Coach Rudy, Big Ten Alumni. Let’s talk about
the position of safety. One of the most important positions on the defense. So, which safety
are you? Are you strong safety? Do you like collisions? Do you like hitting people? Can
you catch a football? Those are two things that are very important to that position.
Do you understand run support? Do you know how to tackle? Are you in shape? That’s what
a strong safety is. There’s a strong safety, and a free safety. Which one are you? Strong
safety–let’s go through the characteristics. You have to be able to really, really have
collisions. You have to love collisions. You have to love hitting people. Football is a
game of controlled rage. You have to really be aggressive as a strong safety. You’re going
to make a lot of tackles with guys running the ball. You have to play pass defense. Occasionally
you’ll have the chance to intercept the ball. Can you catch the ball? Is that what you can
do? Free safety. Free safety’s the coach on the field. Let’s talk about free safety. Free
safety is called the coach on the field. Free safety’s a guy that understands personnel,
what the other team is doing, the down, the distance, has a feel for the flow of the game,
is in touch with the tendencies of the other team, and understands the position that they
must be in, in the coverage and in the defensive scheme. You have to be able to tackle people.
You’re the last line of defense between the ball carrier, whether it’s a running back,
the quarterback, or a receiver, and the goal line. You have to be able to tackle people.
As far as pass defense goes, you’re the deepest guy, nobody gets behind you. You’ve got to
make a play on the ball, you make people pay for coming over the middle. Which one are
you? Are you the coach? Are you capable of understanding schemes and mechanisms? Do you
understand personnel? Downs, distance, situations, tendencies, or are you just an animal? Somebody
that wants to tear somebody’s head off. Are you a strong safety, or are you a free safety?
Which one are you?