Being head coach and a main coordinator on a football team is a lot to carry.
So, when news got out that DeWayne Walker was going to relieve a lot of his defensive coordinator responsibilities to linebackers coach Dale Lindsey, I thought it was a step in the right direction.
There are a few things that concern me, however.
For one, making such a switch in the middle of the season isn’t preferred. Lindsey is much different than Walker in style and demeanor, and represents a new voice for the defensive unit to adhere to. Having an offseason to adjust would be one thing, but switching mid-week, when you have No. 3 Boise State coming to town this weekend no-less, is a tough order of business for any coaching staff and team to navigate through.
Lindsey brings a world of experience to the position as well, but is he the right man for the job? That’s something that will be answered in the coming weeks. But he has a mountain of work in front of him and will need to hit the ground running, with literally zero time to ease into the position.
Lindsey said he has a good grasp of the defensive personnel and will lean strongly on his assistants.
“I will put my two cents in where I think it will help,” he said. “But, we’ve got a good defensive line coach, we’ve got two good secondary coaches. I’m not a micro-manager. I’d like everybody’s input, I’d like to help. If I can help, fine, if I can’t, then step back and let the people do what they’re hired to do and let them produce. I’ve been accused of being too democratic. Not here, but I had been in the past when I was a coordinator. But....when I was a (coordinator), I had something to help the guy with, I had input. If it’s good, use it, great, if he didn’t, that’s great too.”
Both he and DeWayne Walker said slight adjustments will be made to the scheme.
“We’re looking at this (Boise State) game a little differently, yeah,” Lindsey said. “That’s all I’m gonna say.”
Again, I think as a head coach, delegating work and having your assistants do as much heavy lifting as possible is a good idea.
And I think Walker will make a fine head coach for NMSU. And that’s his title — head coach. He can try to be a hero and lift everything on his back, or he can delegate, rely on the people around him and put all his focuses and energy on running the program.
Lindsey was the best assistant on this current staff to take things over. Again, it may not be at the most opportune time — mid-season, with the team struggling badly on defense and with a top-flight Boise State team coming to town.
I do think it’s the right idea and will pay off in the long run.