Wednesday Q&A with Manny DIaz

Read on to see everything defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was saying following Wednesday's practice.

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On the defensive tackle group:
As coaches, we always want tons of improvement from them but from the first 3 weeks we’ve been pleased with them as a group.


On the freshman linebackers:
As a coach you see the ups and downs. They don’t always play their best in every game. They’re learning how to grind in college football. They are learning how to play when you’re not 100-percent. After FAMU, we talked about whether they’ll play fast. We’ll see that this weekend against Georgia Tech. Can they apply what they’ve learned to the game.

On Mike Pinckney:
When he sees it, he plays fast. He has speed. He knows it. He can use it. The idea of being consistent and as the offensive linemen get bigger and putting hands on him and being able to shed blocks, that’s the next challenge for him.

On Zach McCloud:
You can see the arrow pointing up. He played better against FAU than FAMU and played well against App State. He’s getting better and it’ll come with experience.


On how much different this week’s challenge will be for them:
In some ways they change but some ways they’re the same. How do we treat blockers and how do we treat ball carriers when we get there. You don’t want to complicate things. The speed of the game in the first quarter will be a test and will take time to getting used to. We saw some of that against App State.


On Chad Thomas:
His conditioning level and the way he got into shape. Credit goes to a lot of people for that. When you pace yourself, you’re not always using the physical gifts. When you’re in great shape, you can use those gifts better and more often. He’s stronger. He’s more confident. He was able to improve In a lot of areas but you’re always going to play better at defensive end in year three in college football. You’re seeing a natural maturation of a football player there.


On Shaq Quarterman:
Shaq has done a great job of being physical at the point of attack, taking on blocks, making tackles. Sometimes the one making the most tackles isn’t the one playing the best on defense.  Our defense is designed to build a wall and whoever the guy runs into better be ready to make the tackles. He has done a good job solidifying the middle of our defense.


On Georgia Tech’s triple option offense:
The unique thing they do is they’re fully committed to it. When you’re as committed as they are, they can change blocking schemes. We have to defeat blocks and tackle better. It’s all still basic football.

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