Basically, I've just gotten smarter at reading offensive linemen and understanding the defense and knowing what to do to be at the right place at the right time. A lot of times last year I was out of place, but my athletic ability enabled me to get back and make a tackle. This year I will be a lot more efficient at being at the right place.
Besides yourself, who else on defense is really improved?
I think Fred Sparkman, Shelton Bynum, and Gerald [Sensabaugh] has stepped in, and Jacoby Watkins. Overall, I think everybody is improved. We just go out every day in practice to work hard and make fewer mistakes so we can have a good time on Saturdays in Kenan.
A lot has been made of the simplified defense this year. How much more reactive are you, rather than having to think about it?
It's not so much thinking. There is just less to know. You always have keys to read and zones to know. With a simplified defense you have less to worry about. It's a lot off of your mental capacity, so it enables you to just play a lot more. It's a good thing.
Every year you hear seniors talk about their last go 'round and that extra motivation to push other players. What are you seeing from the seniors pushing other players to get better?
All of our seniors are stepping up to be leaders vocally, in the weight room, and on the field. I respect them a lot because they've been through a lot in their four years here. I give them their seniority. They feel like this time on their last go 'round they want to make it their best one.
What have you seen from Chase Page? He has said how he is emphasizing finishing and going hard every play in practice.
Chase is a guy who always goes hard. He tries to elevate his team with his playing ability. If he goes hard, he wants the whole team to go hard. He knows that our defense can be one of the best, and he wants up to live up to that.