This offseason has been a new experience for everyone in the world of college football. The COVID-19 related changes and cancellations have caused the entire sports world to make major adjustments, especially college football coaches starting new positions.
That’s the case for Washington State. With a new regime taking over, spring football is one of the most important times to teach the team the new playbook and how things will be done. Unfortunately, Nick Rolovich, defensive coordinator Jake Dickert and the Cougs didn’t haven’t had spring camp, or any kind of practice, really.
On Tuesday, Dickert joined WSU play-by-play announcer Matt Chazanow on the latest edition of Cougar Chats to breakdown how his team is adapting to the change, what his defense will look like and how he ended up in Pullman.
“Life throws you a curveball, and you just sit back and be ready to hit it,” Dickert told Chazanow. “I think the character of a man is what you do when no one is watching. Coaches and players alike, this is our time to shine. This is where we’re going to separate ourselves.”
Dickert says he’s been holding video meetings with his unit to install his gameplan and, despite the limitations, the team is excited to learn.
“You should see me in my install meetings,” said Dickert. “My heart is pumping after, the guys are fired up, they’re engaged and just ready to get out there. When we get the green light, our guys are going to be ready, they’re going to be prepped, they’re going to be fired up.”
With spring football, as well as next week’s Crimson and Gray game, both cancelled, we won’t get to see Dickert’s defense on the practice field for quite some time. So, what can we expect from the unit when we finally get that chance?
“I’ve always been a big believer in zone coverages and eyes on the football. In 2017, [while at Wyoming] we led all of college football in takeaways by five. We didn’t have a chain, we didn’t have a throne. Nothing. Just old school football... You gotta have variance and you gotta change things up a lot and we will play some man and pressure packages, but as much as we can we’ll get eyes on the football and get everyone rallying.”
Dickert added that the team will be in an NFL-style cover 3 mainly with some change ups here and there, but the team will also adjust to what the players do best.
“I don’t want to say ‘let’s just put these guys in a box and do what we’ve always done.’ You know, if we’ve got man cover guys, let’s play man... It’ll be a fit to what our guys do well within schemes of what we want to do.”
Dickert went on to recap his experience on the Wyoming staff in 2017 when Gardner Minshew made his WSU debut against the Cowboys. You can here that answer and the rest of his conversation with Chazanow in the full interview here, or embedded below.
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