If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi should feel awfully flattered by Ohio State, which he says stole his defense en route to a national championship in 2014.
Speaking with The Griff & Grinz Show in Lansing, Mi., the coach pointed out the Buckeyes used the same 4-3 quarters coverage scheme last year as his teams have.
“Ohio State’s facing the same problem (against offenses), because they stole our defense, too,” Narduzzi said (h/t coachingsearch.com). “There’s a lot of teams throughout the country. You go watch them, they’re exactly us, whether they admit it or not. They’re exactly us, and they weren’t before. They won a national championship with the defense.”
This isn’t a new concept, teams “stealing” schemes. It happens all the time at every level of competition. This is why many NFL teams are currently attempting to mimic what Seattle has accomplished the past few seasons with its “Legion of Boom” secondary.
Interestingly enough, as Mike Griffith of MLive.com points out, Narduzzi didn’t exactly come up with the scheme himself. He learned it during his tenure with Miami at Ohio, where he was a defensive assistant, then took it with him to Cincinnati, Michigan State and now Pittsburgh.
It does seem like Narduzzi might be a little bitter over the whole thing, however.
And, who can blame him? The former defensive coordinator of the Michigan State Spartans watched another program utilize “his” strategy to win the ultimate prize.
Ohio State had the players to make it work and executed the scheme well enough to win a championship.