While many people think the more complicated and multifaceted a defense is the better it is, this is not always the case. Just ask Rob Ryan about this; much like Ryan, Duck Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum is learning that sometimes keeping things simple is better. This is especially true for college football where you only get players for 5 years. With the constant influx of new players, the old acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid) really comes into play.
Their are a few benefits to keeping a defensive scheme simple and streamlined. Chief among them however, is that a more straight forward scheme allows you to get new players up to speed quickly. This would allow both incoming freshmen or transfer students to learn the playbook quickly and be able to play fast and aggressive. This could also help veteran players like DeForrest Buckner by giving them less to worry about and just being concerned with making a play.
One of the problems that teams that run complex and sophisticated defense will run into is guys doing the wrong thing on a particular play. A lot of times these sort of defense wind up confusing themselves more than the opposing offense. With a more simple defense you don’t have this problem as often because players are typically doing the same things on a lot of plays and this eliminates a lot of confusion.
Pellum making the switch to a more streamlined defensive scheme will allow Oregon to not be so dependent on having substitutions and different personnel groups. This will keep Oregon from getting their own formula for success thrown back at them by other up tempo, no huddle teams.
While some people may be skeptical of Pellum’s idea of addition via subtraction, the fact is that getting rid of some things will make Oregon’s defense better. Our Ducks should very easily be able to make up for the loss of some versatility and multiplicity with the sheer force and execution that a simplified Ducks defense will bring.
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