The Dawg's front seven, with their experience and depth, look to lead the defense in 2009, after a disappointing season where they allowed 122.3 rushing yards, 312 total yards, and 24.5 points a game.
Even though they lost players like Jarius Wynn, Corey Irvin, and Dannell Ellerbe after the 2008 season, they do return players that missed the entire 2008 season.
One of those players is their captain, Jeff Owens, who will team up with Geno Atkins to form a pair of defensive tackles that will surely wreak havoc in opposing backfields this fall.
As a whole, the defense only amassed 24 sacks in 2008, with very little production from the end position. That should change in 2009, as ends DeMarcus Dobbs and Justin Houston will provide speed on the defensive line that will allow them to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Although the linebacker corp lost Dannell Ellerbe, they do return All-Everything Rennie Curran who will supply leadership, along with Owens, in the front seven. He will be joined by Akeem Dent, Darryl Gamble, Marcus Washington, and Charles White.
The defense will look to drastically improve in three areas; pressuring the quarterback, forcing and recovering fumbles, and stuffing the run. Unlike years past, these were areas where the Dawgs uncharacteristically struggled in 2008.
If they are able to improve in these areas, the defense will allow Joe Cox and the offense more opportunities to try and put some points on the board.
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