Dave Owens replaces Todd Cook as Kodiak’s defensive coordinator. Cook was in charge of Kodiak’s defense for nine of the Bears’ 10 seasons. He also was head coach for seven of those years.
Owens was Kodiak’s junior varsity defensive line and linebackers coach last season and was appointed to the varsity by new coach Jim Schnick.
“I’m not Rex Ryan or anything, but I can switch it up,” Owens said.
“Part of defense is not sitting in the same front and showing the same front for four quarters. I’m not that type of person. I believe defense is to be played aggressively and down and distance.”
Aggressive is a word Kodiak players should get used to hearing from Owens. He wants his defense to force the issue, and that starts 10 a.m. Saturday in Kodiak’s opener against West Anchorage’s junior varsity at Woody Way Field.
“We are going to be proactive. We are not going to be reactive,” Owens said. “I’ve got athletes in places who can make plays and I am going to put them in the best situation.”
Over the years, Kodiak has been known for its defense: The Bears posted eight shutouts under Cook.
Owens hopes to revitalize a unit that gave up 23 points and nearly 200 rushing yards per game last season.
He will use different looks, mix his coverage and rely on blitzes to put the fear back in the opposition.
“I’m all about making the quarterback make a decision in three seconds,” Owens said. “Most of the time they will make a bad decision.”
Up front, Kodiak returns a ton of veteran players with Jingo Olaes (nose), Leo Sega (tackle), Tucker Bigley (tackle) Logan Owens (end), Seth Starr (end) and Ruben Eluska (end).
The linebacker unit features Darren Sene, Kerry Powers, Dakota Wibbe and Andrew Gregory.
Sene was an all-Northern Lights Conference second-team performer last season.
“I hold my linebackers accountable, because a long time ago I was a linebacker, so I put a lot of stress and strain on them,” Owens said.
Melvin Javier, Ryan Lennon, Eddy Burris, Josh Yavorsky, Gregory and Fredy Sorto will all see time in the secondary.
“I got six guys who can cover and they are all good athletes who can tackle in space,” Owens said.
Owens is ready to see what his unit can do.
“We don’t have a lot of depth when it comes to players and talent-wise, but if we can stay healthy this season should be all right,” he said.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.