FOOTBALL: Q and A with Big Joe Cohen

Joe Cohen is starting to make his mark on Florida's defensive line where he splits time between tackle and end. His interception against LSU last Saturday is an indication of things to come.

Mark McLeod: You are a world away from where you were last year at this time. Is that fair to say?

Joe Cohen: "Yeah, big time. I look back at film last year and most of the time I'm disgusted when I watch myself play. I had no technique whatsoever. I just don't see how they let me play like that. But, it's alright. It's a new year now and I've got a lot more technique."

This defensive line has grown up through the first half of the season. What has been difference?

"The big part is our techniques and then finishing running to the ball. That's the main part. We're getting to the ball. That has improved a lot since last year."

Is that improvement the biggest difference in your mind since last year?

"A lot has improved since last year. We've matured since last year."


Joe Cohen sacks LSU's JaMarcus Russell

Personally speaking, maturity and technique- playing on this side of the ball- have helped to make you more comfortable and assertive. Would you say that is true?

"I believe that is true for me personally, and for the whole D line. We're all more mature now. We've grown up. I also have a lot more technique than last year. It's been a big factor for me this year too."

You've talked a lot about technique. What do you attribute the new technique too?

"A big part of it is the fact that I really wanted to learn it. I wanted to improve. I'm not really fighting the fact that I'm not playing running back like high school days. I got a lot from the coaches and the players too. The coaches really helped me with some of the things that I needed to work on. Ray McDonald gave me the inside scoop on a lot of stuff. Steven Harris, when I moved inside, gave me the inside scoop on a lot of things. They were coached by a good coach, and them helping me out at the same time has really helped get me this far this year."

Do you, as a former offensive guy, ever look out there and see things that grab your attention with the offense struggling?

"No. (laughs) I pretty much forgot about running back. As you probably notice when I caught the ball (laughs) I couldn't move nowhere. My running back days are over. I'm through with that."

Have you gotten a lot of grief about that?

"Oh yeah. They said, "Man, you don't run nothing like you did in high school." That's all that I heard all week. They were just joking around. But, I knew that I couldn't do it anymore, not after gaining twenty or thirty pounds."


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