s sow’s ear/silk purse analogy is perfect.

    If you have good defensive talent, you’ll have a good defense.

    The DC (and sometimes the HC, by way of hand-cuffing the DC) will have an impact, but that impact has limited magnitude, IMO. A talented DC will sometimes help the defense elevate to the next level, but that’s as far as it goes. Say you have great defensive talent on the field and a good DC. He can potentially elevate the great defense into an elite defense. But I don’t care who it is, he can’t take questionable talent and forge them into an elite defense (and we’re back to Grey’s perfect analogy).

    Fair warning for the next paragraph: I shave every morning with Occam’s razor. Maybe this view is too simplified, but DC’s make more difference in the pros. The talent differentials aren’t that vast, and the DC’s schemes, quirks, and innovations can make a difference. In college ball, the talent differential is often just too big. It’s one of the remaining beauties of the game to me – although the talent differential can be large, the game sometimes hinges on the ability of the staffs to harness the emotional and psychological energies of these boys to get them to collectively exceed their individual abilities. Tremendous upsets happen, and when they do, they’re magical.

    When you’re on the deficit side of the talent differential, you enjoy those moments while you work to recruit better talent. In college ball, talent trumps everything.

    #59065

    Whiteshoes67
    Participant

    Everybody knew Herring’s reputation when he came here. Like Foster at VTU, those coordinators will periodically give up big plays because they’re going to play press coverage, they’re going to go after the QB, they’re going to attack from different spots on the field. I admittedly don’t know Huxtable’s philosophy on defense. We’re not getting toasted because we play press coverare or blitz a ton. We’re getting toasted because we’re out of position, don’t tackle well, and don’t communicate well, and we get very little pressure on the QB. I still don’t buy the fact that talent and depth alone explains performance on that side. Factors in the equation maybe, but I suspect there are plenty of coordinators out there who could get more out of that roster. We’re flat awful.

    #59067

    4in12
    Participant

    If I’m remembering it correctly, that year they only rushed three a good part of the time and still pressured the QB.

    #59068

    MrPlywood
    Participant

    This story needs to be read to me by Burl Ives, while he sits in a rocking chair smoking a pipe.

    #59074

    PackerInRussia
    Participant

    de·fense noun \di-?fen(t)s; as antonym of “offense,” often ?d?-?\

    Full Definition of DEFENSE

    1
    a : the act or action of defending <the defense of our country> <speak out in defense of justice>
    b : a defendant’s denial, answer, or plea
    2
    a : capability of resisting attack
    b : defensive play or ability

    Just in case anyone forgot.

    And by the way, I’m with Greywolf also. Give Dave Huxtable a load of near future NFLers and I’ll bet he suddenly becomes a lot better DC.

    #59077

    ryebread
    Participant

    whiteshoes: I hear you. I’m not saying there aren’t things with the defensive scheme I question. We went through some of those on another thread.

    I just think overall, defense at college is about the players. In the NFL, the talent is more even, there’s more time to study (by the players), more time to instruct, and just more speed overall (which helps the defense more than the offense). I think the impact of defensive coaches in the NFL is higher than college.

    I don’t think Hux had all NFL talent at Pittsburgh and he put up a pretty good defense. I suspect if we had just ACC average talent, we’d at least be average. I could be wrong though.

    All the Hux haters may get their wish. Fair or unfair, he may be the scapegoat if things continue on their current path. DD will have to show he is “doing something.”

    #59079

    Greywolf
    Participant

    I suspect there are plenty of coordinators out there who could get more out of that roster.

    I think the question is, how many of that “plenty of coordinators” are available and at what price?

