"I'm pretty pleased with them. I think for a group of pretty much all new starters, expect for Vontaze, who played as a freshman last year, I think they're picking things up really well and their energy and their aggressiveness is something that hasn't been seen around here in awhile."
DD: As a first year linebackers coach at ASU, you are probably more excited than the players themselves to start the season…
"Probably the same, I'm pretty excited and I know they're real excited. It should be fun and we've had a good camp and I think we work well together so it should be good."
DD: What were some of the goals you wanted the group to achieve in camp and have they done that?
"The big goal was just to be more disciplined in our assignments. We lost Goethel and Nixon who we real sound, solid football players and we replaced them, we're more athletic but we need to gain what they have as far as mentally and assignment wise."
DD: The defense has practiced some 3-4 alignments in camp. How well do you feel the group has done in this scheme?
"We're going to use it quite a bit especially in third-down situations and maybe for some run situations if we need to but anytime we can put more linebackers, especially putting (Gerald) Munns on the field with Vontaze (Burfict), will be an asset to us."
DD: What challenges has the new offense presented to the defense, specifically the linebackers?
"It's been great for us because it challenges us with all the motions and the stuff they do out of that which is something we don't usually see until about half-way through the season. So right now, we're further ahead defensively than we've ever been just because of the offense."
DD: You must feel very blessed to have a fifth year senior like Gerald Munns who leads by example as well as being a vocal leader…
"Munns has grown so much from when I got here in 2008 as a graduate assistant, athletically and mentally he's turned into quite a good football player."
DD: It's been an up and down camp for Vontaze Burfict but he seems to have come on strong as of lately. What are some of the improvements you've seen him make in recent weeks?
"He's not letting all of the outside stuff bother him which is something that was going on early in fall camp and he has been more focused in the last week or so. Once we get into game week, I'm not worried about him at all."
DD: Shelly Lyons seems to be more athletic than last year. Has that been the biggest difference in his play or are there some other factors that go into it?
"He is night and day from last year. Last year in fall camp he struggled a lot, this year he has been real solid and I'm excited to see him play."
DD: What, in your mind, are the keys for a good season by your group?
"Assignment sound. We're faster than we've ever been, stronger, physical, if we can just execute like we have in the past, we'll be one of the best in the country."