Vic Koenning has led some impressive defenses during his time as a coordinator. This fall he entered his first season calling the defensive shots at North Carolina, and reflected back on how the game has changed over the years during an interview on the Inside Carolina Radio Show.
Koenning explained that he doesn't think new schemes will be invented to stop the prolific spread attacks, but does think that new strategies and the creative use of personnel and hybrid players will continue to evolve.
"I don't think that anything is going to be invented, I think things are going to get reinvented," Koenning said. "What modern things that we do, are offshoots of old defenses."
"You can't let offensive coaches today know what you're doing. If they know what you're in...they've got the answers. The old days of lining up in the I-formation and running it and just saying that 'Our Jimmies are better than you're Joey's and we're going to beat you into submission'...Nobody wants to do that anymore."
"Now everything is about space, and if you have guys that can't compete in space, then you're going to be struggling."
Very good insight from a quality defensive mind. With most programs putting their best guys in space, and forcing defenses to spread out, the days of lining up and playing smash mouth football are on the decline. Take it from Koenning, who has gone from coordinating the defense against the smash mouth Big Ten style, to the more spread out, multiple looks of the ACC where teams use various different formations and philosophies in order to get their best playmakers in space.