    Let’s look at the roster those DC’s would be working with starting with the LB’s.
    1. starting JR MLB, MJ Salahuddin, injured before season — Out for the season
    2. 23 y.o. freshman LB, Ty Linton, injured before fall camp — Out for the season
    3. R-FR scholarship LB, Artemis Robinson, injured before season — Out for the season
    4 & 5. 2 FR being red shirted, Coult Culler & Max Stoffer
    This Saturday Bradley Chubb, recruited and listed as a DE, will be backing up true freshman, Airius Moore, who is replacing suspended Jarod Fernandez.

    My only character defect is my excessive humility.
    #59082

    PackofMac
    Participant

    Greywolf lose your tag for christ sake…there are absolutely no rams, sheep, or goats in wolf clothing. Just a bunch of frustrated life long fans and alumnus just like you, so as smart as you are and not to discredit all your extremely interesting entries to this blog site please lose that tag. Now to the point at hand, I believe those years or that year we were also the most penalized team in the country…I may be wrong but we were bad which was Chuck’s ONLY downfall because that man could recruit athletes.

    #59088

    tjfoose1
    Participant

    “As I’ve already commented…where is Reggie Herring
    when you need him????”

    This is a joke, right? There’s a reason why you have to ask the question. For those who don’t know, he’s been an assistant in the NFL for a while now.

    Reggie Herring was at NC State for one year. He did not recruit that defense, he did not build that defense, he did not develop that defense. The best thing he did was get out of the way. Giving him credit for that defense
    is like giving Switzer credit for the Cowboys winning Super Bowl XXX, but worse.

    That defense was good not because of Herring, it was good because of the one thing Amato did consistently very well – recruit stud athletes who could hit and play defense.

    True, it had the best ypg average, but it was far from the best defense in the country, and it should have been better. Herring did little to add structure or maximize the effectiveness of the unit as a whole. He essentially just rolled out the horses and let ‘em play.

    Those who remember that season know the defense was gashed by several average offenses including one in powder blue. The TA TD that was, then wasn’t, only mattered because that Wolfpack defense couldn’t stop a slow white fullback. They couldn’t stop him because the DC was a one trick poney who couldn’t make simple in game adjustments. Once an opponent found a weakness to exploit in that defense, they kept going at it. The defense rarely countered.

    #59089

    tjfoose1
    Participant

    The same thing goes for Norm Chow. I loved the guy and was sad when he left, but he was aided by coaching some good talent and a QB that was greatly better than advertised.

    The same thing? Seriously? No. Absolutely not. Norm Chow was one of the major reasons why that QB became better than expected. Chow was not gifted that offense. He cobbled it together with the pieces left by MOC and orchestrated it, developing individual players as well as the unit as a whole. He was the antithesis of “hands off”.

    #59090

    Fastback68
    Participant

    Jesus, Foose, do you ever sleep? Up early for game day?

    #59091

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Agree on Norm Chow. He did a really damned fine job, and is an excellent OC/QB whisperer. And the fact that he has a similar (stubborn, cocky, rubs some people as being kind of an ass) personality to PR was good juju.

    I heard Reggie Herring at the old “Coaches Corner” lunch series. That guy had more than one screw loose. PERFECT for an NFL defensive or special teams position coach. Not sure a college program would have been a long-term fit for him.

    #59092

    Greywolf
    Participant

    Greywolf lose your tag for christ sake… <snip> Just a bunch of frustrated life long fans and alumnus

    I “lost the tag.” I was actually acknowledging life long fans by calling out trolls as “rams in wolf clothing.” Frustrated? Get over it and be a man. I love my wife but making cutting remarks and jokes at her expense is a damned poor way of showing it.

    Complaints about the play? Have at it. Complaints about the coaching? Go ahead — like we know better than career coaches. Criticize if we must but as long as they are coaching the Pack, let’s extend courtesy if not respect. Do that and I’ll permanently “lose the tag.”

    My only character defect is my excessive humility.
    #59103

    tjfoose1
    Participant

    Jesus, Foose, do you ever sleep? Up early for game day?

    I’ve found I get my best curmudgeon on in the wee early morning hours. I have a rep’ to uphold.

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