February 13, 2013

The great misnomer

AUBURN | Playing defense, good defense, is a way of life for the Southeastern Conference's top tier.

Yet winning is the goal. It's everyone's goal.

That fact never was more clear than exactly one week ago when the Auburn Tigers, led by a noted innovator of the no-huddle offensive paradigm, signed one of the nation's very best defensive line classes. Montravius Adams and Ben Bradley together embodied the No. 2 tackle class.

[/db]Elijah Daniel[/db] and Carl Lawson embodied the No. 3 end class.

So how was Auburn able to make such a strong impression on defensive recruits? The first wave of credit goes to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and assistants Rodney Garner, Melvin Smith and Charlie Harbison, whose plans to install and streamline a 4-2-5 system appealed to forward-thinking recruits. The up-tempo spread has proliferated throughout the SEC and mitigating its inherent advantages has become everyone's top defensive priority.

The 4-2-5 is an enticing counterattack.

Still, strategy and scheme wouldn't have been enough.

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