Tony Fitzpatrick in the trenches

"...we can be pretty good. We have a lot of speed and we are strong, thanks to Coach Larry Jackson and his staff. " - UH Coach Tony Fitzpatrick

JS - Coach, we recently signed a couple of Juco's on the defensive side. Will either of these players be eligible this fall?
TF - We only signed one D-Lineman and his name is Tramaine Williams. He did not finish his academics yet. He will be here in January.

JS - Are there any surprises on the D line this fall that our fans might not be familiar with at this time?
TF - Both Raymond Alake & Isaiah Thompson have worked so hard in the off season, and both could be in the mix big time!

JS - Coach, we are talking about an attacking defense this season with multiple blitz packages. Give us an idea about what we will see in the Oregon game.
TF - You will see a more active front & linebackers, then the scheme you've seen in the past!

JS - Please give us a brief update on some of the young players in our program, and what we can expect from them in the near future:
Brian West
Raymond Alake
Anthony Roulette
Isaiah Thompson
DeMarcus Lattier
Michael Ray

TF - 1.) Brian West continues to get better and better. 2.) We spoke about Raymond Alake. 3.) Anthony Roulette did not handle his academics, with all kinds of chances. 4.) Isaiah Thompson has lost 60 lbs. and Coach Jackson and his staff, has him stronger, quicker, and more agile. 5.) DT -DeMarcus Lattier and DE - Michael Ray the two freshman are gonna be really good. Right now they are learning their calls, alignments, and to and from there way to the training table!!!

JS - Coach, we are in a 3-4 that we changed two seasons ago from a 4-3. Explain to us the differences between the two and then compare them to the new 4-2 we will be in this fall. Also, the down linemen alignments and gap responsibilities.
TF - The 3-4 is a more Lb'er oriented defense and the 4-2-5 is more DL & 5th DB hybrid defense.

JS - Is the 4-2-5 a defense for the future considering the popularity of the passing game or it is a temporary fix for a few years depending on talent available?
TF - The 4-2-5 defense has four bigmen up front, that can play the run & rush the passer. Plus, you have a fifth DB that can either play the run or cover a receiver or back!

JS - What areas do you recruit and what are the strong selling points you use to convince recruits to UH?
TF - A small area of Sugar Land, Austin, Killeen, Copperas Cove, Waco, Ft. Worth, West Coast of Florida.

JS - Looking across the ball, do you feel like we have made significant improvements in the OL since you came back to coach the DL?
TF - The talent has sure gotten better, but Co-Offensive Coordinator Randy Clements is one of the best OL coaches I've coached with or against!!!

JS - Is our depth on the DL strong enough to give the starters adequate rest during the game to be fresh in the final quarter this season?
TF - Yes, we have finally have some depth that we can rotate without minimal drop off in play.

JS - What is your take on what happened in the 2nd half of the Louisiana Lafayette game last season?
TF - We as a team didn't take care of business. We have worked hard as a team to grow from that loss, we never ever want to feel like that again.

JS - Who is the toughest opponent you see on the schedule for our defense?
TF - I know this is gonna sound like a cliché, but in this business every game is a tough opppnent.

JS - How good do you think the defense will be this fall, and then how good compared to the 1989 defense?
TF - If we play together, and stay away from many injuries we can be pretty good. We have a lot of speed and we are strong, thanks to Coach Larry Jackson and his staff.

JS - Thanks Coach, we've seen a huge improvement in the defensive line since your return. Keep up the good work.
TF - I hope they rise to new heights.

Thank you,
Coach Fitz
Defensive Line and Special Teams Coordinator


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