Minnesota’s defense will surprise in 2021

Some Day...Maybe

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Minnesota’s defense got better as the season went on last year, and it will be much better in 2021. In fact, if the offense gets back to somewhere close to 2019 the defense will be even better. I think the offense will be a bigger question mark than the defense. There are high expectations for the offense this year and if they don’t meet them that’s what we’ll all be talking about come December.
 
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PMWinSTP

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It improved from close to a dumpster fire to not bad last year.
 





upnorthkid

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I hope so. If you’re right, this team wins the West. Strong in the o line and run game. Efficient passing the ball. If the D is there, make your reservations for the BT title game
 

hungan1

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Minnesota’s defense got better as the season went on last year, and it will be much better in 2021. In fact, if the offense gets back to somewhere close to 2019 the defense will be even better. I think the offense will be a bigger question mark than the offense. There are high expectations for the offense this year and if they don’t meet them that’s what we’ll all be talking about come December.
They marched into Lincoln with 33 less players and still beat the Huskers. The rag tag Defense showed it's potential.
 

Stuff

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Anyone have an educated guess on what the depth chart will look like on D?
 



GopherWeatherGuy

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This looks pretty close to what I would expect for an opening game depth chart.


I would guess that Pinckney starts at DT, and probably Smith over Walley at CB.
 

denguegopher

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cjbfbp

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But what about the kicking game? That's where most of my anxiety comes from 😬

The transfer kicker recruited from Kent State, Matthew Trickett, had an excellent career there. He made 94 of 95 extra point attempts and 47 of 57 (82.5%) field goal attempts in his career. In his last full year (2019), he made 29 of 34 field goal attempts (85.3%). He tied Iowa's Consensus All American kicker, Keith Duncan, for the most field goals attempted and made in FBS that year. I would expect that kicking success transfers pretty well across levels of competition.

If he gets hurt, another transfer kicker (from Temple) is available. He hasn't been quite as successful as Trickett but he made 99 of 105 extra point attempts and 26 of 35 field goal attempts (74.3%) at Temple.
 



short ornery norwegian

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Looking at the projected depth chart, my impression is that the defense will be a lot deeper than last year. there is (I hope) quality depth at DT and LB. I expect to see a lot of rotation on the D-line and at LB, to keep guys fresh and hopefully avoid any 4th-quarter issues due to players getting tired.

at D-Back, for the most part, it looks like decent players but maybe no star players, so I could see a bend-but-don't-break approach.

A lot will depend on the D-Line getting pressure on the QB. If Mafe has a big year, that will help the DB's a lot.
 

Some guy

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Gonna be honest, the biggest concern with Fleck for me has been the inability to get high quality safety play outside of AWjr

The linebackers played bad early last year but good safety play makes up for a lot when big gains are 15 yards instead of 30+ touchdowns.

this has been a problem the whole tenure when Winfield isn’t available. Need to get quality safety play to have a good defense. Need to have a good defense to contend in the conference
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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The transfer kicker recruited from Kent State, Matthew Trickett, had an excellent career there. He made 94 of 95 extra point attempts and 47 of 57 (82.5%) field goal attempts in his career. In his last full year (2019), he made 29 of 34 field goal attempts (85.3%). He tied Iowa's Consensus All American kicker, Keith Duncan, for the most field goals attempted and made in FBS that year. I would expect that kicking success transfers pretty well across levels of competition.

If he gets hurt, another transfer kicker (from Temple) is available. He hasn't been quite as successful as Trickett but he made 99 of 105 extra point attempts and 26 of 35 field goal attempts (74.3%) at Temple.
I agree with this.... for the most part. I think the FG/XP situation this year should be significantly improved with the transfers available. There should be good competition in that area, and also with punting.

Special Teams in general are still high on the concern list, I have ZERO faith in Wenger, hate to say it. I'd be curious to know the breakdown of practice time spent on ST versus the other areas. Practice time is tight, allocating time for everything is probably a helluva challenge; maybe it's not all on Wenger, maybe it's just not enough practice time allocated to an area of the game that has a HUGE impact on field position, among other things.

All that said, good grief, there can't be a scenario where Wenger survives another shitshow season with Gopher Special Teams. It just can't happen
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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This looks pretty close to what I would expect for an opening game depth chart.


I would guess that Pinckney starts at DT, and probably Smith over Walley at CB.
I agree about Pinckney and Smith, and I think while MSM and Oliver start, Gibbens and Lindenberg (as well as Willis and Gordon) will all play a lot of snaps.

I really, REALLY hope Ibrahim isn't returning KO's this fall. There just has to be a better option, for several reasons
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Looking at the projected depth chart, my impression is that the defense will be a lot deeper than last year. there is (I hope) quality depth at DT and LB. I expect to see a lot of rotation on the D-line and at LB, to keep guys fresh and hopefully avoid any 4th-quarter issues due to players getting tired.

at D-Back, for the most part, it looks like decent players but maybe no star players, so I could see a bend-but-don't-break approach.

A lot will depend on the D-Line getting pressure on the QB. If Mafe has a big year, that will help the DB's a lot.

