Durell Mapp Q&A

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Durell Mapp will be a senior leader on the 2007 Tar Heel defense. Inside Carolina's J.B. Cissell spoke with the linebacker about the first week of spring practice.

Tell me about the preseason emphasis on speed, as opposed to strength.

A lot of emphasis was put on speed. We've done more explosive drills, explosive [exercises] in the weight room. We also worked on strength, but most of the lifts are for explosiveness and the results are [showing].

Tell me about those results, specifically.

On the field we are really getting to the ball and stuff like that. You can tell people are running faster. Then, also records are being broken.

What has stood out in the first week of practice?

I see the want-to. Everybody wants to get better and wants to play. Everybody wants to work hard and get to that next level and be a great team.

Who has stood out to you on the defense?

There are a few guys. The D-linemen really stand out. They really dominate up front at times.

How are you a different player now than you were last year?

The best thing is that I'm healthy. I finally got to do off-season workouts and things like that. I broke some records in the weight room and got faster and more explosive. My vert[ical jump] and broad jump are getting up there.

Who has impressed you on offense?

The offensive linemen have really surprised me. They are getting tougher, things like that. I really wasn't expecting it. They have really stepped up their game and gotten tougher.

What about running backs?

All the running backs. We have Justin Warren, Elzy, and Johnny White. They are all doing a good job back there.

Dailey making switch to WR. Expectations at QB?

I don't know what you will see out of him as a QB, but I know at wideout he is really doing a good job. He's catching balls and really looking like a wider receiver out there.

Tell me about the Oklahoma Drill.

The Oklahoma Drill is just to set the tone for the practice. It's mano-a-mano. It's man-to-man. Dominate everybody.

Goals achieved on defense?

We've achieved a lot of things. We are getting better. We've got a lot of plays in. We are getting all the mental stuff down.

Have you had more plays thrown at you in the past? How does that compare?

We are learning more now because you have a coaching change with a new system. You have to put in more stuff. Last year it would be like a walk-through and have one play a day or something like that. Now we are putting in four or five plays at a time.

How much is learning plays vs. working on fundamentals?

Both are very important. We do both. We have to learn the new plays and the way they want us to fit them. We have to work on our fundamentals for that.


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