Interview with Kenny Tate

TSR's Maddie McConnell caught up with defensive back Kenny Tate after Day 2 of spring football practice at the University of Maryland

On deciding to stick with defense rather than move to offense

It kind of grew on me a lot. I mean, I was thinking about it a lot on our break between last season and now. I feel like it's better for me, I have a better chance of doing what I want to do for the future. I have no problem with it, I'm comfortable with the position.

On what he brings to the defense

We've become one big group and like a family. I played a little joke on everyone today and I had my white "12" on. All the defense was like " You're going back to offense?" They were all mad at me. It was just a joke but they were all mad for a little while. I did play the joke really well. I feel like if we miss one person, we would be hurting.

On if he still wants to play both offense and defense

I really do. I feel like I can be used on both the defensive side of the ball and offense. I'm not saying that I'm an every down type of guy. I'm just saying in those needed times when you need somebody. I feel like I could step in there and help on either side of the ball.

On the new defense introduced by Don Brown

We love the new defense. It lets us sit back and we can make plays. We're blitzing and doing a lot of different things. Our old defense we did that, but now it's just like a refueling. Everybody really likes it. I really like it.

On whether this new defense will make them among the best in the ACC

Yeah. I think it's a different look. And the way we playing right now, even though we're still learning, we can see the plays that we're going to make in the game, [and] in the future.

On the talk about linebackers being an weak spot on defense

I don't think we're that weak. We have a couple injuries with Wujciak being out but we're young at linebacker. We're still young, everybody is fresh, we're moving real fast.

On how he thinks other ACC offensive lines will react to the new Maryland defense

Most of the northern teams have [seen this defense] but I don' think any of the real ACC have seen a defense like this. It is different, I've watched NFL teams and tried to figure out what kind of defense they're doing but now I understand since it is a pro defense. It's pretty simple but at the same time it's very hard to stop too.

On playing under Don Brown

Coming in, we didn't really know what to expect but he's a real cool guy. He teaches really up tempo which is what I'm used to. He's really hands on so he's going to show you instead of sitting there and talking. He sees the whole defense, he's not just particular on one particular position. Even though he coaches the corners he sees everything at all times. So he's going to coach you up wherever you are.

On what he hopes to get out of spring football

Just learning and being prepared for next season. I think we're going to get better as time goes.

TSR thanks Kenny Tate for taking the time to speak to us and we look forward to talking to him in the future.

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