Togetherness will be key for Bulls on defense

With the returning talentsof Ryne Giddins and CoryGrissom on the defensive line,and Sam Barrington, MikeLanaris and DeDe Lattimorein the linebacking core, alongwith the addition of defensivecoordinator Chris Cosh fromKansas State, the USF Bulls areforming their 2012 defenseon the basis of one word:Togetherness.We have the ingredientsthere, and we saw it over thesummer, with the passion andintensity, Cosh said. Youreseeing it on the field, and wehave to get more consistencyand get that togetherness ondefense.Coaches are not alone inpreaching the importanceof team chemistry. Seniorleader Sam Barrington, whohas moved back to his initialposition of middle linebacker, echoed his new defensivecoordinators sentiments.This season is all abouttogetherness, you have to bringguys together and trust eachother, which is what weretrying to do this summer,Barrington said. You have toknow that the next linebackeris going to fill the next gapand be able to trust your teammates.Along with team unity,the Bulls will be looking forleadership from their defensive heavyweights, including Giddins and Grissom. Giddins,who was named to the 2012Lombardi Award Watch Listafter a sophomore seasonthat saw him make the allconference second team onthe strength of 44 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss,turned heads over the summer.I definitely think he isready to break out, hes notjust a guy who talks about it,he does it on the field. I think hes on the brink of a bigyear, Barrington said.Coach Skip Holtz said he hasnoticed Giddinss improved work ethic and energy overall else.I think hes right there.Ryne Giddins has always beenincredibly talented, and I thinkwhen he first got here he wasplaying really well on thirddown. Now, hes been probably the most energetic guyon this team, Holtz said. Healways was great and playedgreat, but it was the playsthat he took off that preventedhimfrom being even better.Right now, I couldnt be morepleased with his motor andenergy.The Bulls linebacking corpshas been aided by the play ofReshard Cleitt, whose increasein playing time has allowedBarrington to move back tohis original spot of middlelinebacker. Joining Cleitt andBarrington are Lanaris andLattimore, who combined for181 tackles and eight sackslast season.Were trying to create thedepth a little bit, Cosh said.So getting Reshard out thereis big. With Reshard in theregives you the depth and continuity youre looking for.The strength of the Bullsdefense looks to be its frontseven, a defensive front thathas done enough to impress itshead coach.I like our defensive front,with the way that they moveand the athleticism they have,they are really playing wellright now, Holtz said. I likethe play of Barrington, Lanaris,Reshard is kind of growing up,Im seeing an awful lot of positive things from our defense.”With a mantra of togetherness and a bevy of returningstars, the USF defense has anaura of excitement and energyfor what could be ahead in the2012 season. An aura that hasbled over to the raucous fan base, which is expecting bigthings from this years campaign.Well, itll either be on themantle or on their dartboards,Holtz said, referring to photoshe signed for fans who createda line of over 90 yards for thecoach at USF Fan Fest 2012.It will depend on how thisseason goes.