Michigan State’s Mike Tressel on Handling Safeties

McLain Moberg

For 16 years Mike Tressel was in charge of coaching the linebackers for former head coach Mark Dantonio, now, under a new coaching staff, he transitions into working exclusively with the safeties, while Harlon Barnett coaches cornerbacks and defensive backs.

However, he’s excited by the change.

“I think it’s good I did work with the secondary at Ohio State, and that really is the last time that I did that exclusively, although the last few years coordinating, the back-end is where you give up the big plays, so that has to be your focus,” Tressel said. “I’ve really transitioned my focus over the last few years to pay a little bit more of attention and have a little bit more game plan thoughts, a little bit more adjustments, a little more technique in the back-end, knowing that’s where the explosives happen. I’m excited to be able to grow a little bit myself working with the safeties.”

The opportunity to work alongside Barnett allows the safeties and defensive backs to “focus on their craft a little bit more.”

“Now, we’re able to stay focused a lot more, there’s a lot more attention, a lot more detail to each guy. Really though, we are one unit, so the biggest thing is going to be the strategy of when we’re together, when we’re apart, making sure our guys still communicate,” said Tressel. “I know the ‘No Fly Zone’ wants to still put themselves as one position group, and that’s how Harlon (Barnett) and I want them to look at themselves too.”

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