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Texas D-Line Talk


Reese Bennett

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I, for one, am excited about watching the D-line this year. I think the Horns will have the top group in the conference. Ossai in his natural position will make a big difference and I expect all the interior guys including Coburn to make a huge jump in play. I hope Sweat has the kind of breakout year to where it's obvious he'll only be on campus one more year.  It'll be interesting to see what kind of difference Hagen makes. If things don't play out the way I want them to, I'll blame him.Texas Football on Twitter: "T'Vondre Sweat - Vote Above… "

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I get that you can play a 3 down line and succeed, but to me with our talent on the DL we should be in 4 down.  Ossai in his right position and Coburn moving around in the middle should wreck some OLs.  This is the change I am most optimistic about.  

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TFB Note...

***On the interior of the DL, I think you will see rotations where Coburn and Sweat are out there together. They’ve been doing that in practice. That’s nearly 700 lbs of interior beef.

 

Today's Humidor...

— We’ve probably mentioned Alfred Collins a little more, but Vernon Broughton was described as the best interior pass rusher on the team when they slide him down. “He gets off the ball quick and he moves like a much smaller person. Overall the d-line is quicker off the ball than last year.”

 

Nahlin

Defensive line. The D-line is a very good composite of early round draft picks, future NFL journeymen, experience, motor, depth, and elite younger talent. The parts are complementary and can be configured to stuff the run, get after the quarterback, or both. They should make life much easier for the rest of the defense.

Schemes that fit, fits to scheme. Based on the personnel of the defense, it’s my opinion Chris Ash will turn out to be a great hire. The strength of this defense would have once again been neutered by aligning in a three-man front and not utilizing Joseph Ossai on the line of scrimmage. By simple alignment and sound tackling this defense will be much improved. 

 

Edited by LTtxfan
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10 minutes ago, Lhorn said:

How many years has it been...... lower talent level, thin depth, guys not able to play the position that suits their skill set, wrong scheme, bad coaching. I pray this is the year Texas D line gets back to being feared.

Stay healthy and work hard, and this year's TEXAS D-Line has a chance to be dominant...

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Thanks for this @satyanash  

(Eric Nahlin) Conversational thoughts: UTEP 

- Jacoby Jones was a no-show. Obviously something happened in the last day or two. He’d help the pass rush. Moro Ojomo was active. The face mask penalty pissed off Fauci but he was athletic and breaking down in the back field which isn’t really his game yet he still showed ability.

- Alfred Collins.. His length and quickness is the equivalent of shooting 6-foot free throws. He has serious advantages thanks to his lengthy and initial. Wait until he’s a 1-tech. UT is going to get incredible interior pressure eventually.

- Sweat threw an OL in comical fashion and barely missed the tackle on the RB. He’s Hassan Ridgeway, which is crazy to think about because of all the other talent around them. Teams would kill for a Ridgeway, and UT has players with even more ability.

- The defense didn’t get a pass rush but they played fundamentally and tackled well. We didn’t see broken containment! You’re not going to run on that front. They weren’t tested in space as much as I was hoping to see. I wanted to get a better gauge of team speed. This wasn’t the game for it.

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Thanks for this @satyanash 

(Bobby Burton) Texas vs. UTEP grades: Defense gets the job done 

Defensive line

While the pass rush didn't necessarily live up to the hype, the control of the line of scrimmage certainly did. Keondre Coburn and T'Vondre Sweat make an incredible one-two punch on the interior. They not only clog things up, but they can also redirect plays. Moro Ojomo got beat a couple of times in the run game but also provided some pass rush. He had one QB hurry and a would-be sack that was negated by a facemask penalty. Alfred Collins looked the part and actually got the teams first sack on the season. Ta'Quon Graham was relatively quiet, but again the Miners found little success with anything they tried. The Horns held UTEP to a measly 43 yards rushing on 33 attempts.

Grade: A- 

Defense

The sum of the parts are better than the individual grades. The Horns limited UTEP to just 233 yards on 82 plays. That's less than three yards a pop. The Horns also kept the Miners out of the end zone and forced six three-and-outs and one turnover. The Horns will want to create more of a pass rush moving forward, but the run defense looks salty and the secondary didn't seem to have any major breakdowns.

Grade: A

 

 

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(Chip Brown) Morning Brew: Herman can't hide his love for UT interior D-line

Quote

— It's getting harder and harder for Tom Herman to hide his love for his interior defensive line.

"The group I've been very impressed with are the guys on the interior of our defensive line," Herman said Monday. "Those top four guys - Keondre Coburn, Ta'Quon Graham, T'Vondre Sweat and Alfred Collins - those are four bona fide dudes in there. I was really happy with the way they played." Herman said Collins had some missteps here and there as a true freshman. But Collins also had the team's only sack in the UTEP game.

