Prince then detailed, "Good defensive teams tackle terrifically, and we did not do that consistently a year ago. And, we've got to get turnovers. We did from a fumble standpoint (17 recovered), but not from an interception standpoint (10)."
The Wildcats will line up in a 3-4 design in 2007 in hopes of getting as many play makers on the field at the same time as possible. Secondary coach Greg Burns has never been involved with the 3-4 concept before, but says he likes the "multiplicity" of the scheme.
"As an offense, you never know who's rushing and who's dropping which causes conflict in regards to protections and blocking schemes," Burns said.
"It's a distract and disturb defense. Disrupt the quarterback on every play, and disturb the offensive line that's blocking for him."
K-State's defensive line will include Steve Cline at tackle, flanked by ends Rob Jackson and Michael Abana.
A transfer a year ago from Fort Scott Community College, Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 254-pound native of West Haven, Conn., admitted that he wasn't overly enthused with the Wildcats switching from the 4-3 defense, but after a spring of work, he said, "I like it. I wasn't enthused at all in the beginning, but I think we can be successful in it."
"The way I look at it," Jackson said, "there's more support behind me. If the ball does pass the line of scrimmage, there's one more guy back there to make a play."
"We're as prepared as we can be," said Watts, KSU's all-Big 12 candidate. "We have wrinkles here and there, but we're going to be fine. We just have to minimize our mistakes this week."
Orchestrating the defense is first-year coordinator Tim Tibesar, who replaces the energetic Raheem Morris.
In comparing the two coaching styles, outside linebacker Ian Campbell chuckled as he said, "Raheem was all over the place ... crazy, but coach Tibs has his moments, too. All coaches do. They see a player finally do something they've been drilling into you all year and they get all hyped up and act crazy. All of them do."