Manny Diaz Singles Out a Couple Defenders

Read on to see what new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was saying following practice on Tuesday, and why he singled out two of his players.

On the team’s emphasis of tackling…
“We are going to scrimmage. We’ll have three scrimmages and will have the opportunity to tackle. We are tackling every day. We have changed the system of tackling that we use here. We are tackling bodies to the ground every day in our drill work. We are understanding how we do it, what type of tackling system we use, and I think the guys are responding well to it.”

On how live the tackling has been...
“We can get after it. You have rules on how many days you can bring someone to the ground, but you can have a full speed drill without bringing people to the ground, and you become a good tackling football team doing that. I think that’s what we and most colleges are going to do, and then you get your scrimmage opportunities where it’s more like a game.”

On whether Jermaine Grace is at the standard where he wants his linebackers to be or if he still needs to improve in some areas?
“He’s certainly ahead of the rest of them That jumps out as obvious, and I’ve been using him as an example in the LB room. I’ll say ‘we have Grace and a mush pile of other guys.’ There is certainly more for Jermaine, and he wants to be pushed and held to a higher standard. What I have been most pleased with him is he has put some physical plays on tape. He’s a powerful kid, and I think he likes the role he’s at.”

On his thoughts on Al-Quadin Muhammad so far…
“I like that he is the hardest playing player on our defensive front. That is the point we want to show everybody else. If you’ll play as hard as you can play in the framework of this defense and take to the coaching that Coach (Craig) Kuligowski is giving in terms of how to rush the passer, then you’re going to be a productive guy in the fall. His effort stands out in practice. When other guys start to feel tired, Quan continues to push himself.”

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