Texas Tech Defensive Coordinator Ruffin McNeill on Defensive Philosophy

LAJ's Don Williams talks with new defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill and gives us all some insight as to what plans he has for the defense next season. First, on the extra position coach availability:

"The extra spot, Mike's still looking at,'' McNeill said. "It may be a guy that just does special teams. It doesn't necessarily have to be a guy on defense. I feel good about Charlie and Chris Hudler up front, myself at linebacker and Carlos and Brian coaching the secondary.''


"I don't have a recommendation,'' McNeill said. "I just told Mike that I feel comfortable. Don't feel like we have to add another defensive coach to our side.' ''

According to Williams, McNeill does plan on keeping the 4-3 defensive scheme, but could have a linebacker walk up to the line for a 50 front. Here's Williams and McNeill on what we can look forward to this season:

He did reiterate, as he said after the regular season, that he wants to incorporate more blitzes and zone blitzes in particular. Those were a staple of Tech's package when Greg McMackin was defensive coordinator from 2000-02, but weren't used as much under Setencich.

"I'm a zone blitz guy and want to do that more, blitz more,'' McNeill said. "The biggest thing that we're still going to emphasize will be the fundamentals part, the tackling, the getting off blocks. That will always be important.''

McNeill says he also will keep the defensive package simple enough for the players to grasp and execute, which is something he started as soon as he took over. If a concept is added to the package in the off-season, McNeill said, something else will be removed.

"I think the thing that the players reacted to well was (trimming) things down,'' McNeill said. "We'll keep that philosophy. We want to make sure everything is simple for the kids. But at the same time we'll add some things to hopefully cause problems for opponents, pressure-wise.''

I think with McNeill speaking, this answers some questions that I had regarding what we might expect next year. I'm excited about what McNeill can do this season and I think that with the influx of talent and more aggressive scheme, we could see a much better defense this year than last.

I'd love to know McNeill's statements satisfies the masses. What do you guys think?

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