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February 25, 2013

Effort, accountability and versatility


Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson discusses the expectations for his defense starting this spring. With a focus on "finishing", Johnson will teach versatility within his scheme that should allow the Tigers to implement his schemes quickly.

JOHNSON ON EXPECTATIONS AND SCHEME VERSATILITY: "Any group I've coached, the first thing we emphasize is effort. You finish the play, you finish the series, finish the quarter, finish the game and finish the season. You emphasize that in the offseason and make it a habit. You can't let frustration of failure creep in and turn you where you don't finish.

"The second thing is we want to get some element of accountability off the field and on the field. Schemes are important, you need to know what you are doing, know how to teach it, players need to know what they are doing, but you don't win games with schemes, you win games with players making plays. We need discipline and accountability.

"The third thing is we need to evaluate our scheme and fit our personnel. I've coached for 32 years and run five or six different defensive philosophies. The reason is because I'm never going to get pigeonholed in bringing a system and trying to fit a bunch of players in a system. I want some flexibility -- so we have players with special ability, or players with limited ability, we have the flexibility and scheme to make sure we can put the guys that can make the plays in position to make plays and if a guy has a weakness, we can put him in position so he can still be productive."

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