Bowden Looks at the Defense and Quarterbacks subject logo: COLSPORTS
Posted by: badanov

Yahoo Sports columnist Terry Bowden writes that looking at the defense and the quarterback are good indication as to how well a team will do at the start of college football.

All well and good, but we prefer to take a look at a more finely grained aspects of a club's defense. You can look at elements such as starters, and seniors to predict how well a team will do but, but we tend to focus on linebackers.

Why linebackers?

Linebackers are the workhorse of the defense. Be they outside, inside or middle linebackers, those folks are required to be on their toes while they are on the field. It is a reason why linebackers often are the voices that tend to adjust a defense if it appears the opponent is trying something other than what they appear to be doing. They have the best view of the offense on the field.

They must fill in as cornerbacks for when the offense throws short passes in the flats, while cornerbacks are trying to contain the faster and more agile receivers.

Linebackers must be ready to blitz to break up running plays, as well as on passing attempts. Linebackers must also be looking for offensive traps, in which two blockers converge on a linebacker trying to stop a running play.

This is not to diminish the importance of the secondary or defensive linemen. Good linemen will make linebackers look like athletic geniuses. And a great secondary will help contain an opponents need for a quick long range score. When the secondary can contain the long pass, the work then shifts to linebackers and they must rise to the occaision.

The other side. It is the offensive line. You can have a Matt Leinart or a Chris Leak as a quarterback, but any great quarterback can be just average without a well conditioned offensive line. Good quarterbacks recognize this this fact that offensive linemen are the shoulders upon which the quarterback rises in stature. Good quarterbacks treat their offensive line to dinner off the field in recognition of that fact.

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