Don't count out the Linebackers just yet...

After last year's run at the title, expectations are high and anxiety is off the charts as September 3rd approaches.  The looming questions seem to be about both lines, and our linebacking core.  The D line was deep last year, so they should be able to pressure and disguise coverages just like they did last year, although we will miss the 6'7" frame of Brandon Bair for breaking up passes.  Personally, I think the linebackers are in better shape than what people think.

With the probable loss of Kiko Alonso, the Ducks will be looking for someone to step up.  During spring practices last year, one name was mentioned repeatedly, and that name was Boseko Lokombo.  Although overshadowed by the Matthews Paysinger tandem, Lokombo was consistently referred to as one of the most athletically gifted guys on the team last year, picking off pass after pass during spring from his OLB spot.  I seem to remember a string of consecutive practices reaching 5 or 6 in which he recorded an INT.  He made huge plays last year and ended up in the end zone once with a recovered fumble.  Michael Clay, the former special teams standout and work horse of the team will join Lokombo and Josh Kaddu, to for what could be an under rated triad.  Let's not forget that pundits like Ted Miller have as recently as today (June 10) referred to our secondary as our 'secondary' strength.  There is a lot of depth in the secondary this year, which could allow for Eddie Pleasant  to transition between safety and LB.  

I assume you are waiting for me to get to a point, so I'll make it.  The Ducks' defense is not in as much trouble as what people seem to think.  Everyone is always looking for a story line to ride till she bucks, and sometimes, things get blown out of proportion.  Similar things were said about last year's D, which proved to be a nuisance that forced a ton of turnovers and gave Heisman winner sCam Newton and runner up Andrew Luck fits.  We return an All American corner in Cliff Harris, and potential all PAC 12 performers scattered about in the 25 man rotational scheme.  Coach Kelly is not here for the short run, by using the depth he has he is preparing the team to be a dynasty of sorts.  This team has bought in to Chip's philosophy and have drunk the proverbial Kool-Aid.  If the receivers step up this year and take pressure off of our stable of backs, this team will be very special.  I look forward to kicking off the year with a loud thumping of the Bayou Kitties.  See you guys at Taylor's.

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