Bill Wagner is reporting that starting nose guard and beastmaster Nate Frazier has been dismissed from the team. This is bad in so many ways. Everyone knows that the key to a good 3-4 defense is having that talented nose guard that can cover two gaps and draw a double-team, keeping offensive linemen occupied and allowing the linebackers to move to the ball. Nate really grew into that role last year, and a big part of the optimism people had about the defense this year came from the anticipation that he would continue that development and be even more dominating. So much for that.
As far as the big picture goes, losing Nate puts more pressure on the offense. Just as the offense carried the defense in 2007, the defense was expected to do the same for the offense this year, with that unit breaking in new starters at almost every position. Losing what is arguably your defense’s best player makes that task a bit more difficult.
The #2 NG on the depth chart as of now is junior Chase Burge (6-4, 270).