And, obviously, Samson is not only navigating his first year as a head coach, but also navigating how best to carry over previous head coach Chuck Morrell’s defensive prowess, which became a hallmark of the now Fresno State assistant coach.
Samson explained that defensive coordinator Nick Brautigam was the coach who worked closest with Morrell last season, and that his elevation to defensive coordinator will help the Orediggers maintain their defense.
“I was fortunate to learn under [Morrell] for a year,” Samson said. “Our defensive coordinator, coach Brautigam, was his right-hand man last year, so we’ll definitely keep some things we did in the past and have new things we want to do on defense. We want to fit it to the type of personnel we have, but I also don’t think you can replace coach Morrell, he’s a tremendous coach and we just have to work really hard.”
However, Samson also explained that Tech simply doesn’t have the time or situation to potentially do as much as they would in an average offseason and preseason.
“Without having spring ball and being a whole new staff,” Samson said. “We’ve got some challenges in front of us. We’re not going to be able to put in a bunch of new stuff, a bunch of crazy different looks because we just haven’t had the time to do it. We just have to be focus on the fundamentals: getting to the line, knowing our assignments and tackling well.”