Connect with us


Michigan State football: Is Jim Salgado the addition defense needs to evolve?

This could be the most underrated addition of the offseason.



Michigan State football
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Michigan State football is entering an important season and Jim Salgado may be the ideal addition for the defense.

For 2023 Michigan State football, there have been many questions about the team. One major question the Spartans and fans have been trying to answer is, when will the defensive backfield perform better?

There are multiple reasons for the backfield struggling in the past, but for now, none of them matter. The Spartans are in need of a new voice and strategy in the room.

Michigan State football is entering the 2023 season with one of the hardest schedules in college football. Could Mel Tucker’s offseason addition of Jim Salgado as the new cornerbacks coach make a big difference in East Lansing?

Tucker and Michigan State are entering a very unique situation. One side of the team has major questions based on the limited game snaps players have taken. The other side of the ball could be the most talented group it’s ever been under Tucker — that side of the ball is the defense. Tucker added multiple transfers at needed positions. He also added a new cornerbacks coach. For Michigan State, this can’t be overlooked.

One of the main problems with the Spartans’ defense has been their ability to stop the pass. This addition could help and bring major rewards. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the addition of Salgado.

NFL experience 

The one thing that can never be overlooked is NFL experience. From 2017-2022, Salgado spent time with the Buffalo Bills, coaching a playoff-contending team in multiple different positions. The biggest benefit of having Salgado is having a new voice with solid experience.

Salgado adds a legitimate amount of NFL expertise and adjustments that can benefit the Spartans in the bigger games on the schedule. He also got to coach against one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, Josh Allen, in practice every day. The point of that is having the benefit of seeing an elite talent every day in practice and creating plays and formations to throw him off, as well as, other elite quarterbacks he had to coach against in the NFL.

It can’t be overlooked that Salgado being an NFL coach for a winning team is a major benefit for a struggling group. Lastly, having another NFL coach on the team should absolutely boost recruiting for the Spartans.

Fresh start 

For the Michigan State defensive backfield, a fresh start and a new face is exactly what’s needed. It’s almost an understatement that the Spartans’ unit has been poor. It’s been one of the worst in the nation for multiple years. The Spartans are dying for some kind of change and kickstart in the backfield.

As stated earlier, the NFL experience is an absolute benefit that provides knowledge to everyone. Salgado said he wanted an opportunity to see the players and make his own assessment. This should be exciting for fans as well as the players. This gives the Spartans a chance to try something new as well as the possibility to see new faces make plays.

Updated play calls 

Another major change Michigan State needs is defensive back philosophy and adjustment ability. Oftentimes, if you saw the Spartans getting picked apart by a quarterback, you almost felt like there was no solution. It felt like no changes could be made, and the players were left to figure it out.

That should change this year.

Salgado stated that his goal is to create situations to confuse quarterbacks and create big turnovers. It’s understandable to expect a coach to say that but when you look back at his coaching resume, he was almost required to have to make on-the-fly adjustments with the competition he was coaching against in the NFL.

Another great benefit of adding Salgado is that he fits the modern defensive scheme that Tucker is building with Michigan State football. It’s very beneficial still having Harlon Barnett, but it seemed, at times, the defense looked out of sync, out of place, and confused. Salgado has experience coaching nickel formations as well as coaching safeties. The hope is that he can bring major adjustments to these Spartan cornerbacks and give us a chance to shock the world.