Tressel's Location For Gamedays? How About Beaumont Tower?

Tressel's Location For Gamedays? How About Beaumont Tower?

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Tressel's Location For Gamedays? How About Beaumont Tower?

Mike Tressel takes over full responsibility for the Spartan defense after serving as co-defensive coordinator with Harlan Barnett. There’s a decision to be made – call the defense from the field or up in the box?

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Prior to his eleven years as one of Mark Dantonio’s most trusted assistants at Michigan State, Spartan defensive coordinator Mike Tressel spent three seasons on Dantonio’s staff at the University of Cincinnati.

Tressel and Dantonio can probably finish one another’s sentences on and off the field.

At Big Ten Media Days, Dantonio spoke about how much Tressel values numbers and data, how he’s an expert in the fundamental techniques related to playing defense, and how he knows every inch of Michigan State’s defensive philosophy from top to bottom.

But Dantonio’s face lit up when it appeared as if he had just remembered to point something out about Tressel –

“He’s a great athlete himself.  The guy’s in incredible shape, he takes great care of himself – just a great athlete – someone that the players look up to in that regard.”

Does he have any eligibility left?

Should Dantonio suit him up?

Thankfully, that’s not needed – the Michigan State defense is so loaded that Joe Bachie just announced, with confidence rather than cockiness, that the goal for the 2018 Spartans defense is to be the #1 unit in the nation.

With the talent, experience, depth – and Mike Tressel leading the unit – that’s a realistic goal.

The fact that Tressel is the nephew of longtime Dantonio mentor and former Ohio State national championship head coach Jim Tressel only means that he might look good in a Scarlet sweater vest.

The good news for Spartan fans is that Tressel has charted his own path, prefers Green & White coach’s duds, and has earned the respect of everyone across the college football coaching landscape.

Ah – but there’s a conundrum as Tressel gets set to kick off his first season as the sole defensive coordinator on Dantonio’s staff after sharing those duties with his longtime colleague and pal, Harlan Barnett, after Barnett became Florida State’s defensive coordinator.

The conundrum?

Where should he call the defense throughout the games on Saturdays?

In the eleven years as an assistant coach at Michigan State, Tressel has spent zero minutes of game time up in the box.

When Dantonio was asked about this at Big Ten Media Days, Dantonio said, “Well, I can remember my days as a d-coordinator at Ohio State and I’ll tell you this – from up in the box, that field is about this big.”

With a bit of a smirk, Dantonio held his hands about a foot apart from one another.

“A fifteen yard gainer from up there doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.  But when you’re down on the sideline, right next to the players, and you feel that fifteen yard gainer, it has a little greater of an impact…”

Sounds like the head coach might like it if Tressel hung around on the sideline.

Pat Narduzzi sure did make it work from upstairs.

But Narduzzi also was famous for running down to the field at crunch time in order to be able to get right, smack into the middle of the action when the game was on the line.

Barnett and Tressel had a nice one-two punch from the box and the sideline that worked.

But with the talent, depth, experience, speed, and drive that makes up a defense that might be as good as any that Michigan State has had since both Tressel and Dantonio arrived in East Lansing, Tressel might be able to call the defense from high atop Beaumont Tower.

And it’s not all that crazy to envision Tressel taking the baton from Dantonio a handful of years from now if Tressel is able to help Joe Bachie and the defense even get close to that #1 defense in the nation status.

If Tressel oversees a defense that reaches Bachie’s goal, Tressel can coach on game days from a secure office (with good, reliable Wifi) in the back corner of The Landshark and everyone would be perfectly comfortable with the approach.

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