STILLWATER — One word can easily describe what life has been like during the past month for new Oklahoma State safeties coach Tim Duffie.
He arrived in Stillwater just as spring practice was beginning, filling the void left on the Cowboy staff when cornerbacks coach Jason Jones took the same position at Mississippi. Now, he's coaching against OSU's high-powered, pass-happy spread offense during each workout.
Duffie talked to reporters earlier this week about his transition, the senior-stacked group he's coaching and how OSU's new defensive approach affects the safeties.
You didn't have much time to get acclimated before hitting the practice field. Can you describe what those first couple days were like?
All I can say is fast. I've heard up-tempo this and that about our offense, but everything is fast — coaching and going and just trying to transition with terminology. It's unbelievable. I've never been though it before, and I can't describe it. I think you can only go through it to experience it and know what it's like. You can't describe how fast and (high)-paced this offense is and trying to coach against it defensively. It's tough. But obviously, we're going to have to do it week in and week out in throughout this conference.
Van Malone has talked about the importance of the relationship between the cornerbacks coach and safeties coach. How has that developed this spring?
It makes the transition really smooth. Obviously, I wouldn't have taken the job if his personality (didn't mesh with mine), since we would be together. I think he wanted a guy that could come in and say, ‘Hey, we're working together. We're as one,' so the kids see that (and) they believe in it. That's why I'm here. I want to work with guys that believe in team. Van is exceptional at that, and I'm glad to be here as a part of it.
How would you evaluate the safety group as a whole?
Better than I've (had as a coach), as far as depth, in a while. Obviously, we're heavy at safety with seniors. To me, that's a good problem to have, at least one year. You want to kind of spread it out where you don't have five or six (players) in one class. But obviously, it's a good problem to have. Great experience. Great guys. Very competitive and hungry to win. I'm excited about who we have in the back end.