Walters working with secondary to improve

Arizona's secondary has struggled in the early season. Read on to see what defensive backs coach Ryan Walters has to say about its performance, what they need to do to improve, and more.

Arizona's secondary has struggled a bit in the first two games of the season and with the coaching staff looking for answers, UA defensive backs coach Ryan Walters understands the issues.

"They are not playing as well as I would like them to play right now," Walters said. "Shaquille (Richardson) is obviously a true sophomore, so the experience factor is showing up a little bit. When he plays physical, when he plays technically sound he is lights out.

"He definitely has a willingness and a want to, so I think his first two games have kind of shook out jitters, so to speak a little bit. He has shown flashes of being a really good player, so I am looking forward to seeing him progress throughout the season."

Richardson has been struggling in the early season and Walters says playing against a player the caliber of Justin Blackmon will only help him.

"You just have to be confident," Walters said. "Any time you are playing against these caliber of players you have to have a short memory. He has seen the best and played against the best, so he can breathe easy now and just focus now on playing fundamentally sound football.

"The biggest thing for me was that he accepted that challenge, he didn't shy away from it, and when he got his chance to be physical he was, so that was encouraging. Like I said, he can rest easier now having played against the best receiver we may see all season. Sometimes you have to go through the fire to become the player you are capable of being."

Walters is waiting for the secondary to understand what it takes to be a successful player and Walters gave a closer look at how the coaching staff knows when a player finally understands.

"The technique and the mental errors kind of go away," Walters said. "They play fast and you saw it last year with Adam Hall, especially towards the end of the season. A light kind of goes on and they are confident in their abilities and the technique and the mental stuff is out the window.

"I am waiting for that to happen with Marquis (Flowers) right now. He is a true sophomore that had not started yet besides these first two games. Physically he is capable, so we just have to get his confidence up too and get him playing faster and more physical."

The season will not get any easier this week, as Arizona will face its second elite quarterback in as many weeks in Andrew Luck.

"Those are two of the top quarterbacks in the country and they have receivers to go along with them and play in good schemes," Walters said of Luck and Brandon Weeden. "It is challenging for sure, but at the same time we have to be confident in what we do and know that we go against the best quarterback and receiver every day in practice too.

"He (Luck) is going to be the best quarterback we will see all year, he is the best quarterback in the country. The way he runs that offense is like a machine. There is hardly any mistakes made, he takes advantage of what defenses give him, and he has got an arm that is out of this world."

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