Pre-HG Coach's Check-Up 3: Joe Tresey

In our final coach's check-up, defensive coordinator Joe Tresey gives us an insight into what will be happening defensively during pre-season camp in order to ensure this coming season's defense is just as - if not more - dominate than last season's was at taking the ball right out from under opposing offense's noses.

Entering his third season as a member of head coach Brian Kelly's staff, defensive coordinator Joe Tresey is always looking to better his team's defense and improve on the previous season.

Boy does he have his work cut out for him this season, then.

Tresey's Bearcats defense of 2007 shared the national lead with 42 takeaways, and held the national lead outright with 26 interceptions. The loss of Haruki Nakumura will be felt, but the addition of guys like Brandon Underwood, Drew Frey, and others should be able to make up for the talent and power lost in Nakumura.

Camp will be sure to be a busy time for Tresey, but by the sound of things, the time before camp doesn't look to be any walk in the park.

"We work on getting ready as far as scripting for our camp, doing scripts for camp, finishing up scripts, and just fine tuning the play book, making sure everything's organized and ready to go so when the kids report for camp we're ready to go without any glitches," said Tresey about the task that fell prior to the Bearcats heading to Camp Higher Ground this weekend.

The coach knows big things are expected of his defense this season, but time at camp will still be spent on perfecting one thing- fundamentals.

"Just the same thing you always focus on, learning fundamentals, playing good fundamental defense, which is tackling, meeting and defeating blocks, re-routing, etc.," says Tresey on what he'll have his defense focusing on. "Then obviously, getting our kids to know the schemes so they can play very fast, so they don't have to think, they can react and play fast. Nothing different, same old stuff."

Does that "same old stuff" for the coach include his defense being as dominant at taking the ball away as they were last season?

"That's our plan," said Tresey without missing a beat. "We feel that if we were number one in the country last year there's no reason we can't be number one in the country this year. We have that same focus."

While experienced, Tresey's defense does have some first-year talent likely to see the field this season. Bearcat fans may be excited to see Underwood hit the field this year in particular, but Tresey's looking forward to more than just Underwood.

"We look forward really to seeing all our first year guys because you really don't know who you have, you don't know what they can do until you get them on a daily basis, especially once you start to put the pads on," said Tresey. "We're excited about the incoming class and we're excited to evaluate, and hopefully feel good about who we signed."

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