Anthony Egbuniwe has spent the spring practice sessions and the summer workouts at Georgia Tech adjusting to the new 3-4 defense. "I've adjusted pretty well so far and camp will be the test to see how things are going to go." Anthony feels that camp will be a crash course for everyone to get ready for the upcoming season. "We had a great summer workout as a team, we worked very hard, and we're ready to get the pads on and get to work."
The change in defense may have also affected the way Anthony and some of his teammates have done their summer workouts and changed their bodies. "I've been working on my conditioning level trying to work to a point where I can stay in the game and play a full game without any problems"
The move to outside linebacker from defensive end has been a natural one for Egbuniwe. "Really they're not that different." Coach Groh asks three things from his linebackers. He's looking for them to rush the passer, defeat the tight ends, and move in space. "The thing we always had to do as a defensive end at Georgia Tech is to rush the passer, defeat the tight ends, and move in space so there's not a lot that is going to be different."
One of the tests that Anthony is looking forward to is his coverage ability. "I think my coverage is going to be good." His ability to cover will be dependent on his fellow linebackers and secondary players. "It's a unit thing with everybody working together and everybody communicating together and it will be important that we all keep communicating together to help out with our coverage." Some of the players feel that the ability to communicate may be the difference in this year's defense from last year's. "This year if we don't talk, we don't play."
The 3-4 defense will be the third type of defense for Egbuniwe in his career. "By far this is my favorite one." Anthony and the players are buying into Coach Groh's system. "I'm ready to learn everything he has for me."
One concern with the new defense is the player's ability to play fast in the new system. "It will all depend on the knowledge we take in on what Coach Groh has to teach us." The key will be the faster that the players learn the defense the faster they'll play. "With Coach Groh, I feel we're going to play fast because he doesn't accept anything but that."
Working out this summer, Egbuniwe had a chance to take a look at some players that he feels can make an impact this season. "I feel Isaiah (Johnson) will have a great impact on the defense this year, said Egbuniwe. "He's talented and a very hard worker." Another player that caught his attention was Cooper Taylor. "He's worked very hard this summer and has put on about twenty pounds and is hungry to play."
Coach Paul Johnson has been looking for leader since he's arrived at Georgia Tech. This year's defense may be what he's looking for. "We have a lot of seniors on defense so everybody talks," said Egbuniwe. "Everybody has been through it so they all step up and talk."
Anthony is looking forward to learning under his position coach who also happens to be the defensive coordinator. "I'll be learning what everyone is supposed to be doing and that is one thing that I really enjoy about it." Anthony and his defensive teammates will be learning each others jobs and he hopes that will help all of them to play better as a unit this season.