That is, adapt to a new defensive coordinator’s scheme.
Will Muschamp explained some of the ways he is changing Auburn’s defense last week. “There were a lot of hybrid guys,” Muschamp told reporters. “They played the Star position, which is a Nickel for us. We ask our nickel to do a little bit more coverage in our scheme and system.” Former coordinator Ellis Johnson used the Star as a safety/linebacker combo in his 4-2-5 scheme. Muschamp’s Nickel is more of a third safety or third corner, depending on the situation.
Muschamp also uses a hybrid position called the Buck, which is a 4-3 defensive end who can move around the formation like a 3-4 outside linebacker. At Florida, Dante Fowler Jr. filled that role. At Auburn, redshirt sophomore Carl Lawson should thrive in the position. “I think he’ll be very effective,” Muschamp told reporters. “I know he has very good initial quickness and a very good first step. That’s one of the critical factors at that position that you have to have to be successful.” The 6’2”, 261-pound Lawson is still working his way back from a torn ACL suffered last summer, but he should be at full speed by preseason camp.
Really, think about it. How many defensive line coaches have played under as many different approaches as Garner has over the last fifteen years? He ought to write a survival book about it.