When you think of some of the top defensive minds in the game, guys like Nick Saban, Pat Narduzzi, Brent Venables, Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, and the list goes on and on. Those are guys that stick out, not because of what they run, but how they teach it and how they get their guys to execute it. That leads me right into my next point.
Fresno State defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer pointed out after their spring practice over the weekend, all the talk about "defensive gurus" is a bit overrated.
Steinauer joined Jeff Tedford's program back in December after a number of years with different organizations coaching in the Canadian League, where he also spent 13 seasons as a player. Most recently, he served as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator with the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
"I always say, there is no magic defense," Steinauer said about his group's great play in the red zone during their scrimmage.
"All this stuff about defensive gurus, I think is a bit overrated. The plays are made by the players. Now, we can put them in some situations where we think they're advantageous for us, but at the end of the day, the players make plays and it is our job to make them as prepared as we can, and allow them to play fast and put the right players out there that we feel can get the job done the majority of the time."
"It's really not that tough. We try to complicate it all the time as coaches, but at the end of teh day we need to keep points off the board and when we're dealt a bad deck of cards, we've got to hold them to a field goal or turn the ball over. It's real simple."
As coaches, I think we're all guilty on occasion of getting too caught up in the latest offensive or defensive scheme, like the latest RPO or trying to master quarters coverage, thinking that it will solve all (or most ) of our problems on the field, when the real advantage is how coaches teach and communicate the scheme so that players can go out there and execute it with confidence.