LUBBOCK, Texas - It is difficult to draw conclusions from Texas Tech's first four days of practice. Some players have yet to find a true position, newcomers are still learning the playbook while others are still working off the offseason rust. Still, one thing has become obvious (painfully so, for some) as the Red Raiders look to close out their first week of camp: the defense's swagger.
Websters defines swagger as "to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence."
That fits Lyle Setencich's defense to a Double T.
"I think it's obvious that we have a lot more swagger now than we did when we just started [as freshmen]," said senior defensive tackle Chris Hudler. "When we first started, we were all uncertain about things and didn't really express ourselves as much. I guess we weren't clicking.
"Now, it's like one mind, everybody's moving together. We've got that swagger with us and we're just coming to play everyday."
This attitude on the defensive side of the ball has been developing steadily during Setencich's tenure in Lubbock. In his three seasons as coordinator, Tech's defense has progressively improved from one of the worst in the nation to the 30th-best.
"Really, most of it has to do with knowledge of the game," explained strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie. "With Coach Setencich coming in, giving these guys knowledge, they can do everything that I've worked hard with them in the summer and do it full speed.