October 16, 2006
College Station, TX (CSTV U-WIRE) -- What is a "Wrecking Crew" defense?
Is it a physically and statistically dominant defense, like Texas A&M has seen in years past? Is it the 2006 A&M defense?
Many fans are quick to say the 2006 defense doesn't hold a candle to some of the units that patrolled Kyle Field through the 1980s and 1990s. And on paper, that may be true. However, it should not be a requirement to earn recognition as a "Wrecking Crew."
Trying to equal the statistics of past "Wrecking Crew" defenses is an impossible expectation. The Aggie defense allowed less than 250 yards per game quite regularly in those days, but now the best defense in the nation might allow less than that once per decade. With new pro-style and spread offenses, yardage allowed is no longer a concern, as long as the team is winning.
Physically, the 2006 defense is bigger and faster than any defense Texas A&M has ever seen. Defenses of the past dominated because of their relative physical size to opponents, but equity-promoting NCAA restrictions almost eliminate physical mismatches.
The modern "Wrecking Crew" defense is defined by attitude and wins. This is why the 2006 defense is almost there.
A game after the midseason point, it would not be wrong to say A&M has not been tested yet, because none of its previous opponents are ranked this week. But at the current pace, there's good reason to believe the attitude will remain, and the wins will come because of it.
For the third consecutive game, the A&M defense provided the spark that gave the team a chance to win. If Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell's late pass into the end zone two weeks ago had landed two inches to the left, the defense's play would have won all three.
The defense breaks out of every practice with "the crew." Following Saturday's dominating second half performance against Missouri, it was evident that the "Wrecking Crew" attitude was back in College Station.
"We feel like we were the 'Wrecking Crew' since day one of spring ball," said safety Melvin Bullitt, defending the reemergence of the 'Wrecking Crew.' "That's what we are, what we're going to be the rest of the season, and years to come."
Some will cling to their idealistic vision of a "Wrecking Crew" defense and never give name-credit to the 2006 defense. But either way, it's still the defense that should be on the field.
(C) 2006 The Battalion via CSTV U-WIRE