Lindsey excited about defense

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Don Lindsey joined the Ole Miss football coaching staff as its new defensive coordinator only three months ago, but he brought a wealth of coaching experience to Oxford.

How much experience? Try 35 years. He started his coaching career in 1965 at the University of Alabama under the late and legendary coach Paul &uot;Bear&uot; Bryant, one of four Hall of Fame coaches he has coached with.

He was involved with three national championship teams at the University of Southern California when John McKay and John Robinson were head coaches and another one at Alabama.

His defensive philosophy, which he will instill at Ole Miss, is quite simple.

&uot;Try to get the best eleven players on the field,&uot; coach Lindsey said before he addressed those at the Ole Miss Alumni Association Tuesday night at the Ramada Inn Hilltop. &uot;Build the philosophy around the personnel.&uot;

&uot;I like an attacking, aggressive defense,&uot; he continued, &uot;that the offense has to adjust to.&uot;

A major factor in that equation will be the return of junior linebacker Eddie Strong, who missed the entire 2000 season with a stress fracture in his foot.

&uot;It’s monumental,&uot; Lindsey said about Strong’s return. &uot;Every team has to have a playmaker. Eddie’s a playmaker. The staff and everybody missed him last year.&uot;

As for what kind of defense Lindsey plans to use, he said, &uot;We’ll feature a 4-3 and a 3-4 defense.&uot;

While speaking to the audience, he talked about two key words that’s been important to him in his short time at Ole Miss – spirit and leadership.

&uot;Spirit is a culmination of beliefs, feelings and love for what they’re doing,&uot; he said. &uot;Leadership is about relationships to me. A trust and a truth between each other.&uot;

He then said he doesn’t have an agenda as for how long he will be at Ole Miss.

&uot;If I’m here for only a year because you don’t like me or if God has other plans for me, I’m not worried about it.&uot;