Chris Thompson interview
DD – Chris, are you excited about this being gameweek?
CT – Yes sir, we have been waiting to get back at it since those last two games of last season. We have been working really hard all through the spring, summer and fall getting ready for this game and this season.
DD – Is it more fun preparing for an actual opponent?
CT – Yes. With gameweek on the line, we are more focused and will do more as a team collectively. You really want that as the excitement builds.
DD – How is the OL coming as a unit overall?
CT – The OL, which we call the ‘Brick Squad', has come a long way. With Coach Anderson, Coach Hays and Coach Jackson, we have gotten a lot stronger and more physical in our style of play.
DD – How much are we going to miss Carl Barnett with all the experience he had at center?
CT – Carl is a real good guy, a real good player and had a great career here, but you are always going to have graduating seniors. We will miss him a lot, but at the same timewe will be ready come game time.
DD – How is Jordan Shoemaker doing as his replacement?
CT – Shoemaker is doing a great job and has put on some size, he will do well for us this season.
DD – As I remember, Shoemaker gives us a little more size at center, right?
CT – Yes, he is larger than Carl.
JS – What is the defense like compared to a year ago?
CT – The defense, in my opinion, after having worked with them all spring, summer and fallis that they are more fundamentally sound and confident. These guys don't make a lot of mistakes, they have improved a great deal under this staff.
JS - Has the defense using an LB on the Line caused the OL problems?
CT - During practices we work separately, we don't script against them, we just run our plays and they run theirs.
DD – What are you seeing from them in the scrimmages?
CT – A lot of guys running around who seem to know their assignments.
DD – Has the defense pulled any surprises?
CT – Not too much. they are just playing from experience and with great confidence.
DD – With Roy Watts moving from left tackle to right tackle, are we in good shape protecting Case?
CT – Yes, we have the line-up that we want. Ashworth has been doing agreat job, he is fundamentally sound.
DD – So he is back at full speed from last season's injury?
CT – He really is doing well. He and Watts have similar mobility, Roy is bigger, but Jacolby is more athletic. They are both really good at what they do, trust me. Also, this is the first time since I've been here that we have real depth in the OL. It just real life that players are going to get banged up during the season.
DD – Thanks, Chris we are really looking forward to the season. Any word for the CoogFans?
CT - Just come out to the games and have some fun. It is going to be a great season.