It’s not a secret for Colorado fans, for the Buffs to be a much improved team they must play better defense than they have in the last few years.
Enter Mike MacIntyre, known as a defensive minded guy, been a defensive coordinator at several major schools including being on the defensive side of the ball for the Dallas Cowboys under Bill Parcells. He coached defensive backs for Dallas for three seasons and the New York Jets for one.
While MacIntyre has turned the Buffs defense over to Kent Baer, you can count on him being in the defensive meeting rooms, lending his expertise to the entire defensive coaching staff. This Colorado defense will play with a passion, a part of MacIntyre’s personality along with the personality of Baer, Jim Jeffcoat the D-line coach that had a storied playing career at defensive end with the Cowboys, Andy LaRussa the corners coach and Charles Clark the safeties coach.
Clark played for Ole Miss, a team that MacIntyre coached at, and he and LaRussa are two of the top up and coming defensive coaches in college football. Their positive approach with their players will pay major dividends for Colorado in years to come.
MacIntyre made it clear in an early interview, that the Buffs must play better defense to be able to complete in the PAC 12 and to be a better football team in 2013.
“I have always loved the defensive side of the ball,” MacIntyre said. “The defense is in great hands with Coach Baer, I will definitely be in some of their meetings and working with those guys, sharing a lot of things I have learned over the years.”
BuffPlayBook takes a look at some of the top story lines for Colorado entering next week’s fall camp under MacIntyre.
One of the top story lines has to be will this Buffs football team play at a higher level on the defensive side of the ball and what position group will be the most improved?
It’s easy to pick out Colorado’s top defensive player on the team, it isn’t easy to pronounce his name but it’s easy to see why Chidera Uzo-Diribe’s play will be one of the main reasons whether this defensive unit plays at a much higher level.
Diribe isn’t shy talking about the new energy this new coaching staff has brought to Boulder, something that the players appear to be enjoying.
“Playing football is fun again with this new coaching staff,” Diribe said in an earlier interview. “Being coached by a guy that has had so much success playing at the highest level of football will be a major plus for my game. I’m learning so much from Coach Jeffcoat, he pushes me to be a better player, I’m very excited about the upcoming season.”
Baer, the defensive coordinator for the Buffs will also coach the linebackers, a group that will have to produce at a higher level for CU to be better on the field this season.
Guys like Addison Gilliam, Derrick Webb and Woodson Greer must have solid seasons, but more importantly these guys must remain healthy as depth on the defensive side of the ball is something that is in the process of improving.
Another group that may surprise fans and foes is the defensive backs at Colorado.
Look for this group to play with a more confident attitude and more aggressive than they have in the past.
This is where MacIntyre’s expertise may play the most important role to instant improvement this fall.
Corner’s Coach Andy LaRussa is very excited about how this group played in the spring. He talked about his first impressions of his group during an earlier interview.
“My first thought was how athletic and long they are,” LaRussa said. “They really run well. There is a competitive fire about them, they have great attitudes, listening to everything we tell them and doing everything we are asking of them.”
Being picked last in the PAC 12 by media last week is something that will inspire and make this team hungry this fall.
“We know that we are better than that,” Diribe said. “Now it’s up to us to go out and prove it. I think we will surprise a lot of people this fall.”