Texas A&M's defense has been a point of emphasis this offseason as the Aggies look to improve on a rough 2013 on that side of the football.
One of the storylines throughout spring practice was the new face on the defensive coaching staff: secondary coach Terry Joseph.
After former Aggies' secondary coach Marcel Yates left after last season to accept the defensive coordinator job at Boise State, coach Kevin Sumlin sought Joseph, who was at Nebraska. With spring practice in the books, it appears he has had a quick impact.
"[He's an] attention-to-detail guy," defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said. "Kids are bought in, are listening. You're seeing some things that were mistakes last year that aren't showing their face right now."
Reducing mistakes will be key, because those contributed to the group's overall inconsistency last season. The Aggies have veterans at cornerback and safety and they have talent, but getting them on the same page or reducing the number of mental errors is important if Texas A&M wants improvement in that area.
Returning are both starting cornerbacks from last season, Deshazor Everett and De'Vante Harris, as well as all three safeties who saw a start, Clay Honeycutt, Floyd Raven and Howard Matthews. Junior Devonta Burns finds himself in the mix at safety and nickel cornerback, and several young cornerbacks -- Victor Davis, Noel Ellis, Tavares Garner and Alex Sezer -- made strides.
Joseph, a Louisiana native, has spent time coaching in the SEC with stops at LSU and Tennessee. The biggest difference with Joseph on hand has to do with his approach, according to one player.
"The intensity," Everett said. "Coach Joseph is on us every play. He doesn't let anybody get a play off. If you have violations with your eyes or your technique, you're running after practice or what we call 'painting the lines.' When you're getting punished for bad techniques, it makes you really focus on what you need to do so that in the game it will come second nature to you and you won't have to focus on it and you can play football."