Giles Talks Defensive Ends

As one of the few returning coaches from a year ago, defensive ends coach Oscar Giles has had a front-row seat for any changes implemented by the new staff.

And three games in, the reviews for the defensive front have largely been positive.

"Our front is playing well," Giles said. "Coach Davis is doing a great job of talking to the tackles and getting them all fired up and jacked up, and the ends are feeding off the tackles. It's exciting to see the front play as a unit. It's neat to see.

"It's not (about the) glamour where it' all about sacks," Giles said. "It's all about disrupting the quarterback, and Manny Diaz's defense gives us a chance to do that … The sacks will come. You can see it, we are getting close. But again it goes back to the quarterback hits and the quarterback pressures. When it comes down to it, how does it affect our defense? Our kids are playing as a team right now. You can see the chemistry and the excitement the kids are playing with. They believe in what we are doing as a defense and they believe in what Coach Diaz is doing."

At the same time, Giles said that there weren't necessarily any star players emerging in the front four, calling it "a very humble group."

The guys believe in each other, and no one is out trying to grab the microphone," Giles said. "Those guys are out putting their heads down and going to work."

That's largely due to the unit buying into the team motto of "brick-by-brick", Giles said. He didn't single out a player as being the most improved, stating that "overall, just the whole front" was better, including an improvement in discipline and control.

"It's a new team, basically a new staff, so we are trying to set our own standard here," Giles said.

At the center of that change is Diaz, the Longhorns' energetic new defensive coordinator.

"I think he is a flat, honest guy," Giles said. "He is going to tell you exactly how he feels. He wears his emotions on his sleeves, and the kids feed off that. We feed off of that as coaches, and the kids feed off of it as well. It's refreshing to see a coach like him that still understands the concept that it's all about the kids and not about him. It's really exciting to see him run around and jump around with the kids."

Giles called the defensive line, especially the run defense "a work in progress", but he acknowledged that the team was taking steps in the right direction.

"It's a compliment to Coach Brown, and the kids bought in totally, from the offense to the defense to the special teams," Giles said. "Again, it's a work in progress with different things, but you can see the excitement and the chemistry building. Each game and each week we are going to get better. That is the theme, and we are going to continue to do that."

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