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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Price and Obioha are adjusting to Chavis’ new system

Julien Obioha will see a new defensive scheme in his upcoming senior season.
Photo by Lenae Allen

Julien Obioha will see a new defensive scheme in his upcoming senior season.

The sun set on spring practice number nine Thursday evening for the Texas A&M football team, and new defensive coordinator John Chavis was the topic of discussion for defensive end Julien Obioha and defensive end coach Terry Price, who stopped for interviews after the team was dismissed.
“You just got to look at it, everybody gets a clean slate,” Obioha said. “All spots are open. You got to make your claim to a spot. You know it doesn’t matter if you started two or three years, or are a returning starter, it doesn’t really matter. A new scheme, all the spots are open, so you just got to study your playbook like you’re a freshman.”
Obioha acknowledged a clear transformation in Chavis’s system and admitted that he has had to alter some of his own defensive techniques so as to mesh with the Chavis prototype for his position. But, Obioha believes he’s coming along just fine, and coach Price echoed that.
“I tell you what, he’s really improved,” Price said. “He’s had a lot of time to work at it, that’s one thing we’ve stressed more than anything this spring. He’s worked at it. Obviously, I don’t think he’s blessed with the skill set that some of those other guys have, speed, quickness, an extra first step, but to me, what he lacks there, he makes up with technique and some hand speed, and some upper body techniques. So, does he have the same skill set that some of those young guys have? I would say no, but he works his tail off and tries to do everything he can do, so he’s getting better.”
Obioha has played an invaluable number of downs in his three years, especially at times when depth at defensive line was lacking for the Aggies due to injury and fatigue.
However, Obioha won’t be the only defensive end riding the learning curve this offseason, as Myles Garrett will look to improve upon his impressive first season.
“To me, I don’t care who you are,” Price said. “[Myles Garrett] has a lot of room to improve. He has a lot of room to improve as far as technique, stance, steps, footwork, hand placement. I mean, all of the little things, to become a great guy up front in this league, you have to get better at, and he has to get better at. I think, every day he is getting challenged. He fell behind early because he had some nicks and bruises, and didn’t get a lot done probably those first six or seven practice days, but the last few days, he’s had to knock the rust off and again, work on some of those techniques to help himself get better. So, some more consistent pass rusher moves, work on some better counters, and really be more physical at the point of attack in the run game are some things we are trying to work on him in improving this spring.”
The bottom line for A&M defensive ends, and all defensive positions for that matter, is that they are going to have to adapt if they want to fit in to the “Chavis-plan.” But, these changes could bring a defensive presence back to A&M wasn’t there last season.
“Some of it’s alignments as far as how we are playing our guys up front,” Price said. “Some of it’s looser alignments. The thing about this scheme, I guess, especially for the edge guys, is, it’s predicated on those edge guys getting, you know, pressure. And to me that’s the most important part. You hear coach Chavis talk a lot of times about, ‘Hey, if you have great corners and defensive ends, you can play really good defense in this league.’”

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  • Defensive ends coach Terry Price spoke with the media about his defense’s new look.

    Photo by Lenae Allen

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