Mike Macdonald is coordinating a defense for the first time in his young coaching career. The 33-year old has spent several years in the NFL, most recently coaching linebackers with the Baltimore Ravens, but he's never called plays or made final decisions on what a defense should look like or do. That's going to change this year as he embarks on year No. 1 as a DC with Michigan.
"That’s why we get into the business is to be here; be a leader of your own unit and serve your players and doing it at the highest level," he said on becoming a defensive coordinator. "People talk about, 'Do you want to go back to college, or whatever, NFL?' Like I said earlier, it’s more similar than it is different and to me this is still the highest level of football.”
Technically speaking Baltimore's base defensive was a 3-4, but as Macdonald has said on a couple of occasions now, his defensive won't be any one thing in particular. Instead, it's going to be a variation of things all tailored to put his guys in a position to succeed.
"We’re going to be multiple," he said. "The best way I can describe our scheme is it’s going to look a lot like the places I’ve been previously. But, when you watch our Baltimore defense, tell me the times we looked like a 3-4. There’s going to be a certain percentage there. But there’s going to be a lot of times we look like a 4-3, there’s going to be sometimes where we’re 6-1, sometimes we’re going to look like a 6-2. Sometimes you’re not going to know what the heck it looks like. It’s hard for me to say that we’re gonna be a 3-4, per se."
Whatever it's going to be, Jim Mora Jr. thinks it's going to be effective. The long-time head coach knows quite a bit about Macdonald and, as he explains in the video above, expects Michigan's young, new DC to inject a lot of energy into his unit and wouldn't be surprised if the U-M defense is pretty darn fun to watch this fall.