Coach Fitzpatrick Talks Defense

"We are going to more of a four man front concept, and we will be attacking." - DL Coach Tony Fitzpatrick

JS - The class we just signed this year indicates that we might be going to a new defensive alignment. Will we go to a 4-2-5 this coming season?
TF - The guys that we just signed will help us in many ways! We are going to more of a four man front concept, and we will be attacking.

JS - Our fans would like to know if we will concentrate this spring on getting more pressure on the passer?
TF - The way we were playing, was more of read and react technique. Which slows down your pass rush. The way we are playing now, will be more of a vertical game. Intern helps with pass rush.

JS - What does our defensive depth chart look like going into spring training?
TF - With some injuries we are having to move some kids around!

End – Hunt, West, Agho/Roulette
Nose – Pree*, Stewart, Thompson
Tackle – Ash, Hartford, Alake/Barbandi

*Pree will not work this spring as he is recovering from shoulder surgery. He should move to number one Nose this fall.

JS - Our line is making great progress and this coming fall, a lot of our fans feel like we will have the best defensive front since 1989. How would you compare this front four with the '89 bunch?
TF - I'll have wait and see, we had three guys that played in the NFL on that line. Craig Veasey-Bengals, Glenn Montgomery-Oilers, Alfred Oglesby-Dolphins/Jets.

JS - How are your young DL's who red shirted in 2006 coming along? Please give us a brief on Thompson, West, Alake, Lindsay, and Roulette.
TF - Thompson, West, Alake, Roulette, are all ready to make a push. Jared Lindsay moved to O-Line.

JS - We just signed a new class of defensive linemen. Could you please comment on these new additions?
TF - Damarcus Lattier can be a really good active inside player. Michael Ray has a lot of tools to be a dominate outside player.

Images courtesy of Stephen Pinchback

JS - Who among the newcomers do you project as difference makers in the near future?
TF - We have signed some good kids, but on something like that it's more of wait and see situation.

JS - Jerry Gaffney wants to know if you will be working on the rip and swim techniques this spring?
TF - We will be working on the club/jerk and rip, also the club/jerk and swim. It's good to see Jerry is testing me to see what I'm teaching.

JS - Are there any similarities in Art's approach to coaching when compared to Jack Pardee?
TF - Yes, They are both great communicators to young people and their coaches. I loved playing and working for Jack Padree. There is just something special, about working for coach Art Briles.

JS - There has been speculation that a feature game to be played in Reliant Stadium could be announced any time. Do you have any information to share with about this?
TF - I have no idea! I just keep my head down, working hard and let the Ado's handle that stuff.

JS - We have made big inroads in Mississippi in recruiting the last couple of years. What is the connection and will we be able to continue getting top shelf athletes from the deep south?
TF - With the additions of Coaches Chris Thurmond and George Pugh, they have all kinds of ties in Miss., AlTF -, Geor. We go next door to Yates HS and 60 schools are looking at the same kids. We go to some high schools or JC's in Miss., AlTF -, Goer., only couple schools have been by.

JS - What would you like to tell CoogFans today?
TF - The Coogs are fired up to have a great spring, and fall season. We need to see how quick we can finish the weight room for Coaches Jackson and Dennis. They have done a wonderful job with the kids. They deserve the weight room to be finished....

Thank you and Go Coogs,
Tony Fitzpatrick
Defensive Line Coach and
Special Teams Coordinator
University of Houston
Conference USA Champions '07

Coach, you guys keep up the good work and continue to grow the program. It is great to see you on the sidelines again. Good luck in 2007.


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