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CattouseFan
10-09-2005, 11:15 PM
By Brett Jensen
& Steve Lansdale
Date: Oct 8, 2005

CUTigers.com recently checked with one of the stars of Vic Koenning's defense at Troy, first round draft pick DeMarcus Ware, to get his thoughts on Coach Vic, his defensive schemes, and much more.

Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning and his style of defense have come under the scrutiny by fans and critics alike since the beginning of the season.

Even though the defense has done well at times, it has looked lost and out of sorts at others. In addition, the players have had trouble learning all the various assignments and as a result, Koenning has drastically reduced the defensive calls.

Koenning’s defense is loosely based on that used by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and famed defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Many college and pro teams across the country have employed it.

But is it really that difficult to learn, as it sometimes appears to be for these Tigers? Should it be easier to grasp and is Koenning the right man teach it? Is he in over his head as some have suggested?

To get the answers, all one has to do is look at his resume. A quick review reveals he helped make Troy statistically one of the best defenses in the county with the exact same defense he’s installing at Clemson.

For even more clarification and information about the man and his defensee, speak to one of Keonning’s former players. And who better than DeMarcus Ware, who played ‘Bandit’ at Troy and was just selected in the first round as the No. 11 overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2005 NFL Draft.

“I learned a lot from him, he’s a great coach,” Ware said in an exclusive interview with CUTigers.com. “He knows what everyone is supposed to do on every play, and he knows everything you’re not doing. He’d correct me on something, and I’d think, ‘How’d he know I didn’t get underneath that guy?’ You can’t hide from him. He doesn’t miss a thing.”

While it’s true that Troy had a similar style of defense already in place when Koenning first arrived, one that switched back-and-forth between the 3-4 and 4-3, he tweaked it and made slight alterations.

One thing that Ware first noticed about Koenning was just how serious his new coach was, but at the same time, how flexible and personable he was.

‘He’s kind of a drill sergeant,” Ware said. “He’ll really get at you at practice. But he also listens to you. We could come off the field and say, ‘Let’s try this, let's try that,’ based on something we saw from the offense and he’d listen. We could suggest a play that might work, and he’d say, ‘OK, we’ll run it.’ If it worked, we’d do it again. If it didn’t work, that’s the last we’d see of it in that game.

Over the course of two years, Ware and Koenning developed a special bond on and off the field. Nonetheless, when it was time to be serious, Koenning was all business and he expected the same out of his players.

“No, you don’t make jokes about him,” said Ware, laughing. “He’s all business. He’s a good guy, but on the field, we’re there to work. On road trips, he’s approachable, you can talk to him. But when you talk to him, it’s about football. He’s always thinking about football.”

BMarkey
10-10-2005, 12:35 AM
Maybe Clemson isn't smart enough to run it and those poor Tigers should give their new coach back to Troy!

ksdtrojan
10-10-2005, 10:55 AM
Maybe Clemson isn't smart enough to run it and those poor Tigers should give their new coach back to Troy!

We could be so lucky!!!

Nice Trojan
10-10-2005, 11:02 AM
Shoot - Bowden may be on his last leg at Clemson. So Vic may get a head coach shot there or be out along with Bowden. Then he could come back to Troy.

tntrojan
10-10-2005, 02:50 PM
What I found interesting was this reference:

"While it’s true that Troy had a similar style of defense already in place when Koenning first arrived..."

Do we dare actually give credit to the great Blazer Buffet eater in Birmingham as a defensive genius? :)
I know it hurts for many posters here to say it, but Bolt's defenses got the job done. I think VC was just banking off things Bolt taught him and players Bolt left for him.
All that said, I'm not defending his move to UAB, just the fact that he knew what he was doing. Now if he could just lay off the Mr. Hos. :)

Sarahbelle
10-10-2005, 03:52 PM
Bolt's "genius" defense let SMU drive 80 yards in 23 seconds and no time-outs Saturday for a Mustang win over the Blazers....that's not good at all.

BMarkey
10-10-2005, 10:18 PM
That's a great one, Sarah.

What a collapse.

TU/JSU Fan
10-12-2005, 04:40 PM
When JSU played UAB I was sitting with a bunch of UAB fans and they were all already tired of Bolt. I think his welcome is starting to run out. Everyone around us was screaming for Bolt's head as JSU kept scoring pts on that defense. It didn't suprise me that UAB lost in the last seconds.. Had JSU's last onside kick not hit a guy in the back JSU would have done the same exact thing.

Michael

Hector
10-13-2005, 07:19 AM
It strikes me that UAB played the defensive "game of their lives" against Troy at the Gallery. It was therefore quite natural that they would have a serious letdown against a mediocre IAA team the next week (which is excatly what happened.) Those that point to the scores of the two games and conclude that Jax is a better team than Troy don't know what they are talking about, IMO. Based on their play so far this year, if Troy played Jax, they would beat them by at least 3 touchdowns (provided Blakeney chose not to run up the score). On Bolt's defense, you must remember that even when he was at Troy, his defenses occaisonally gave up the big play or drive.
However, based on the way the UAB classlessly threw Troy under the bus after the Jax State game, I love the handwringing that is going on over there.