I've said the reason I'm picking Texas to win the Big 12 this season is because of that defensive line, especially the talent and depth at defensive tackle. The reason Clemson and Alabama keep playing in the College Football Playoff is because of their mega-talented defensive lines, specifically their defensive tackles - guys like Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and D.J. Reader from Clemson and guys like Raekwon Davis, Quinnen Williams and Da'Ron Payne from Alabama.

Texas is now getting back to having difference-making defensive tackles who are capable of playing at a championship level. I spoke with an NFL scout this week who loves Sweat - and Sweat is only a sophomore. Collins will be on NFL radars soon, and he has two more years at Texas. In my opinion, outside of a difference-making quarterback, difference-making defensive tackles are the most important and most difficult players to find on the recruiting trail.

I'll never forget talking to former Baylor coach Guy Morriss, a stud center for the Philadelphia Eagles on their Super Bowl XV team, at the College Football Awards in Orlando when Baylor punter Daniel Sepulveda was being honored. He said, "Chip, I'm gonna get fired if I can't find some defensive tackles." Needless to say, Morriss didn't find those defensive tackles. Herman, however, has found his.

— Texas had 172 missed tackles last year. Um, needless to say, that wasn't good.

But as I reported in the INSIDER during fall camp, one of the things coaches liked most was the sure tackling happening under new coordinator Chris Ash, who harps religiously on guys wrapping up and not just throwing shoulders in an attempt to make a knockout hit. You're going to hear a lot about Ash teaching "rugby" tackling, which is another way to describe "head-up" tackling, which is being preached across football, from high school to the NFL.

But the most important aspect of "rugby" tackling in Ash's mind is wrapping up and not just trying to make a big hit, which can sometimes result in the ball carrier bouncing off the defender and continuing downfield (see last year's missed tackles). After Week 1, so far, so good on cutting down on missed tackles.

 

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Thanks for this @satyanash 

(Scipio Tex) 2020 UTEP Post-Mortem: Defense

DL

I think we all would have enjoyed more general mayhem, but UTEP was getting the ball out quickly, frequently kept the TE in as a 6th OL, sometimes with the RB as well, and double teamed DL at the point of attack in the running game. We had several instances where linemen got good penetration against the run: Sweat, Collins, and Ojomo all leap to mind, but they took it a bit too far upfield and didn't get flat and take a good pursuit angle. A DL can beat a guy so badly that he can actually create a hole for the runner to duck into, particularly on zone runs. Gotta feel the flow of the run and then take an appropriate angle. One of the subtle differentiators between solid DL and good DL play is ball and blocking scheme awareness. If you watched any of Aaron Donald's play against the Cowboys last night, he's the gold standard. This should improve over time with coaching.

Joseph Ossai was very good against the run. We played him fairly snug on the weak side on standard downs to protect Overshown from downhill runs. I expect to see him lining up wider and in a track stance against more pass happy opponents - at least situationally. When you see him lined up in a neutral "catch" stance (a two point stance, squatted down, both hands up ready to shock the OL) he's playing run first. You see a good example of that on an early 1st quarter stop by Ossai when UTEP runs on 3rd and short at him. Bad choice by UTEP as Ossai creates a TFL.

Moro Ojomo cheated himself of a sack with an unfortunate face mask but later had a nice QB hit as he released the ball. I smiled watching him line up in a four point stance at times playing SDE. Playing run first, Ojomo? No Jacoby Jones. We'll find out more. I liked Jett Bush's hustle in late relief of Ossai. Reese Leitao had a good bull rush pressure in limited snaps where he walked the OT back into the QB without giving up his outside shoulder and did a decent job setting the edge on a run. This was a good depth move.

Keondre Coburn and Sweat held down the middle fine. Sweat had one of my favorite plays of the game when he hurled a UTEP OL about five yards into the backfield when the guy tried to reach block him. I'd like to see better get off from Coburn. It's possible that the coaches asked him to play run first to make UTEP''s power running a non-starter. Ta'Quon Graham was relatively quiet, but solid at the 3. We need more disruption from that position though.

Alfred Collins had a great sack where he showed his quickness and power and he could have notched another couple of tackles on disruptive plays if he can do a better job of locating the ball and angling his pursuit. Great debut from the freshman. Hard to believe he's 305.

One thing to keep in mind: there's a general belief that playing DL is just being big, quick, and nasty. Well, yes. But we're asking them to operate in a different scheme from how they've been employed. There's a lot of old muscle memory to work through and some new skills to learn. Some of these guys are still thinking. DL is instinctive - they've gotta let it go.

