Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart spoke to the media on Wednesday, as the Terps prepare for their first game of the season against Florida International on Saturday.
Stewart talks about what he expects from FIU, how the defense is shaping up, and more in the video below.
Quotes: Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart
On FIU's offense:
"The west coast offense is the quick passing game. They want to get four to five yards every time on first down so you're on schedule… second and five, third and short, that's what we see… some two-back stuff. That's what we hear. We haven't seen them or any of those things so we just got to go with what [head coach] Ron Turner has done in the past."
On the difficulty of preparing for a team with a new offense coordinator:
"You kind of go by on what he's done in the past. That's what we've been doing. So we looked at some stuff that he did when he was with Tampa Bay [Buccaneers] last year as well as what the [Indianapolis] Colts did. Then we look at when he was the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears and then [University of ] Illinois. Kind of put that stuff together, and come up with the best stuff you see a lot of."
On the rotation along the defensive line:
"You start three, so you like to be able to rotate at least two other guys. We just have to see. This week has been a big week for us just to practice the rotation, and practice the game plan, so game day will be exciting for us too to answer that question."
On if any players have been surprises:
"I think everybody has really lived up to their potential and has played fast and played hard. That being said no surprises, guys have done what we pretty much expected and asked them to do."
On Matt Robinson's position switch to linebacker:
"I think he's comfortable, you know he's a smart player. We haven't played a game yet, in practice he's been playing well, but I'd like to see him live. He's tough; he's more physical than you'd like to think. He loves the game of football and he's smart."
On this year's front seven compared to last season:
"I really couldn't answer that. I know last year we had A.J. [Francis] who played big, then we had Joe Vellano who was an All-American, and then we had the linebackers who all had experience. So this year, it'll be a little different. We do have two inside guys, with Cole [Farrand] and L.A. [Goree] that have experience, but as far as the edges and everyone else it will be a wait and see. I'm excited about it, but it will be a wait and see."
On continuity within the defensive system:
"I think it helps us one, because were in the same scheme so they understand how we want to play the blocks what we want to do and from another standpoint that there's no surprises. We've got a pretty good idea of how guys are going to handle game stuff."
On importance of communication between position coaches:
"I think that's where we made the biggest improvement. I think what happens when you first implement a new system if it's not something your familiar with you still try to keep bits and pieces of things that you've done. I think of what they've done a great job of is saying ‘Hey, let's go and get into the system, buy into the system, buy into the system so that we can coach fast and adjust staff and now be able to talk about the system and how we can improve the system by doing what we do and not what they've done in the past.'"
On defensive backs facing wide receiver Stefon Diggs in practice:
"It's good and bad. He could hurt your ego. Diggs keeps the competitive edge going. He's an extreme competitor. The other thing is he knows when to use that change in speed. I think that he does a great job of using change in speed, not just changing speed running down the field but coming across, slowing down, speeding up, knowing when to accelerate and use his breaks."
On position battles throughout preseason camp:
"The starters have been set. The battles were strong and true, but the starters have been set. The guys who now are backups, Alex [Walker] as well as [A.J.] Hendy, they understand. They were disappointed, but they do a great job of how they've handled it, still pushing and playing hard and playing fast."
On the freshmen linebackers:
"They're doing a good job. Just four months ago they were going to the prom. They're doing a good job learning exactly what we're doing, how were doing it. It's just going to be time. I think that the more they learn and the faster they learn, the closer they'll get to more playing time. I believe they will play this season just because of their athleticism."
On defensive back Jeremiah Johnson:
"We start to get into playing spread teams. We got Old Dominion next week, we have West Virginia. So you start playing those spread teams, it's good to have a fourth corner that you can put on. So now you can play man all the way across the board, two safeties, and he gives us the ability to do that. J.J. (Jeremiah Johnson) eats, breathes football. Everything is serious to him from school to football. Everything is important to him. I wouldn't be surprised if I turned around and he was in the defensive back room looking at some film."
VIDEO: Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart
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