Rambo, a 2011 first-team All-America safety, says the defense has been hurt by communication breakdowns.
“Everybody is guessing, well not guessing, but just some people don’t prepare well enough like some others do,” Rambo said. “It’s just like they thought we were going to be in this call and one person said we’re going to be in this call, so everybody is on different pages.
“Once we get everybody on the same page … once that happens, everything else will start to fall in place.”
Linebacker Christian Robinson also said poor communication is a problem.
“Mainly little things,” Robinson said. “Usually once you’ve made a mistake you correct it, but once you’ve made five different mistakes, that may be five touchdowns. That’s why we practice so much and meet so much, to eliminate those communication issues before they happen.”
Linebacker Jordan Jenkins said there were breakdowns against South Carolina even when most members of the defense were in position to make stops.
“On certain plays, one or two people were not doing something right,” Jenkins said. “In the SEC, if one person isn’t doing something right, then all hell is going to break loose.”
Again, none of this comes as a shock to anyone who’s watched the South Carolina game. The question is why there’s been little improvement – or, if you prefer, why a group that’s played together under the same defensive staff for more than two seasons is having trouble figuring out the assignments. Suspended players’ rust and Jordan Jenkins’ figuring out what his teammates can do only explain so much.
As bad as the Carolina game was, the season is still salvageable. But if there isn’t a sea change on defense that’s apparent when they head up to Kentucky, they can kiss that goodbye.