Cyclone Nation: Let's talk progress of the defensive line. What have you seen in the guys you've got there?
Bolt: We're all learning all the different techniques and whatnot that our defensive linemen have been working with. And of course we've been very pleased with what they've done; they're working hard, they're trying hard, they're trying to learn, and if we keep improving like that I think we'll be fine.
Cyclone Nation: Talk about schematically, is it a little easier to bring around some kids defensively than maybe it is on the offense?
Bolt: You know, I think it all goes hand-in-hand. I think you've got to put in what you think you can do and don't deviate from the plan. We had a plan before spring, day by day by day to do this and this and this, and we're going to try to stay with it and throw a little bit at them every day and hopefully it'll work out. The main thing right now is that the kids are having fun practicing it looks like. That's the big thing. It's exciting to see them work.
Cyclone Nation: What's ‘track the ball'? We heard that term a lot at practice.
Bolt: ‘Track the ball' is . . . a playing tempo. We can be in anything, we can be in shorts or full pads to where we're full speed to the ball and when the whistle blows we throw uppercuts and it may be a long whistle, it may be a short whistle. It just depends on what we feel like, and our kids are learning it, and they've done a great job with it. But it's a tempo that we use during practice and basically it gets them all going to the ball.
Cyclone Nation: Now the uppercuts, what's the significance of that?
Bolt: Just as a reminder of tackling and you always rip your arms and always shoot the arrow. When we talk about ‘shoot the arrow' you know, run through them with your head up and that's the main thing in tackling. And so every play is a reminder of ‘keep your head up' and that's what we want to do, we want to try to take care of the kids and they're doing a good job with it.
Cyclone Nation: Can you really find out a lot about a defense before you start hitting guys?
Bolt: I think so. I think, you know, the kids are learning the schemes. We've put in three different coverages and several different blitzes, and a zone coverage and a man coverage. And then we'll take it to the field on Saturday and then we'll learn a little bit more about them on Saturday, and it won't be perfect but the key is to get better every day. We've learned years ago you never stay the same; you either get better or you get worse, and we try to get a little bit better every day.
Bolt: Josh Raven is going to be limited this spring. Carper is probably out, and Alburtis is iffy either way. So we wish they could be out there, and they're working hard to get back and hopefully we can get them back, but it doesn't look like they're going to be back for a while.
Cyclone Nation: You talk about having a plan each day by day. At the end of that plan, at the end of the 15 practices here and the Spring Game, where do you want the defense to be?
Bolt: I think they've got to understand the scheme, but more than anything, they've got to understand how to go full speed on every play, every down. And it may be a 2-play drive. It may be a 15-play drive, and that is the key. Scheme makes no difference whatsoever if they don't go full speed. Everybody's got good schemes. There's not many bad football coaches in the Big 12. I don't know of one. And there's not many bad football coaches out there right now. It's getting your kids to relate to your scheme, executing your scheme, and doing the things that it takes to win.
Cyclone Nation: If you had to describe your basic scheme or categorize it, how would we . . . 3-4, 4-3?
Bolt: We're a little bit of everything. We're a 4-3 scheme, and we play all the different coverages. But we're going to be simple. What Coach Chizik's been doing for years and what I've been doing for years has been similar, if not the same. So everybody's going to look at that on film and there it is and that's fine and that's what we are.