The good news, maybe even the best news for Cowboy football fans from OSU’s spring football camp: word of a more aggressive defense.
Nothing seemed to agitate fans more than the seemingly soft approach to pass coverage, which is a key aspect of OSU’s defensive makeover under coordinator Glenn Spencer.
Seems to be good news inside the program, too.
The Cowboys are going on the attack more. Not all the time; down and distance and game situations factor into the timing and the extent of the aggression.
Still, the approach and personality of the defense is changing.
Maybe you saw the recent comments of cornerback Justin Gilbert.
“Last year, the cornerbacks, we played a little bit soft in coverage,” Gilbert said. “And soft coverage, that put a little bit of stress on us. To allow us to play more aggressive, it’s going to be a lot better this season.”
Gilbert admittedly didn’t have the kind of season he expected in 2012. And some of that’s on him. But maybe some of it’s on the scheme. One of the fastest players in the Big 12, Gilbert has the makeup speed to recover if beaten off the line in bump-and-run coverage. And yet, he was rarely allowed to play an aggressive style that seemingly fits him.
A sampling of Mike Gundy quotes from Monday that reveal his feelings on the makeover, and perhaps offer a hint to his stamp on the switch, engineered when he elevated Spencer into the full role of coordinator, relieving Bill Young:
“I like the defense and our aggressive style of play – challenging the receivers more.”
“Our style of play benefits our corners and their ability to challenge receivers.”
“(The defensive ends are) more aggressive. This style of defense allows them to have more freedom in their pass rush. We want them to come off the ball and attack. As we progress through the spring and early in August, we should start seeing signs of, and the benefits of this style of play.”