4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NAVY DEFENSE
– New defensive coordinator Brian Newberry is about to bring the heat. The Midshipmen finished 86th in the nation in total defense, allowed over 33 points per game, and could never, ever seem to generate a third down stop. Five of the top six tacklers from last season are done, but that’s not a big deal with the switch to more of a 4-2-5 alignment.
– Do the Midshipmen have the beef up front? Yeah, with 300 pound Jackson Pittman a veteran interior presence and with a slew of other big linemen who hover around three bills ready to gum things up. Now the pass rush has to follow after finishing dead last in college football in both sacks and tackles for loss – that’s not happening again under Newberry.
– There’s a nice group of parts to build around. Diego Fagot is a 255-pound hitter at middle linebacker, Nizaire Cromartie is a versatile linebacker who’ll be more of a pass rusher, and Jacob Springer is going to be a fun do-it-all freelancer. The secondary has good size, but now the group has to stop someone from completing a forward pass.