Roberts, who spent the past three seasons at Baylor, has spent over 30 years coaching defenses and his hire was the most interesting defensive coordinator hire in the SEC this offseason according to On3’s Jesse Simonton.
Roberts was fired by Baylor in December but was a major part of their success in 2021, their defense led the Big 12 in turnovers (27) and was second in sacks (44) and scoring(18.3).
The Tigers will continue to run a similar 4-2-5 scheme under Roberts, but there will be a much greater emphasis on being aggressive and creating more chaos.
Roberts is a big on havoc rate — i.e. the percentage of plays in with the defense recorded a tackle for loss, sack, forced a fumble, intercepted a pass or broke up a pass — and in his introductory press conference, he listed desire for Auburn to have “20 percent of our plays, we need to work in the havoc rate. If you’re doing that, you’re going to be in the top 20 in the country. That’s our goal coming out of the gate.”
That will be a tall task for Auburn as they were last in the SEC with 13 takeaways last season and will need to replace their two best pass rushers from last season in Derick Hall and Colby Wooden who are both headed to the NFL.
The Tigers will have several new players competing for roles as they have brought in six transfers and signed 13 freshmen this offseason to help the defense.