Mike Tressel in his 12th season as a Michigan State assistant, but it’s his first as defensive coordinator. The promotion means Tressel, who had been spent the last three seasons as one of the team’s co-defensive coordinators, is calling plays for the first time this spring. Tressel is enjoying the new responsibility, sure, but he isn’t making a big fuss about it.
“It feels like every other spring practice in that we’re competing every single down,” Tressel told Mlive.com’s Matt Wenzel. “We go 15 (spring practices) that are full-contact, get after it. It’s nice to call the plays, it’s nice to make decisions, but the bottom line is we’re competing, playing football every day and that’s the same as always.”
Tressel previously split defensive coordinator duties with Harlon Barnett, who left the Spartans in January to become Florida State’s defensive coordinator. Now Tressel, who is still coaching the linebackers, has the final say on all things defense for Michigan State. The Spartans finished No. 2 and No. 7 in the nation in run defense and total defense, respectively, in 2017.
feel like the mindset is the same, the Spartan Dawg mentality is the same, so I don’t … really see a difference in the plays being called,” safety Khari Willis said. “There could be, but I haven’t noticed it. I just feel like Coach Tressel always did a great job interacting with us as if he was our defensive coordinator as well.”