“It’s every defensive end’s dream to pick his hand up and stand on the edge and come off the line in a two-point stance,” he said.
The experiment is part of OU’s on-going quest to build a defense that fits against all comers. The primary reason for switching to the 3-4 defense last season was removing a defensive tackle and replacing him with a linebacker or defensive back puts more speed on the field. It worked well against spread teams. Traditional offenses that used tight ends experienced success.
The 2014 schedule includes several teams built in that mold. The Sept. 13 game against Tennessee and the Red River Showdown against Texas on Oct. 11 are games where defensive bulk will be at a premium.
Defending the Sooners’ offense at 2 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field in the Red-White Game will be a good barometer. OU, which was one of the pioneers when it came to spread offenses in the Big 12, is gradually moving back toward using more tight ends and bigger running backs.
But it means Grissom has to run with them in pass coverage, too. There’s always a give-and-take with every personnel group.
The goal for the spring has been becoming a bigger, more physical defense for when the occasion arises. Finding a way to do that and keep Grissom on the field is something the Sooners are trying to figure out.
“It’s been a great experience,” Grissom said. “It’s a lot of fun and hopefully I can win the job but I’ll play anywhere the coaches want me to play.”
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