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What's happening with Wolfpack in Fall Camp?

Posted this in "Where have all the Posters gone?..." but decided it's worth its own thread. Comments?

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Fall camp opened Friday with what I've heard to be an energetic practice. DD was pleased.

Doeren pointed out that Jordan Houston (Fr RB) had an outstanding practice.

Val Martin (DT) has improved to the point that he has been moved to the 1st team DL and Alim McNeill moved to 2nd tram. This may change back but trusted resources said it was Martin improving, not McNeill's regression.

The handwriting might have been on the wall for TK-G -- who while he was a great teammate just wasn't an ACC safety. Tim Kidd-Glass is transferring.

Tanner Ingle is at strong safety with Von Graves backing him up. Tanner had trouble with coverage as a nickle when the receiver/ball got behind him but he was a bullet when he hit you. Gibson thinks Ingle will play the pass better when it's in front of him. Me too.

Our back-up nickle is reported to be the fastest DB on the team. Very athletic. Could be pushing Stephen Griffin for starting mid-season. He had an excellent spring game defending passes. I heard (but it couldn't be) he had 3 INTs but probably PBUs. I see Tyler (Baker-Willians) in on 3rd and long.

Co-DC Gibson has moved the DBs into the same room and working them together. The communication and continuity will make this a better unit. His past indicates he like versatility in his DBs.

The proof of the pudding is always in the eating and we will see when the real hitting starts what we have on defense. A source that should know says this D-Line may be better than 2017's.

Our LB's are deep and Payton Wilson isn't on the 2 deep -- yet. He's fully participating in practice and like I said, we have depth.

One more coaching point of interest. Hux has shown some spirit as has Des. Hux got on the 3rd team D for not giving 100% and Des got on some younger RBs for not finishing a drill the way he wanted.

Joshua Harris is still at 350 lbs. Doeren wants him to loose 30. If he looses 20 by ECU I think he will see some reps. The concern is his health at the weight. Were he to loose the weight, he will be playing. He is a load in the middle. Ask anybody who was at the spring game. He hasn't been goofing off, just hasn't lost weight. He's been a beast in the weight room.

As have apparently all the team. For instance freshman QB from Colorado has put on 20 lbs.

Sounds like the bar has been raised a bit. What else would it sound like to the quintessential optimist? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Comments

  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 732

    Good information Grey. Looking forward to seeing the team this year. I really consider these next 2 years as critical. We lost a lot from our staff after 2018. It appears - at least on paper- that we are building the kind of depth at all positions that is necessary for sustained success in college football.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647
    edited August 5

    Thanks, Chop.

    You bring up our loosing coaches and rightly so, however the consensus of opinion I have gathered is that we very much improved the overall level of coaching. How much better Tony Gibson is than Ted Roof was as-DC and safeties coach is off the charts. At least what Roof did for us. IMO we were just a "placeholder" until Roof moved on.

    John Garrison, our OL coach is showing indicators that we may have improved somewhat in coaching but a lot in recruiting prowess. His OL at FAU ranked about 15th nationally in both rushing and passing offense.

    The opposite is true for Todd Goebbel. Goebbel was hired for what DD saw as special teams coordinator when we played Marshall. While Goebbel is no slouch as a recruiter, he isn't Faulkner.

    Rye says our QB coach isn't an improvement. I guess we will find out soon enough.

  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 1,513

    When you've got Hux sharing his wisdom with the defensive staff, it really doesn't matter who the position coaches are. Hux will get them "up to speed."

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647
    edited August 5

    How long have you been a Hux hater? Position coaches are hired by the HC based on their coaching talent and successes. We have put a few guys in the NFL on Hux's watch.

    And do you think this kind of comment is what other posters are looking to read -- back-stabbing the coaches you don't like?

    No question we would all like Hux to be another Brent Venebles or such but he's not.

    What Hux does well is provide an environment for the Defensive coaches to coach in that has them enjoy their work and want to stay here unless they get promoted out.

    What success we have had on defense isn't brilliant scheming (like we do in our heads sitting in our arm chairs) but is a combination of Thunder Dan in the weight room and coaches teaching and coaching technique.

    The defense we use is coordinated with the HC's philosophy. If DD was an offensive coach, even more freedom would be allowed.

  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 1,513

    Hate is a really strong word. I’ve been pretty consistently unimpressed. Part of that is the performance of a defense that put its entire front four into the first 4-5 rounds of the NFL draft. If he didn’t produce a dominant defense with that kind of talent, when will he? Should we be fearful of an awful defense with average talent? The bump we got in offensive production by switching to Drink a few years ago might just be available if we made a move at DC. I’m pretty sure that move will be when Hux retires and not a moment sooner.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647

    Good, calm answer. I like that.

