Q&A with Coach D'Onofrio

Read on to see everything Mark D'Onofrio is saying about his defensive unit following the scrimmage from the weekend.

On the scrimmage:
We were able to go live and to see how guys play the game compared to being out here with them. We saw them live. Black jerseys indicate that when the lights came on those guys came to play.

On guys getting black jerseys:
Jermaine made a lot of plays and didn't have any mental errors. He's doing a good job. He's up 8 pounds. Dallas did what I knew he could do. He's a physical guy, a guy you want to throw out there. What he's done in a 10 day period is very impressive. He's reading run/pass. Earl has been steady over the last 3-4 practices. The light went on. He's doing a nice job in there. He's pushing the pocket and Earl has been consistent. Artie has rebounded well after getting out here late. He's bounced back and is having a very good spring. Denzel and Kirby had black on too.

On Raphael Kirby:
He played both in the scrimmage. Hats off to him. He's getting a feel for things on the outside. He wasn't perfect but he made plays and played fast. Sometimes you have to give someone else a chance to make plays. He did all those things well. He did well on third down. He not only made plays but showed unselfishness.

On Olsen Pierre:
He had an ankle early so he's had to fight through it.

On the DT play:
The thing that hurts is Pierre not being out there and then Chick is playing end. We didn't have a chance to see how two returning starters have been. Kamalu has gotten better. Moore has gotten better. Then you think about guys coming in with Wyche, Jenkins, Moten, Thomas, and Demetrius Jackson. Those are five new guys. I'm excited. Some of those guys will help us. Some guys here will get the first crack at it. Guys will have opportunities. We're making progress, particularly at nose. Calvin's not in black but hes playing well.

On Chick:
He's playing all the techniques across the board, which is only going to help him. He can help us at a couple different spots.

On Jamal Carter:
Jamal got off to a great spring as far as his passion and competitiveness and willingness to play hard every day. That's such an advantage now with the bowl practices. Jamal Carter is a good example of someone who really benefited from that and it has carried into the spring.

On getting hyped over an INT Tuesday:
We were playing man coverage and we got it on the post. I was excited about that. It was a matter of trusting your eyes. The quarterback has the ball and is looking your way and our guy made the play.

On Tracy Howard not wearing black:
It's just being consistent. The scrimmages show us some different things. We love Tracy and what he's doing for us. We want there to be a standard. The ones who are competitive like Tracy will be motivated by it but we have to grade out higher to be a championship defense.

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