Darius Curry’s Move to Safety Proves Fluidity in Secondary

Written by Hayden Barber

With only two definitive starters in a secondary of four, Darius Curry has moved to safety “full-time,” defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer told GoPokes.com.

That (likely) means this:

Safety 1 Safety 2 Cornerback 1 Cornerback 2
Tre Flowers Ramon Richards Adrian Baker AJ Green (or)
Darius Curry Jerel Morrow Rodarius Williams Lamarcus Morton
Za’Carrius Green Philip Redwine-Bryant Madre Harper Malik Kearse

Which isn’t great but also means Spencer and cornerbacks coach Tim Duffie think at least one of the young corners is ready to start. Curry isn’t a show-stopper. During spring practice, Ramon Richards classified Curry as a “technical” player who focuses on his craft. That sounded nice, particularly at a position with excess athleticism and not enough experience.

This also shows that almost every player in the secondary can be moved.

The pros of that:

  • Easy replacements in case of injuries
  • Better coverage options
  • More versatile packages

The cons:

  • Might seem like scrambling
  • Can look foolish if the talent doesn’t translate
  • Increasingly impossible to master either position

The last one was Spencer’s explanation for moving Curry.

“I pulled him in a couple weeks ago, and I said, ‘Darius, this isn’t fair to anybody,” he said. “You’ll never get better at one position if we have you playing two.”

But the Cowboy defense has done an outstanding amount of “playing two” since this time last year. Richards went from corner to safety. Kenneth Edison-McGruder went from safety to linebacker. Trey Carter went from defensive end to tackle. And now Curry.

The good news is they can always go back. All of the spring moves can be reverted, which would make the secondary look like this:

Safety 1 Safety 2 Cornerback 1 Cornerback 2
Tre Flowers Kenneth Edison-McGruder Ramon Richards Adrian Baker
Jerel Morrow Za’Carrius Green Darius Curry AJ Green

It’s also a huge plus that the front seven is fairly solid, and it starts with the defensive line. Mike Gundy noted that before spring practice.

“We have nine guys on the defensive line that power clean more than 315 pounds,” said Gundy. “We have nine guys that bench press more than 350 pounds, and five of them are over 400. … We have nine guys that all squat more than 450 pounds.”

That’s great, and it will have to be to shrink the window in the secondary. Because no one is doubting the ability of these young corners to cover, just to cover for long enough. That’s why moving Curry to safety is significant. It only makes the corner situation riskier when it already felt like a Mason Rudolph keeper up the middle.

  • OrangeTuono

    In today’s football, you better have 3-5 man-cover DB’s on the field at any given time. I think we are missing that Coordinators are looking to put the best people for the best PACKAGE on the field for any given play. It’s not really about CB1/CB2 or S1/S2.

    While it’s “easy” to try and stick with classic position definitions, we have lots of interesting combinations – Corner, Safety, Star LB, – and even see our DE’s and DT’s drop into coverage. We even saw the DLinemen make interceptions last year.

    And as an example, it was Ramon Richards, Cornerback, that closed the edge on 248# Samaje Perine and sidelined him for the remainder of the 2015 Bedlam with a solo tackle.

  • StillOriginal

    I like Ramon moving to safety & I think by seasons end, LaMarcus Morton will have locked up one of the starting CB spots.

    • Zach

      A freshman will not start this season, I like the kid but he’s short and in the big 12 that gets us killed and the reason every one we played threw right over the top last season. One reason Baylor has gotten our number the past few years. that’s one reason gundy n co are going after taller safety’s, and corners. green and baker will start tre n Ramon will start at safety. When we play a 3rd corner it will be willams or Harper. Look out for Morton next year though. He has talent.

      • StillOriginal

        okstate.com has him listed at 6 foot 1 & we will see

  • Scott

    I don’t know if I should get really worried or really excited about our secondary. I just know that it has to be one of those and not anything in between.

    • GoPokes

      Me either, but I’m trending towards excited.

  • SeattlePoke

    I am taking the positive side on this whole thing. I’ve seen plenty of people complain on here about how conservative Gundy is and that’s not wrong. I really don’t think this conservative coach would move literally every player with any sort of experience away from the corner position if Gundy and Spencer didn’t really think they had something with these young guys. Or maybe they’re cooking up some whole new scheme that we haven’t even thought of.

    • Alec M

      I love this idea. I’m imagining Gundy and Co in his office on NCAA 2016 creating custom schemes never thought of before.

  • Zach

    As for everyone worried about our CB’s don’t be. gundy has gaven these guys so much praise and the spring game showed they can play. Didn’t even have baker then either. Gonna be weird calling the guy by his last name..baker…lol

    • MaximusOkstate

      I’m going with “AB”

  • Chris Baker

    To me, this sounds like the coaches feel pretty good about who we’ve got at CB and feel like Curry might be able to add more press coverage ability as a hybrid safety/cb not unlike what I expect Richards to do from time to time. If these guys ca make the transition but maintain their ability to be effective in either position, this will make us more versatile against hurry-up offenses. And this move might hint that we could have two units for this. Or whatever I don’t know.

  • OKsailor

    Please, please, please, let this defense look like the one that played Colorado.