Big hits a mark of this year's Tiger Defense

A new defensive coordinator appears to be changing the attitude and demeanor of the Tiger Defenders. It's early, but this years defensive unit appears it will be more aggressive and bring more of an attacking style of defense to Columbia this fall. Go inside for yesterday's report on the Tiger's defense.

After this first outdoor practice, the defense continues to look like a solid unit. The team continues to work on improving their system this season, and with Dave Steckel at the helm, they appear to be improving every day.

The upper class-men continue to work with their understudies, giving them tip during down time, and letting them know what went wrong. Several times after a drill was completed, senior Sean Weatherspoon would talk with transfer Josh Tatum, and help him grow as a player.

Returning starters like Weatherspoon have been quite impressive with their leadership both on and off of the field, but it is the new guys who are really standing out.

Transfers Josh Tatum and Jarrell Harrison both began the season at the bottom of the depth chart, but they both saw many reps with the second stringers on Tuesday. They both have hit hard and played well all spring.

Again today, the defense was able to take down Mizzou's explosive offense in the 11-on-11 drill at the end of practice, resulting in more up downs for the losers.

Practice notes:

Jarrell Harrison keeps on looking like he wants the first string position this season. Though he may not beat out Hardy Ricks at the strong safety spot, he has not slowed down any from the first practice last Tuesday.

The Defense started off slow during the 11-on-11s, giving up big gains on quick screens and running plays. It was not until the 11-on-11 began when the defense started getting open field hits turned things around for the Tiger defenders.

Middle linebacker Will Ebner laid a mammoth hit on Rolandis Woodland after a short pass from Blaine Dalton left him hanging. This hit helped spark the then losing defense and may have turned around the 11-on-11 drill.

During 11-on-11s, the defense recorded two fumble recoveries, including one by OLB Jeff Gettys on a poorly run option.

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