August 22, 2006

Will the A&M secondary improve?

The 2005 season had a few growing pains to say the least for the young Texas A&M secondary, finishing the season ranked No. 117 in the nation in pass defense. That's dead last among Division I-A programs.

With less than two weeks until the 2006 campaign opens, the Aggies are hoping that a change to a 4-2-5 that puts one more defensive back on the field will help them combat the increase in spread offenses and pass-happy attacks in the Big 12 conference.

The addition to the secondary is the whip position, that is a hybrid of a safety, cornerback and linebacker. Whoever holds down the position will have to be able to act as a nickelback against multiple receiver sets, usually manning up with a slot receiver, and act as a third linebacker or safety in other situations.

The player that seems to have moved to the whip for good is senior Melvin Bullitt. Bullitt is presently the best safety on the roster in coverage, so the move makes sense. He also has the experience necessary after past years at strong safety to understand zone coverage and blitzing packages.

The one change will be where he lines up, either on the slot receiver, as a third linebacker that could turn into blitzing situations or dropping back into zone coverage.

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