Spring ball defense

The University of North Dakota football team has a lot of work ahead as the team prepares to begin its spring practices March 28.

During the next few weeks leading up to the spring game scheduled for April 26, defensively the team will need to begin its process towards finding a new identity with the help of newly appointed defensive coordinator Eric Schmidt.

UND allowed 31 points or more in seven of its 2013 season games, including a season high 63 points to Montana State. If there is any positive that comes from last season, it is that UND returns most of its defensive linemen; however, over the past few seasons, the group has struggled against both the run and pass. Just as the Seattle Seahawks did throughout their Super Bowl run, UND must find players willing to step up in order to return to its powerful defensive form.

Despite not having their two newest linemen or their two defensive ends at practice this spring, the Green and White are sure to benefit in the fall with the addition of Austin Cieslak, Brandon Dranka, Drew Greely and Jonathan Harris. With their signings, UND should have a layer of depth moving forward that the coaches can build up in the fall.

Beyond the line, UND will also be forced to figure out its safety position in a hurry.

While the team will be adding four players to the position, UND will not be without experience. Coaches have made a point however; those who show the skills will play.

Obviously, not every issue will be addressed during the spring drills; however, as a fan, I feel as though we can and should expect to see signs of players reading plays and rapping ball carriers up when they have the opportunity.