New DC faces tough challenge

Discussion in 'Locker Room' started by Texasfootball, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Texasfootball

    Texasfootball < 25 Posts

    It really doesn't matter who Mack hires if he doesn't concede a new approach is needed. Mack's involvement has shown a tendency of safety first in regard to the tough contact that players need to sharpen skills. Learning new schemes and techniques will keep the attention focus in the desirable range but a lack of attitude change at the top will keep a new DC from altering our tackling problems.

    There are players that can produce desired results with a minimum of full speed contact each practice but form tackling and a few across the bow's aren't enough for everyone. The lack of "batting practice full speed tackling" has given many of our players bad habits which haven't gotten the job done on gameday.

    There is no doubt that the new DC must add a minimum of one fundamentally sound zone defense. This will not be added at the expense of our man coverage but must be the first priority of the new DC. Teams can't compete in the Big 12 without both and the ability to disguise is vital to add confusion to the QB's.

    From a personal standpoint, I hope we add to the arsenal of our DT's. They are capable of so much more than a simple stem to a 3-1 attack where they can win the battle but lose the war to the damn cutback. These guys have the ability to play some two gap and some crossover swim shouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. These guys have talent and a super technique coach in Tolly--adding confusion to opposing OL's should be a way of life with these guys.

    We finally have three MLB's that are capable of reading, reacting, and punishing from behind the LOS. These Mikes shouldn't have to be stunted into gap control situations in order to insure they fill the correct bubbles. This alone should free up the DT's to play with fresh techniques instead of being saddled with covering for inferior MLB play.

    Regardless of who takes over the LB's he will be pleasantly surprised with the abilities of our OLB's. Coupled with the athleticism of our DE's, it shouldn't take long for him to decide that these four positions shouldn't be still long at the snap. Let the games begin on the edges and dedicate a stance of wrecking **** with the warcry of "block 'em if you can catch 'em" sounding loud and clear.

    Finally, I cant envision any new DC coming in and wanting to utilize DJ as a safety net. We have the premier difference maker in the nation and we need to attack with him. Line him up on the open side of the formation and give him a variety of stunts while covering up potential blockers with game playing DE's. DJ has the ability to take over any series during a game and we need to let him do it from a true Willie backer.

    The new LB coach also has one other small teaching job to accomplish with DJ (stick, wrap, and drive to the ground) instead of the ko body tackling effort that has become a bad habit in games. Hopefully that technique is from a lack of full speed tackling in some parts of practice. That can be fixed if Mack will take the skirts off in practice.

    From my favorite of all time,

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry 1,000+ Posts

    I can't wait for the first cry of "Stay up! Stay up!" to ring out during spring practices. It would be nice to hear "Take him down!" just once.
     
  3. MirrOlure

    MirrOlure 500+ Posts

    Woah -- that's way too much football techno mumbo jumbo for January! My head is spinning.

    How, exactly, does any of this relate to Greg Davis?
     
  4. uthornfan

    uthornfan < 25 Posts

    Yeah, we miss PhxHorn.
     
  5. scally

    scally 100+ Posts

    awesome post, TF.

    I was hoping this might produce some good give and take but an attempted hijacking has already taken place.

    I would love to see DJ in on top of QB's instead of backpedaling upon the snap of the ball.

    Any new DC, barring it being Akina, should be thrilled with the embarrasment of riches that we have accumulated here. If he can teach some discipline to our DB's and put our LB's in a position to succeed, then I may start to have positive thoughts about the program, even if it's only wistful, misguided optimism. but optimism nonetheless, which has been scarce recently.

    if the DC is akina, then all of this may be moot, depending on who the LB coach is.

    Do you have any thoughts on who you'd like to see at either DC or LB's?
     
  6. 92and95

    92and95 < 25 Posts

    Regarding increased contact in practices as a way to introduce a new attitude into the team, it makes sense to me. However, does anyone know whether the top teams (OU, LSU, Miami, etc.) have more contact in their practices? I'm not saying that we have to do exactly what these other teams do, I'm just curious as to how the amount of contact in Texas' practices compares to that of other teams.

