Doug Rippy had a simple, straightforward, one-word answer when asked recently what the hardest part of making the transition from outside to inside linebacker has been.
"Cabral," he said, referring to long-time linebackers coach Brian Cabral. "He's been hard on me and he kept harping on me to continue to learn and improve every day. So that has been what I've been doing. He said eventually it will pay off.
"So I'm giving him all my trust and believing that everything that he says will go the right way if I continue doing the things he asks me to."
Rippy is eager to earn more playing this fall as a third-year sophomore after playing in five games and 67 snaps defensively last fall.
He came up with six tackles, including a quarterback sack and was one of the top-10 special teams points earners in 2009.
Rippy said he is gradually catching on and understanding his assignments at middle linebacker. He is learning from senior Michael Sipili as well as Cabral.
"It's been a good process this fall from the spring, so I'm definitely learning and I'm going to continue to keep working," Rippy said.
Rippy said he isn't the type to rest on his laurels or be happy with the progress he has made.
He said his footwork and the scheme are his primary focus right now. He said he going through a process. He is being patient but pushing himself at the same time.
"You can never be comfortable where you're at, so I'm going to continue to keep working," he said. "Every day I work toward the goals that I have set for myself. It's going good so far."