How have things been going for you?
Good. It’s been a fun fall camp, and it’s my last one.
In the spring, I got a concussion, so I fell to number two in the depth chart.
How has the competition been like with Rodman Noel?
This whole spring, it’s been great competition between me and Rodman [Noel]. I think together as a linebacker core, we definitely came together a lot more.
What have you seen from Rodman?
Rod, he’s always been real smart…real good football IQ. Me, I’ve been told that I just go out there and play and let my abilities take over. I’ve had to get in the playbook a littler bit more because I knew that was the only advantage he had over me at the time. Once I got that, and my confidence up, it’s been good.
How is the defense looking?
Overall, in the meetings in the summer, everybody has had a better feel on the playbook than they did last year, and it shows. The defense is doing pretty well.
Obviously losing M.J. Salahuddin is a tough loss. How do you feel like you guys can overcome that?
Just gotta keep him in heart. We gotta know that he would give it everything he’s got to be back out on that field. Every play that we don’t give 110%, is just going back to him, and we can’t let that happen.
Is there really much difference in the 4-2-5 and last year’s defense?
It’s written differently on your gaps and your assignments. We still have a big line together. We still have to know each other’s blitzing patterns in case there’s a switch call or a check. We all have to know where all the linebackers are doing.
Schematically, how much of an advantage is it running a 4-2-5 instead of the traditional 4-3 defense?
It’s faster. We’ve got a faster defense. I was never a big fan of it because I like having three linebackers on the field. But now, I’m starting to like it. We can rely on blitzing knowing that we have 5 DB’s to cover, just in case that ball has to come out hot. So I’m ready to see it this season.
Why do you think you’re going to be better this year than last year?
It just a different “us”. It was a new coaching staff last year. I think we just had too much confidence going into the season last year. We were a pretty young team, still, but we had a lot of new things to learn with the staff. But we’re coming together.