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Red Raider Gridiron: Smith Takes Responsibility for Defense; Slay Makes an Offer to Kingsbury

After the resignation of defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Mike Smith talk about the challenge ahead and Smith talks about taking responsibility of the defense. Plus, Dwayne Slay makes an offer to Kingsbury.

John Weast

Wallerstedt Fallout. We'll have more on Wallerstedt through the weekend, but for now. We'll get to the links of the day regarding Wallerstedt's resignation.

Brock to Coach Inside Linebackers. One note that I didn't mention yesterday is that Matt Brock, who was the defensive quality control coach, is now coaching inside linebackers. Brock is from Baker University, which is in Kansas, and when he accepted the position at Texas Tech, he was an alum of Baker:

Brock is a former linebacker for the Wildcats. During his time at Baker, he recorded 277 career tackles and seven career interceptions, while leading the conference in total tackles and tackles per game in 2010.

A 2009 and 2010 all-conference selection, Brock is also a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and earned several team MVP awards.

Firing Came Early. LAJ's Don Williams writes that this year's coaching spinout came early:

The Red Raiders' spin cycle with defensive coordinators just never ends.

Mike Smith becomes Tech's seventh defensive coordinator since the start of the 2007 season. By my reckoning, the departure of only one directly traced to on-field bad performance. Even that one, Lyle Setencich, was certainly distracted at the time by his wife's serious health issues.

Head coaching changes swept out Ruffin McNeill and Art Kaufman. The others, see above.

Smith and Kingsbury Responsible for Defense. The LAJ had a few quotes from Mike Smith and Kliff Kingsbury on their weekly radio show last night about the defense. Smith talked about how he's talked to the players and that he's challenging the team:

"I talked to (the players) today," Smith said on the radio show. "I said, ‘We've got nine games left. Right now, people are counting us out. We haven't been playing very good defense, and this is a chance to show everybody that we can.' I just challenged them: ‘For the next nine games, give me everything you've got.'"

Smith also talked about being responsible for the defense:

"There's been great defense here, and there will be great defense," he said on Kingsbury's radio show. "That's my goal. If I have to stay up every night ... I'll spend late nights and do whatever it takes to get everybody lined up right and do our job. I'm going to take that pressure and that responsibility."

Slay Makes an Offer to Kingsbury. This is pretty cool, from FoxSports Louis Ojeda, Jr., former Red Raider footballer Dwayne Slay texted head coach Kliff Kingsbury yesterday to offer his services and help teach a bit of intensity to the team. Slay says that the this is as much about the players as coaches:

"They lack leadership and lack any guys with any type of intensity or tenacity," he said. "When I played, I got into my guys' faces. I just wanted to win, and sometimes it takes that kind of attitude. I may have been an All-American, but those other guys helped me out. They helped me to get in position to make plays and they got into the right gaps and did what they were supposed to do.

And here is Slay talking about how he texted Kingsbury:

"I texted Kliff after hearing the news about the defensive coordinator getting fired," he said. "If Kliff and the guys wanted to reach out to me, I'm open to go up there and help out. I know what I could bring to the table with the mentality that I have. If the opportunity presented itself, I'd love to be a part of Texas Tech football. I'd love to do it."

As the article ends on a tone of "why the hell not" and sorta agree, although there is a wheels-off aspect to this as well (hey, nothing else works, so why not).  And I have no idea what Slay is doing right now, but they have a defensive quality control coach position available.  Anyway, make sure and check out the whole thing.

Miscellaneous. Congrats to IR Bradley Marquez who was named as a candidate for the 2014 Senior Class Award . . . our friends over at Pistols Firing have notes on Mike Gundy's weekly press conference for Texas Tech . . . Yabba. Zach Thomas is set to be inducted into the Pampa Harvester's Hall of Fame . . . former Texas Tech footballer Seth Doege is now the #2 quarterback in Saskatchewan for the Roughriders and he talks about being ready . . .