Can Marcus Woodson Turn Around Hogs' Secondary Quickly?
By Andy Hodges,
Based on Florida State experience, new coach expecting fast progress here.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Razorback's much-maligned defensive secondary.
New co-defensive coordinator Marcus Woodson doesn't think it's out of the question.
Apparently, it's mostly a matter of intent.
"The main thing I want us to focus on is being intentional," Woodson said at an introductory press conference Wednesday afternoon. "That's the main thing, being intentional with technique. Being intentional with the fundamentals. Being intentional with what we’re looking at and the footwork that goes with whatever the coverage may be."
The guess is that's playing and not thinking so much, but it is a new expression.
Woodson is basing that on previous experience with Florida State where he built that secondary into one of the best in the country.
"Florida State was pretty bad when we first got there, as well," Woodson said. "It took some work to get us to where we were at when I left. So I feel like that experience prepared me for this experience."
It takes players, too. The Razorbacks were hit hard by players leaving through the transfer portal.
The Hogs added a pair of proven contributors through the transfer portal in Baylor's Alfahiym Walcott (safety) and Lorando Johnson (cornerback), along with signing six defensive backs from the high school ranks.
There may be more names coming. Sam Pittman said earlier Wednesday they were looking for the best players possible to fill those spots.
Woodson will add anyone who can help, but he's confident with what he's already got coming this season.
"The pieces are there," he said. "The guys that we have on campus right now, we can win with, and we're going to win with. At the end of the day, in addition to being intentional, I want to be super competitive. That’s the thing."
In other words, more effort and finishing plays.
"I want us to compete every play in all aspects of what we do," Woodson said. "If we just clean up some of the fundamentals, the eye placement, the foot discipline and being super competitive every play, that’s going to fix a lot of the problems that was had."
If they can do that, it could make a quick turn-around for a position that has been a weak spot for a few years.
"I totally expect for us to go from being last to tops in the country with the improvement that we’re going to make," Woodson said.
Hey, give it to the guy. He's confident, which is not a bad thing at all for a coach. Of course, he may be the only person thinking that.
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