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SoonerTimes Home > SoonerTimes > OU Sports > It won't take a lot for OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch to pay off


It won't take a lot for OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch to pay off
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47Straight
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 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2019 01:07 pm

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It won't take a lot for OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch to pay off
By Guerin Emig Tulsa World

The day he was introduced as defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch said: “I understand the importance of Oklahoma to this state.”

Now the state understands the importance of Grinch to Oklahoma.

He’ll make an annual $1.4 million over three years per the contract approved by OU’s Board of Regents last week. No Sooners assistant ever made more, a fact Sooners fans are sure to remember when they start grading Grinch about two defensive plays into next season’s opener against Houston.

So sure, there is some pressure here.

“One of my messages to the guys on Monday is these guys signed on the dotted line to become Oklahoma football players. They understood the expectations and the standards,” Grinch said on Introduction Day Jan. 20. “I signed a different paper, but when I signed on I understood there were expectations and signed on for very, very high standards.”

Nobody knows for sure what Grinch’s defense will look like as it reaches for those standards. We have heard him pump up the value of takeaways and aggression and mentality, but nobody has any idea how that translates to the field in the dead of winter.

We do know what the Mike Stoops/Ruffin McNeill defense from 2018 looked like. We are familiar with those very, very low standards. We realize there is literally nowhere to go but up, seeing as how OU ranked No. 129 out of 129 FBS teams in pass defense last season.

And here is where the pressure actually releases.

Remember when Stoops came back to help Brent Venables in 2012 and wound up replacing him? The Sooners were still playing reasonable defense, they just weren’t living up to their old glory. Stoops was supposed to turn everything back to 2001.

Now it would be fine if Grinch turned everything back to 2012. Pick off a pass now and then. Come up with a sack. Hold Kansas to 20. That’s all this should take.

Because the guy coordinating the offense is Lincoln Riley, and he’s gonna get you 50.

New OU cornerbacks coach Roy Manning was talking on Introduction Day about his three years with Grinch at Washington State when he said: “Yeah, me and coach Grinch had an opportunity to coach there together in kind of a similar deal, where the offense was rolling and needed a little touch-up on defense. It really wasn’t an overhaul.”

An overhaul of the OU defense wouldn’t be the worst idea, actually, but Manning’s point is well made – Riley provides as firm a cushion now as Mike Leach did at Washington State from 2015-17. Firmer, really, when you consider Riley is collecting Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks while signing five-star receivers to replace four-star ones.

The Sooners would have beaten Iowa State in 2017 had they held the Cyclones to 30. They would have played for a national championship had they limited Georgia to 47.

They would have beaten Texas last October had they held the Longhorns to 44. They would have played for a national championship had they held Alabama to 33.

That’s a red zone turnover here, a sack on third-and-7 there. That isn’t much to ask of any defensive coordinator, let alone one as obsessed with possession-flipping as Grinch.

The Stoops/McNeill defense was still enough to run OU’s Big 12 Conference championship streak to four, to put the Sooners in a third College Football Playoff in four years. Imagine what Grinch’s “touch-up” might accomplish.

He will expect more than that, of course. He will expect to mold his defenders in his image and change a despondent culture.

OU fans will expect as much. They will expect a return on the university’s $4.2 million investment, if not a return to those 18-year-old glory days.

Grinch doesn’t have to reach that deep, though. Never mind the contract. Never mind Tommie Harris and Roy Williams. Focus on getting more out of Neville Gallimore and Brendan Radley-Hiles. Focus on getting the ball back now and then.

If Grinch does just that much, he’ll pay off handsomely.

https://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/ou/guerin-emig-it-won-t-take-a-lot-for-ou/article_6d15482f-a228-5d9f-8979-5dd770fc8311.html

Triple Option
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 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2019 01:32 pm

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Guerin Emig wrote:
Alex Grinch said: “I understand the importance of Oklahoma to this state.”

I'm glad he understands that, but I think the actual quote was “I understand the importance of Oklahoma football to this state."

Walt
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 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2019 01:58 pm

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I get the part about Grinch not having to hit a home run. The idea that "just getting a turnover here and there" isn't going to satisfy very many OU fans.

We, OU fans, know what great defense looks like. Any it isn't just taking a few interceptions and fumbles here and there to appease many of us. Keeping Texas to the 40 sure as the devil won't impress me.

I don't think that will appease or impress many of the OU fans on this board.

Holding conference teams to a 17 points average might as there will be some great offenses in this conference over the next three years.

SoonerRick46
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 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2019 03:04 pm

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I just hope people don't expect too much too soon. The defense is a mess and it's not going to radically change overnight. All I expect is more attitude and effort to start with. That and stop laying back and waiting to be scored upon.

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Mon Feb 4th, 2019 12:41 am

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I'm going to expect much soon assuming Grinch is actually legit. The talent level greatly exceeds the recent performance level. The very most basic of improved fundamentals will improve things significantly alone. The players were playing for a DC they didn't like followed by a defensive staff that were probably more distracted on whether they would have a job at season's end.

They will easily be in Top 50 next season with an outside shot at Top 30. I think they can get to Top 30 by virtue of holding the lesser offenses to the points they should be scoring and the better offenses scoring 30+ instead of 40 or 50 a against Oklahoma. Im as sure as this as I was Knight and Mayfield at the QB positions before they ever took a snap at OU.

Bring on the 2019 season!

Walt
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 Posted: Mon Feb 4th, 2019 01:13 am

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ClintA.Adams wrote:
I'm going to expect much soon assuming Grinch is actually legit. The talent level greatly exceeds the recent performance level. The very most basic of improved fundamentals will improve things significantly alone. The players were playing for a DC they didn't like followed by a defensive staff that were probably more distracted on whether they would have a job at season's end.

They will easily be in Top 50 next season with an outside shot at Top 30. I think they can get to Top 30 by virtue of holding the lesser offenses to the points they should be scoring and the better offenses scoring 30+ instead of 40 or 50 a against Oklahoma. Im as sure as this as I was Knight and Mayfield at the QB positions before they ever took a snap at OU.

Bring on the 2019 season!


I would like to see a top 25 defense, but won't fuss if it is below the 50 mark. There is no reason OU can't do that.

It will be interesting to see what rank OU will be at the end of the season within the conference.

K2C Sooner
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 Posted: Mon Feb 4th, 2019 01:22 am

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I hope we get to see a lot more of DeShaun White. I have no idea if he fits into the speed defense we keep hearing about. :ou:

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 Posted: Mon Feb 4th, 2019 04:38 pm

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This all depends upon the "buy in" from the guys we have on defense right now. If there is widespread "belief" and players holding each other accountable within the new system, then a Top-25 defense (S&P+) should easily be possible. If not...then it will take a season or two to get there. If Grinch is "legit", I expect a Top-10 defense in the S&P+ in 2020....anything less is under performing based on recent recruiting.  

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 Posted: Tue Feb 5th, 2019 12:09 am

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https://twitter.com/TRowOU/status/1092559684119265285

New @OU_Football Defensive Coordinator, Alex Grinch, joins me at 7:45am Tuesday morning on the “T-Row Show.” @Sportstalk1400

Listen live here
https://streamdb5web.securenetsystems.net/v5/KREF

Last edited on Tue Feb 5th, 2019 12:12 am by Soonerheart


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