Originally Posted by Goatcheese
We've seen A.Smith and M.Jenkins start and play exceptionally well for several years now. That's a lot less risk than Mathews 1 year as a starter where he may have overachieved to rack up an eye popping 56 tackles in 13 games against a bunch of guys who will never play a down in the NFL.
The guy everybody wants to replace had 66 tackles in 8 games against NFL talent.
4.7 can run with 4.2?
Is that you Bruce?
Collectively, the Pac 10 doesn't play defense really well, but they put a lot of offensive players in the NFL.
Mathews had 57 tackles, 9 TFL, 4.5 sacks, and 2 FF.
Cushing had 73 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 3 sacks, and 1 FF.
Maualuga had 79 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 0 sacks, and 0 FF.
Maiava had 66 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 0 sacks, and 0 FF.
You want to use numbers? Look at the numbers and tell me that Mathews was less productive than Maualuga. And keep in mind that Big Rey had no responsibilities on defense. His only job was to hit people.
Taylor Mays was considered a top 10 pick and all he had was 53 tackles, 2 TFL, 9 PBU, 0 sacks, 0 FF, and O INTs.
USC was a great defense this past year because they played great as a unit. They have a lot of great players and they all did their jobs. And it's hard to rack up a bunch of tackles on your stat sheet if you force the offense to go 3 and out every drive.