Check In With West Virginia’s Defense In This Set Of Clips
By Matt Keller
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Ever wonder exactly how teams are pieced together during fall camp sessions?
It starts with basic fundamentals for a sound foundation and builds from there, and that was exactly WVU’s focus in its opener on Sunday, when footwork, hand placement and initial pad level came to the forefront. Here’s a look inside the practice with a focus on the defense (you can find the first of our offensive clips here) and how all three levels are establishing the essentials early.
First, listen in as defensive line coach Bruce Tall utilizes a plastic tube to create tension and force a lower pad level and square shoulders while also focusing on keeping the eyes up. The motions mimic both taking on a block and scraping down the line of scrimmage within running plays, and the drill has the added benefit of allowing two players within a rep itself, hopefully bettering production and lessening down time.
Next, coordinator Tony Gibson oversees an initial step drill in watching his linebackers react to the snap. The drill works proper eye and foot placement, and ensures that the first steps after a snap aren’t errant or wasted. It also serves to practice the rip moves in shedding blockers, and maintaining proper balance when dissecting and reacting to a play.
On the back end, we take a look at the cornerbacks, coached by first-year WVU assistant Doug Belk. A former graduate assistant at Alabama who helped mentor four All-American defensive backs, Belk delves into the fundamentals of when to flip the hips to turn and run with a wide receiver and the importance of proper timing with such. Belk also details the correct yardage distance between his corners and the opposition at the point of the flip, and how to avoid the spacing problems that create open wideouts.