    An NFL DL doesn't mean an NFL secondary. Thunder Dan can help build a strong and I do mean strong DL but he can't add the speed and skill we need in the secondary.

    We haven't been blessed with an over abundance of talent in the back even though it has been improving especially of late. Changes are being made as anybody who attended the spring game could see. More aggressive and tighter coverage.

    Here's a question for you: if the defense improves are we going to credit Hux? We've sure blamed him for the short-comings.

  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 732

    Grey - I don’t agree with you 100% on the statement on DB talent. We have had some good DBs in Tocho, Burris and Josh Jones. We have been hit pretty hard by injuries and transfers at that position, especially the last couple of years.

    I have been suspect for a while on Hux and share some of Tex’s concern about him. However, to your point, he operates with the approval of the HC and has brought stability to a unit that is recruiting very well.

  • RickRick Posts: 1,447PFN Referee

    "Here's a question for you: if the defense improves are we going to credit Hux? We've sure blamed him for the short-comings."


    I am not a fan of these passive aggressive questions. Maybe wait until/if we see the improvement and then you can determine who truly dislikes Hux and who just wants to have a discussion on the defense.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647

    Chop, Three or 4 good DBs over the years doesn't mean we have had an over-abundance of talent. Injuries and transfers are not indications of talent either.

    Playing against strong passing teams, top-flight DBs are needed, not good DBs with a few excellent DBs thrown in.a

    Just my opinion.

  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 1,513

    Well of course not. That would violate the first rule of message board coaching.

    I feel like we will need some improvement this season, because I don’t expect the offense to be quite as good. A 7 PPG improvement in points allowed in conference games and I’ll wear a Hux beard for half a day to acknowledge his influence on the improvement.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647

    If we have a less than 25 place improvement in pass defense, I shave my beard.

    I hope you are right and the defense can carry the offense until they get "broken in." ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 2,508PFN Referee

    A season of discovery and (hopefully) growth awaits. Somewhat liberating not to have much in terms of expectations.

  • BerryFarmerBerryFarmer Posts: 16

    It appears that Huxtable is an excellent linebackers coach, and that is valuable. All the guys we have had at linebacker seem to get better and play above their rankings. It has appeared at times that we have been out schemed in the pass defense game or maybe it really is just lack of talent I don't know.

    I was a student during the early TOB years (2007-2011) and we actually had a pretty good pass defense. DBs like David Amerson, Earl Wolff and others were pretty good. Our run defense was awful however. I remember hoping the other team would throw the ball every play. Even wofford ran the ball for like 300+ yds on us one year. Funny how things change. One of those TOB teams would have gotten flattened by Boston College last year even without Dillon playing but probably would have beaten Syracuse.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647

    Berry, Out schemed, out coached or maybe both.

    IMO we didn't change with the times in the back. The good news for us is we have a (reportedly) good safeties coach and co-DC, Tony Gibson, who knows how to put a pass defense together. And a knock-their-dick-in-the-dirt run defense as well.

    Gibson has moved people around and brought corners and safeties in the same room. The coverage was much tighter in the spring.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments. IMO what this board needs is a conversation about Wolfpack football -- an exchange of ideas.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647

    When those 4 teams see us on their schedule, they will probably say the same thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • BerryFarmerBerryFarmer Posts: 16

    Grey, you mentioned that Josh Harris has been working hard but still haven't lost much weight. Is it possible that he is just going to lose fat at basically the same rate he builds muscle mass and will never get down below 340 or so? Is he like a Vince wilfork body type ( I believe Vince was listed at 345 in college)?

  • BerryFarmerBerryFarmer Posts: 16

    Packpride has been really talking up alot of our young lbs and DBs, if they are as good as advertised it seems like we will have an awesome kick coverage unit and return unit this year.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 647
    edited August 8

    Re Joshua Harris, several have said the same thing -- is he trading muscle for fat? I'm trusting the coaches and staff to have his best interest in mind. It's a matter of conditioning, not strength.

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,042

    If you don’t like Hux’s defense, then I think you don’t like DD’s. DD’s made changes where he thinks performance hasn’t met expectations, yet he’s stuck with Hux. My read is that DD is happy with the scheme, structure and in game calls. He’s not been happy with how some of the personnel groups have gone.

    I tend to think the defense is going to be a little better this year. The schedule sets up for 8 wins even with all the turnover. Whether we hit that will be decided by whether the defense can support the offense (some turnovers would be nice) and how well the OL plays.

  • SamIamSamIam Posts: 290

    Rye...question.

