Quick Hits with "Big Country"

CUTigers.com caught up with starting right guard Nathan Bennett, also known as "Big Country," after Tuesday's practice to get his thoughts a number of topics, including the current shuffling going on with the offensive line.

Nathan, talk about how preseason practice has gone for you up to this point at right guard.
Bennett: Like always, it's always a learning process. It started out slow and I was trying to get my steps back down and stuff, but I think they are coming along a little bit. For me, I'm just trying to get back into the swing of things with being up with the first team. It's a different pace then being on the second team. I'm hanging in there though...whenever I make a mistake, I just try to correct it and learn and do the best that I can when I'm in there.

Are you concerned at all with all the guys that could move around on the offensive line this year?
Bennett: No, not really. Through the first and second team we've got guys that can fill in at any time. We've got enough depth that if stuff really hit the fan I think we would be able to come together do just fine. It's just like if somebody goes down, somebody else can step in there and do the best that they can and we'll see what happens.

You and Chip Myrick have continued to battle it out over the course of the last year for that starting spot at right guard. Can you talk a little bit about that competition?
Bennett: Me and Chip have a unique situation. Of course, we want to be the one to start at any given time. It basically comes down to whatever the coach wants us to do. I don't ever worry about what Chip is doing and he doesn't ever worry about what I'm doing. We are just pretending like we are the ones going in there at particular time and go at it.

Roman Fry has been one player this year that has moved up and down the offensive line. Is there any chance we could see you playing another position this year?
Bennett: Yeah, I'm a right guard. I could play something else if they really wanted me to but they haven't done that so I think I'm staying at right guard.

When Duane Coleman went down with a broken foot, did that make you guys up front feel like you had to pick up your play that much more through the early stages of the season?
Bennett: Yeah, but you know, we miss Duane back there. We keep working hard regardless. We've got a lot of confidence in the other guys in Yusef, Reggie and Kyle though. We are going to keep blocking the same way for those guys.

There was a big move within the coaching staff this offseason when Coach Scott assumed the responsibilities of the offensive line, and Coach West moved over to defense. Can you talk about how that transition has been for you?
Bennett: Technique. I'm going to miss Coach West (laughing). Coach Scott took a lot of getting used to, we kind of butted heads at the beginning. I had to learn that I had to see things his way because he's the one running the show. He's hard nosed on technique and I think that makes us a better player.

To the average fan, when you talk about "technique," what does that mean? How is Coach Scott different?
Bennett: It's just footwork and steps. I guess fans would notice that you don't want to lean over your toes on pass blocking and just maintaining blocks. He really wants us to finish blocks.

CUTigers.com Top Stories