Can the Razorback Defense Bring an Attitude in 2012?
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When you think defense, do you think "read and react" or "attack"? Much of the personality of a team's defense stems from the attitude of it's defensive coordinator.
The great Dallas Cowboys teams of the 1970's introduced a flex defense that was designed to bend but not break. The players were expected to react to what the offense did and practice sound tackling.
On the opposite end of the spectrum were the dominant Chicago Bears defenses of the mid 1980's. Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan was the genius behind the '46' defense that blitzed, bullied, and bamboozled the opposing offense into submission.
When you have an offensive minded coach with the "killer" instinct that Bobby Petrino possesses, there is a good chance that your offense could hit the other team with down the field precision on almost any play. Wouldn't it be great to have a defense that saps the will of the other team and allows that prolific offense of Petrino's to get more time on the field?
The Houston Nutt era was never a total letdown when it came to defense, but I remember the 'code red' defensive units of Keith Burns getting destroyed in certain games. It always seemed to be against the quality teams such as the USC Trojans, or chiefly when the Hogs were playing on national television.
Who can forget when they ran to the opposing teams dressing room before the game screaming "code red!" and banging on their door before the game only to be blown out. The defense was too void of talent to be that arrogant, undisciplined, and to take as many chances as they did.
The past several years under Willie Robinson the defense was mostly respectable, but could not seem to shut the other team's offense down when it was absolutely needed. The great teams can do it in all three phases of the game; offense, special teams, and especially defense.
Could this be the year that the Razorbacks arrive with an aggressive, bad attitude when they get off of the bus?
Can they develop a nasty, attacking reputation but still remain disciplined as they react to the SEC's punishing run games?
Hopefully some of this year's Razorbacks will make a name for themselves on the defensive side of the ball. They will need to if the Hogs are to remain among the elite in the nation.
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