Defense gets a new look

The Sports Xchange

--The Falcons are going to have a new-look defense now that Charlton Warren has been promoted to defensive coordinator. He replaces Matt Wallerstedt, who went to Texas A&M. The players responded well to the scheme change, which focuses on being aggressive and putting pressure on the opposing offense.

"Last year, we felt like we were kind of playing on eggshells and sitting back and waiting for the offense to make a move," outside linebacker Alex Means said. "This year it feels like we're a little more up-tempo, a little more upbeat, and we're firing at their offense, trying to get in the backfield."

--Wes Cobb, who started for the Falcons at fullback last year, moved to tailback in the spring. Air Force needs to replace Asher Clark, a four-year starter at tailback, and Cobb has similar skills. He came to Air Force as a tailback, but moved to fullback last year because the team was thin there.

"Am I a fullback or a tailback? I just tell people I'm a running back," Cobb said.


QB Connor Dietz -- Dietz did nothing to turn the starting quarterback job into a controversy. The fifth-year senior had a solid spring, as expected. Dietz can run the ball very well, and had a good spring throwing the ball as well. He'll go into training camp as the clear starter at quarterback.

WR Ty MacArthur -- MacArthur was coming on last year before he broke his collarbone in midseason. He is healthy now and had a great spring as he attempts to replace receiver Jonathan Warzeka. MacArthur has the same type of versatility and quickness that made Warzeka a star for the Falcons.

OLB Jamil Cooks -- Cooks is being expected to take on a starting role this season. In his first two years he has played part-time and shown flashes of his immense talent, but the Falcons need him to be consistent. He fits the new, aggressive defensive style well.

"We have to go forward. We have five-and-a-half months until we play. What we do over this half year, or five months, will be pretty important."-- Air Force coach Troy Calhoun

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