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OSU's new defensive coordinator Bill Young likes fast, physical ‘D’

by Scott Wright Modified: January 26, 2009 at 4:40 am •  Published: January 26, 2009
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STILLWATER — The biggest question lingering since Bill Young was hired as Oklahoma State’s new defensive coordinator remains: What will his defense look like?

Young isn’t ready to talk about specific X’s and O’s.

"We want to play winning defense, whatever that takes,” Young said. "We’ll get together as a defensive staff with coach (Mike) Gundy’s leadership and figure out what exactly best fits our players.”

In theory, Young’s defense should look similar to what Oklahoma State ran last year, in that Young leans toward getting more speed on the football field.

Former defensive coordinator Tim Beckman brought his STAR linebacker position with him from Ohio State, a position that was a linebacker in name only. The position was designed for someone typically viewed as a strong safety — such as Andre Sexton in 2008 — to line up as a linebacker and use his speed both in blitzes and pass coverage.

In essence, it’s a 4-2-5 defense with 4-3 principles, which so far, appears to be the best way to combat the spread offense.

While the STAR term might not hang around at OSU, the theory probably will. When Young was at Kansas, his defense found success after adopting the idea of regularly using a safety in a linebacker’s role as part of its base defense.