VIDEO: Spanos on Defense

Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos talks about the strides that the defense has made this spring and his excitement for the players coming in this fall...

Lou Spanos talks after the spring game:


Q: here with Coach Lou Spanos [Defensive Coordinator]. Second spring in the books. So what kind of strides do you think did the defense made this spring?

LS: oh, they did a tremendous job of executing their assignments. And understanding the defense and having been in the system for a year now, the D-line did a great job communicating. The linebackers knew their spots. The secondary did a great job of communicating and just executing assignments.

Q: is there an element where you can start adding some wrinkles to the defense?

LS: oh yeah. Yeah. We always say, the defense is ever evolving. Because of the different offenses every week. What they do each week is something new so you have to adjust a couple coverages, a couple stunts. They do a great job of preparing and studying and transferring it over to the field.

Q: I mean, obviously the big change from last year to this year is that you lost pretty much your entire starting secondary. How much of an adjustment was that this spring to deal with that? And kind of filling new guys into roles like that?

LS: yeah, players in the spring time that did a great job was Anthony Jefferson. He had a really good spring. Fabian [Moreau] did a nice job. And then Randall [Goforth]. And also Dietrich [Riley] did a good job. So… we had Brandon Sermons. They all did a nice job. and Ish [Ishmael Adams]. Don't forget about Ish. Ish had a great spring.

Q: how happy are you for Anthony that he was kind of able to finally recover from that back injury and, you know, really have a great spring?

LS: oh, good. I didn't even think anything of it.

Q: and then Ishmael, obviously…

LS: oh, I'm sorry. We have too many Anthony's. What Anthony are you talking about?

Q: Jefferson.

LS: oh, yeah. Good. I was just thinking…

Q: yeah, not Barr. I'm going to say anything about a back injury for Anthony Barr.

LS: no. Anthony Jefferson… like I said earlier, he did a great job of breaking on the ball and making plays at the point. He had a really good spring.

Q: in terms of your linebackers, obviously, one of the main areas that you guys needed to figure out was the left outside linebacker position, can you talk about Aaron Wallace and Kenny Orjioke performed this spring?

LS: yeah, Aaron Wallace is getting better. He had a steady spring. And also Kenny had a good spring too. And also, we have some players coming in too. So it's some nice competition. We want to find out… try to get the best 11 out there.

Q: is it exciting for you that the sheer amount of talent you've got coming in in the fall that can compete in the secondary and linebacker?

LS: yeah, actually it's exciting for the defense as a whole. They're growing and evolving, and they're great student-athletes. We demand a lot from them and they respond. So it's exciting to get everybody together I think in August and moving on.

Q: the one guy that looked like he had a pretty good game today, I mean, you have to look at the film obviously, but Eli Ankou made a couple of nice plays…

LS: yeah, Eli's a selfless player. He can play at end. Also, he did some nose too. [audio difficulties] He's all over the place too. He's getting better. Young kid from Canada. He had a good spring. He had a good spring.

Q: given that Ellis [McCarthy] is out. Brandon [Tuliaupupu] is out as well. Having Eli in there who can kind of fill in, I mean, how big is that for you going forward for depth reasons?

LS: oh, it's great. What we stress on defense is you got to know football. You have to be a football player. And the player that did a great job of knowing all the positions and is an easy fit if someone goes down, they transfer over, line up and do their assignment.

Q: awesome. Thank you.

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