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August 14, 2012
Trying to Find the Right Mix
The Houston Cougars will have new faces and will surely have little unique differences from years past when they take the field under new head coach Tony Levine this fall but one of the biggest changes will be the teams defensive philosophy changing back to the 4-3 base from last year's 3-4 base.
One of the new faces helping spearhead the swith back is first year Cougar defensive tackle coach Ricky Logo who joins holdover Carlton Hall (defensive ends) from the previous staff in making over the defensive line. Early on Logo has been impressed with the retention of the players from the spring.
"The last time we were together was in the spring so the first part of camp has been about re-introducing them to what we worked on in the spring and getting them back on track," Logo told CougarsDen. "After the first three days I believe we were back where we were at in the soring as far as fundamentals. The good thing I have seen early is that they are concentrating on their footwork and technique and it showing up on film."
One way Logo and Hall are learning about the talent they have and helping to build team cohesiveness is a different approach to pairing multiple combinations of ends and tackles to see what fits.
"One of the things we are experimenting with is that the guys never work with the same person the next day," said Logo. "That gives them the opportunity for a nose tackle to work with a different three technique. It gets our first team tackles to work with our second team ends and our second team tackles with first team ends and even throwing in some young guys in there at spots too. Each one of them is different in their own way but they have got to learn what the next person can do beside them and be able to adjust accordingly."
The most important result of the experiment may be for the staff to gain the knowledge of which players work best with each other and in what situation so that they can approach the in game rotations with previous knowledge of their results.
"Any time we are trying to rotate we certainly don't want a drop in regards to the talent on the field," said Logo. "It also helps push the guys that are in front of them or if they are backing them up, it gives them a chance to push them some and competition helps the guys play a little better."
The Cougars held their first scrimmage of the fall Tuesday night and jump right back into their work with two practices on Wednesday. Their first game of the season is September 1 against the visiting Texas State Bobcats.