For Vanderbilt's Defense Could Two be Better Than One

Greg Arias

The adage is that two heads are better than one would certainly apply to the Vanderbilt Commodores defensive unit in 2020, where head coach Derek Mason and new coordinator Ted Roof are both defensive minds. 

Mason, a former defensive coordinator who has handled play-calling duties as head coach at Vanderbilt in the past, hired Roof to lead the unit following last season. As for that dynamic and who will call things this season, Mason shared that with media during a conference call on Tuesday.

"This has been a fun time, I mean, Ted's been great to work with," said Mason. "This is his deal, I mean, it's his defense."   

While Roof ill run the show, having two coaches working together will hopefully be a benefit this season.  

"When Ted went to App.State (Appalachian State) he did a good job on taking some tools there and implementing some of his own," continued Mason. "He's done the same here. He's taken some of our tools and when he looked at some of the defenses that he thought were similar and had some carry over and brought in some of his own stuff. I think it's been a great addition for us. 

"I think that he's made it simple. He's tried to keep a lot of the verbage that we have, and I think that makes it easier on the players," conclude Mason. "You've got to learn a little bit as a coach, but I think also some of the tools and intruments he brought within the schemes that he's palyed before, he's really made it simple for our guys to play fast. 

As for Roof, who also spoke with media on the same call, his response was interesting. 

"This is Vanderbilt's defense, not mine," Roof said. 

While the underlying thought from Roof is clear, it is a team sport and this is the Vanderbilt defense, still Mason will leave the heavy lifting of calling plays and handling that side of the football to his new assistant. 

"They (players) like it, they love his energy and it's one-hundred percent his so here we go."  Mason said. 

Here we go indeed.   

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