The last two years, the Aggies have not been good on defense. There have been flashes of brilliance here and there, but the big picture has been a growing sense of frustration stemming from their inability to help out when the offense starts to lag. It's led to a number of late collapses and failed finishes. Enter John Chavis.
Besides the overall scheme and system that Chief brought with him, the other major thing the defense has been lacking is a true identity, a sense of confidence that comes with all eleven players feeding off each other on the field. We had individual standouts here and there: Everett, Claiborne, and even Garrett last year. But there was no dynamic tandem of players pushing each other and wreaking havoc until Arizona State on September 5th.
In the debut of the Chavis defense in NRG Stadium on Saturday night of opening weekend, Daeshon Hall and Myles Garrett combined for 15 tackles, six sacks, and three forced fumbles. More than that, they were flying all over the field, slinging blockers and ball carriers around the Sun Devil backfield like rag dolls. They were lightning quick off the snap and bolting towards the football like men possessed. In short, they were playing the kind of defense Aggie fans have been longing to see for years.
With two of the most talented defensive ends in the country (in his own words) at his disposal, John Chavis has endless options with his defensive schemes. He can shuffle several interior linemen and mix up their alignment. He can bring linebackers or defensive backs because he knows that somewhere there will be a gap to be exploited with Hall and Garrett working the edges and disrupting the pocket.
Most importantly, it gives the team the confidence required to perform like an SEC defense. It may take another year or two to finally become great, but with this pair of dynamic edge rushers as the foundation the 2015 defense has the potential to be pretty good. Combined with what our offense is capable of, this is rightful cause for optimism in Aggieland. It should be a fun year.