WVU Football – Time to Talk Defense

Joseph recovers a fumble

Karl Joseph Recovers a Fumble (photo from WVUSports)

WVU has 27 seniors on the football team during 2015, and 14 on are defense:

  • S – Carl Joseph
  • S – KJ Dillon
  • S – Dayron Wilson
  • DL – Eric Kinsey
  • DL – Kyle Rose
  • CB – Ricky Rump
  • CB – Keishawn Richardson
  • CB – Terrell Chestnut
  • CB – Jaylon Myers
  • LB – Edward Muldrow
  • LB – Jared Barber
  • LB – Isaiah Bruce
  • LB – Nick Kwiatkoski
  • LB – Shaq Petteway

Playing on defense are some pretty big names, and a few that have a good chance of playing on Sundays:

  • S – Carl Joseph
  • S – KJ Dillon
  • LB – Nick Kwiatkoski

When the Mountaineers announce the roster each year, there is no differentiation of defensive tackles and ends. With DE Shaq Riddick gone and likely NFL bound, this defensive position will probably be filled by a newcomer.

The most likely candidates to share the DE position in 2015 are Larry Jefferson 6’5″ 230 lbs, and Adam Shuler 6’5″ 255. Jefferson has an advantage in gaining the starting position by already being on campus and working out with the team.

Expect to see some new faces receiving playing time at cornerback and safety such as Rasul Douglas 6’3″ 200 lb, and Tyrek Cole 6’0″ 170 lbs.

Both have received praise from assistant coach Brian Mitchell. Coach Mitchell has stated, “They play like I did and they have the same mental attitude I played with.”

Coach Mitchell spent three years playing in the NFL. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons and finished his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. He has some credible knowledge about playing cornerback.

One defensive player that needs to get his game back on track is LB Isaiah Bruce. As a freshman, Bruce made a name for himself by wreaking havoc in opponent’s backfields.

However, he has struggled some during the past two seasons. If the 6’3″ 234 lb Bruce wants a shot at the NFL draft in 2016, he must pick up his game during the upcoming season.

While WVU had its best defense since 2011last season, it fell short coming up with turn-overs and getting pressure on quarterbacks. The coaches need to see substantial improvement in these areas.

The Mountaineers had opportunities at turn-overs in 2014, especially at interceptions. Unfortunately they could not hold on to the ball when given the chance.

There should be some improvement in creating turn-overs and pressure on quarterbacks in 2015. As with the offense though, the most significant improvements are probably coming in 2016 and 2017.

The special teams return game should show the most improvement in 2015. Punt return blocking will be improved courtesy of DL coach Bruce Tall.

The most notable improvement should be returning punts. Expect WVU to have someone who can actually catch and make plays at the position. I believe we will see one or more of these players handling punt returns:

  • ATH – Jacquez Adams (5-10, 158)
  • WR – Jordan Adams (6-0, 173)
  • ATH – Gary Jennings (6-2, 195)
  • WR – Vernon Davis (5-9, 173) – Davis took over punt return duties near the end of the 2014 season.

Incredible video by Dougity Dog

GO EERs!!!

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