Defense Will Evolve

With more depth, Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack says he will call things differently and be more multiple in the future.

A couple of weeks ago, Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack made a telling statement.

Asked if he had a full stable of players to work with would he have called some games in 2012 differently, he did not hesitate.

"Absolutely," he proclaimed.

He did not really expand on that answer until recently. Don't go expecting any trade secrets from Wommack, but he did give a general explanation.

"We have other packages in our system that we'd have liked to have run," he said. "At times, we wanted to run some packages with more DBs. At times, we wanted to run some different packages in short-yardage situations with bigger people across the board."

Wommack said the Rebels could get to one-deep on everything he wanted to do, but there were times he could not risk working those packages in practice.

"Practice time is precious. You can't waste it. You can't spend a lot of time on a package in practice if you are one-deep. If someone gets hurt, you can't use it and then you have wasted that practice time," he noted. "When you're thin, you really have to be smart in what you install for a game. You have to be very efficient.

"The prudent thing to do is not install those packages during the week, which we had to do some this year."

Wommack was pleased with the learning curve of the Rebel defenders this year, for the most part, but getting everyone completely indoctrinated into his system is more than a one-year project.

"We made the progress in knowledge we needed to make in year one in some areas, but in others, we were lacking," Wommack said. "Injuries are why I say that.

Dave Wommack
Chuck Rounsaville

"We had some guys, especially in the secondary, injured and had to put some kids in there the second half of the year that simply didn't get the early practice reps they needed to grasp it all. In some areas we were able to make vast improvement, but in some areas, due to injury, we weren't able to."

Stating the obvious, recruiting is critical for the continued development of the program and, in this case, the defense.

"This is going to sound vague, but we need help in every position," Wommack said. "The obvious positions are in the secondary and at defensive end, but in order to get where we want to be and be able to run the all the things we want to run, we need help at every position.

"We need to recruit speed in our secondary and we need bigger people up front, in general."

Wommack, just like every Rebel, has a good taste in his mouth going into bowl practice and the heavy part of recruiting due to the excellent defensive effort against Mississippi State, which included what can easily be termed a dominant second half.

"That was a total team effort in the second half, I think as well-played - offense, defense and special teams - as we've played all year. That's what we'll be striving for in the future - a total team effort," he closed. "We did a lot of good things against Alabama and Georgia and LSU in spurts, but we couldn't finish as a team. We had some really good quarters and halves against several other teams, but the Egg Bowl is where I thought we had our most complete game and what we're looking for as coaches.

"There were times our offense would give us a lead and we couldn't finish a game or separate. And vice-versa. That had to do with a lot of things - depth, busted assignments, a lot of things - but we know with the first year in these systems under our belts and with a couple of good recruiting years, we are going in the right direction."

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