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On how he feels practice has gone:
Pretty good, we’re getting better. The guys are real mature now, a lot of game-time experience, things like that. So communication is really great, they believe in communicating and getting guys in the right positions and stuff like that. So we have a lot of leaders in the group who are able to direct traffic out there. So it’s really good to see the development of all these guys, to the point where they’re at now, where you can take the leashes off and let them do it on their own.
On Randall Goforth and Jaleel Wadood working together and able to not speak because of familiarity:
Well, they better not be not speaking at all. We live by our three Vs, which is visual, verbal and volume. So they understand the hand signs and the gestures, and things like that. So that might be what Randall meant by not speaking at all. We’ve got a lot of sign language out there, so that’s pretty good to see.
On if this is his most experienced secondary:
Oh, yes sir. By far. These guys have been playing together, they know each other’s shortcomings, they know each other’s strengths, they know everything about each other. So they know where they need to be and when they need to be there. It’s good to see.
On Fabian Moreau returning:
It’s big. One of the things that’s underrated about Fabian is that he’s a great leader, a great kid off the field. He’s a guy that’s got it going in the weight room and in the meeting room. He can almost run the meeting himself, with all the installs and the different things we’re doing. He’s pulling the young guys aside and he’s stern enough to correct the old guys too, so it’s very, very good to see.
On seeing Moreau in the BYU game with the foot injury:
You know, you have to pull him out. Fabian is a guy, he’s going to fight through whatever it is. He’s a warrior, he is a warrior.
On the maturation of Tahaan Goodman:
No doubt. Tahaan has a lot more confidence now, he understands where he needs to be and where he fits in the defense, so now that helps him out tremendously as far as whatever shortcomings he may have. Because he knows where to be, those shortcomings don’t stick out as much. You know, so that was one of the things that was really great. Because we all know he’s a game-changer hitter. If he gets on track with people and he gets a beat on him, it could change the game.
On Nate Meadors and Marcus Rios competing opposite Moreau:
It’s an open competition with them all, and that’s a good thing about the group. They’ve been here so long that they know it doesn’t matter who doesn’t start the first play of the game. We already know that doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, we’re all going to play a lot of football, so it’s just be ready for next man up.
On Randall Goforth playing corner in spring:
Well when Randall first came in, he was a receiver/corner type case. So he’s always been a guy who’s a jack-of-all-trades, a plug-and-play type of guy. But quite honestly, those are the types of guys I love to recruit because in our conference, with the ball up in the air a lot, you’ve got to be able to mix and match. Put the short guys on the short guys and the big guys on the big guys. It might call on somebody to have to play safety to match up cover wise or somebody to play corner to match up cover wise.
On Adarius Pickett potentially playing more:
Oh yeah, Pickett is what they call a stalwart. He’s a guy that’s a core special teamer, and he’s showing up now in nickel and dime and even our base packages. Like I said, this group is going to play a lot of football. If they don’t get caught up in who’s starts the very first play of the game, we’ll be looking pretty nice this year.
On how they keep from not caring about who starts:
They understand that now. That’s the maturity of those guys. The young guys kind of don’t see it like that, and they didn’t see it when they were young, but now that they’re older and understand like, “hey, I’ve got to take advantage of my plays when I’m in there.” And that way they keep pushing each other. So in that way, we kind of keep the competition going. Every day, somebody’s got to pick somebody up. Once you see that I kind of change the depth, it’s not really a change of depth, it’s a rep depth. So the 2’s and 3’s are getting more reps than the 1’s. So some of the guys are like, “let me get more reps with the two’s today, coach.” Because they know they can get more reps. So we kind of just mix and match it like that.
On if Ishmael Adams will play any defense:
The possibility is always there. Shoot, how long has Ish been here, 100 years now? He knows the defense inside and out, he knows the techniques. We still get our work in behind closed doors in our press, man and zone reads, and any new concepts that we do coverage wise, I keep him up on it. So that kind of gives him the advantage on offense, because I give him the nuggets. But he’s there for emergency. If we need him, we’ve got him.
On what the next step for the secondary is:
The next best thing, whatever that may be. Let’s repeat at that and let’s chase it up in the nation. Stats are what it is. Let’s win the games. I want to win and no touchdown passes. Has anyone ever done that? No touchdown passes?
On where this secondary ranks in his most talented:
Talent, very high, because we’re so deep. We’re a solid two-deep this year, and the young guys are coming up. As you see, Brandon Burton is out there flashing, Keyon Riley is a young guy who’s a little green, but he can run and he’s tough as nails, and pretty smart, along with Brandon Burton. So those young guys are coming, not to mention you’ve got Dechaun Holiday, you’ve got Colin Samuel. Those young guys are right there, they’re coming, and that’s a tribute to the older guys pulling them guys along. So their development is going a lot faster than I kind of expected.