While his grasp of the defense helps ensure proper schemes, Durant is still a player that continues to improve. With the Cardinals prepping for a more attacking scheme, Durant will need to improve with the more aggressive play-calling.
"George started half the season last year," said linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary. "He's very intelligent, very multiple. He helps us out in a lot of ways. I would just like to see him finish some more plays, as far as a blitzer and a tackling in space."
Durant's best outing last season came against rival Cincinnati, when he totaled 9 tackles in Louisville's 34-31 overtime victory. He also notched 8 stops in the Cardinals 21-17 victory at Southern Miss.
A product of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Boca Ciega, Durant was expected to move from the outside to the middle this fall, serving as the primary reserve for Preston Brown. That was until Keith Brown was sidelined with an injury, forcing Durant back to the outside.
His experience at the position, coupled with his understanding of the Cardinal defense has eased his position coach's concerns over the temporary loss of Keith Brown.
"George has always been our swing guy," Jean-Mary said this week. "He's probably the smartest guy on our defense outside of our safeties. He's a guy that you can go plug in at probably four or five different positions and we wouldn't miss a beat. That's one of the things that separates him from the other backers is his intelligence and awareness."
"We haven't missed a beat with him moving back outside," he continued. "He's one of those guys that we always feel comfortable that we'll be in the correct defense with him out on the field."