D'Onofrio talks about the defense

Read on to see what defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio is saying about his unit just a few days before the team's second spring scrimmage.

On the D-Line:
We have some experienced guys on the interior. Chick and Shayon have played a lot of football. The biggest thing is developing the guys behind them.

On Shayon Green:
He's continuing to develop. He's gotten bigger and stronger every year. He practices hard, runs to the ball, passing linebackers and safeties and really gets after guys. That part is inspiring.

On where they need to improve:
Takeaways is the number one indicator of winning games. Turnovers cure a lot of things. After that, it's redzone defense and third down defense. Those three things are the things that are good indicators of winning. Having a plus margin over the other team is going to be important.

On getting takeaways:
It's not where we need to be. We've improved but not where we should be. You try to get two a game and always be in the plus.

On Friday's scrimmage:
I expect conditioning to pick up, the tackling to improve. You don't wanna be surprised by the tempo. Were still installing. We're not scaling back. There's going to be some mental errors.

On the 2013 defense:
Yes. It's a more mature group we're working with now. They understand the epectations. We're getting guys back as well. We lost some guys who were good in certain situations. To be the best defense we need to be in the fall, we still have areas to improve in.

On guys who have stood out:
Antonio Crawford is a guy we got onto the field last year. He's playing a starting position. He's done a nice job. Shayon Green has continued improving. Chick's been solid. Jimmy Gaines continues to run the show with his experience. Alex Figueroa has been tough, rolled his ankle a little the other day but was back out there (Tuesday). Off the top of my head, those are a few guys who have stood out.

On Raphael Kirby:
He's done well. Kirby's first game was against Notre Dame. That was his first college football game. I'm glad we did play him. He got those snaps down the stretch.

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