Monday, January 12, 2009

Let there be Rocker

Unless you've on the causal end of the Internet-browsin' Auburn fan spectrum, you're not hearing this firsthand from me, but: Tracy Rocker is your new defensive line coach.

It's pretty sweet that Chizik's brought back a former Auburn legend and walking memento of the Dye-era defenses like Rocker, but even sweeter is that he's hired a guy who appears to be a damn, damn good coach. Rocker didn't have a hand in recruiting the 2008 Ole Miss defensive line and certainly a big bulk of the credit for the Rebels' stunning success this year up front has to go to the linebackers and DC Tyrone Nix, but still: jumpin' Jehosophat, when the defensive line you take over goes from 92nd in the country yards allowed per-rush to 4th in one season, I think it's safe to say you've done something right. Rocker had a ton of talent to work with in Oxford--Jerry, Hardy, etc.--but they all weren't always healthy and it's not like those same players had set the world on fire the year before. It's a hell of a job he's done there.

Rocker wasn't half-bad during his time at Arkansas, either, as wide-receiver-turned-first-round-draft-pick-at-defensive-end Jamaal Anderson would likely attest. Anderson was one of three Hog defensive linemen drafted after Rocker's final two seasons in Fayetteville, and Jerry will surely make it four-players-in-three with two first-rounders this April. I'm sure that fact won't ever come up while Rocker talks to recruits.

So, yeah, stop me if you've heard this one before, but I think this is a terrific hire. Surprisingly enough, I haven't gotten tired of typing that just yet. Sunshine all the way, baby.

p.s. Goldberg is reporting that John Thompson could be hired away from Bill Curry's* project to coach Auburn's secondary. So we'd have a former head coach and long, longtime successful SEC defensive coordinator coaching our secondary. As a DC or any kind of lead recruiter I'd be a little wary of Thompson's age and recent struggles at Ole Miss and South Carolina, but as a position coach it's hard to see anything but upside.

*Wait, this is an actual football program? When someone called it a start-up I figured it was some kind of Internet thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a Razorback fan, and let me tell you that the only coach that I truly wanted to stay when Nutt's staff left was Rocker. He's a darn good coach, congrats.