Shula acknowledged that it is bad to lose a defensive back when preparing for a team like Texas Tech which has a diversified offense. In last year's bowl game, the Red Raiders threw 60 passes. "The other guys have to step up and play," Shula said. He said that would include a player like Eric Gray getting more repetitions.
Gray, a sophomore cornerback, had been counted on for much playing time in 2005, but suffered an injury midway through the season. Shula said Gray (5-11, 188) has been healthy for several weeks and "is going pretty good."
Jeffrey Dukes, a 6-2, 205-pound junior strong safety, is also projected for more work, particularly as a nickel back. Castille had been used much of the year as the nickel. In 2004, Dukes and Castille split time at nickel.
Shula also noted that Lionel Mitchell, a freshman cornerback who missed the last half of the season with severe headaches, is back working out, but said he would not play in the Cotton Bowl.