It’s going to take time folks.
That’s all I can say to answer all the questions I get about the defense.
Let’s take the case of Larenz Bryant to illustrate my point. Sharrod Golightly and Jordan Diggs have not played great at spur. They’ve been OK, but not great. True freshman Larenz Bryant, a 215-pound four-star prospect, was moved from linebacker to spur earlier this season, and he looks like he might be a heck of a spur.
But that’s not going to happen anytime soon. In fact, it may not happen this year.
The coaches “are telling me to stay in the playbook right now because I’m not getting many reps now,” Bryant said Tuesday.
If he's not getting many reps in practice, he's a long way from getting many in the games. There’s no way to cram enough knowledge and experience into Bryant’s head to get him ready to make an impact against Kentucky or against Arkansas or maybe even against Tennessee or Missouri. It’s just going to take time.
I get that fans of the SEC’s 11th-best scoring defense (25.2 points per game allowed) don’t want to hear that, but maybe some perspective will bring patience. Senior defensive end Chaz Sutton remembers a defense that played a lot like this team does. It was the 2009 defense he was a freshman and many of the contributors weren’t much older.
“It’s all about growth,” Sutton said Tuesday. “As long as we can grow together we will be OK but it might take a year, it might take two years.”
Around the SEC:
“If you ask a fish to climb a tree, he's going to fail every time,” is not just one of my new favorite quotes. It’s what first-year LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said in explaining how he’s turned the Tigers offense into a force and Zach Mettenberger into perhaps the most NFL-ready quarterback in the SEC.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Mississippi State doesn’t have one. Tyler Russell, a senior, was supposed to be the guy, but a concussion forced him to the bench and now Dak Prescott make take the job outright. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen isn’t announcing who will start against LSU until Saturday. Won’t matter either way, though.