September 13, 2007

Safeties Lead Defense

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Last year was somewhat of a learning experience for seniors Michael Boyd and juniors Tim Bax and Gus Krimm, a fact that is sure to cause Ivy League opponents to lose sleep at night.
While senior co-captain Colin Nash will be mentoring a new starter — either sophomore Frank Morand or freshman Emani Fenton — at the cornerback position, the aforementioned triangle of safeties will put their experience to use.
“This year, we don’t have to say what we are doing to each other, we just know,” Boyd said.
After seeing significant time as a freshman his first year, Bax turned in an All-Ivy caliber season at free safety. One could argue that Boyd, a three-year starter, could earn a spot as an All-Ivy player at whip safety as well following a season in which he was second on the team in tackles with 62. Krimm, much like Bax, started the whole season for the first time and did not disappoint.
“Obviously the more comfortable you are on the field and in your role, the better unit we will be,” Krimm said. “When you are comfortable, you have a better grasp of what your doing and your teammates can tell it.”
Krimm’s increased comfort might result in more than his 58 tackles (41 solo efforts) from last year.
The unit will be counted on to capitalize on more opportunities than last season. Last year, the combination accounted for two interceptions, two fumbles and 14 pass breakups.
Boyd, who plays whip safety under head coach Jim Knowles’ ’87 4-2-5 defensive scheme, functions as a combination of a safety and an outside linebacker, often on the weak side. Grimm, the strong safety, resembles an outside linebacker and often falls back into zone while Bax is the regular free safety position, protecting the deep pass — and helping on the side opposing Nash.