An Interview With Moe Thompson (And Friend)

Moe Thompson spoke with Gamecock Nation about the new defense and the signs he looks for to determine when things are going well and when they are not. During the course of the interview a friend stopped by to say hello and an interesting conversation was the result ...

Moe Thompson

How have summer workouts gone so far?

I think it's gone pretty well. I mean, everybody's been working on technique, working on their moves, things like that. But as far as effort is concerned - it's there. Once we get our plays down, things are going to get really exciting around here.

What is your opinion of your defensive personnel?

We're gettin' after it. I love it. I'm talking a biggggggg improvement over last year. Everybody's just running to the ball. I mean if there is a pass 100 yards down field the noseguard is there when the tackle is made. It's really fun to be a part of it this year. It's what it's all about - just gettin' after the ball. That's the big change on defense this year. We're gettin' to the ball.

What has made the difference?

I really think it has to do with the new coach, what he has done, but what it really boils down to is the family that we became over the summer. I think everyone just came together for one common purpose and became brothers. Once you have that belief in the guy who is playing next to you - then you know that's how it is going to be and it gives you a different feeling on the game. It's a common effort then. We're all pulling in the same direction with common goals and when you have that happening then things start to steam roll and it's easier to knock down the hurdles along the way - when you are all doing it together.

Is there any competition between George Gause and you this season?

Aw man, I don't look at it as a competition. I mean we are brother bookends ... we're going to push each other and motivate each other.

Would you mind if the fans kept count of the sacks?

No, no I wouldn't. It's something for the fans to look at and get after but as far as me and George are concerned it's something we are doing together.

We've heard there will be sack counts - like Ks in a baseball game. You could split those.

We can split about two or three sacks a game - :::::: laughs ::::::: yeah that would be good. We're trying to meet in the backfield at the same time. My mother calls it 'making an Oreo Cookie,' when George and I meet in the backfield. ::::::::: long laugh :::::::::::: Can I say that?

Sure you can.

What about DeAdrian Coley, how has he looked so far in your opinion?

Dee Cee is coming along pretty good, I mean he made a big change from linebacker coming over to defensive end and to tell you the truth he's caught on to the footwork better than any of the other new guys or anybody else going to that position. I really think he can be effective there. He reminds you a lot of Leonard Little with his body and quickness and all.

Is he big enough?

Oh yeah, he's big enough. His speed and his strength makes up for his height basically. We call him 'The Beast.' Once he gets his plays down he's there - I mean, BOOM, he's gone. Dee Cee is good y'all.

... and Jason Capers?

Capers is our engineering guy on the line - he plays all four positions but he'll be starting on the line next to me at the number 3 spot. Basically, he's on the right side tackle. We'll be blind siding most of the right handed guys, me and Jason.

Is the defensive package set or are things still being added?

Coach Minter is still adding things to it. It's a big defensive package. This is actually my third defense since I've been here in three years so I have learned a new defense each of the past three years. But it's all pretty much the same it's just a matter of gettin' on it and learning it. We'll be fine this year. Everything is going really well.

Is one of your goals to make All-SEC?

I haven't thought about that, not really, I really haven't thought about being All-Anything ... I just go out and play ball. The stats and awards will fall into place.

:::::::::::::::::::::: at this point George Gause stopped by to say hi to the members of Gamecock Nation - and he decided to get in on the interview :::::::::::::::::::::

G. Gause: Hey, tell The Nation I said hello.

GCN: George - we've got the competition guidelines set. We're going to track the number of Oreo Cookies Moe and you make in backfields this season.

G. Gause: ::::: laughs :::::: Is that politically correct?

:::::::::: everyone laughs :::::::::::::

G. Gause: I'm going to try my best to get back there. I mean whatever happens - whatever y'all want to call it.. ::::::: laughs some more ::::::::

GCN: There is some talk that you two may be one of the better pair of bookend defensive ends in the league, if not the country, if you both play up to your potential.

G. Gause: I know both of us can be that way, if both of us play hard and execute and run the plays, I mean we could be the best pair in the league and that is something for us to strive for. That's what we are supposed to do. I mean Moe is only a junior but he plays like a senior so basically we are senior ends on the same team and all.

Moe: The potential is there just like George said. With people thinking that it just makes me work harder at it to reach that potential. That's what we do every day. But we've heard some of the talk and our goals are set high.

GCN: What are your different strengths and weaknesses?

G. Gause: I think, I mean I'll say, Moe is a little quicker than I am and I think I am a little stronger than Moe is so if you are comparing us head to head like that then that's probably our strengths and weaknesses. But we just go out and play and when it's all said and done we're pretty much even in most things.

GCN: Are either of you considered strong side or weak side defensive ends?

G. Gause: It's either side, whatever the call is, we don't know until the call is made which side we'll be on this year strong or weak until the offense comes out.

GCN: Moe .. strengths and weaknesses?

Moe: I mean basically what George just said - but I think with the quickness and strength and all that - it really doesn't have anything to do with it at this level. What makes the most difference is if you get after it and go hard and study your opponent you'll be able to follow the play better during the course of the game and that gives you the advantage.

GCN: George - you are so much bigger than Moe. Is he too small to be a defensive end?

G Gause: I don't think he's too small. He don't look that small to me ... :::::::::::: laughs:::::::::::

Moe: Hey now. With cleats on I'm 6-4. With cleats off I'm like 6-3 and a quarter. But with cleats on I'm 6-4 and 270. What are they talking about too small? ::::::::::::: everyone is laughing :::::::::::::::

GCN: Thanks guys. Good luck this season. We hope to see you high-fiving each other in backfields all year long.

Moe: Our pleasure. Tell everyone we said hello and to get ready for some fun. We're working hard and we are going to get after it - we'll see what happens.


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