More on Defense and Pierre Woods

In part two of Coach Carr's pre-Spring presser, he discussed defensive improvements and Pierre Woods.<br>

On what the defense needs to improve on:

"I think the thing that you have to do to be an outstanding defense is you cannot give up big plays. When you do, you're going to give up a lot of yards. When you give up a lot of big plays, you're going to give up a lot of big points. This offense (the spread offense), it takes patience because if you don’t have patience, you end up with people over committed and then you give up big plays. We, in terms of becoming the kind of defense that we want to be, begin with eliminating big plays. That’s first and foremost. How do you do that? You keep the ball inside and in front of the defense. Inside and in front! People have assignments and responsibilities. If they don’t execute those, you're going to give up big plays. You give up big plays, you're going to give up a lot of points. You're going to end up in shootouts IF you can score a lot of points. When you get into shootouts, the statistics tell you that you're going to win about half the time. So I would prefer not to be in shoot outs."

On Pierre Woods:

“Pierre has been held…he’s had nagging injuries primarily to developing his strength because he’s not been able to lift and do some of the things. He’s had some injuries that have impacted his playing time and his performance. Now he’s had a very good winter and we’ll just have to see.”

On whether their defensive struggles are scheme or individual:

"Well it’s all of those. You have to tackle better, and that’s a challenge because some of these guys are such great athletes that when you get people spread out, now you're isolated as a defender. Which means you're going to be asked to make tackles in the open field… and it’s not like 25 years ago where there were two or three backs in the backfield where everyone is bunched together. It’s a much different game. Today, somebody asked a question about athleticism and speed. That’s why everyone is looking for the same thing. They look for guys that can run and guys that can tackle. But there are still human beings out there playing. I’ve never met a football player on defense that didn’t miss a tackle. What we have to learn to do in terms of preventing big plays is if were going to miss a tackle, you've got to know WHERE to miss it to. If you're on the perimeter you got to miss the tackle inside… outside if you're close to the sidelines so he gets out of bounds. If you let the ball outside the defense, you're going to give up big plays. When you give up big plays…you know the rest."

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