Steve Sarkisian sheds light on Texas’ defensive philosophy

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At Big 12 Media Days on Thursday, Steve Sarkisian revealed what the Texas Longhorns defense will prioritize in 2022. Sarkisian stated, to accomplish all that they want to do, “you’ve got to stop the run first.”

While the statement could be mere platitude and coach-speak, it hinted that the coaching staff is aware of the defense’s root issue.

Stopping the run before anything else is a fundamental goal of many great defenses. Texas saw firsthand the demoralizing effect of getting gashed in the run game last year. For Texas to improve its record, they will need to stop the run.

Adding Ryan Watts to D’Shawn Jamison and Jahdae Barron could increase the coaches’ trust in the Texas secondary and shift their emphasis to stopping the run. The cornerback room could be one of the stronger units on the team this season.

Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski seemed to play conservatively to prevent deep passes downfield last season. With improved play in the secondary, Kwiatkowski may be more inclined to play more aggressively with his front six.