DeForest Happy With WVU Defense So Far - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

DeForest Happy With WVU Defense So Far


West Virginia University students are back in Morgantown following spring break. The football players are also back in town and will return to the practice field on Tuesday to resume spring practice.

WVU took care of six practices prior to spring break and has nine practices remaining. One of those nine practices will be the Gold-Blue game on April 21.

WVU is sporting an entirely new defensive staff this season. That staff is implementing a philosophy change on defense. Former Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel ran a 3-3-5 odd stack. Co-Defensive Coordinators Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson are busy installing a 3-4 scheme.

"They have repped everything at least twice," DeForest said prior to spring break. "I just think they are so excited and so enthusiastic. They are hungry to learn and they have done a great job. We are about an average defense right now, but ‘A' for effort."

The new defensive coaches are also busy trying to get familiar with their players. They need to teach these players and identify what each one of them do well to figure out where they can best be utilized on defense. That means some of the players will be asked to change positions.

"We have made some changes and some moves," DeForest said. "Guys are going to have to cross-train at two different spots. I think when we get back after spring break we are going to sit down as a staff and start moving guys around. We've had some practices now to get to know them and try to figure out where they fit in the puzzle."

DeForest is still getting familiar with the players. Several have already made some positive impressions.

"Josh Francis has done a good job," DeForest said. "Isaiah Bruce has done a great job. I think Travis Bell and Darwin Cook have done a good job on the back end. Will Clarke is a big fella."

DeForest and the defensive staff got most of the base defense installed prior to spring break. He said they also got a few blitz packages put in before they left town. The position battles will truly begin once the team returns to the practice field. There are several scrimmages on the practice schedule that will help the defensive staff get even more familiar with their players.

"There is a little bit more on the line in a scrimmage," DeForest said. "Some guys may get exposed and that is how we can tell more about them."

Spring practices are also very helpful for DeForest and the rest of the defensive coaching staff to get to know each other better.

"I think we are a great defensive staff," DeForest stated. "I think Coach Holgorsen has put together a great defensive staff. We have to learn each other, how we practice, how we talk, how we coach and I think we've done that. Coming back after the break, I think it is going to get that much better."

DeForest says he wants to find 22 players to play on defense this season, presumably a starter and backup in each spot. He said he can live with 15 to 16, but is searching for 22 guys.

The search and evaluation continues when spring practice resumes Tuesday evening.

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