Adam Roberts will be one of the veteran defensive players on a very young and inexperienced unit in 2005, but despite being a three year letter winner, he's a novice at his position too. Adam has moved from defensive tackle to defensive end this spring. He explained some of the differences. "It's different with my footwork, blocking schemes, and pass sets, but the toughness is pretty much the same. I want to bring that same toughness from playing inside to the defensive end position."
Coach Dantonio has said the Bearcats are looking for playmakers this spring. Adam feels moving to defensive end gives him a better chance to be one of those play makers. "It gives me a chance to put my hair back and go. There isn't as much reading. Just get to the right spot and make plays."
Brooklyn, New York is Adam's home so he was especially excited about the Bearcats move to the Big East. "I'm loving it, man. We have games at Syracuse and Rutgers next year, and I've got a lot of family coming. These are people I haven't seen for a long time, and I want them to see me play and see what Bearcat football is all about."
Since the first scrimmage was Friday, Bearcat Insider wanted Adam's opinions about the performance of his defense. "A lot of young guys stepped up. Tony Carvitti (DE) really stepped up today. Nick DeFillippo (LB) stepped up pretty good, and Scott Chillinsky (DB) stepped up."
Although the defense looked very good at times, Adam knows it must also improve. "We have to know our assignments and perform them fast. Right now we have a lot of young guys, and we're still learning. Once we get our assignments down, we'll be a great defense."
Adam feels one of the real strengths of Bearcat football is the leadership. "We have great leadership. It starts with Coach Dantonio and our staff and goes up to Bob Goin. I've never been around guys like these before. They really make us want to work out here."
Like many of the upperclassmen, Adam has had to adjust to a different coaching staff, but he considered it business as usual. "I've played for a lot of coaches. I played four years in high school and had numerous coaches. I've had numerous defensive line coaches here and at prep school. My job is the same for all of them. I need to work hard for my coaches and show them what I'm about."
Adam's personal goals this season are tied to the past. "I'm going to be a part of a long line of good defensive ends at Cincinnati. I'm talking about guys like Antwan Peek, Trent Cole and Andre Frazier. My goal is to show them everything that I've learned and do them right."
There is no debating the youth and inexperience of this defense, but it will also have character and leadership on the field in the person of Adam Roberts.