March 31, 2012

Spring leftovers: Quotes from all over

LINEBACKER TRENT MACKEY

"Coach came it with high expectations and they are still up there. We are not even close yet. We have young guys like No. 7 (Jordan Batiste), he made some good plays out here and he should still be in high school right now. That being said, we have a good scheme and I can't wait to see the younger guys come in and play ball."

On defensive scheme:

"It's a lot simpler than what we had before. One assignment. If I'm in A gap, that's my gap. That's what we're playing. I made a few tackles in the backfield. Michael Pierce made a few tackles in the backfield, and that's from playing his gap. He's not two-gapping. When the ball's snapped, he's going to his gap. The coaches are coaching us real well, and it's very simple."

On why he thinks the defensive line will be better:

"I always appreciate my defensive linemen. They worked a lot on their speed this year and they are a lot faster off the ball. The guys last year, they were good off the ball, but these guys knew they had to improve on their first two steps coming off the ball, so they worked on it early in the spring. They are doing a good job."

On importance of simplifying the defense:

"The defense was more complex last year. This defense, I guess you could call it dummy proof. You can't make a mistake in this defense. Last year we did a little more thinking than this year. But execution is the key. We execute better playing this way with the guys we have, so this defense may work for us. That other defense that we ran last year might work for another team, but this defense that we have now works better for us."

On his huge hit on Orleans Darkwa in the backfield during the spring game:

"I'm playing downhill. I'm playing a lot faster downhill on my first step coming out of my stance. My eyes are right. It might have been a blown assignment. I can't put it all on me. I can't put it all on whoever. The defensive lineman might have cleared it out. The offensive lineman might have blown his read. That's what it is, a game of inches. You make a mistake, and there it is."

On direction of team:

"We are definitely uphill. Definitely uphill, up a mountain, the tallest mountain in the United States, probably in the world. We are going uphill, and I don't think we're coming down to a plateau. We're not evening out anytime soon."

COACH CURTIS JOHNSON

On the progress the team made in the spring:



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