Part One: One-on-One Steve Clinkscale

Getting the chance to return to his home state and to work with Tommy Tuberville were big draws for new Cincinnati Bearcats defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale. Bearcat Insider sat down with Clinkscale to discuss the upcoming season, his philosophy as a coach and more.

Having spent the majority of his coaching career in his home state of Ohio, new Cincinnati defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale wasted little time accepting a chance to work with Tommy Tuberville when he was building his coaching staff.

This fall the Youngstown, Ohio native will look to have several key pieces in place by the time the Bearcats take the field against Purdue to open up the season.

"As for how our depth chart goes, we're going to pick up where we left off in the spring," said Clinkscale. "After the spring we evaluated all the players and watched all the cut-ups and figured out all the strength and weaknesses of our guys.

"We feel pretty solid with the group that we ended up with running with at the ones and twos and have a couple of newcomers I think will come in and fill in and do a great job for us.

"We'll start off at the corner spot with the guy with the veteran experience, Deven Drane. He's kind of the guy I'm looking to for leadership there.

"At the safety spot I'm looking at Arryn Chenault. If you go back and watch game film from last year, those are the two that played.

"Adrian Witty and Kevin Brown played last year and had their roles. So I'm looking at those two guys to step up to the challenge this year and play a more significant role. And as I said, we also have a couple of newcomers who I feel will play big roles."

While each coach has their own way of coaching, Clinkscale believes a coach should start off the field before talking Xs and Os.

"Working with players is really all about teaching," explained Clinkscale. "I think as a coach you need to coach them more than just football. You need to coach them life skills. Stuff like how to set up a bank account, how to do a resume, how to talk to adults and how to network. I also feel you need to teach them how to come into the office with your hat off and those kinds of discipline things.

"So you kind of reinforce what they've been taught at home and build upon that so they leave here as a better person."

As for on the field, the veteran coach looks to keep things simple to get the most out of his players.

"On the field it's more a teaching thing," he said. "My philosophy as a teacher is that I'm going to teach you and positively reinforce that. If you continue to make the same mistake over and over, I'm going to have to reinforce it by putting another person in and giving them the opportunity to do what I'm asking you to do.

"But I like to teach them everything. For me it's fundamentals first by getting the guys in the perfect stance which in my opinion, is very under taught today as players get out there and kind of do their own thing at times.

"If you watch a team and watch their stance, their start and how low their pad level and where their eyes are before the ball is snapped, it is going to tell you a lot about a team and a lot about their coaching. When you watch the great programs you see that.

"I'm also a coach that likes to keep it simple. I don't want them thinking. When I played, we only had four or five coverage's and that was it. There wasn't a lot of thinking and we were able to pin our ears back and go make plays on the ball.

"I also want them to be physical and then to go locate the ball and make great plays. To do all of that, you've got to teach them.

"We talk about smart players and football is just like anything else, you have to condition them mentally and physically to have them do it over and over and over. So just repetitive teaching is kind of my philosophy."

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