Wednesday Q&A with Manny Diaz

Read on to see everything defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is saying about his unit a few days before the team's season opener.

On finding the right 11 starters:
We have a simple mission. Whoever the 11 guys are, they play fast, tough, and physical. Everything else will work out.  Guys will sub in and out but that doesn’t change the way we want them to play.


On playing young players:
We talk every week about playing young guys. Nothing has changed. We have trust in them and we will continue recruiting guys who can help us play championship defense.


On lack of depth:
It will put other guys in position to get on the field. They all have U’s on the side of their head. Everyone just has to play their best and does their job in a violent manner, we will be pleased.  If I’m the will linebacker, it’s my job to play will linebacker regardless of who the sam linebacker is.


On leaders:
All of our guys are finding their way in their roles. Even our older guys like Chad and guys in the back end, they need to get into the flow of the game. We need them to lead with their play. If he fires off the ball at 100mph, that’s how he can lead. Our internal expectation for him is to get him to play his best on Saturday. Great teams are addicted to always improving. We want a guy like Chad to do. If he finds ways to improve his game, that’s what we want from him.


On players trusting the scheme:
We believe in our kids. They have to feel our trust. I’ve mentioned multiple times. Scheme is not the issue. What we have to do is we have to play as hard as we can physically play and good things will happen. I want people in the stands to cheer for a defense that is running as fast as they can to get to the football and then hit as hard as they can hit once they get there.


On the competition at WLB:
They will both play a lot. Pinckney has been excellent since he’s gotten up to speed last week. Which one is in there first, we don’t know. We will continue to grade them in practice but they’ll be in there a bunch.


On the nickel situation:
That always depends on who we are playing against. You’ll see some of both this weekend. I want to find out about us. We have practiced a lot since we’ve been here and now I want to see our guys go play. Who are our best players? Who can play fast? Who can make plays? 

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