Time for cool change
The Washington Football team defense played lights out last season. But in games where they needed the offense to bail them out, the offense simply didn’t deliver. And with the defense losing multiple starters in the front seven, the defense is in a bit of retooling mode this year.
The Huskies no longer have the physicality of defensive tackle Vita Vea, or linebacker Keishawn Bierria or Azeem Victor, neat the line of scrimmage. Where the defense was once a stone wall, now they may need to employ a bend but don’t break strategy.
Similar to 2016
When the Washington Huskies lost Azeem Victor and JoJo Mathis in 2016, the team reconfigured the defense to shut down passes and use that to propel the defensive front seven. With no Vea Victor or Bierria, the 2018 defensive strategy would be well served to revisit that playbook. Now, the team retains the play of defensive tackle Gregory Gaines. Behind him, linebackers Ben Burr-Kirven and Benning Potoa’e will line up in familiar spots.
The team welcomes two new linebackers this year, Brandon Kaho and M.J. Tafisi, who are both highly talented and complimentary skillsets. And at defensive tackle, the team recruited defensive tackle Sam Taimani and Tuli Letuligasenoa. But even more intriguing is Temple-transfer defensive tackle Josiah Bronson, who could compete for playing minutes in game one. Spring training begins on Wednesday, March 28. But while fans will welcome the return of familiar faces, it will be an opportunity to meet new faces as well. Despite new faces, don’t look for much to change at Washington in term of the defense. This Washington Football team still knows the value of a good D in competing for championships.