Registered: 1466645979 Posts: 4
Reply with quote #1
For way, way too many years, IU football has struggled defensively. This has gone on so long it's placed an indelible mark on the program. The defensive hasn't just been mediocre, but truly awful, more often than not. To be sure, the situation has improved to some extent during the Wilson era, and yet, shaky defensive performances have continued to cost IU games (Rutgers 2015!) and made other nail-biters that shouldn't have been (SIU, Wake Forest, 2015).
So now we have Tom Allen as Defensive Coordinator, replacing Brian Knorr. Instead of the 3-4 alignment, there's now the 4-2-5. Will we see defensive improvement in 2016? Is Tom Allen the "answer" to make IU known for more than its potent offense? It's early, of course, and not a game has been played, but I'm going out on a limb to say "YES"! Allen seems to have that special "it" that pushes players to reach performance levels that few knew they had. It's energy, it's expectations, it's fire and the drive to win. Allen may be the best coaching addition to the program in many a year, maybe decades. His reputation for intensity and for getting players to perform beyond expectations is meaningful. The 2016 season might be challenging defensively because of a suspect DL, particularly at the DT position. The loss of Darius Latham will be keenly felt. For success to happen, a couple of players will have to really step up their game. It will take Allen and Coach Hagen continually pushing, trying to draw out the best of efforts that ultimately will make a difference. Players such Tegray Scales, Marcus Oliver, Jonathan Crawford, Robert McCray, Tyler Green and Nile Sykes will benefit mightily under Tom Allen. He will encourage and goad them, and all others, to perform at a feverish, fanatical level that is almost other worldly, and to make plays that find the highlight reel. They will learn what it really means to play hard. They also will discover whether or not they have the fire within that separates the very good player from the great. I'm feeling good about Tom Allen.
Registered: 1467127780 Posts: 9
Reply with quote #2
I told my wife when Coach Allen was hired it would take a high school [I am a former HS coach] coach to turn IU's defense around. Coach Allen has gained the experience in college including SEC experience turning Miss State defense around. He left to become DC at USF turning that defense around in one year. His energy, attention to detail, and focus on taking the ball away creates turnarounds and I believe it will turn around IU's defense.
When you look at Northwestern's defensive team they are not better athletes than IU's defensive players yet they are one of the better defenses in the B1G. I think IU players just needed the intensity Coach Allen brings and the focus on detail necessary to excel on defense. His 4-2-5 defense gets better athletes on the field in position to utilize their abilities better. I am looking forward to watching this year's team especially their defense. I went to the Spring game and the defense looked more energetic and fundamentally sound than previous defense at IU. I know Coach Wilson is pleased with the atmosphere on the defensive side now as he though Coach Knorr didn't measure up to the offenses intensity. Coach Allen also had the advantage of added defensive players that have experience and talent. Wesley Green at corner, Jayme Thompson at one of the Bull positions, Dutra back after injury, and Crawford leading a group of sophomores that gained lots of experience in 2015. On the DL coaches moved Ja'merez Bowen and Coach Hagen commented he had SEC talent he just lacked experience. This is noteworthy because the other DL players aren't at that level but do play hard and with good effort. Added to this group is incoming Jerome Johnson that was recruited by several SEC schools. Last year's defense brought energized hope but the young secondary was a real weakness. This defense benefits from the experience gained last year plus it has a number of talented players to add to the defense. It should create a solid defense that will support one of the B1G's top offenses.