With year one at Wisconsin under his belt, Gary Andersen is adding another responsibility to his name: outside linebackers coach.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Badgers' head coach plans to coach a specific position for the first time in four years. Before coming to Madison prior to last season, Andersen was the head coach at Utah State for three seasons. From 2005-08, he was also the defensive coordinator at Utah, working mostly with the defensive linemen.
Under defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, Wisconsin has three other defensive coaches: Bill Busch (safeties), Chad Chad Kauha'aha'a (defensive line) and Ben Strickland (cornerbacks).
From the State Journal:
"I didn't do that last year. I needed to (focus on being head coach). This year I'm more in tune, even closer to the kids when I have some sort of role coaching.
"Now, I'm not doing all the game plans and all that stuff, but I have a position (to monitor). I get to be with them for 45 minutes to an hour in position meetings and again for individual drills. I think that's good.''
Last season, Wisconsin's outside linebackers were coached by graduate assistant Aaron Schwanz. UW's defense must replace seven starters, namely recent NFL Draft picks linebacker Chris Borland and safety Dezmen Southward.
Back in the spring, Jake and Luke took a stab at an early 2014 Wisconsin depth chart. At outside linebacker, they pegged Joe Schobert and Vince Biegel as the starters, with Sherard Cadogan and Jesse Hayes expected to contribute as well. Freshmen T.J. Edwards is also expected to come in as an outside linebacker.
Jake: You saw a lot of movable parts from both the inside and outside linebacker positions this spring, as Schobert initially moved inside then back outside, Leon Jacobs went inside and Caputo initially switched to the F-side outside linebacker position before bouncing back to safety. Following last season, I thought Schobert and Biegel would be the the starting 'backers with the losses of Armstrong and Brendan Kelly, and judging by your depth chart, Luke, it appears you agree in my assessment. Who in this group impressed in the spring?
Luke: Schobert showed great versatility after being involved in the shuffle you mentioned. He is a guy that always seems to be in the right place and the right time. He rarely misses an assignment, and should be great in run defense. Personally, I thought he was the most impressive this spring at outside linebacker.