The best offseason hire has to be Manny DiazJanuary 6, 2011
After a losing season in 2010, it has been well documented that Mack Brown has been shaking up his staff in Austin. The offensive coordinator position is still up in the air as several candidates could fit in well. I hope that Major Applewhite gets the OC job because he did a great in the same position at Rice and Alabama. Former Texas DC, Will Muschamp, took the head job at Florida and somewhat surprisingly Mack Brown chose Manny Diaz of Mississippis State to lead the Longhorn D in the future.
While the hire may be somewhat out of left field it is definitely the most solid move Brown has made in some time besides on signing day. Diaz came to Mississippi State after four years at Middle Tennessee. In 2009, the Blue Raiders were ranked in the top three in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense, rush defense, pass defense and scoring defense. In his first and only year at MSU, Diaz’s defense ranked 50th nationally in total defense and 22nd in scoring defense. Mississippi State held eight opponents under 20 points, including Auburn and Heisman winner Cam Newton. Diaz will be Texas’ sixth defensive coordinator since 2003. Three of them, Gene Chizik, Greg Robinson and Muschamp, left for head coaching jobs. I am sure that in the future that Diaz will be a head coach at a big time school somewhere in the country. Until then, expect him to reek havoc on opposing offenses in the new look Big 12. Diaz is the most aggressive defensive coordinator in the country sending blitzers from every conceivable angle in order to disrupt the offense and create big plays.
Did I say I think this is the best hire of the off-season thus far yet? Texas has always had great a great secondary now coupled with this new terrorist attack, I am sure that Texas will swiftly return to the top 5 in total defense. It seems that defense has been forgotten in this new age of fast tempo spread offenses. The ability to stop people like the Alabama’s and Ohio State’s (The Bucks play some damn good defense year in and year out) of the college football do is at a premium and Diaz is a stopper plain and simple. If I am Landry Jones or Ryan Tannehill, I am shaking in my boots right now. Texas may not be good enough to beat TCU next year, but expect a major improvement as Mack Brown always has something up his sleeve. Brown with Manny Diaz in his corner may be in position for another run for the title as it seems that A&M and TCU are/were primed for a state takeover. I hate the Horns as Oklahoma Alum, but things are looking a lot brighter in Austin for the first time since Marcel Dareus popped Colt out in Cali.