Bulls, Cosh look to aim high in 2012

Taking over for a defensethat is filled with veteran players ready to take the teamto the next level may seemlike a luxury, but for new USFdefensive coordinator ChrisCosh, the task is much moredifficult.Cosh took over for formerdefensive coordinator MarkSnyder, who left USF for thesame position at Texas A&M.The 53-year-old Virginia Techgraduate enters his 28th yearin coaching with the task ofturning an inconsistent defense with flashes of brillianceinto a well-oiled, hard-hittingmachine.He said he got the opportunity to form a bond with his defense during the teams annualtrip to Vero Beach for a week ofdisruption-free football.I loved Vero, they had toput me on the bus, I was tryingto hang onto my room, Coshsaid. The people treat youfirst class, and its just great foreveryone. Its not somethingIve experienced in 28 years ofcoaching.Cosh said he most enjoyedthe opportunity to turn hisgroup of defensive players intoa defensive unit and team.I think the most important part of Vero Beach is theproximity of it, youre alwaysaround each other, he said.Whether its eating, having ameeting, walking to practice,changing; the team meetingsare really vital in getting toknow each other.Cosh will be taking over adefense that held teams to17 points or fewer in five gameslast season, while also allowing four separate teams to put30 or more points on the board.Cosh knows that the main focus of his unit is consistency,which he has attempted todevelop in his first spring andsummer with the team.The summer programoverall, the weight programand everything else, was sogreat for this whole unit, hesaid. We came together in thespring and we came together alittle more in the summer, andnow were coming togethereven more in the fall.Though he has not beenwith the team for long, Coshhas managed to gain the support of the literal and figurativecenter of the Bulls defense,middle linebacker andsenior leader Sam Barrington.Barrington said herespects the philosophiesthat Cosh brings tothe team, and said heremembers his mostimportant lesson.Practice like you play,thats one thing that (Cosh) hasalways told us, Barringtonsaid. Hes showing us theimportance of sticking tofundamentals and justpracticing exactly how we play,so its going good so far.The former Kansas Statedefensive coordinator and assistant coach knows he is blessedwith quality pieces for the defensehe is looking to form, and said heappreciates their contribution tocreating a defensive unit that willsucceed in the long run.Ive got good guys on myunit, Ive got good people. Ivegot guys that want to play likethat with togetherness andunity, Cosh said. So wevejust got to keep doing it, keepchipping at it and doing it over and over again, until we can buildthat consistency.For Barrington, the arrivalof Cosh provides a point ofoptimism and has allowedhim to gain confidence inthe performance of thedefense he will be lookingto lead.Youve got to hide fromthe word pressure and live upto your own expectations,Barrington said. We want to setthe expectations extremely highfor ourselves. We want to aimhigh so that even if we miss Ithink well be amongst where wewant to be. Maybe not exactlywhat we want to be, but prettyclose.