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20 minutes ago, LTtxfan said:

Ta'Quon Graham was relatively quiet, but solid at the 3. We need more disruption from that position though.

Color me shocked. He’s a big part of why our DL didn’t have a great pass rush. When you have guys like Coburn/Sweat at NT and an edge rusher who requires extra attention your 3 tech will see a ton of single blocking, and he needs to win those matchups. Graham has always been way too content to just try to not lose his matchup. He either needs to start winning or we need to get a 3 tech in there who will, otherwise this DL will fall short of its potential. 

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2 hours ago, Burt Macklin said:

Color me shocked. He’s a big part of why our DL didn’t have a great pass rush. When you have guys like Coburn/Sweat at NT and an edge rusher who requires extra attention your 3 tech will see a ton of single blocking, and he needs to win those matchups. Graham has always been way too content to just try to not lose his matchup. He either needs to start winning or we need to get a 3 tech in there who will, otherwise this DL will fall short of its potential. 

Okay can we email this to Ash now?

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On 9/11/2020 at 9:12 PM, Lhorn said:

How many years has it been...... lower talent level, thin depth, guys not able to play the position that suits their skill set, wrong scheme, bad coaching. I pray this is the year Texas D line gets back to being feared.

On top of it all, our 3 man DL was also used as a recruiting tool against us. It's a pretty easy argument to make when you're talking to a top DL prospect - would you rather catch double- and triple-teams to free up LB your entire career or rush the passer?

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Thanks @satyanash    

Nahlin:

The feeling around the program is the more Alfred Collins plays, the harder it’s going to be to keep him off the field. Could he really jump senior Ta’Quon Graham? It’s possible, through no fault of Graham’s.

Jacoby Jones has been back and practicing after his family tragedy. He should get a lot of opportunities to show what he can do versus the Tech passing game and a decent Tech O-line.

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247 Jeff Howe:  D-Line Depth Chart for Tech  

End

1. Moro Ojomo (Soph.)

2. Jacoby Jones (Sr.)

3. Vernon Broughton (Fr.-HS)

Nose Tackle

1. Keondre Coburn (Soph.)

2. T'Vondre Sweat (Soph.)

3. Sawyer Goram-Welch (Fr.-HS)

Tackle

1. Ta'Quon Graham (Sr.)

2. Alfred Collins (Fr.-HS)

3. Daniel Carson (Soph.)

JACK

1. Joseph Ossai (Jr.)

2. Reese Leitao (Jr.) — OR — Jett Bush (Soph.)

Key Quote: "Yeah, us big guys don't get, really, a lot of praise unless you get a sack, a TFL. We get graded off of: did you stay in your gap? Do you use your hands right? Did you have pushback? Did you run to the ball? Every team you play you've got to run to the ball, so they really take care of the loafs. If everybody's running to the ball, they want to see 11 hats to the football and if you don't, you get a minus for that. In a situation we played this weekend, did I  get my hands right? Did I stay in my gap? Did I not get pushed out of my gap? Did I do the right assignment, my right job? You can get graded off of that." — Coburn on how the coaching staff grades defensive linemen in a game outside of recording standard statistics

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Notes for Tech thanks to @satyanash  

Humidor

DL: Still the team's strength and it’s a motivated group because they know Tech is sound up front, especially in the interior. What comes to mind when we ask about the d-line, “Size, speed, they play pissed off, vets, youth, Sweat, Little Alfred. Jacoby Jones is back. It’ll be fun to watch them this week.”

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Scipio Tex notes on DL Tech Game     (Thanks @satyanash  )

DL

Joe Ossai had three really good pressures, two of which led to deflected balls, one of which led to a prospective TD that was correctly called back after replay revealed Bowman’s hand in motion. He was also held a half dozen times, but the refs ate their flags. Jett Bush got run in the second half when legs gave out in the heat and he was OK except for giving up the edge on the Thompson TD run. If he’s supposed to show inside on that call, fine, but he still has to pursue flat and get to the sideline. Jacoby Jones had minimal impact in his return. Moro Ojomo had some solid run stopping snaps and a solid open field tackle, but no consistent pass rush. Coburn and Sweat were strong inside against inside zone, but failed to collapse the pocket and had some struggles with the length of Tech’s interior OL in pass protection. Sweat also had a face mask penalty that cost 15 yards and bailed out Tech from a blown up run.

