Brandon Harrison: Safeties, DB's, the Defense

Brandon Harrison goes through it all: the play of the safeties, the play of the defensive backs unit, and the difference in the '08 versus '07 defenses.

Question: Do you see the secondary as a strength or something that is still kind of maturing as a group?

Brandon Harrison: "I see it as a strength. We've got a lot of veteran guys back there. We got a lot of guys who know what is going on, and we are really putting things together right now. I actually so see it as a strength."

Question: What position have you been working in camp so far, Brandon?

Brandon Harrison: "Strong safety and the nickel back."

Question: Where do you think you will end up playing most of the time? Do you have a sense of that yet?

Brandon Harrison: "Strong safety … and then we go down to Okie sets and I move down to nickelback."

Question: What is your impression of Coach Shafer?

Brandon Harrison: "He is very intense. He brings that to the field every day. He is intense; he is always on us. He is enthusiastic, brings effort and he is just a real intense guy."

Question: Who have you seen from the free safety competition; who has been looking good over there?

Brandon Harrison: "We got Steve Brown at free; I play the strong and then we got Charles Stewart as a strong and then we got Michael Williams at free. Everybody is competing, everybody is doing well. So nothing is etched in stone yet. Everybody is doing good. The competition is fierce."

Question: Talk about going to the nickel in the Okie set; can you describe an Okie set?

Brandon Harrison: "Okie set is when we bring an extra DB on the field, safety against spread teams, an extra cornerback down on that third receiver."

Question: What is the biggest difference between this camp and camp a year ago?

Brandon Harrison: "It is moving a lot faster I think. We have a different coach, different coaching staff. It is just getting used to the way our coaches now coach and it is a lot faster."

Question: Any freshmen defensive backs standing out?

Brandon Harrison: "Boubacar (Cissoko), I like the way he plays. He is just physical and he is fast."

Question: From the outside we keep hearing, okay the corners are coming back, safety is a question mark: does that motivate you guys?

Brandon Harrison: "Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah the corners are coming back and I really think our safeties, we are getting it down. A lot of people are going to be surprised when the first game comes."

Question: How much does it help you guys that defensive line is so (explosive)?

Brandon Harrison: "It helps us a lot. It helps us with our key reads. Our lineman, if they come off the ball fast that gives us a quicker read on the offensive line whether it is run or pass and it really helps us. It gives us a jump on the plays and everything."

Question: The other side of the ball Coach Rodriguez was talking about bringing in the younger skilled guys that caught his eye, any of those guys jump out to you one that has impressed you with the way they move?

Brandon Harrison: "Actually, all of them. They all seem pretty quick, fast. They all can run the distance. (It's fun) to see them out there running around, making plays and stuff."

Question: You have been considered one of the faster guys on the team for a couple of years, have you guys had run offs and where do you stand?

Brandon Harrison: "We had a couple of run offs in the summer time and I kind've took first, but keep that under the rug for right now."

Question: You did?

Brandon Harrison: "Yeah."

Question: What did Morgan (Trent) say about that?

Brandon Harrison: "He really didn't have too much to say. It is all fun competition though."

Question: Who was near you, who was pressing you?

Brandon Harrison: "Morgan. Yeah, most definitely."

Question: Anybody else?

Brandon Harrison: "I didn't really see (laughter)."

Question: There used to be a motto years ago about the safety position, never let anybody get behind you; is there any type of motto that you have been living through at camp about the safeties primary function should be?

Brandon Harrison: "I think year, we have the exact same motto. You got to be the deepest of the deepest and one motto is that we got to be physical. We got to get up and stop the run game; we got to get up and just hit these backs."

Question: How different is strong safety in this scheme as it was last year?

Brandon Harrison: "We just got a lot more freedom. Like our first read step is downhill. When we see a run key, it is more like a blitz; it look like a blitz, but actually it is not, it is like our run key. We just have an opportunity just to play faster and our reads are just a little different."

Question: Does this system suit you better at that position than the previously system?

Brandon Harrison: "I would say both systems were different and they both were good. This one just allows you to play a little faster."

Question: Those seven guys in front of you, the linebackers and the line, has there been one or two guys who have done things that you say, "Oh man, I didn't see that coming?"

Brandon Harrison: "D-line, I would say all of them. I mean every play, they are running to the ball and they are all making plays."

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