2022 interview with Gopher Football defensive coordinator Joe Rossi: part one

Minnesota defensive coordinator Joe Rossi: I think there was a group of guys who played really well together. They communicated well, did their job, carried out their missions, played physically and took coaching. I think the staff did a good job. I think when you have a good team with good people, in terms of players in character and work ethic, and you have talent and ability, you can kind of have positive results.

I thought they got better over the year, which is what you always look for. It’s something we’re proud of, it’s being able to improve from start to finish. Sometimes you see in college sports or your professional sports, teams tend to go downhill as the year progresses. You will see other teams that tend to improve as the year progresses. And you always want to strive to be that last group. I think it was just a bunch of little things that added up to a positive outcome.

Where we can improve is in men’s coverage. I think we can improve in creating takeaways. I think we can improve by creating a few more fumbles. I think we can improve in the green and red zone. We can get better at getting out of blocks, but there’s that element as well. All these things are obviously important for us, but we also have to understand that this is a new defense in 2022. We have new starters. We have new guys spinning in and and in my mind, often the process clicks and starts all over again.

So you can go back to the 2021 defense and talk about where we needed to improve, but there’s a whole bunch of other things these 2022 guys need to be good at. Or be as good as the guys who did in 2021. So you’re still walking that fine line.”