Technique Man

JUCO transfer Cornerback Tony Bridges believes in playing with proper technique. While some rely on speed and natural ability, which he certainly possesses, Bridges considers himself a technician and someone who is constantly working on his craft.

Bridges has "lit up" fall camp, according to Safety Chief Brown, who indicated last week that Tony has gotten "at least 10" interceptions this fall camp.

"Camp has gone well. I'm loving my team right now," said Bridges. "I worked on my technique all summer so I wouldn't get beat and it's paying off this fall camp. If you don't play with good technique, it doesn't matter how athletic you are, you will get beat."

It's no surprise Tony has had a productive fall camp. He's just picking up where he left off in spring, when he exploded on the scene as a mid-year JUCO transfer.

"I'm very competitive, so when I got here last spring, I knew I was going to jump in and give it all I had, but there are things you have to learn and I guess I caught on pretty quickly," he added. "I learned my plays and assignments and have been playing with good technique.

"To play corner, you have to use your eyes to read a receiver's hips and know which way he's going to go and then you have to be an athlete and go attack the ball. You can't let receivers attack you, you have to attack them."

Tony has high expectations for himself and for the other corners on the Rebel squad.

"We can all be great if we put our minds to it. I tell all the corners that every day. It's all about your mentality and playing with good technique. We are all athletic enough," he explained. "I think we have a chance to have a lot of corners who can help this team win. I'm a technique man, as I said, and I am a believer you can't compete without it.

"I love our secondary. We've got veterans like Mike Hilton and Trae Elston back there directing traffic and we have good corners. We will all have a role."

When Tony got to Ole Miss, Hilton took him under his wing.

"Mike is a guy I listen to. He knows everything. He's a positive guy. When I get beat, and I have gotten beat - I'm not perfect, Mike is the first one there to pat me on the back and tell me to keep it going, then it tells me what I could have done differently and I always want to know that. He's great," Tony stated. "I'm aggressive and sometimes I need to throttle back some. Mike is there to help me keep everything in order."

Bridges loves the direction the defense is going as the season approaches.

"We are healthy and we are together and on the same page," Tony said. "I think we can go far. I'm expecting us to do well."

Every day, Tony is faced with guarding Laquon Treadwell, among others, arguably the best receiver in the country.

"They are all great guys who are fun to compete against, but I know when I see Quon or any of them across from me, I better bring my best. I think we bring the best out in each other, but it's all about love around here. We compete hard, but we want the best for each other," said Bridges. "Quon is a great athlete, a great receiver, a great guy."

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