Looks like I got my question about who’s responsible for the in-game defensive line rotation answered:
Grantham said the defensive staff talks about a plan for playing guys during the week before a game. That could be that a player gets 30 snaps a game, or another will be in on first and second downs and yet another will go in on third down.
The actual substitutions are made on gamedays by the defensive line coach.
“We have a plan but he executes that plan. That’s one of his job descriptions,” Grantham said. “To me, that’s a game within the game. You’ve got to mix and match. … If you micromanage, you’re hurting your team, you hurt your unit in more than just that area. When I did it [most recently as line coach with the Dallas Cowboys], that was a part of the game and you’ve got to manage.”
In other words, the responsibility is shared in that a plan is formulated that the position coach is supposed to follow. So if Geathers and Jenkins seem to have gotten worn down in the second half last year, you can’t lay all that on Garner, unless you think he was insubordinate and refused to follow the staff plan.
And judging from this comment from Grantham…
“You’ve also got to have guys that you trust, too, so it’s two-fold. You’re not going to put a guy in the game that you don’t feel is ready. You’ve got to say how many available guys do you have? I control that. That’s me. I do that. Then the coach is going to do what we decide as a staff. My philosophy is you play a lot of guys, but you’ve got to have guys you feel you can depend upon to do that.”
… that seems unlikely.
Which makes the big question about this year’s defensive line pretty obvious. How many guys on the d-line does Grantham trust?