This is it. If our DL improves slightly, our defense will be just OK. If our DL takes a BIG step up, we could be really good.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I agree about Pinckney and Smith, and I think while MSM and Oliver start, Gibbens and Lindenberg (as well as Willis and Gordon) will all play a lot of snaps.

I really, REALLY hope Ibrahim isn't returning KO's this fall. There just has to be a better option, for several reasons

I agree, there will be a heavy rotation along the DL and at LB.

I don't think Ibrahim will return kicks. I think Justin Walley along with Potts and a few others not named Ibrahim or Bell will.
 


cjbfbp

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I agree with this.... for the most part. I think the FG/XP situation this year should be significantly improved with the transfers available. There should be good competition in that area, and also with punting.

Special Teams in general are still high on the concern list, I have ZERO faith in Wenger, hate to say it. I'd be curious to know the breakdown of practice time spent on ST versus the other areas. Practice time is tight, allocating time for everything is probably a helluva challenge; maybe it's not all on Wenger, maybe it's just not enough practice time allocated to an area of the game that has a HUGE impact on field position, among other things.

All that said, good grief, there can't be a scenario where Wenger survives another shitshow season with Gopher Special Teams. It just can't happen

Yeah, it would be nice to have a season where we might actually have more kick return yards than the opposing teams.
 

jonnyganas

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I agree, there will be a heavy rotation along the DL and at LB.

I don't think Ibrahim will return kicks. I think Justin Walley along with Potts and a few others not named Ibrahim or Bell will.
Brady Boyd? Someone with some speed, please!
 


MGGopher

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I agree about Pinckney and Smith, and I think while MSM and Oliver start, Gibbens and Lindenberg (as well as Willis and Gordon) will all play a lot of snaps.

I really, REALLY hope Ibrahim isn't returning KO's this fall. There just has to be a better option, for several reasons
Agree. I thought both Gibbens and Lindenberg looked outstanding in the spring game and poised to play a lot. Lindenberg is so athletic. My concerns on D in order:
  1. Safety
  2. CB #2
  3. Pass rush
  4. LB
Team should be much improved up the middle with Pinckney and a ton of depth. LB should take a step forward with Oliver back, Gibbens repping, and Lindenberg with a full offseason. Team should take a huge step forward against the run. Still worried about defending the pass. Lack of rush has been a huge concern and I'm not sold on any DB not named Durr.
 

MplsGopher

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Gonna be honest, the biggest concern with Fleck for me has been the inability to get high quality safety play outside of AWjr

The linebackers played bad early last year but good safety play makes up for a lot when big gains are 15 yards instead of 30+ touchdowns.

this has been a problem the whole tenure when Winfield isn’t available. Need to get quality safety play to have a good defense. Need to have a good defense to contend in the conference
This.

I recall not being too pleased with Nubin and Howden last year. Obviously very few are AWjr.
 

MplsGopher

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Agree. I thought both Gibbens and Lindenberg looked outstanding in the spring game and poised to play a lot. Lindenberg is so athletic. My concerns on D in order:
  1. Safety
  2. CB #2
  3. Pass rush
  4. LB
Team should be much improved up the middle with Pinckney and a ton of depth. LB should take a step forward with Oliver back, Gibbens repping, and Lindenberg with a full offseason. Team should take a huge step forward against the run. Still worried about defending the pass. Lack of rush has been a huge concern and I'm not sold on any DB not named Durr.
Great post
 

swingman

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Interior D-Line:
* MDT opting in for year SEVEN, a year older, another year in the weight room: PLUS
* Bringing in the Clemson guy Pinckney for his SIXTH year: PLUS, PLUS
* Bringing in the NCSU guy Martin for his SIXTH year: PLUS
* Getting Carter back after seven starts last year, now in year three, older, stronger: PLUS
* Getting 4-star recruit Cheney back after 1st game, now in year 3, older, stronger: PLUS
* Richter now in year 4, got first game experience last year: PLUS
* Add 4-star recruit Deven Eastern: PLUS
* Add 4-star recruit Brandon Schuster: PLUS
* Add high 3-star recruit Luther McCoy: PLUS
 

swingman

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Defensive ends all return; should be improved...first time in five years the dline does not have a new coach...hope stability pays off:
* NFL prospect based on potential Boye Mafe was a first year starter...started about half the games last year...need him to step up in year five in the program
* Thomas Rush was also a first year starter, and a first year def end...should be better
* Otomewo another fifth year player but was a first year starter in 2020...should be improved
* MJ Anderson, Jalen Logan Redding and Striggow got first experience last year
* Jah Joyner and Gage Keys return and will look for first experience...Joyner had nice Spring game
 

mnvballdad

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Minnesota’s defense got better as the season went on last year, and it will be much better in 2021. In fact, if the offense gets back to somewhere close to 2019 the defense will be even better. I think the offense will be a bigger question mark than the defense. There are high expectations for the offense this year and if they don’t meet them that’s what we’ll all be talking about come December.
If the offense ends up being a bigger question mark than the defense I'm afraid this is going to be a horrible season.
 

bfriedrichs10

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If the offense ends up being a bigger question mark than the defense I'm afraid this is going to be a horrible season.
Or an incredible one if our defense is lights out and our offense is only amazing.
 




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