UMass finished the 2013 season with an abysmal total of just 12 team sacks, good for second to worst in the Mid-American Conference. With a new 3-4 defensive scheme and a radically different coaching staff, there’s been an added focus in providing aggressive pressure and blitzing from multiple angles.
Much of that responsibility falls on the outside linebackers in the 3-4 defense and the Minutemen have a pair of veterans at the position in Kassan Messiah and Trey Seals. Outside Linebackers coach Charles Walker raved about the pair and noted the position has depth and is “multi-talented.”
Here’s what Kassan Messiah had to say about making the switch to outside linebacker.
“It’s very special, it’s a leadership role. It’s a position where you get to make your presence felt in almost all aspects. In run support, in the passing game, everything. Because we play such a premier position I take that as if you don’t play well, the defense doesn’t play well.”
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Mark Chiarelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli