The Lowdown on Third Down

West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson and senior associate head coach Tom Bradley, a veteran defensive mentor, discuss the installation of schemes, third down personnel and the comfort of WVU's players with the entire package relative to kickoff - now just three weeks away.

Bradley, in his first season as a Mountaineer assistant after a 30-year career at Penn State, breaks down the installation of the defense, the areas of emphasis entering the final week of camp and WVU's approach to adding the different layers to a defense as the players become comfortable with schemes and base execution.

Bradley, who said one day Gibson would be "one of the best defensive coordinators in the country," also notes the development of Christian Brown along the front of the multiple look set.

Gibson, below, goes into his third down substitutions; WVU will not make massive switches like it used to under the SWAT package with Jeff Casteel, but rather give itself a better pass rush by subbing an end to nose and bringing on an additional coverage player or two, a la the nickel and dime setups. And while the Mountaineer defensive staff does think the team has enough athletes who can make plays in space, the ultimate functionality and flexibility of the defense will come down to grasp mental concepts.

Gibson reiterated that there have been too many MAs, or missed assignments, in the first few days of padded work, and that he would like to get the mental errors cleaned up and be able to progress onto the next phase of install. Of now, neither the offense or defense is scheming to defeat the other side; rather, the reps and design is centered around a core teaching of the fundamental structure and operation.


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