Earlier this week, I wrote why @Jeff_Dillman’s weight program would make the Gamecocks better in 2016. I asked a friend what he thought about my post.
My friend is a sad Gamecock. He’s a skeptic. He believes the national touts are probably right about the 2016 team sucking. He argued that comparing the 2015 and 2016 rosters showed little change in the defensive linemen weight. Therefore, he saw little evidence for hope Jeff Dillman’s program was any better than last years.
Was my friend right? Sure enough, the average weight of the Gamecocks returning defensive linemen changed hardly at all, only about 2 pounds per man. But I am looking closer at the data and think there is still a lot of room for optimism. Here’s a chart with my findings:
The defensive linemen who were undersized last year and needed to gain weight did gain. Both Shameik Blackshear and Darius English put on significant weight, 15 and 20 pounds respectively.
On the other hand, the defensive tackles who last year looked overweight lost a lot of weight. Defensive linemen Griffin, Lamin, Sawyer, and Wideman, all lost significant pounds.
I don’t know if these numbers will correlate to a quicker, faster, stronger, and more effective defensive line. But it sure looks like Jeff Dillman’s S&C staff addressed issues on the defensive line on an individualized basis. That is exactly how a good S&C team works. The art of it is working with individual athletes on a person by person basis.