Ta’Quon Graham’s crucial -4 yard tackle for loss in overtime put Tech behind the chains and into panic mode. It was a massive play and deserves a call out as one of the key moments of the contest. Graham played well inside and had a couple of decent pocket pushes to go with good run D. Texas can’t play a 4-man DL against teams that will drop back and throw it 50-60 times if they can’t make their impact felt as pass rushers. Whether that’s letting them go, attacking gaps more, overloading on 3rd and long, more line games, stunts, better instruction in pass rushing, whatever, something needs to change rapidly.

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6 minutes ago, Knoxtnhorn said:

Slightly related but a poss minor effect on the lack of pressure.  Tech had 76 offensive snaps X 4 DL = 304 situations in which holding was called ZERO times.  

Ash and Herman need to work the Refs to get more of that damn holding called...  NO WAY that Saban would put up with that shit !!!

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40 minutes ago, Knoxtnhorn said:

Slightly related but a poss minor effect on the lack of pressure.  Tech had 76 offensive snaps X 4 DL = 304 situations in which holding was called ZERO times.  

They called Tech for 1 holding penalty. It actually helped, because they ended up missing a 46 yard FG. The only reason Thompson got the edge on his 1st "TD" run was a blatant hold on the edge. It was so bad even Tillman talked about it. Their LG tackled Overshown right in front line judge.

Edited by HtownHorn
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Through game 2, my layman fan watching from the couch defensive line power rankings:

Ojomo

Ossai

TQ Graham

Sweat

Collins

Coburn

Leitao

Am I wrong?  Coburn hasn't taken the next step with on-field performance over the years, seems like he has plateaued hard.  Might be a weight issue with him and Sweat, both guys get gassed too often and can't seem to recover their explosion for the rest of the series.

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1 minute ago, squeegeedegg said:

Through game 2, my layman fan watching from the couch defensive line power rankings:

Ojomo

Ossai

TQ Graham

Sweat

Collins

Coburn

Leitao

Am I wrong?  Coburn hasn't taken the next step with on-field performance over the years, seems like he has plateaued hard.  Might be a weight issue with him and Sweat, both guys get gassed too often and can't seem to recover their explosion for the rest of the series.

Coburn also got hit in the knee at some point during the game but walked it off. I'm sure everyone would be shitting their pants, and Keondre been seriously hurt like it initially looked.

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35 minutes ago, LTtxfan said:

Who are some of the former Longhorn NFL DL that still live in Austin?? 

There's got to be some tips on how a DL that's constantly getting held can draw more attention from Refs so holding penalties are called...

Bobby Burton in his MONDAY write-up...

I don't call out officials regularly.

But the lack of holding calls on Texas Tech was outright ridiculous.

Even on the game's final play, Ta'Quon Graham was clearly held as Alan Bowman was flushed from the pocket but there was no call. That ball is somehow completed and you're talking about a season-ending no-flag call.

Then there was the clear hold on the nine-yard TD run by Tech. And the fact that the Tech runner clearly stepped out of bounds.

Furthermore, the side judge continually spotted the ball poorly. Whether it was the placement of the ball a yard short of the first down that ultimately created Roschon Johnson's fourth down push or numerous others throughout the game, the refs got it wrong again and again and it looked like it was out of laziness.

If you have the time and inclination (and the game recorded), go back and watch the very first pass and catch to Schooler along the left sideline. The side judge marks Schooler out of bounds a clear yard from where he actually stepped out and the ball went out.

Hidden yards like that can have big consequences.

I'll end the rant now only to say that there's no way Tech did not hold a single time all game on offense.

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24 minutes ago, LTtxfan said:

Bobby Burton in his MONDAY write-up...

I don't call out officials regularly.

But the lack of holding calls on Texas Tech was outright ridiculous.

Even on the game's final play, Ta'Quon Graham was clearly held as Alan Bowman was flushed from the pocket but there was no call. That ball is somehow completed and you're talking about a season-ending no-flag call.

Then there was the clear hold on the nine-yard TD run by Tech. And the fact that the Tech runner clearly stepped out of bounds.

Furthermore, the side judge continually spotted the ball poorly. Whether it was the placement of the ball a yard short of the first down that ultimately created Roschon Johnson's fourth down push or numerous others throughout the game, the refs got it wrong again and again and it looked like it was out of laziness.

If you have the time and inclination (and the game recorded), go back and watch the very first pass and catch to Schooler along the left sideline. The side judge marks Schooler out of bounds a clear yard from where he actually stepped out and the ball went out.

Hidden yards like that can have big consequences.

I'll end the rant now only to say that there's no way Tech did not hold a single time all game on offense.

Wow. Burton actually not shit talking texas is a breath of fresh air. If that fat fuck can see how the fuck did those refs not? Oh right, gotta pay mortgages and shit and fatten those pockets. 

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