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In 2019, the safety room was Texas’ most talented group on the defensive side of the ball.
Caden Sterns was set to build on a freshman All-American season. B.J. Foster was going to use hard-hitting physicality near the line at nickel. Chris Brown provided a veteran presence with a knack for contact. Tyler Owens and Chris Adimora were young prospects who showed promise but needed some refinement.
Then injuries struck Sterns, Foster, and Brown in cascading fashion. The constant was Brandon Jones, who now suits up for the Miami Dolphins. The variables varied, the young prospects played before they had time to get the refinement they needed, and the defense suffered as a result.
Chris Ash replaces Craig Naivar as the coach for the safeties. The previous defensive coordinator’s inability to coach his own position group caused the entire defense to suffer. Ash has more talent on paper to work with in his position group than his predecessor had with his.
One of Ash’s most important tasks whenever the pads come back on will be to install proper tackling techniques in addition to the regular defense. From there, it’s determining how to play the right combination of players from what could again arguably be the most talented position group on the defense.
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