Defensive staff goes on record

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With four interceptions and a safety in Tennessee's opening win over North Carolina State it is hard to believe that new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri could have envisioned a better start for the Vol defense.

In fact, 10 players players in Sunseri's new 3-4 scheme had four of more tackles in the season opener in the Georgia Dome, highlighted by safety Byron Moore's eight solo tackles to accompany his 18-yard interception return.

"I think our whole staff has done a great job," Sunseri said. "But by no means are we satisfied with anything. The bottom line is that every single day you go out on that field, when you are going to be in this program, you are going to work the fundamentals and the technique to be perfect because that is what it going to win the football games."

There were some breakdowns early in the game, but that is what practice is for. Sunseri says that improvement from Game 1 to Game 2 will be crucial. Watch as the defensive play caller addressed the media Wednesday:

Although the entire defensive side of the football has new coaches, from coordinator Sal Sunseri on down, the chemistry among the group appears to be advanced, especially considering they've only been together since the spring.

"He's been great about that, letting everybody have some say-so and everybody having different parts of the game that they bring to the table and prepare for," Tennessee cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley said. "As far as continuity, yes, it's a pretty good room, and I'm happy to be in that room."

Approaching the line of scrimmage to jam wide receivers at the snap is a relatively new concept to the Volunteer cornerbacks. Hear Ansley talk about press-man coverage and other items in this video from InsideTennessee:

Ordinarily, a college quarterback throwing for 288 yards isn't a positive thing. However, when that QB has a future playing on Sundays and it comes in the season opener, it's not that bad of a deal.

"If you have eight opportunities in the game to make the play and you only make it 40 or 50 percent, that's not very good," first-year safeties coach Josh Conklin said. "If you have 10 opportunities and you make it 8-9 times, it's 90 percent, it's better."

North Carolina State's Mike Glennon completed 27 of 46 passes in Atlanta on Friday, but he was picked off four times, including one by safety Byron Moore, who also led the team with eight solo tackles.

Hear more from Conklin in the video from IT below:

Watch as head coach Derek Dooley addressed the media following practice at Haslam Field Wednesday:

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