Linebacker play will dictate how good you are, being involved in both aspects of the pass and run game; over the years we’ve had a lot of success at linebacker
Tampa, June 14, 2018 – “Defense has set the identity in our program…”
Throughout the 12 years Jayson Roberts has been coaching for his Tampa Bay Titans, 8 as Head coach, the one thing that’s been engraved in the organization is the endless preach for a dominate defensive unit. They take the “Defense wins Championships” phrase to heart and closing out the 2017 season with an outstanding 11-2 record and undefeated in districts at 6-0, their system is ‘working’ to say the very LEAST. Here’s an inside look as to why Head Coach Rob and his disciplined group has had ample and triumphant success.
“Overall, we pride ourselves on defense, it’s set our identity in our program; although it may have been lost a little in the past couple years because of our prolific QB, even before I was head coach here, defense has been first and foremost- hard-nosed and physical. Linebacker play will dictate how good you are, being involved in both aspects of the pass and run game; over the years we’ve had a lot of success at linebacker, so the main thing that’s carried on from that position had been all the coaching and how we allow our LB’s to be coaches on the field, and allow them to see things faster, and be productive as possible,” Head Coach Roberts states.
“The scheme is the one thing that’s always stayed the same, been a stickler for that- I want to know what made you read that play and make the moves you made, every period I’m always talking about everything the linebackers need to do, keeping them on their toes. Spent a lot of time on wrestling mats, practicing footwork, strength, and overall toughness. We teach that with physical hand-to-hand situations, called the king of the ring drill; you get on hands and knees and do what u can to get them off the mat, so that puts them in the right fighting physical mindset we want out of our corps.
This season I feel it’s as deep as it’s been, on top of depth just really athletic guys; Chris Daniels exemplifies what we want guys to be like- weight room junkies, 4.0 GPA, following our nutrition program. He’s a weak side kid that went from 180 pounds to 5’10” 210 pounds and still runs like he used to, long kid that put on lean mass. Joe Lewis, at 6’2” 215, is a great outside guy for us, and our young kid Alvin Bell played varsity for us as a freshman, the next stud on defense, he only knows one speed, super physical, and a versatile wild card kid that can play everywhere at Linebacker. We went from a 4-3 defense to exclusively 3-4, the scheme we had took them off the field so we switched to have all four on the filed, and our guys can play strong or weak side.”
Coach Rob continues firmly, “Each and every year, we’re trying to find the guy that’s going to be who we feel who’s been the best since us coaches have been around, so we break kids up by position and show them film of the next level guys we had before, and let them know these are some of the plays we need. Fred Russ is a grad in 2014 who played at Florida International, is a guy that we show his highlight tape every year, and say this is what we’re looking for, he just played with so much energy and physicality even though undersized it didn’t matter, he ended up receiving a D1 scholarship as well. His Coach said if a player’s tape didn’t look like his, he shouldn’t be starting.
Moving forward we feel this group we have for 2018 is one of the better collective groups, everyday we’re better, finding that confidence and building on it in spring. These guys are doing a great job with not giving the offense anything, looking to take the next step at going at least half the season with some shut out games, keeping offenses under 100 yards rushing and passing, and forcing fields goals in red zone- if we stay in those parameters we should come out looking pretty good.”
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor