January 28, 2010

DeRuyter bringing the 3-4 back to Aggieland

In its heyday, Texas A&M defenses known as the Wrecking Crew were famous for an attacking style out of a 3-4 base defense. In 2009 the Aggies started moving back to the 3-4 after years of 4-3 and 4-2-5 schemes since the release of R.C. Slocum as head coach following the 2002 season. The creation of the jack for Von Miller, a hybrid/linebacker position, allowed A&M to move in between a 3-4 and a 4-3 formation.

But now with the hiring of new defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter, the Aggies appear ready to move back to the full-blown 3-4 package.

"I played in the system and since I've been coordinating I've been coaching in that system, and I really believe it's the most flexible, adaptable defense," DeRuyter said. "The fact that Texas A&M has a history of it, it maybe is a natural fit for me to come here. I think today in college football with people spreading the field it gives you a chance to give multiple looks to try to confuse the quarterback and try to pressure that quarterback."

For many Aggie fans it will be a blast from the past and hopefully a quick resurgence of the old Wrecking Crew defenses. A&M certainly has a number of starters coming back, nine of the starters in the Independence Bowl will be back in 2009, to have the experience needed to make a vast improvement.

And DeRuyter is very familiar with the former Wrecking Crew defenses under Slocum, who DeRuyter said played a major part in his decision to make the move from the Air Force Academy to College Station.

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