Rich Rodriguez: We needed to go in a new direction on defense

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The Arizona Wildcats had so much promise coming into the 2015 season ranked in the Top 25. Many believed the Wildcats had a chance to compete in the PAC-12 South after making the Fiesta Bowl in 2014.

They started off well enough as they were 5-2 to open the season. However, they lost four of their last five games to finish the regular season 6-6 and just barely making the New Mexico Bowl, which they won over New Mexico, 45-37.

In their six losses, they allowed an average of 49.1 points per game. This eventually led to the team letting defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel and defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich following the season, which head coach Rich Rodriguez told the Arizona Daily Star in Tuscon was one of the toughest decisions of his career.

Rodriguez also talked about how the Wildcats wanted to go in a new direction with their defense for 2016. Casteel ran a 3-3-5 look, so it’s possible that whoever they bring in next will have a different scheme.

The Wildcats hope to be able to replace Scooby Wright, who declared for the NFL Draft following their bowl game. If they are able to do that and find a good leader to replace Casteel, they should be able to once again be contenders in the PAC-12.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports