During spring practices, Kansas football defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Clint Bowen says a few of the primary goals for the defense include becoming more effective tacklers, swarming to the ball and avoiding critical breakdowns.
“The game of football has gotten, the last few years, so open-field, and so tackling has become such a critical component to that,” Bowen explains. “So that’s obviously one of our biggest emphases of the spring, is to learn how to tackle in different situations and be great tacklers.
“Second, with that, is to get our guys to play hard, because when a guy misses a tackle — it’s gonna happen. There’s great guys in this league in open space. It happens,” Bowen says. “Someone else has to be running to the ball to fix it, you know, swarming to the ball with great effort. And we talk about with our guys: you can’t allow the offense something that they didn’t earn.”
The importance of avoiding mental mistakes that lead to costly penalties, Bowen adds, also have been an emphasis.
Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen says one of the most important things the Jayhawks’ “D” accomplished at TCU this past week was committing to carrying out the game plan.
“I think this was the first time the kids, consciously throughout the game, remembered what was important to stop for that type of offense,” Bowen explains.
Throughout the season, the defensive coordinator adds, coaches have truly learned what players can do “when the lights are on,” and getting to that point has led to improvement, as well.
Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen says the Jayhawks will face a different challenge in stopping the Texas offense this week, following a string of more pass-driven, high-scoring attacks.
Bowen says the Longhorns haven’t been able to get their passing game going as much as the Baylors, Texas Techs and Oklahomas of the Big 12. But Bowen adds a lot of that is by design, as UT’s strength is in running the ball.
So KU’s preparation this week, the defensive coordinator says, isn’t any easier than when a juggernaut is next on the schedule.
Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen admits watching some of the Big 12’s offenses can make someone in his position want to pull his hair out.
A week after facing Baylor, KU gets high-scoring Texas Tech.
As the Jayhawks prepare for the Red Raiders, Bowen is particularly concerned about Tech receiver Jakeem Grant.
Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen says the Jayhawks’ bye week after opening the season with back-to-back losses came at a good time, because the coaches could really evaluate what the personnel can and can’t do.
Given where the defense is at right now, Bowen says coaches are looking for small signs of improvement that will eventually add up and make for a better overall unit.