A nugget from an interview with Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof last week that you may find insightful:
Roof was discussing the possibility of the small number of defensive linemen possibly necessitating a change in scheme, presumably to a three-man front. Roof acknowledged that a contingency plan is in place, but sounded loathe to ever adopt it.
“I think you’ve got to do what you believe,” he said.
He provided another reason that would bode well for his defense in his second year.
“We have a lot of reps invested in our package from last year, and it’s nice to walk in here, too, they’re asking good questions,” Roof said. “Like, Yeah, that’s a really good question. There’s no such thing as a bad question, but that’s a real good question.”
It would suggest, of course, a deeper understanding of his scheme. He went on to say that the players “get where the stress is,” meaning they know the weaknesses of a particular scheme and know not only their responsibility, but also how the defense operates as a whole. It helps that he has some bright players on that side of the ball, such as safeties Jamal Golden and Isaiah Johnson and linebacker Quayshawn Nealy.
It doesn’t necessarily mean the defense will on the whole improve – losing six starters is a pretty significant blow – but it would suggest the unit is advancing in the right direction.