Koenning Talks Defense

<img src=http://media.TheInsiders.com/Media/Other/31_ah-1.GIF> Vic Koenning talks about coming to Clemson and taking over as the defensive coordinator.

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Vic Koenning (33:00)

Opening Comments:
Koenning: I think that it goes without saying that I'm very honored to be here. And we are very much looking forward to the opportunity. Obviously, when you are at a school like Troy that doesn't have the tradition that Clemson does, and is at the level that Clemson is, this is an opportunity to better yourself. I had a fantastic time at Troy, and I'm very much appreciative of the people there, but I'm also looking to somewhat of the same experience here. I understand the expectations and the level of the ACC is one that's probably unequaled anywhere in the country. Especially with the way the ACC has expanded. I'm just looking forward to the opportunity, and I have high expectations for myself. We are going to give our best effort, and do the very best we can everyday, and let the rest of it kind of take care of itself. I'm very impressed so far with Coach Bowden, and it was a good choice to come here and work with Tommy. A lot of the things I saw when I came up on my interview, I'm seeing first hand. I'm very excited about the opportunity to learn and grow. It's going to be a fun time. You have fun by winning, and that's what it's all about.

How familiar are you with the personnel on this defense?
Koenning: Well there are two ways of looking at it. Obviously when you come in on an interview, you don't just walk into a situation where you know they don't have players coming back, because that's not going to be a positive. It's about players. Great players can be put in any scheme and be successful. What we have to is make the players we have here as good as they can be. With the thins that are in place here, and with the end zone complex coming up, there is no reason that we can't recruit with anybody in the country, and we obviously appear to be doing that right now. I think we can get the type of players that we need to be successful. I've watched the players that we have here now and we are going to try and line them up in positions to start with based on what we think their abilities are. I'm going to count on Ron (West) and David (Blackwell) and Coach Bowden a lot for their expertise on that.

Is Hobby going to coach the defensive line?
Koenning: Yes.

So who coaches where in your new defensive philosophy?
Koenning: We are going to split it up similar to a 3-4 defense. We'll have an outside linebacker coach, and then a D-line coach with Coach Hobby having nose tackle and end, and Coach West having what we call the "Bandit" and the "Sam" (strong side linebacker) and Coach Blackwell will have the Mike (middle linebacker) and Will (weak side linebacker), and then I'm going to start off in the secondary, and we'll go from there.

You've said before that you don't have the "rovers and whips" in this defense. What is your terminology?
Koenning: We are going to name one of the safeties the "cat safety." We actually did that at Memphis. We are going to have two safeties and two corners, but I'm not going to say that we are conventional. Obviously, Texas A&M is going to try and find out as much as they are going to find out. I'm sure they are going to get as much Troy tape as they can. We are going to do a lot things that we've done before, things I've always believed in. The one position (Bandit) is kind of a cross between a defensive end and a linebacker. With the personnel here and the way they are used to playing a four man front, it may be slightly more of a four man front at times, but at times that personw will have the ability to be a more mobile guy.

* CUTigers.com will have more from Vic Koenning's press conference today, including video highlights and pictures.

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