Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Todd Orlando inherited a talented and experienced, but arguably undisciplined defense. This, along with now incorporating his new style of defense and making it fit with what the roster currently features, has been on ongoing process, even dating back to winter conditioning.
It’s obviously far from a finished product, but with just two practices with pads now in the books, the Longhorns first-year coordinator provided an update on where things are initially at with his defense as he attempts to instill a new culture.
“It's early. The kids are working, trying to work though it,” Orlando said. “It's different for them, there's a lot of contact. But the one thing that I have been impressed with is that they're trying to push through it. A lot of time, when you have a new staff, there might be some defiance and people are trying to analyze things. They're not doing that at all. They're trying, they're giving us everything they've got. They just have to get accustomed to the way that we train.
Among the things Orlando made note of were accountability and as he spoke of what’s on pace to be a considerably talented linebacking corps, Orlando made it clear that if you’re not playing well, you can watch somebody else do so from the sideline.
“We're going to see some difference people in there,” Orlando said. “It's not going to be: 'Malik Jefferson’s not playing well but he's staying in there.' No, Malik's going to be on the bench. We're going to put someone in there, specifically, who for that day is going to play. It's creating competition and stressing that every day that you go out on that field. And personally, from us as coaches, you're being evaluated every day. You have your moments and we understand that's part of it, but if your moments turn into hours then we've got an issue and I think that's what we're trying to teach them too. You have to be consistently good and you have to work at it all the time.”
You can watch Orlando’s full Thursday media availability below.