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Midweek Debate: What is the strength of the UW defense?

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With so much talent at each position group, it’s not an easy choice

Washington v Colorado Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

This just in: The UW defense is playing really well. No. I mean reeeeeaaaally well.

They have yet to be challenged by even a ‘pretty good’ offense, but “Death Row” has absolutely dominated every team on their schedule. That’s all they can control. The coaching is good. The schemes are great. But all that means very little if you don’t have the players. Washington has the players.

Mark Jones of ESPN said a lot of stuff Husky fans didn’t care for on Saturday, but when Cal attempted a pass over the middle, Jones described that part of the field as “Dark and filled with terror.” As the ball was separated and fluttered in one direction, Cal WR Jordan Veasy was popped and tumbled in another. Raise your hand if you want to run that route against the Husky defense. Anyone?? Anyone?? Bueller??

For our Week Six mid-week discussion, let’s dissect this defense and try to settle on its strongest position group. With the emergence of Ben Burr-Kirven, I’m inclined to go with the inside linebackers. No wait, what about Vita Vea and Greg Gaines anchoring an incredibly stout defensive line? That secondary —even without Byron Murphy— has been lights out. The edge players probably are least likely to garner votes, but the play of Ryan Bowman and Tevis Bartlett has elevated that group as well.

Guys can line up all over the place so there are some gray areas when it comes to defining positions, but these are the 20 players on defense who are regulars in the rotation (or will be if and when all are healthy).

Interior Defensive Linemen:

Vita Vea, Greg Gaines, Jaylen Johnson, Levi Onwuzurike

Inside Linebackers:

Azeem Victor, Keishawn Bierria, Ben Burr-Kirven, Brandon Wellington, DJ Beavers (injured)

Outside Linebackers:

Tevis Bartlett, Ryan Bowman, Benning Potoa'e, Connor O’Brien

Defensive Backs:

Taylor Rapp, Jordan Miller, Myles Bryant, Austin Joyner, Jojo McIntosh, Ezekiel Turner, Byron Murphy (injured)

Poll

Which position group is the strongest for the Husky defense?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Interior Line
    (802 votes)
  • 14%
    Inside Linebackers
    (198 votes)
  • 1%
    Outside Linebackers
    (23 votes)
  • 25%
    Secondary
    (344 votes)
1367 votes total Vote Now