Haynes Wants Razorbacks Simple But Effective On Defense

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 3:17 pm  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Paul Haynes spent nearly 30 minutes explaining his philosophies on defense and introducing himself to media and Arkansas fans on Monday.

But Haynes kept coming back to one word: simplicity.

Haynes, who spent the last six seasons at Ohio State, said he favors a four-man front, but will use multiple looks. Still, he wants to keep the defense from getting too complicated.

“Really it's not about what I know, it's about what those kids know,” Haynes said. “That's what we're going to concentrate on and understand that those kids know exactly what they are doing. I want feedback from them. ... So if you don't feel comfortable with a call, we won't call it. We won't call it.”

Before taking the job, Haynes said he spent about four hours with Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino. They compared philosophies and seemed to find much common ground.

Areas that Haynes stressed in his first public appearance seemed to mirror Razorback deficiencies in the past four seasons under Willy Robinson. Haynes emphasized the importance of stopping the run, pressuring the quarterback, tackling and limiting big plays.

During Robinson’s four years the Razorbacks ranked No. 72, 89, 36 and 51 in total defense. Through 12 games this season the Razorbacks allowed 371.4 yards per game and they ranked No. 74 in rushing with opponents averaging better than 174 yards per game.

Tackling often seemed to be problematic for Arkansas during Robinson’s tenure. And stopping the run was difficult at times, plus the Razorbacks had a tendency to give up big plays.

Those are areas of emphasis for Haynes, he said. Haynes noted he wanted to limit the pressure felt by Arkansas’ offense.

“We know our offense can put up points. We’ve got to take the pressure off of them in not having to win games 45-40 or whatever,” Hayne said.“ “Be an effective defense. Our goal, and we’re not going to sell ourselves short, is to be the best defense in the country.”

Ohio State ranked fourth in the Big Ten in turnover margin and fifth in the conference in pass defense and sacks this season with Haynes as co-defensive coordinator. OSU was among the top 30 nationally in total and scoring defense.

Haynes, who oversaw the development of eight NFL draft picks at defensive back, was the co-defensive coordinator only this season but said he had a hand in calling defenses on third down and had input in the game plan each week.



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