What is priority No. 1 for Bill Young this fall?
Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young has five things he wants to accomplish during fall practice.
1. “We have to establish our two deep. We have to get our first 11 then our second 11.”
Analysis: Similar to last season, Young wants to find the best 11 defenders and get them on the field. Linebacker Orie Lemon, defensive end Ugo Chinasa and safety Markelle Martin are no-brainers and could emerge as among the best in the Big 12 at their positions. As far as the Cowboys second 11, there are several freshman already vying for time and trying to prove themselves to be one of the best 22 defenders in the program. Linebacker Shaun Lewis, safety Zach Craig and cornerback Justin Gilbert just to name a few.
2. “Install our defensive package. We have to get it down so everybody reacts so they don’t have to think about it, it’s just an overtrained skill. Just do it.”
Analysis: In some ways this fall is a lot like last year. Although it is the second year in the system for several players, there are multiple newcomers, who MUST be ready to play, who are having to learn the system for the first time. Thus Young needs to get those players playing fast and without thinking. If he does, he feels like this year’s defense could be as good as last season.
3. “We have to find a way to stay healthy and get all of our players to the next game.”
Analysis: This may be the most important of them all. The Pokes couldn’t handle the loss of Orie Lemon like they did last year, same with Markelle Martin, same with Chris Donaldson, I could go on…. Maintaining health is critical for OSU’s success this year simply because if guys get hurt some youngsters will get thrown to the wolves.
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