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Texas Football: Is Greg Robinson the Long-Term Answer for the Defense?

Like Mack Brown, Texas defensive coordinator could be looking for a new job in the coming days.
Like Mack Brown, Texas defensive coordinator could be looking for a new job in the coming days.Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Zach SheltonFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2013

Mack Brown is all but done as head coach of the Texas Longhorns, even if he is pretending he is unaware. By association, most of his staff is in the same predicament.

But if just one member were to stay, it's tough to argue against it being defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. The accolades continue to pile up for the man who single-handedly turned around the Longhorns' defense.

Three of Robinson's players have been named to All-Big 12 teams, with star defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat capping off his career as one of the most decorated players in the country.

On Wednesday, the senior was named the Big 12's Co-Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team All-Big 12 defensive lineman, the Hendricks Award winner as the nation's best defensive end and a second-team All-American by USA Today.

On the season, Jeffcoat tied for third in the nation with 12 sacks and was No. 13 with 18 tackles for loss. Playing his last two games at Robinson's "Viper" position, he tallied 21 tackles and five sacks.

Prior to Robinson's replacement of Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator, the star bookend had zero sacks and just two tackles for loss. Without the two-time Super Bowl winner at the helm, Jeffcoat likely spends the season as another underachieving talent instead of a national award winner.

After Robinson's arrival, Jackson Jeffcoat blossomed into one of the best players in the country.
After Robinson's arrival, Jackson Jeffcoat blossomed into one of the best players in the country.Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

However, Robinson's impact on Jeffcoat is simply the tip of the iceberg. He turned Steve Edmond, one of the goats from the 2012's disastrous group, into an All-Big 12 honorable mention at outside linebacker. He also got cornerback Carrington Byndom back on the all-conference team after his disappointing junior season.

The list goes on, whether you want to discuss Cedric Reed's banner year or Chris Whaley's pre-injury impact. This all from a coordinator that called most of his players "by their numbers" during his first couple of weeks on the job. Just imagine what he could do with a full spring.

Unfortunately, he may not get the chance at one. Whoever replaces Brown as head coach will want to bring his own staff aboard for the pending Texas turnaround.

Keeping at least a part of the old regime around, however, is not entirely unheard of. Most recently, new USC head man Steve Sarkisian showed a willingness to keep Ed Orgeron on the staff, though the interim coach would have no part of it.

Then again, the next man up could use Robinson's disastrous years at Syracuse and Michigan as a reason to bring to bring in a fresh face. Or Robinson could just decide to follow his close friend out the door.

Whatever the case may be, Robinson has enjoyed his best season since his previous stint with the Longhorns in 2004. Should Texas' next head coach find use for him, his track record with Texas athletes says that he would remain successful.

As with the head coaching situation, we just have to wait and see.

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