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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rutgers' Joe Rossi promises adherence to team's system

Head coach Kyle Flood formally introduced Joe Rossi as defensive coordinator Tuesday after a nearly two-month search. (AP photo)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Joe Rossi was introduced Tuesday as Rutgers' third defensive coordinator in the post-Greg Schiano era on the premise that he would keep the team's defensive system intact.

The third-year assistant, who spoke along with head coach Kyle Flood, Ralph Friedgen and Bob Fraser, expressed as much on Tuesday's teleconference.

"We'll be very similar to what we've done: an attacking defense, a defense that's opportunistic," Rossi said. "The things that we've been able to do at Rutgers over the years that have allowed us to play great defense are going to continue to be the things we're going to look to do."

Longtime colleague says Friedgen could coach in NFL

Here's Rutgers' defensive philosophy in a nutshell: multiple 4-3 defense (meaning different down linemen looks), a nose tackle and three-technique (plays on outside shoulder of the guard), with linebackers that have high coverage responsibilities.

How Rutgers looked on passing downs in the past:

— 2012 (under Robb Smith): four down linemen (one a rush linebacker), a former safety at linebacker and six defensive backs.

— 2013 (under Dave Cohen): "30" front (three down linemen), two outside linebackers with rush capabilities, two defensive backs at inside linebacker and four typically aligned defensive backs.

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