Cosh learning USF defense, rather than vice versa
TAMPA -- USF has its third defensive coordinator in four seasons in Chris Cosh, but head coach Skip Holtz said Wednesday that the biggest learning transition this spring will be the new coach and not his players.
"I asked him to learn our defense when he came in here," Holtz said after USF's first spring practice. "I said one thing changed on defense. I don't want to have 50 guys have to learn an entire new defense. I'd rather ask one guy to come in and learn how we're doing things. It's a little bit of an adjustment and a change for Chris, but Chris is on board. He's like 'Coach, it's easier for me to learn it than to ask them to learn everything.' So the transition for the players has been very smooth."
Cosh certainly showed himself to be an active, hands-on coach Wednesday, so much so that a popular site for coaching news, Coachingsearch.com, linked to USF video of Cosh running around practice and suggested he was going to pull a hamstring.
A STARTER, FOR STARTERS: Holtz reiterated that he won't have an official depth chart early in spring drills and will rotate players in with the first unit except where there's an established starter. Having said that, redshirt freshman Kenneth Durden had the first crack working with the first-team defense at cornerback, ahead of veterans like senior George Baker and January junior-college additions Fidel Montgomery and Josh Brown.
"Today it was Durden, tomorrow it might be Fidel Montgomery, the next day it might be Josh Brown," Holtz said. "We're going to roll those guys around. ... Kayvon Webster I view as a starter right now, so those other three guys are at that other corner and we're going to let it play out. We're going to practice until the first scrimmage, and then we'll start to make decisions on who will be first-, second- and third-team. Kenneth Durden has been impressive. He's really come around, done some really good things. He's gained a lot of weight, he's up to 182 pounds I think, coming from a guy who was 160-some pounds. He's really made a commitment off the field."
THIS AND THAT: Junior Luke Sager had the first crack at defensive tackle next to returning starter Cory Grissom. ... Holtz said he's sliding senior tackle Damien Edwards inside to left guard, giving him another veteran option there as he seeks a successor to Jeremiah Warren. Redshirt freshman Brynjar Gudmundsson and junior college transfer Lawrence Martin are also getting looks there. ... Holtz said he won't spend much time tweaking his kickoff plan with new rules changes, waiting until he decides what his strategy will be regarding touchbacks vs. kicking short to force a return.