Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah State football: New coordinator’s passion has poured over into defense
Utah State football » Newly hired Todd Orlando setting an example with his energy.
First Published Apr 10 2013 05:16 pm • Last Updated Jul 07 2013 11:32 pm

When the ball is in play, it’s not just Todd Orlando’s eyes that are in pursuit.

In practice, Utah State’s new defensive coordinator hangs behind his unit, but he moves to the ball carrier, looking a bit like the linebacker he once was years ago.

At a glance

A closer look Todd Orlando

» Led a top-15 defense at Connecticut in 2007 and 2008.

» Helped lead the Huskies to the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.

» Developed players such as safety Jonathan Cyprien and linebacker Lawrence Wilson.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The closest he’ll truly get to the action is well out of range of any tackles. But he knows his new players sense his energy. And like any leader, he wants to set an example.

"We want them to give great effort, we gotta give it," Orlando said. "Obviously there are constraints to that; I don’t want to pass out in the middle of the field. But I want them to know we’re in it all together."

Orlando was only hired in February, the last man standing in a long search for a new Aggies defensive mind. He was hired to take on a defense that was among the best in the country last season: seventh in scoring, sixth in sacks, eighth in pass efficiency and high in a number of other marks.

But early reviews indicate that Orlando has made the most of his short time with the team thus far, blending in to Utah State’s program while standing out in a number of positive ways.

The way he coaches — with passion and energy — has made an impression. Defensive end Connor Williams said after the team’s first scrimmage that he pops up on film, acting out what he wants his players to do while the play is going on.

"It’s funny, but definitely energy is there," Williams said. "He has the same mentality as last year."

Orlando has the background to fit in well with the Aggies, familiar with 3-4 defenses like the team used under Gary Andersen.

But he also has the background — competing for Big East championships with UConn — to help take Utah State where it wants to go.


story continues below
story continues below

Chuckie Keeton has been among those who acknowledges that the different looks the defense has installed under Orlando have been disorienting, and it’s helped the defense get the better of him a few times in practices and scrimmages this spring. He’s also over the safeties group, helping develop Brian Suite and Maurice Alexander.

But Orlando also credits the existing staff for helping him to adapt to his role in Logan.

He has a number of long-tenured assistants at his disposal: Frank Maile, Kevin Clune and Kendrick Shaver all helped the defense become elite last year.

It’s also his personnel that have held up their end of the bargain. Dave Aranda left behind a solid foundation.

"These guys have obviously been coached like crazy," he said.

"They take a lot of pride in what they’re doing. You can see it when they go up and watch film on their own. You can see in terms the details and questions they ask when they’re on the field. You know they’re football kids."

What Orlando sees in his players, Matt Wells saw in him. When he pulled the trigger on Orlando, he saw a passionate coach who could bring that same energy to his defense.

In spring, early though it may be, he’s been meeting that expectation.

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.