And though replacing the recruiting-minded Bielema can be a difficult task, new linebacker coach Chris Cosh seems up to the challenge.
Prior to that, Cosh worked on Nick Saban's staff at
And K-State defensive coordinator Bob Elliott has all the
faith in Cosh, who also takes over the
"Bret (Bielema) had a lot of input and responsibility on our team," he said. "And Chris Cosh has the same responsibility."
And so far, Elliott said the linebackers seem to be responding to Cosh's ideas—which won't delve too far from the K-State norm.
"I love the attitude that those guys have," Elliott said. "It's a fun group to work with because there is no superstar in the group, yet. So we're all working together. That's Coach Cosh's idea, to bring those guys together as a group. And until someone establishes themselves as a recognized dominator, we're really just trying to build a group that plays well together."
"I think Coach Cosh has got their attention. They really want to be good. They're on their way to being good, but they aren't quite there yet. And I think we'll be fine when we're all said and done. I don't have any doubt that Coach Cosh will have those guys whipped into shape pretty soon."
Elliott said it's not a bad idea to bring new, different ideas into the system, which he said, never really changes, even with new defensive coordinators over the years.
"Coach Cosh has been all over the country coaching linebackers, coordinating defenses everywhere he's ever been," he said. "He brings a wealth of ideas and little different flavor. And every time you change a coaching staff around, there will be a little different flavor.
"There has never been a drastic change since Bill Snyder has
been here," he added. "There's been a tweak there and tweak here, but the
philosophy and the structure of our defense is Bill Snyder. It started with
Bobby Cope, Bob Stoops Jim Leavitt, Mike (Stoops), (Brent) Venables, Phil
Bennett, and then I came in with Bret. The common thread is what Bill Snyder's
philosophies are. I was fortunate because I experienced those at
Elliott said the continuity of the program's ideals even with the changes in coaching staffs has allowed players to continue to develop without losing much of a step.
"There's been good continuity. You see all these coaching changes and the players pay the price in development, but we haven't had that problem. Bill Snyder has been able to bring new coaches in and not skip a beat because the continuity in the system is there."