Errol Hood: A matter of confidence, Part I

Senior Errol Hood talks about the season, the staff, and his teammates.

IC:  Tell us about the changes under the new staff.

EH:  The intensity level has changed.  Coach Bunting came in demanding that we going to play harder, work harder. 

We got a new strength coach, Coach [Jeff] Connors, who came in and jelled the boys together, and got us to compete more in the things we do outside – it is a big difference. 

IC: Talk about Coach Tenuta. 

EH: Coach Tenuta is a great coach.  He has put a lot of players in the NFL.  He stays on you.  As a player, I can see how he has had so many players in the NFL.  He coaches everything about technique – from your hands to where your feet are supposed to be.  I have never met anyone with a photographic memory like he has.  He can remember a play you made from the first of spring. 

IC: How is his coaching style different? 

EH: Coach Tenuta is more excitable than Coach Case was, who was more laid back.  Coach Case did not really get in your face like Coach Tenuta does.   

IC: Are coverages going to be different this year?   

EH: In the past we played a lot man defense.  We are playing more zone coverages this year and a lot less man.  We still play man, but we play it out of a lot of different disguises. 

IC: Do you consider yourself and Billy-Dee [Greenwood] the leaders in the secondary? ?

EH: Billy-Dee knows the new system much better than me, because I came in a little late to practice this year.  The players look to me and Billy-Dee.   

IC:  How do you feel about the the situation at corner this year as opposd to previous years you have been here? 

EH: We have a lot more confidence in the group.  We have a lot of speed, but in the past we played a lot of manto-man in the press position.  Coach Tenuta has come in and allowed us to play from five yards off and that takes a lot of pressure off a cornerback when you know you have a receiver that is hard to press, and you when you get down to press them, they are more than likely there are going to try and go deep.  Coach Tenuta has taken that stress off; he will let you play five yards off.  We are a lot more relaxed.   

There are no "bad" cornerbacks [in this group]; the new corners coming in, obviously they are lacking experience, but Derrick Johnson, Kevin Knight, Michael Waddell, we all push each other.  I don't feel like there are "starters."  Anyone of us can step in and play. 

In the past, sometimes I played whether I was hurt or not, because we did not have that depth.  I know this year that if I go out, "K" Knight can come in and give good quality reps make as many plays as I do.  

IC: What is it like practicing against this group of wide receivers? 

EH: I have been with this group for a while, so it is very competitive.  Sometimes they will catch a lot of balls, sometimes they won't.  The other day we [the corners] had a great practice – so there is a lot trash-talking.  It is very competitive.   

This group of wide receivers has a lot of confidence in themselves and this new offense.  They have a chance to catch a lot of deep balls.  That is going to turn some ballgames around this year.   

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