CUTigersTV: 1-on-1 with Kevin Steele

CLEMSON - CUTigers sits down with Clemson's new defensive coordinator/linebackers coach.

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CUTigersTV: Kevin Steele

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ON THE SURPRISE OF COMING TO CLEMSON: "John [Chavis] and I were talking everyday at that point in time because of our friendship. I didn't factor in that this would happen and then John told me that things changed and I thought about it a little bit. Next thing I know, Coach Swinney and I were talking and here we are."

ON WHAT HE'S SEEN SO FAR: "I have been through all the tapes [of the 2008 season]. Watched all the games and made some notes on personnel and scheme wise. They've been very good defensively - Vic and Ron, David and Chris. These players have played great- it's not a matter of this thing is all broke and in the ditch. But like always in football, you're either getting better or either getting worse, you aren't staying in the same. But in this profession, everybody knows there is always room for improvement.

ON EACH POSITION: Very talented group of young men. Up front there's a lot of athleticism and speed. The linebacker group is a little younger but very talented and in the secondary- the corners are back which is a huge key in terms of a scheme. We'll have to move some things around maybe and look for somebody to step up at safety.

ON RICKY SAPP: At think he's at home where he needs to be at the bandit position. We call it the JACK position where we come from. It's a hybrid- half linebacker and half defensive end. The package we are going down now, which is what we'd like to do, is that he may drop a little more anyway from that position and stand up some from that position. But on third down, Ricky Sapp needs to have his hand on the ground rushing the passer, or moving around somewhere.

ON BRANDON MAYE: I know a lot about him because he's from the state of Alabama and we recruited him. He's a speed 'backer and plays very good in space but has the tenacity and the toughness to play inside against on the run. That's a little different for somebody that is starting out as light as he is and I know he's trying to gain some weight.

ON THE 4-3 SCHEME: It's not really true (that he hasn't run the 4-3 scheme). If you take half the football game, or in many instances 60 percent of the football game, even the 3-4 teams on third down people are normally in a four man front rushing the passer with four rushers and then you add an extra rusher, or two, when need be. So you are talking about first and second down - how do you stop the run when you start talking about 3-4 or a 4-3. We will build into the package from a 4-3 personnel alignment some 3-4 stuff, as opposed to doing just the opposite where we were 3-4 where I came from, personnel, but we played 4-3 with the same personnel. It's just a matter of what do you call the guy and how you move him.

ON RECRUITING: Well recruiting is fun. It's a lot of fun and very enjoyable. Recruiting is in my opinion, easy. It's not a hard job. It takes a lot of time and takes a lot of effort but it's not hard. It's pretty easy to do. You just go find the ones who are going to help you be successful and compete championships and then you show them what you have to offer and how you can make them champions on and off the field. And that's easy to do at Clemson. Top Stories