Curt Mallory: "Confidence, yeah. Just being confident, and yeah – confidence in your ability, confidence not to be run by, confidence in your own speed. We're constantly talking to the young men about getting up in there tight. If he gets up on ya, that's where you learn. That's how you – unless you try to play a little bit tighter in practice, and let them – well not let them, but actually get run by, that's the time to do it. So we're trying to get them up there, get them close, and there's time where they're getting run by, but there's times when they're able to play a little tighter. So we're really pushing that as an emphasis this off-season, to just get in there and play with more confidence, and be more confident in their ability to play tighter. "
Question: Brady also mentioned Blake Countess is a guy who is really standing out. What are you – you smile when you hear his name. Talk about what he brings to the team?
Curt Mallory: "Well, it's a fun group. You know, we have a good room. He fits in. He's a very level-headed young man who comes to work every day, and does it off the field, does it in the classroom, and he has a chance to be a very good player, as they all do. And he has a good group of guys around him that do keep him level-headed. So he's been a fun guy to coach."
Question: In what areas is he expected to improve?
Curt Mallory: "Well, where he has to improve is to learn from his mistakes. You can't put a price on experience, and he certainly has some valuable experience. Early on, and then playing in some bigger games, you know, he had some bumps—and as I said before, to play that position, you have to have short term memory, and when you do get beat, or you get turned around a little bit, you have to move on to the next play and not worry about that; and that's where he has to improve, and not let that one play affect the rest of the game. And that's part of maturing as a defensive back."
Question: What's his ceiling?
Curt Mallory: "Oh, I don't know. Just take it one year at a time right now. I'm just looking at getting him through the next four right now. You know, he has some experience now, and I expect him to be a little bit better. Some of the things he needed to improve on – you know, you talk to Blake, or any of them, matter of fact, and talk about ‘hey, you need to be a little bit better at this, a little bit better at that', you see them out there working on those type of things, and just take it to heart, and he'll improve on some of some of those things that we talked about. You know, getting off blocks is one thing we talked about, and he improved that in the spring. That was a big emphasis coming out of the bowl game. He's not as big as maybe as some of the others, but as long as you play big, and play physical—and that was a big emphasis for him, because you're going to play against bigger size wide receivers, and you have to be able to attack and get off, and not hang around with those guys."
Question: Besides Thomas Gordon and Jordan Kovacs, who is working out at the safety position?
Curt Mallory: "Jarrod Wilson has been playing in there, and Marvin Robinson is playing in there, and then two young – Josh Furman's been running in there a little bit. And then two new incoming freshmen, Jeremy Clark and Allen Gant."
Question: Is anybody standing out right now?
Curt Mallory: "The young guys are kind of all together right now. Until you get them all here, and full time, they're kind of – plate's full right now. Until they all get here – they've all shown great ability, and I'm glad they're all here, for sure."
Question: Has Jarrod had a little bit of a head start having been here?
Curt Mallory: "Yeah, you can tell by that. You know, he's been able to go through spring, be thrown in the fire, and actually go through the summer workouts, and actually been there and done it. Where maybe the other guys, you're showing them on film, but until you really get out there and see what it's like out there, it's different. You can see it one film, but until you're out there, feeling the speed of the game – he certainly has an advantage, but they're coming along, and I'm glad they're here."
Question: Have you seen the light come on for Marvin?
Curt Mallory: "Yeah, you know, Marvin—I was pleased how he came out in the spring. Saw some signs that he was communicating better, which meant that his confidence was higher, which was really pleasing to see. And he shows up, you know? When he hits you, you notice it. And he's improved on his pass coverage skills, and we're pleased with the way he's coming along in camp, and expect him to keep on going in that direction. "
Question: What has Blake done that made him stand out? Brady didn't want to mention a lot of players, but he mentioned Blake. Have you seen that dramatic of a jump in him?
Curt Mallory: "Well, you know where he stands. It's early. But the thing that he's done is that he does such a good job in off-season. You know, he's a tremendous worker, and when you have a great off-season, you expect that to carry off into the two-a-days. And as of now, he's doing some good things. He's not near perfect, but you can see that he's on the right track to improve." To watch the video of the interview with Coach Mallory, click play below.