Illini defense gives too much cushion
This goes out to coach Bret Bielema. I have been an Illinois football fan for over 30 years.
His overall winning track record speaks for itself, and I am glad an Illinois boy gets a chance to be a head coach. However, I have watched with disbelief how Illini defensive backs are set up to fail.
We don’t need all-pros like Michael Haynes or Lester Hayes out there because we are not defending superstars like Jerry Rice at receiver.
However our DBs are getting hung out to dry because they are playing so far off the wide receivers. If they can’t cover in space, then they have to get physical and chuck the receivers at the line of scrimmage and not let the receivers get off the line.
If the DBs are not physical enough, put a linebacker or a big safety on the wide receiver and make it very difficult to get off the line.
Most of the passing game today is about timing and rhythm. It is not that hard to disrupt the timing. The receivers are getting a free release off the line most of the time.
If the DB coach is intentionally coaching social distancing between the wide receiver and DBs, he should be fired immediately. If Bielema wants to set the tone next game on the first offensive play from scrimmage, he should have all the Illinois DBs get a running head start and blast the opposing receivers. Gladly accept the penalty and just watch.