Duke Defensive Coordinator Matt Guerrieri Ready to Get Creative With Schemes


Duke co-defensive coordinator Matt Guerrieri is always high energy, and this preseason is no exception.

“It’s great to be back doing what we love to do with the people we love to do it with,” he said. “It’s awesome to see our defense and our team running around. There’s great enthusiasm and energy. It’s definitely a unique 2020. Coach (David) Cutcliffe has a plan we’ve been working toward for a long time, now, and we’re really excited about it.”

Guerrieri knows that one of Duke’s strength is it pass rush from the edge, and another is its deep, experienced secondary. That allows him to get creative while scheming.

“On defense, it’s how do we stop the run, how do we rush the passer, how do we defend the pass? You can simplify it to those things,” he said. “We definitely have some guys that have some real juice off the edges. We have to take advantage of those guys, whether its separate, on opposite sides or on the same side. We have to game plan to take advantage of those guys, whether it’s Vic (Dimukeje) or Chris (Rumph) or a number of other guys—Drew Jordan—We’ve got a lot of guys that have played a bunch of snaps. Obviously, we have depth in back, right? Guys that are proven—Mark Gilbert, Michael Carter, Josh Blackwell, Leonard Johnson, Marquis Waters--guys that have proven to be good cover players in the back. Blending those together, no doubt there’s the risk/reward of playing tight coverage and rushing the passer. I think you’ll see a number of packages that try to exploit those things, highlighting our defensive strengths.”