TU/JSU Fan
10-13-2005, 02:40 PM
I must admit that after the UAB game I thought JSU was a better team than Troy... I still don't know about 3 touchdowns.. Troy's offense is still pitiful. Until Meadows actually gets off the ground to throw a pass I think the passing game is dead. JSU at least knows it can run the ball on anyone. Troy still has to figure out if it can run the ball on everyone like it did on UNT. I would actually like to see JSU and Troy play this year.. Would be an interesting game at least.

Michael

TrojanWar
10-13-2005, 03:32 PM
Interesting? Sure, for Troy fans. It would be a blowout. JSU is no where near the D1AA team that Cal-Poly is, and even playing a very poor game, Troy won that game. While Troy is not playing great, the team is way better than it was for the first and second games of the year. The only team in the Sun Belt that JSU might have a chance against this year would be FIU, the best NAIA team in D1A!

TroyTuba
10-17-2005, 11:49 AM
I'm a huge Troy fan, but when are you guys gonna stop talking about other teams being mediocre and realize that we can't beat everyone we think we can (i.e. Jax State, ULM, etc.) I think this year's team has proven that. We get a huge win one week, you guys start spouting off about taking over the world and the next week we lose to a "mediocre" team. Last I checked, a win is a win.....

TrojanWar
10-17-2005, 11:53 AM
We all want to be on top of the world. It's our job as fans to build this team up as world beaters when we win. Unfortunately, reality is now setting in on many of us. I still think Troy would beat JSU. I will think that no matter how bad we get (can't get much worse). To even talk about losing to a D1AA team is absurd. If we stoop to that level, then we as fans are the losers.

Rah1919
10-17-2005, 01:57 PM
I'm a huge Troy fan, but when are you guys gonna stop talking about other teams being mediocre and realize that we can't beat everyone we think we can (i.e. Jax State, ULM, etc.) I think this year's team has proven that. We get a huge win one week, you guys start spouting off about taking over the world and the next week we lose to a "mediocre" team. Last I checked, a win is a win.....

That's my bruh. Cosign 100%. TrojanWar, you say some great stuff on here and I agree with a lot of the stuff you say, but I honestly don't blame the folks from Monroe coming on here and rubbing the win in our faces. Go back and read some of the stuff some Troy fans have been saying. We're like the guy from the neighborhood who suddenly moved up in the world and forgot where he came from. Just because you're D1 DOES NOT automatically make you a football behemoth. As is everyone here (I hope), I'm a diehard Troy fan, but we should not be talking as much smack as SOME OF US talk on here. Building up the team and just running our mouth/dogging other teams are two completely different things. I'm a firm believer that anybody can be beaten on any given day (as we have proven this before) and it's not true that all DII teams are subpar and all D1 teams are juggernauts for the simple fact that they are classified as such. Troy fans running their mouths unnecessarily is the reason a lot of them look stupid when we lose.

Point is (sorry I'm being so wordy) this: 1)We are in the Sun Belt, like it or not, and these other teams are our peers. We've obviously proven this year, that whatever the reason, it doesn't really matter at this point, we are not leaps and bound above them, or any team we have played for that matter. The Sun Belt is our home right now and we need to focus on handling it like we used to do things in DII back in the day. It's going to take time but hopefully it will happen. I'll still be here regardless. 2)We have got to be more realistic (and humble, before the game as well as after) about the team when talk with each other and other fans about them. Cuz when one Trojan fan has to eat crow, we all do, and frankly, the only bird I like to eat is chicken. So I'm done running my yap. Go Trojans and good luck with the rest of the season.

TrojanWar
10-17-2005, 02:21 PM
Very true Rah, to some extent. I enjoy jawing back and forth with rival fans. I don't mind eating crow. It's all in fun anyway. My life does not change in any way whether we win or lose. Sure, I'm happier when Troy wins, but it's small change in the giant scheme of things in my life. If you don't want to smack talk with fans from other schools, then don't. Just don't tell others to keep quiet. This is a message board and smack talk is one of the major pieces of a sports message board. No one ever gets upset about our smack talk when we win, but when we lose some of you posters get bent out of shape for things posters such as I say before the game. Get over it. I have. We as fans should always think our school is the best in the land, even when it isn't. That's what keeps up the moral of posters such as Troy59 when they feel like all is lost.

formerlytsufan
10-17-2005, 02:36 PM
Very true Rah, to some extent. I enjoy jawing back and forth with rival fans. I don't mind eating crow. It's all in fun anyway. My life does not change in any way whether we win or lose. Sure, I'm happier when Troy wins, but it's small change in the giant scheme of things in my life. If you don't want to smack talk with fans from other schools, then don't. Just don't tell others to keep quiet. This is a message board and smack talk is one of the major pieces of a sports message board. No one ever gets upset about our smack talk when we win, but when we lose some of you posters get bent out of shape for things posters such as I say before the game. Get over it. I have. We as fans should always think our school is the best in the land, even when it isn't. That's what keeps up the moral of posters such as Troy59 when they feel like all is lost.

I thought Dairy Fresh was best in the land! :lol:

Rah1919
10-17-2005, 02:42 PM
Can't argue with that, War.

BMarkey
10-17-2005, 02:45 PM
Except when they come here and imbed those garbage images and make direct accusations that cannot be proved.

TrojanWar
10-17-2005, 02:46 PM
Except when they come here and imbed those garbage images and make direct accusations that cannot be proved.

Then we deal with them as we did this morning.