ACC Media Kickoff: Derrick Morgan

Defensive end Derrick Morgan had a strong season in his first year as a starter in 2008. With the loss of Michael Johnson, Vance Walker and Darryl Richard to the pros, Derrick will be asked to take over the leadership role on the defensive line. He gives us a few answers from the ACC Media Kickoff.

Derrick Morgan - Profile

With the triple option offense you guys also get your chance to contribute a lot.

"Once you get a system like the triple option, we're destined to get our chances to contribute. We played our role as a defense. We just try to go out there and do our job as a defense. The first seven games, we came out there and put on some good performances. The last part of the season, I'm not going to say we fell apart, but we relaxed in certain categories. We're just trying to concentrate on getting better and not being a first half defense but a full four quarter defense."

There have been significant loses on the line. How do you compensate for that?

"Looking everywhere else on our defense, we have a lot of guys returning. We have guys that aren't going to be seeing the field for the first time. We have guys with experience that can step up. We have guys like Robert Hall and Ben Anderson that can step up and do their part."

You've had a chance to play beside Robert Hall and Ben Anderson, and the other defensive linemen this spring. What kind of progress did they make?

"They made a lot of progress. They realize that they have to step up and fill some of the holes that were left by the three seniors. They're taking that responsibility and they're doing a good job. They're trying to better themselves and better the team."

How important is it to have Sedric Griffin and Brad Jefferson back healthy now?

"It's real important. They're the guys that are always going to be around the ball. To have them back and healthy gives us an advantage."

After going through the summer workouts, do you see any of the new players being able to get into the two deep on the depth chart?

"We really don't workout with the freshmen that often. I really couldn't give you an answer right now as far as that goes."

How is T.J. Barnes progressing?

"T.J. is doing good. He's had a good offseason. He still is getting better in some categories. I think he'll help us out this season."

Do you think there will be more of a rotation at tackle this year than there was last season?

"I think there will be more of a rotation at tackle this season." Top Stories