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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 5

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 5 15 touched — on the same blitz up the gut. And, then, on another, Gelen Robinson, moved inside to defensive tackle by Holt, would explode off the snap, using his power to shove a guard into the backfield before shaking him off to blow up the pocket. And on another, fellow linemate Eddy Wilson would take a turn, bullying his way through the interior of the offensive line for more pressure on the QB. Again and again and again this spring, including in three scrimmages, the defense used co-coordinator and play-caller Holt's multiple looks to create havoc. The unit produced a bevy of sacks — unofficially 22 in the scrimmages alone. It produced near-constant harried quarterbacks, whether it was Blough or Elijah Sindelar, who seemingly were pres- sured on the bulk of team snaps. It produced turnovers, even interceptions by linebackers who had dropped into zone coverage, whether it be Bailey snatching one in the middle of the field or even 6-foot-4 end Kai Higgins leaping to bat a pass down in the flat before cra- dling the pick. Though Holt is a realist about how much his unit still needs to do — there are concerns about the secondary and general depth — this spring certainly seemed like a good starting point. "I'm very encouraged by it," said Bai- ley, who followed a season of leading the team in tackles and interceptions with a solid spring. "Our big emphasis is playing physical up front and stopping the run, so with the aggressiveness and the pressures and everything, us switch- ing up our fronts, it's going to be hard for an offense to be able to make their calls and get used to where we're bringing pressure from. "I think we had a good spring overall." Because Holt implemented so much — he still had each day's install drawn up on a white board in a coach's meeting room in Mollenkopf after the spring — he was able to learn much. And that may have been the most important accomplish- ment of the spring, not just for Holt but all of Purdue's coach- es. The staff had to truly grasp what it had for personnel, where it needed to develop, where it felt good and where there were potential playmakers. That knowledge will influ- ence what happens this offseason and into fall camp. "We learned that up front, we have a couple good players that I think our front seven has a chance to be solid," Holt said. "We learned that we have three or four good lineback- ers. We have a couple good D-tackles, D-ends. That's pos- itive. We learned that our kids will play hard, for the most part. There's some things that need to be corrected and move forward. But there's a couple things I think we'll do well. "I thought our secondary really improved in some basic 2017 Football Schedule Sept. 2 vs. Louisville at Lucas Oil Sept. 8 vs. Ohio Sept. 16 at Missouri Sept. 23 vs. Michigan Oct. 7 vs. Minnesota Oct. 14 at Wisconsin Oct. 21 at Rutgers Oct. 28 vs. Nebraska Nov. 4 vs. Illinois Nov. 11 at Northwestern Nov. 18 at Iowa Nov. 25 vs. Indiana Tom Campbell Coach Jeff Brohm was hoping playmakers would emerge at receiver, and though senior Greg Phillips came on strong toward the end of the spring, too often the position group couldn't deliver big plays.

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