Stewart had an 3-4 aggressive defense that meant to pressure the QB while trying to force turnovers. He had come to the Coogs from the Cowboys where he was DC under Wade Phillips, but was made a scapegoat after a 9-7 season that saw the Pokes miss the playoffs. The Coogs went 5-7 in 2010 mainly because Case Keenum and Cotton Turner were hurt in the 3rd game of the season forcing the Coogs to go with freshmen Terrence Broadway/Dave Piland.
Stewart’s defense came alive the following year as he utilized LB Sammy Brown as a designated blitzer and Brown had a great year, tallying 13.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. We also had a great group of LBs that year with Brown, Marcus McGraw, Phillip Steward and Derrick Mathews and a secondary led by newcomer DJ Hayden. We forced 30 turnovers that year as you started to see the formation of the 3rd Ward Defense (David Gibbs, who had also previously been mentored under Wade Phillips with the Texans, ran a similar style defense while with the Coogs).
Sumlin did not take Stewart with him for reasons unknown (one possible reason is that Sumlin had sort of been forced to get rid of his friend John Skladany after the 2009 season and the relationship between he and Stewart was never presumed to be great because of that. Stewart did apply for the Head Coaching job at UH, but was one of the ones passed over for Tony Levine.
Stewart went to Maryland under 2nd year coach Randy Edsell and immediately helped improved their D even though they went 4-8. The next 2 years, Maryland went 7-6, but the Defense slipped a bit before the end of the 2014 season when Maryland collapsed against Rutgers and Stanford. In the offseason, Edsell and Stewart decided to mutually agree to part ways. Maryland’s defense collapsed the following year, Edsell was fired 6 games into the season, and the Terrapins finished 3-9.
If Stewart does end up here, I’d expect there to be little drop off with our aggressive tendencies on defense, however, I’d expect to see an increase in our DB aggressiveness and production. Honestly, he’d be a great pickup and might actually be an upgrade over Orlando.