    I am not as learned as Texasfootball in football concepts or terminology, but in whatever new scheme we implement I would like to see the DL have more discipline, so that large running lanes are not created for the QB or RB on the draw play. I understand that you want to get pressure on the QB, but I hope that we can find a way to do it without opening up those lanes.
     
  7. Vasherized

    Vasherized 25+ Posts

    Damn these real football posts. You're spot on, TF. Mack's preference of limiting injuries in the preseason over teaching correct tackling will continue to bite us in the *** for many 3rd downs to come -- regardless of who's wearing the DC headset (let's at least hope he's roaming the sidelines instead of lounging next to Greg Davis).

    For a vivid reminder, be sure to check out jcdenton's DJ Highlight Reel for '03.
     
  8. CPAR

    CPAR < 25 Posts

    Whoever gets the job will inherit a very formidable front 7. Williams, Dibbles, Wright, Crowder, DJ, Smith and Harris. I just hope that all secondary positions are up for grabs in the spring and fall. Michael Griffin should have been starting at safety by the OU game. It should be interesting to see what, if any, changes in coverage there will be.
     
  9. Texasfootball

    Texasfootball < 25 Posts

    Thanks for the responses.

    Huckleberry-- it certainly wouldn' hurt to turn them loose one day a week for maybe five or ten plays, especially early in the season before tapering off. Injuries can occur during three quarter speed (stay up, stay up) just as easily as in full *** boom. Full speed tackling drills (not team) need to be enforced at every practice until bad habits and poor techniques are eliminated.

    uthornfan--damn I cherished PhxHorn's takes and Yes, I miss him.

    Scally--it may indeed be Akina but I am hoping for an experienced DC/LB coach so we don't suffer growing pains (questionable calls due to trial and error stage that hampers every newbie). I don't have a favorite but after watching a ton of college games this bowl season I can tell you there are a few damn good ones out there. Now, whether any are available and/or fit Mack's image, I don't know.

    92 and 95--Having seen OU in spring training, I can guarantee you they light each other up and for real let the air out of each other on a regular basis. The big question is whether the head coach is willing to risk full speed activity to correct problems to risk injury (depth problems sometime must influence a certain position) or is he more willing to accept a higher percentage of missed tackles, poor technique, and possible wrong angles to reduce possible practice injury going full boom?

    Vasherized-- I think the DC needs to be on the sideline every game to make adjustments and correct techniques when position feedback and positive reinforcement is needed on the spot. The DC can teach (if necessary) an assistant to be his eyes in the box--he needs to be where he can communicate with the entire defense to stress any needed changes and see up close and personal any attitude adjustments needed from the look in their eyes.
     
  10. UTeed

    UTeed 100+ Posts

    Washington State running up the gut in crunch time was nearly as embarrassing as not knowing what to do with the blitz.
    Let us hope that Mack makes no mention of how tough we are before the season starts.
    Nice post.
     
  11. hopefulhorn

    hopefulhorn 25+ Posts

    UTeed, that was the only time Reese and the defense made me want to throw something at the television during the Holiday Bowl. I thought the fault was Bull's for having them in a 3-3-5 defense. One would have thought it predictable that WSU would run the ball to spin clock halfway through the 4th quarter with a double-digit lead. However, it took Reese 2 or 3 first downs (and a 2 or 3 crucial minutes off the clock) to bring another DL in and stop that draw play.

    Part of my not throwing much at the set while WSU had the ball was the Texas defense playing fairly well but for a couple of breakdowns. Part of that was also the need to rest my arm from throwing so many things at Davis and the offense in the 2nd half. [​IMG]

    To the original subject, a competent LB coach, better overall tackling, and a decent zone coverage to mix in with our man are on my wish list.
     
  12. decleater

    decleater < 25 Posts

    Right on TF,

    I don't think you EVER stop working on tackling at full speed. But there are things you can do to reduce the odds of injuries.
    - slow motion form practice on the first day and repeated.
    - shrugs, power cleans, hang cleans, flys, presses, rows etc. to build the shoulders and traps.
    - live tackling in the fall begins with sharper angles and gradually moves to close straight on and then further apart but straight on for a session or two and as the season grows near move the angles back to where you began.
    - Pole vault pit on sidelines - run angle tackling drills so the fall is on the cushion. (the ground causes a lot of the injuries).
    - don't laugh, but wrestling helps.
    - teach to roll the hips through (other than Westbrook and Humphrey's - who have you seen explode into their tackles? Not even DD or DJ - they dive for feet.)

    I think that losing the 4 corners junk will help our tackling. I'd love to see a couple of bad *** safeties. I also think zone coverage helps too. I also think mugging and out of position smoke and mirrors scheming crap hurt tackling form.

    Sorry about the rant, but I'm tired of having just a fast defense with no teeth.
     
  13. UTeed

    UTeed 100+ Posts

    I wish Texas high schools emphasized wrestlin' more.
     
  14. LonghornScott

    LonghornScott 25+ Posts

    Texasfootball, thanks for sharing your insight. As you know, I've had similar thoughts, although not as detailed. Are you of the opinion that the ideal zone package to install would be a Cover 2? I think a Cover 3 would go nicely with our man-free, but I'd really like to see some Cover 2 as well.

    I am also hopeful that we will start to see the speed we have at DE and OLB start to translate into more headaches for opposing OCs with targetted stunts and blitzes rather than the tital wave approach we have grown so used to seeing. It's almost certain that people will end up commenting on how much faster our defense looks next year, and it won't be because the players got new shoes.

    Like you, I see some concerning limitations facing whoever the new DC is. I doubt there will be any chance of them really changing the way we practice, and that's what they would need to do to produce the type of defense we need to carry our team. For that reason, I don't think it's realistic to expect this change alone to propell the team to an elite level, but it could be damn pleasing to watch our team play in sound defensive schemes for a change.
     
  15. EarlOfTex

    EarlOfTex 25+ Posts

    I think Texasfootball would make a good DC. [​IMG]
     
  16. HookemHigg

    HookemHigg < 25 Posts

    I just hope we bring back a real man to man that turn and run wtih'em crap is a joke. Get up in their face and hit and hold'em up and then stay with'em.

    I also hope to see us turn the DE's loose, why have small fast DE's if your not going to let them use their speed? You just put them at a disadvantage, maybe they will figure that out.
     
  17. SlickStreet

    SlickStreet < 25 Posts

    excellent post, as usual from you, TexasFootball. Thanks for bringing it.
     
  18. TomTerrific

    TomTerrific 500+ Posts

    You need to post here MUCH more.

    Finding a thread like this why I read boards like these.

    Thank you for the effort.
     
  19. Musburger

    Musburger 500+ Posts

    Thanks for the quality post TexasFootball.
     
  20. Texasfootball

    Texasfootball < 25 Posts

    Thanks for the responses.

    CPAR--we have talent at every defensive position and its deep enough to make every spot competitive. If spring allows a new DC to open up the competition and the players are awarded starting nods on performance, several positions could very easily be won by players that aren't considered the favorites based on last season's production.

    With the exception of DJ and Rod Wright, I think the talent and performance level is so close that either of the main candidates could win the starting nod. This should be good because it should ensure quality playing time for several second teamers, or better yet, co-starters.

    UTeed-- anytime you limit your DT's being responsible for the strong "B" gap and the weak "A" gap compounded by playing two LB's on the LOS in a variety of alignments, it is extremely difficult to keep from opening huge openings when you have mismatched LB's being driven out of their gap responsibilty and offensive schemes blocking our predictabilities intelligently. Scheme forced some of our players to attempt skills they weren't physically capable of performing.

    decleater-- while I certainly agree with almost all of your post, I have a slightly different opinion on DJ. I have seen DJ use tremendous shock power (kinetic energy if you will) which is instituted through dropping the hips and exploding through the target with leg explosion from the ground up. DJ can shock your *** with the best of them and your two examples (BW & AH) are excellent but he gets himself into positions where he can't explode because of poor mechanics.

    I go all the way back to Mr. Nobis who never seemed to be out of control and I guarantee he could make your teeth hurt when he struck your ***.

    I strongly agree on the need for run stopping safeties even if we only use them on the on schedule downs. It does zero good to be athletic as hell back there if someone doesn't put a hat on the ball or at least grab ahold and holler help while hanging on for dear life. Whiffing won't win championships and we seem to wear that technique out.

