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The Texas defense played very well for most of the 2017 season, with the linebackers benefiting greatly from activity on both the defensive line and in the secondary. Todd Orlando has stated it’s a position that is highlighted by his scheme and that bore out in his first year in Austin just like it did in his previous two years in Houston.
Texas fans still remember the burn of Manny Diaz’s second year as defensive coordinator at UT as well as Charlie Strong’s as head coach. Under each of the two previous defensive regimes, Texas played good initial defense only to fall precipitously to ‘bad’ without so much as a courtesy wave towards average.
The stories are familiar: each new coach inherited talented seniors at linebacker as well as elsewhere on the defense. First year quality play on that side of the ball seemed a harbinger of great defense to come rather than signaling the height.