Believe it or not, but spring football is officially here.
Texas Tech kicks off spring practice today, and one coach should have a particularly difficult task for the spring. The Red Raiders hired Chad Glasgow, formerly the secondary coach at TCU, on Jan. 21 to be their defensive coordinator.
Today, he'll kick off the official installation of his new system and schemes. He took some time out this week to talk to ESPN.com.
In part one of this Q&A earlier today, he talked about the unusual circumstances that led him to this job, and his early experiences on the job.
In part two, he talked about what he's seen out of the defensive struggles last year, and what to expect from him and his new defense in 2011.
David Ubben: How much of the tape from last year have you been able to see at this point?
Chad Glasgow: Oh, we've watched a good bit of tape from last year. And different things. We watch it more from a personnel standpoint of who's playing and the good part about last year? There were a bunch of kids that played. The bad part? There were a bunch of injuries. There's nothing that replaces experience after you step out on the football field.
What were your major impressions after watching that tape and seeing what they were able to do?
CG: Oh, I don't know the biggest impressions of what it was. I think everybody's got a clean slate as we come in and everybody's excited about what it was. There were some chances to go make some plays last year and one of the very first things I talked about is in this system -- I don't care if you're a defensive lineman, a linebacker or a defensive back -- we've got to go find a way to win one-on-ones. And when we get to be in a position when it is a one-on-one, I don't care if it's a pass rush, a one-on-one tackle with a back in the open field, or a pass down the field. We've got to go win those, and that's going to be one of our biggest points of emphasis this spring, is winning one-on-ones.
The other things we're going to emphasize are playing smart and playing relentlessly.
How does that fit in to how you want to go about fixing the problems that did arise last year?
CG: I think we addressed some of our needs, and we've got to get more speed on the field, and that goes through recruiting. I think we addressed some of those needs with this year's signing class. But at the same time, we've got to preach good position and stress those things, when I've got a chance to go make a play, I've got to go make a play. The difference in a football game is going to come down to seven or eight plays, but you don't ever know which one of those seven or eight plays it's going to be. But over a 150-play game, seven or eight of those plays are going to be the difference in it. We've got to approach every play like it's the most important play and find a way to go win that play. And once that's play is over, I can't look back on it, I've got to go play the next play, because that's the most important one.
As you looked back on last year, what returning guys jumped off at you as guys you couldn't wait to see up close this spring?
CG: Well, I'm really excited about every one of the kids right now. We're looking forward to it, and I think a lot of them have a lot of positives and a lot of them have a chance to really go flourish now. We've got a few guys still a little nicked up and they're going to be out for spring ball and those things, but I've been really impressed with how everybody's handled everything and their work ethic and their excitement and willingness to go get it done.
Are you for sure planning on installing a 4-2-5? I've heard a few different things.
CG: Oh yeah, that's what we're going to do. We'll have some ability to play three-man front stuff, and we'll have the ability to do a 4-3 because of how we teach those concepts. It'll carry over within it that way.
Over the past couple years, why were your secondaries at TCU so successful?
CG: Well, a lot of it went to the D-line, too. You can't be a very good secondary if you don't have a good pass rush. That was one of our strengths at TCU, the front up there, which in turn, allowed us to be a better secondary. We had kids that loved football and loved winning and they loved to go out and compete. It didn't matter if it was a Tyler Luttrell, who had been a walk-on receiver early in his career and started eight games [in 2009] for us at strong safety and didn't move over until seven days before we went and played Virginia at Virginia.
I think there's a lot to how we go in practice and how we try to prepare them and make practice harder than games are, because what you want is once you get to Saturdays, you want the game to slow down, where, "OK, now here's the whole picture."
That's one of the things that has me excited to go against our offense, because they are so good. They're going to force us to be in tough, one-on-one situations. They're going to force us to see how good we are at what we're doing.
We've talked a little bit small picture, but big picture, how would you describe your defensive philosophy?
CG: I'll go back to this again: If we are described as a defense that plays relentless and a defense that plays smart, we're going to have a chance to be all right. And I think smart and relentless are two huge, huge deals. That's how we want this deal to be labeled and what we want kids to do.
Are you in some ways a stats or numbers guy, as in, is there something you want to preach to your team about doing specifically?
CG: Well, there's only one stat that makes a difference, and that's whether you win or lose the football game. And it's our job to hold whoever we played to one less point than our offense scores and being able to do some of those things. Now, ultimately, when you get into the turnover margins, I think that's a big number. I think being able to go and stop the run is a huge number, and one of the things we always talked about at TCU is we want to be able to eliminate -- we want an offense to average, at the end of the year, one throwing touchdown per game or less.
Shoot, back in 2007 or 2008, we gave up 47 yards a game rushing and gave up eight touchdown passes. The whole season. I don't know that that will ever happen again in college football that way, but the closer we can get to those numbers, the better we're going to be.
But again, our deal is, we've got to hold that offense to one less point, and this is a team sport. We've got to find a way to go win as a team.