    Where/how have you came to the assumption the schedule sets up for 8 wins? I would only put money on 2 games on this schedule. This is not meant to be a derogatory comment just my opinion. I know EZU was garbage last year but I've seen us lose to worse, West BY GOD Virginia in there place...surely not one of the 8, FSU..Cuse...AT BC??? Then comes the dreaded trip here where I'm typing this...Winston Salem...that is a loss, Clemson...L'ville..I'll give us a W then, at GT then finish up with Mack and the re-energized shit bags.

    I of course hope you are right.

  • Vawolf82Vawolf82 Posts: 312PFN Referee

    Where/how have you came to the assumption the schedule sets up for 8 wins?


    Let's start with four games against the 16 worst P-5 teams

    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-football/news/the-bittersweet-16-meet-the-worst-power-5-teams-in-college-football-in-2019/atx471vehy971qyqb7rockgjm

    Throw in ECU, WCU, and Ball State and that gets you to 7 wins.

    So anything less than 8 should be considered a disappointment.

  • Vawolf82Vawolf82 Posts: 312PFN Referee

    BTP found an article with anonymous quotes about each of the teams. Here's one about State:

    You don’t want to play at their place. Does Raleigh get a lot of attention for its crowd? It really should. That place is hell when you’re coming in on a Thursday night. It’s one of the loudest stadiums in our league.

    https://www.backingthepack.com/nc-state-football/2019/8/7/20758497/acc-coaches-dish-anonymously-about-nc-state-rest-of-league

    Cherry-picked quotes from the Athlon article linked at BTP

    Florida State

    It’s still a really young roster with a lot of gaps from some bad recruiting years before Fisher left.

    Louisville

    This is a total rebuild. This one might be more difficult than Georgia Tech switching back from a triple (option).

    UNC

    Larry Fedora was really close to turning it around, but he might have lost the locker room in the process. Mack (Brown) is going to be the polar opposite. Culture guy, executive style. He's got some momentum already in recruiting from what we can tell. They're going about taking the lead back in the state from NC State."

    Syracuse

    The interesting thing about an Art Briles offensive system is that it's built almost exclusively on the talent level and the awareness of your quarterback. The other skill position experience doesn't dictate anything. What are they going to look like now? Tommy DeVito is the guy there; they lost the other kid (Chance Amie) to the transfer portal along with their best receiver. Just based on experience, we think they're going to fall back and look as young as they are on offense.

    https://athlonsports.com/college-football/acc-coaches-talk-anonymously-about-conference-foes-2019

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,042
    edited August 8

    Va beat me to it. I think we’ll go 4-0 non conference. This isn’t last year’s W.Va team (which I thought would handle us fairly easily). I expect ECU to play us the hardest and want it the most in a revenge game. We could lose at W.Va though and still get to 8.

    Then we have the ACC slate. Clemson will cruise, but I don’t see anyone on the schedule that we cannot beat after that. Note I am not sayin 7-1, but I think 4-4 should be doable, where we lose a couple that we look back later and think we should have had. I could also see 5-3 in the league if things break right.

    Like the linked articles, I think FSU is a year away. I do think that Taggert will get them back into the top 15. I was more positive on that hire than most. He built a good team at USF and the FSU job is the same recruiting areas but with a whole lot more built in advantages. I thought at the time and still think that Jimbo got out of town before it was obvious that Winston was the reason that FSU won that title and not Jimbo and FSU fans got really restless. Taggert is probably 1-2 years away from me saying to automatically put them in the top 2 of the Atlantic. That is a toss up game.

    We get Louisville and GT in total rebuilds. I like Louisville’s hire a LOT (and was eyeing Satterfield for State had DD left), but that team completely quit last year if they ever even tried to show up (not sure about defense). The media likes GT’s hire more than I do and that game is late in the season, but I think GT will have a year or two of painful transition. I see two wins.

    I don’t understand the 9-3 predictions for Syracuse. That system is built around the QB and they lost one that I thought was more important to them than Finley was to State. I’m not saying 3-9 (because I think Babers is good for an upset or two), but I could see 6-6. This is a toss up at worse.

    BC will be tough given that they are coming off a bye week. The question there will be whether either team can throw. If not it could be a 13-10 or 10-7 kind of game. I tend to like our chances, even on the road.

    The most important game of the year is UNC. Mack will bring Roy’s mentality into that game. We need a 14+ point win to hope to keep the any sort of recruiting momentum that we have in state. The good ole boy network and paper sacks of money are already aligning to push UNC back towards the top 20.

    Those six ACC games (plus WVa) are the season. I think we can win five out of seven of those. I would argue that I’d hope so given our program is further along in its build than any of them.

    And yeah, I’m not mentioning Wake. They play up and we play down. Clawson gets more out of his team than we seem to and the game is at Wake. Our X factor is the ex-WF receiver who may want to have a career game against his old team. It feels like we are due, but I wouldn’t predict this game as a win even if we were coming in with one loss and Wake had one win.

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