    If I never see another stationary mug in my lifetime, it won't make up for all the misery I've suffered through the last five years.

    Longhorn Scott-- always great to hear your takes and I agree with your assessment of the zones needed. I would, however, suggest installing a solid cover 2 and supplement it with a cover 2 shell that rotates to a cover 3 at the snap with one of the safeties squatting into a robber technique and the other safety sliding to the deep middle giving a cover 3 robber coverage.

    The main issue with adding any zone is to make sure you can protect the underneath coverage before adding the bells and whistles. LB's accustomed to man coverage or blitzing on pass plays must learn the technique of any zone. Otherwise, they will chase receivers that leave their zone which reopens the zone they are responsible to cover. They must learn to pass vacating receivers to the next zone and pick up the trailer entering their zone.

    Scott, placing six players on the LOS and asking them to take on blocks before pursuing will make any team look slow. LB's lined up five yards deep can run downhill while pursuing and will look quicker than dfl unhooking a bra when scraping and filling inside out on running plays. The same is true with depth on passing plays and they will have a better opportunity to break on every throw ball and will not have to start their drops until the QB drops deeper than the RB which will make their reaction time faster on screens and especially, the draw.

    I doubt we will get the changes needed to fully develop the talent we have accumulated but I'm in total agreement that watching players playing real sound defense on a level playing field will be a nice treat.
     
  21. Texasboozer

    Texasboozer 25+ Posts

    [​IMG] You should host a clinic for all of us wannabe's
     
  22. ampUT

    ampUT 100+ Posts

    A new DC worh a damn takes this talent and turns it into a # 5 in the nation with little or no help. ou has 4 pools in their facility. stoops is a huge believer in lengthen and strengthen. Fat Dog Madden sacrifices flexibilty for upper body strength, time for a new conditioning coach. Regardles of DC I think DJ has earned the right to wear #60. I say strap it on him and watch how the Longhorns respond.


    [​IMG] ince [​IMG] oung
    [​IMG] ince [​IMG] oung
    [​IMG] ince [​IMG] oung
     
  23. Horn Dello

    Horn Dello First Time Poster

    During one of the fall scrimmages in DKR Memorial Stadium I sat with a friend who played OLB for Southern Mississippi in the late 1980's. He was appalled that we were not tackling full speed in a major pre-season scrimmage with a crowd.

    He asked me who was on our schedule the first few games. He said be careful about Arkansas because they have skill position athletes that are competitive with your defensive players. He said, "you watch, their offensive stars will make big plays because your guys are not practicing anywhere near game speed."

    I am just supporting the facts you all have suggested on this thread. Not having intense full speed practices is risky. Having full speed practices is risky.
     
  24. MirrOlure

    MirrOlure 500+ Posts

    Speaking of...............

    ???
     
  25. gfunkhorn

    gfunkhorn < 25 Posts

    TF, awesome post. You should submit your resume for the DC position..

    [​IMG]
     
  26. mn_horn

    mn_horn First Time Poster

    m griffin is a solid tackler, by the way...
     
  27. AugieBall

    AugieBall 100+ Posts

    I think these 2 constitute the analogy you were looking for. Otherwise, great post.
     
  28. Mojomarvels

    Mojomarvels < 25 Posts

    Can TexasFootball coach defenses? Does he need a contract?

    Great analysis guys...keep it up!!!
     
  29. EyesOfTX

    EyesOfTX < 25 Posts

    Wonderful post and following thread, UTF.

    Of course you do realize that all of this talk about spending actual practice time on silly things like tackling, mastering the fundamentals of playing zone defense, and teaching actual technique to our defensive linemen is completely out of the question, because it would take away from all that time we need to perfect the horizontal hitch pass to the split end.

    Nice sentiments, but you'll never see this stuff in this program.

    Hook 'em!!!
     
  30. bullzak

    bullzak 500+ Posts

    I just want to see our defense execute the fundamentals of the game on a par with some of the better high school teams in the state of Texas.

    We arent anywhere near that level. Tackling especially.
     

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