Bill Teerlinck and Defensive Line Rotations

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Bill Teerlinck
Bill Teerlinck could potentially rotate more on the defensive line.

I’ve been expecting to see a more defined and adhered-to defensive line rotation out of the Hokies in the coming years, and maybe even starting with the upcoming season. It’s been a hunch based on Bill Teerlinck talking about having hockey-like line-shifts with the Buffalo Bills, and some feelings of my own that Tech d-linemen have sometimes taken too many snaps over the years. Justin Hamilton even adopted some of the puck talk in the latest Inside Hokie Sports when he said, “you’ve got to have like a hockey line shift with [defensive linemen] and that they’re ready to go because the game takes a toll on them.”

In hockey, the lines are groups of four players (all forwards) organized based on their skills and purpose in the game. A team might have a few lines that group their best scorers together, and a few more lines that have guys who are better at defense, knocking guys around, and/or fighting. Football doesn’t have the same distinctions, but you can come close. I’d expect Teerlinck and Tapp to try rolling out a distinct first-string and second-string defense at the least, with these groups swapped en masse and preferably after changes of possession. The first-string group might play the first two series, with the second-string coming in for the third before the cycle starts over.