Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A look at 2006 UW Defensive End's

Defensive End is a key area where we need some improvement. I guess I could say that about every position on the team. Youth has been served over the last few years and now some experience has been built at a once very shallow position.

Washington has a potentially great defensive end in development right now in Greyson Gunheim. He played early as a frosh and burned the redshirt, in hindsight that wasn't a great idea. He started last year and grew into the position. I kept an eye on him throughout the year, he got his footwork down by about mid year, and he improved each game as much as anyone on the team. Coming into his true Junior year he will compete for Pac Ten honors. Gunheim is solid, but who exactly is going to play on the other side, and what kind of player do they want for the other side?

Senior Brandon Ala is a candidate, but the highly touted prepster has been a non factor most of his time while being a part time starter. Ala looks the part, and perhaps he can put it together for his final year like so many players have.

Walter Winter, and Ceasar Rayford are candidates, along with JC Anthony Atkins who may redshirt. Winter has played a bit, but he hasn't exactly made a smooth transistion from LB to DE. Walter saw the field last year, and could be improved come Fall. Rayford just hasn't put on the weight to match his speed, so mark him down as a tweener. We saw where Atkin's was this Spring, and he has a lot of work to do to be ready to play this year. He is trying to get down from 290 to 265 and pick up some speed.

I think the guy that will emerge outside will be RS Daniel Te'o Neshiem. He was a terror on scout teams and could give the team some needed spark on the outside. Donnie Mateaki has moved inside and outside his entire career and could see some situational time outside. MAtekai is a cog, and will be shifting around depending on the situation, but will play mostly inside. Jones should be making the move over from ILB where he played as a Frosh last year, he will contribute, and has good size and speed. Watch this kids progress because he could grow into a monster.

The Huskies had a great recruiting year on the D-line. Matthews, who will start out at DE was very highly touted coming out of HS, but he could easily grow into a tackle.

How will they play together?

Greyson Gunheim's tough two year apprenticeship will be rewarded by solid play this year. As for who plays next to him it will be situational. I think you are going to see Hart do a lot more things to generate a pass rush, and yes, you might still see Chris Steven's lining up there on certain passing downs. The key to the position is increasing the sack totals. Bringing the rush is key component of success.

I think Washington will end up being solid this year on the ends, still we need a speed pass rusher to emerge from the group. Having a disruptor on the outside is a big factor in getting back to bowl elgibility. That rusher could be Savannah, or Stevens stepping up in different situations from OLB.

On defense you will see more of what Ken Baer brings to the table. Personel and numbers limited his options last year. Just having more options to work with will make the overall unit better this year.

No comments: