Rising senior defensive end Jeremiah Taylor said that in the early stages of spring practice, Cronin has stressed that his players operate with a high motor.
"What he emphasizes is effort," said Taylor, a team captain last season as a junior. "The stuff we need to know, that will come with repetition. The thing he's harping on is effort, to make sure you go hard all the time."
That doesn't mean Price has abandoned the ends, Taylor said. They'll still work with Price during practice to learn inside moves. Taylor feels that extra coaching will be a major benefit in the end. Marshall's 1.58 sacks per game tied it with five other Football Bowl Subdivision teams for 87th nationally. Its 6.08 tackles for loss per game tied it with three other teams for 48th nationally.
"Coming in from different perspectives, it's going to help a lot," said Taylor, who led the Herd in sacks with 5.5 and finished fourth with 8.5 tackles for loss. "You're getting it from both ways."
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BLAKE BROOKS wanted to contribute more to Marshall's success. A defensive lineman last season, he recorded one tackle in four games while also playing offensive line for the Herd's scout team. At the end of last season, he and the coaches decided a switch from defense to offense might work.
This spring, Brooks, a former South Charleston High School star who won the 2009 Hunt Award as West Virginia's top high school lineman, is at guard.
"I wanted to contribute for the team and just help the team out to win," he said. "I think the best decision for the coaches and for myself and for this team was for me to be on the offensive side of the ball."
While Brooks played on offense and defense in high school, he's been a defensive lineman since arriving at Marshall. This spring, his role changes from quarterback hunter to quarterback protector, and the transition takes a little getting used to.
"Offensively, you have to think a little bit more," Brooks said. "Defensively, you can just crank the engine and go. Offensively, you have to have your ears open and you have to listen a lot more.
"With the linebackers moving and the defensive line switching, I think that's pretty much the transition," he added. "You have to listen to the quarterback. When I played defense, I just looked at the play call and just went."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.