16 Sep
2020

Football: Cornerbacks use new technique to increase aggressiveness

first_imgFor Darius Hillary, working with his third position coach during his college career at first seemed daunting.But, for the Wisconsin football team’s fifth-year senior cornerback and the rest of the secondary, the change has been welcomed because of the various techniques new defensive backs coach Daronte’ Jones has brought in.“He’s taught us a lot of different techniques we can use during the games,” Hillary said. “He’s a players’ coach. He’s there to help us.”When the cornerbacks line up in press coverage, they used to implement a “scootch” technique. But recently they’ve been using the bail technique, and back off receivers right before the ball is hiked.The biggest change, though, has come in how defensive backs prepare themselves to go after the ball in the air. Under the last coaching staff, the secondary used a lean and locate technique, which is when you lean into the receiver and then stay on his body.Now, the corners don’t engage receivers physically, but try to act like wide receivers themselves when the ball is in the air, Jones said.“Because you’re leaning, you can’t attack the ball at its highest point. You’re off-balanced,” Jones said. “If you’re a wide receiver, and the ball is in the air, would you lean and locate, or would you stay vertical and attack the ball up top?”This helps them focus on the ball and makes it easier to make a play on it, Hillary said.“See ball, get ball,” Hillary said. “When the ball is in the air, we want to become the receiver and go up and attack it.”It helps limit pass interference penalties too, because of less contact with receivers, Hillary said.Last season, the Badgers recorded only six interceptions. Last Saturday, they reached the halfway mark to that total by picking off three passes.All three interceptions came from the safety position — two from Leo Musso and one from Tanner McEvoy. Hillary joked that it’s time for the cornerbacks to join the action and use the techniques to snag some interceptions.That kind of confidence from the secondary unit is something the coaching staff has noticed, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said.“Guys are feeling confident [that] when the ball is in the air they can come down with it,” Aranda said. “That’s a big change and I’m excited to see it.”last_img

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