Oooooooh, this is Going to Be Fun

I cannot express how excited I am about our defense over the coming years.

Lynch today looked freaking awesome. Yes, it was super obvious. But yes, it’s very exciting. He’s not even sure where to be – but the athleticism and instincts, and raw talent are all, very clearly, there.

And then you have the myth, the man, the Legend Louis Nix III. LNIII is UNSTOPPABLE. While his presence wasn’t as obvious as Lynch’s in the stats line, he MOVED the OL backward. He was often forcing QBs into quick/early/suboptimal decisions, because he was simply forcing the entire OL to collapse early. THE MAN IS A BEAST.

Add in Stephon Tuitt, another huge athlete and this will be a really, really fun unit to watch over the next 3-4 years. It is going to be a thing of beauty.

Lots of other thoughts on BG, but this was easily my favorite part. Opposing QBs, you best be shaking in your boots. You’re gonna get hit. Opposing DC’s, you better have a scheme ready, because you can’t double both of these guys. You’re gonna get beat. Opposing Olinemen? I just feel bad for you. WE GONNA BE BEAST.

  • E-Man

    Not that I’m saying that he played well, but I really liked what I saw out of Golston today. For a guy who has only seen the play book for four months now and has only had some-teen practices with it, the guy made a lot of good plays, probably should have had a few more completions.

    That being said, I think it’s clear that Hendrix > Golston right now. He really impressed me with his mobility and getting into the end-zone.

    I don’t think you can pick a “winner” between Rees and Crist right now, except for who does the better post-game. Crist is POLISHED.

    • http://www.herloyalsons.com The Biscuit

      I agree. Hendrix also gets an edge bc he loses eligibility either way. Golson doesn’t – he can still ‘red shirt’ – so even if it’s tied it’ll flip to Hendrix simply bc of that + more familiarity, etc.

  • SDI

    Hendrix on Lynch: “That’s no high school kid.”

  • Mark

    After LNIII knocked off someone’s helmet, I yelled: “Somebody lost a bonnet!” in my best Lattimer voice.

  • Rob

    Loved Lynch today, he blew up some plays based purely on athleticism. Crist and Rees both looked shaky. I think he’ll end up going with Dayne because he knows Rees can come off the bench in the line of fire. Golson reminds me of Troy Smith a few years back. I like whats in store for the future.

    • E-Man

      Has Troy Smith ever had a rocket arm though? Maybe I’m mis-remembering it, but I don’t remember it so. Golson can really fire the ball. I was thinking of a much faster Rex Grossman.

  • Nick

    I think you mean opposing “OC’s”, not DC’s.

    :)

    • The Biscuit

      That is correct

  • Mark G

    Some thoughts from being there live:

    1) Guys are a lot bigger. Shembo is HUGE. Even Goodman looked a bit more like a fast tight end than a WR – well, kind of.

    2) We have one running back. Cierre Wood looked great – made one move or maybe one move and then one more, but not dancing at the hole. But he is all we have as of now.

    3) Hard to tell much about DB’s. Jackson is fast, but had to use that speed to try to make up for playing out of position. And coaches had Romano playing – looked like Rudy out there.

    4) In addition to Lynch and Nix, the other newcomer on defense who impressed me was Ishaq Williams. He had to play contain on Golson, so he could not show off speed on edge, but played smart and showed another gear when he had to. He is also big and can use his long arms to get free of blocker.

    5) Agree with the other comments on QB’s – neither Rees or Crist looked all that sharp (Crist under throwing out patterns, Rees over throwing over the middle (much more dangerous)). Golson does have a gun of an arm for a little guy. Geez, he is going to be fun to watch over the next few years. And if nothing else we learned that Hendrix can take a hit. When Lynch flattened him, you could hear the hit up on the upper deck through the pouring rain.

    6. TV timeouts in the pouring rain at a “spring” game (47 degrees) are no fun.

    • Erik ’04

      I was surprised by how bad Jonas Gray looked. He just looked slow and maybe confused as well. Perhaps he’s still adjusting to the coaches asking him to “run like a 225 pound back”? I know it took Hughes some time to make that adjustment. Here’s hoping he gets it figured out over the summer.

      • E-Man

        If we’re going to switch to “what (bad) suprised us”, this is my concern too. Wasn’t Gray supposed to be pretty much a blue-chipper coming out of high school? Did the walk-on out perform him?

        I don’t think we’ll find Cam McDaniel to be the answer either after the fall. I’m sure he’ll be a durable back and brings different things to the table, but as a bell-cow go to back to step in for Wood, I don’t think so.

        Is it too late to clone Theo Riddick, like 8 times?

      • Ryan

        Remember, he has been slowed by an injury. So I’ll wait until fall to judge him.

        • Erik ’04

          I hadn’t heard about that. Makes sense, I guess. He has looked much better in the past.

  • The Biscuit

    No doubt, we have big holes at RB and even WR. Now that Kelly and staff have gotten off to a good start with DBs, the focus needs to be those 2 skill positions, BIG TIME.

    • http://theirishlion.wordpress.com theIrishLion10

      Dorial Green-Beckham, anyone?

  • Trey

    I disagree with the comments about QBs being poor, at least Rees. He had a number of very good throws just dropped by practice squad guys. Imo, he wasnt game ready, bu he’s still the better of the two and def ahead preparation-wise.

    • E-Man

      Rees also had a few bad decisions, one of which got picked off pretty easily by the cornerback reacting to his eyes and coming off his coverage responsibility to make the pick.

      Crist also was trying some tough throws intentionally, and Brian Kelly alluded to that after the game. Still, 5-11 with a 3.4 yard per attempt is nothing to crow about, even if all 11 throws are “tough” throws.

  • Domeadomedome

    This D has the potential, right now, to be better than any ND defense since 93, maybe as good. Hell, maybe better. Remember, Teo didn’t play, the first string guys were split up, and some other key guys were out (MacDonald). I am less worried about RBs than most. Cierre is a top flight talent. Most teams don’t have one. Gray looks off because, as mentioned, he is injured. Gray would start at places like Wiscy and he would be a stud. He may be one of those guys who gets better with more carries, but we may never know.

    • http://www.herloyalsons.com The Biscuit

      I agree that Wood will be solid, but I am very concerned about Gray, and very, very concerned with depth. If Wood goes down, teams will drop 8 and dare us to run, and we won’t be able to. Scary. Way too thin at RB for my taste

    • Mark G

      I wonder if concern overn RB may affect coaching staff decisions on preparation of QB – if a team has only one legitimate, healthy RB, then maybe coaching staff leans more toward packages with running QB’s.

    • E-Man

      Gray would be a stud at Wisc because their OL is pro-caliber. What Wisconsin RB has made the most noise in the NFL? Terrel Fletcher? Ron Danye? Really?

  • GQ574

    Jonas just needs to get his butt in gear and head up field. I think of Brooks when I look at his body and see nothing near that in his performance… I am sure coach Kelly will have his foot near his a** if he pulls that stop and stare crap this summer!

  • http://www.footballinsiders.net Justin

    I thought the defensive front 7 looked solid on both teams which is great news. The weather was not up to par so I cant really make a decision on which quarterback looked better. I do know that the 2 young guys looked exciting and should be difference makers in the near future.

    Overall I thought the team looked good and cant wait to see what the product looks like in the season opener against South Florida.