The first question to address is "What does Odom want his defense to be?"
If his heart's with the read-and-react thing, he needs to go with that. But after the last half of the season, I'm not sure it is. It appears he's not sure either.
Odom said he plans to ask the eight current assistant coaches on his staff to return. That’s everyone from the 2016 season except defensive line coach Jackie Shipp, whom Odom fired before the final game against Arkansas. Odom took over the play-calling duties from defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross with five games left in the season, but Odom indicated he won’t fire anyone else on the staff. Cross and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel are under contract through the 2018 season. [...]
Odom made it clear he plans to resume the defensive play-calling duties in 2017. It’s unclear if any staff titles will change. As for the defensive scheme, Odom will stick with the system he used in the final five games. No more of the read-and-react scheme that required linemen to read formations and contain their gaps.
Odom said he will continue to call the defense next season, but input from Cross, safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator Ryan Walters and cornerbacks coach Greg Brown will remain crucial.
"Throughout the course of the week, we build the defense together, and, throughout the course of the game, I’m not making every call," Odom said. "There’s constant communication going on with Ryan and DeMontie and Greg. … We ended up working pretty well together, so I’m excited about that moving into the offseason and the spring and into fall camp in the season."
Barry Odom took questions from some Mizzou beat writers on Monday and checked Question No. 1 off the list. He wants Missouri to retain some of the more aggressive features it boasted over the last month of the season, and he wants to press forward with the staff he's already got on hand (plus a new defensive line coach).
This makes sense, really. We know he has skewed from the Gary Pinkel script at times over the last year, and we know he will do so again. But if he's moving forward with a "Fix the problems with the guys you've got, and don't fire guys simply in the name of change" perspective, that's certainly straight from the Pinkel/Don James philosophy.
Glen Elarbee is a delight
And so is Alec Abeln.
The latest in recruiting
The big news from this department yesterday wasn't really news ... but is sort of news.
I'm still committed to Missouri but My recruitment is Open— call me Dõs (@aubmiller126) December 5, 2016
That would be Mizzou LB commit Aubrey Miller saying he was keeping his Mizzou reservation but looking around at other options just to be sure.
Recruiting's fun! But if the coaches can look around, the kids can, too. Supposedly Demontie Cross taking a home visit with Miller pretty soon (he might have last night), so we'll see if this subplot continues.