On if he’s married to a four-man front…
"That’s been my history. Coach Odom knows that. He wants to continue to do that, but I think we have to be multiple. We have to do what takes offenses away. Whatever we have to do structurally. We’ll be simple and sound, but we won’t limit ourselves to a four-man front if we have to do some things differently. But that is my background, that I’ve been a part of pretty much throughout my career."
Q: Did you have much exposure to TCU’s 4-2-5 before going to work with Gary Patterson and how does that background blend into what Mizzou will do here?
A: I did not have that (background). I was primarily a 4-3 guy. Walking into that scheme and that program really opened me up to a lot of ideas. Coach Patterson, you can see why he has the pedigree and the respect in the coaching profession for what he does because he works tirelessly. He finds ways to exploit offenses I’ve never been around as a coordinator who’s able to do that. The way he approached breaking down opponents and taking things away was very unique. So I didn’t have that exposure. Once you can understand how he gets to some of the things he’s doing, it’s a really complicated defense to attack. It’s able to be very multiple because of that fifth DB you play with all the time. We’ll see if we can complement some things that I learned there. But that’s a ways away. I have to get with my staff and Coach Odom first.
Since he started as a graduate assistant with the Tigers in 1998, Cross said he has done a majority of his recruiting in Houston, Texas.
Cross said he wasn't sure where he will recruit in his new position and will go wherever Odom sends him but said Texas has been a "natural recruiting ground" for Missouri in the past.
"We'll stick our heels in and go get them," Cross said.
Cross also said he expects to work with Missouri running backs coach Cornell Ford in recruiting in St. Louis. Ford has been the Tigers' lead recruiter in St. Louis in the past, and Cross is a St. Louis native.
How much chance have you gotten to sit down with the returning players? I know they’ve all been on Christmas break, but how many of them have you been able to talk to?
"You know, I talked to a few of them right around before my bowl game, so right around Christmas time, I got a chance to call a few of them. It was exciting to me to have those guys be excited to talk to me. I was a little unsure, you know, not having met them face to face. I’m kind of a face to face guy so I can get body language, see eyes, all those things are important to me. So just to hear the excitement in the guys’ voice, I couldn’t tell you all of them that I talked to honestly, but ran into a couple of them at the facility when I was here last week. I know Charles Harris. He was the one that I talked to on the phone and that I met in person so he’s the one that I identify the most with. I look forward to working with them all. I talked to a few of them, like I said, just short, brief conversations and just kind of let them know that ‘Hey, I look forward to being your leader and count on you guys to do the same. And whatever we need to do to keep strengthening our defense and our program, then let’s do it.’ I look forward to getting to kind of see what they think about what we have as a defensive unit, those guys kind of being the successors of the defense returning."