Q & A: New DC Chuck Bullough

New Defensive Coordinator Chuck Bullough took some questions from us about how the defense might look a little different, the challenges of spring practice, what he's looking for from some defensive personnel, and more...

Having fun?

"It is fun. It's coaching. Whether it's coordinator or linebackers coach, whatever you do, it's fun. You better enjoy it. It's just fun to be out here again since the whole winter you're sitting around recruiting and all of that stuff, you like to get out here with the guys and coach. That's what we love to do."

You've probably got a lot of ideas swirling around upstairs. Do you anticipate doing a lot differently?

"No, we don't anticipate a lot different. When I came here, Coach (DeWayne) Walker, me, Coach (Todd) Howard and Coach (Gary) DeLoach, who was here at the time, we kind of put the playbook together with all of our different ideas. Coach Howard and I are still here, so it's basically the same. Obviously there are going to be little nuances that you always want to do as a coordinator, but it's basically the same as what we've done, and you don't want to chance it too much for our players right now. We've got some young players, so we want them to get the basics down first, then we'll start to put some of the other stuff in."

Does your personality lend itself to a certain style?

"You've got to play with what your personnel is. If you've got a position that's good at something, or if you're not good at something, you better play the defense that you're good at, whether it's man or zone or whatever it is. You have to play what you've got. If you have no corners, you better not be playing any man-to-man"

You've got some corners, but opposite Alterraun Verner, you have some young players. How do you see that shaking out?

"After two days, I know Coach (Carnell) Lake is excited about Aaron Hester and (Courtney) Viney and (Andrew) Abbott and all those guys. He's been pleased with all of them, but obviously, it's basketball that we've been playing the last couple of days. Now (Saturday) is the real deal so you've got to hold judgment until you get in pads.

"They seem to be picking it up. I know Hester was a man guy in high school, but he's had a whole off-season when they go against each other, and all winter, so I think he'll be fine.

"I think the thing that's going to start happening now is it's going to start bleeding into each other because we're going to be installing every day. We're installing defense, installing defense. It'll start all blending in, all the rules and all that, so it will take them a while the next couple of days and then they'll start settling down with all of that.''

Is there any concern with that part of it, getting everything in?

"Nah. There are all types of different philosophy. If it was like my first year we came here, we'd just play one or two or three defenses, because you're trying to change the attitude of the kids and you're trying to teach everybody. But our veterans basically know this defense so we can install a little bit more. So you've got the veterans who are going to grasp it. Then you've got the other guys who are not, younger kids that haven't played. You just have to make sure you don't overwhelm them. Sometimes when the younger group is in there you have tone your calls down. The older group can usually handle it, because they've been doing that.''

The other tackle spot, alongside Brian Price, is also a little thin.

"You've got Jerzy Siewierski, you've got Jess Ward. You've got a couple players in there. But you're going to have to play with eight defensive linemen. You've got starters, but in reality you need eight guys because they're in there banging all day and they've got heavy bodies on them all day, so we always think you've go to have eight going in that can play.

"Again, we've got some young guys. We've got Damien Holmes, who will be interesting to see when we get that going. We've got Datone Jones, who is a year older. We've got Brian Price, we've got Jerzy and Ward, who are older guys. You;ve got Reggie Stokes. We've got enough guys that have experience, and then we've got some younger guys that haven't played and we'll see what we've got when the pads go on."

Who are the younger guys you want to see?

"Damien Holmes. We'll move some people around, just to see, like, if David Carter can play tackle. It will be interesting to see if he can play tackle. Justin Edison will move in a little bit, just so we can get a feel if he can do it or not.''

Carter still seems to be on the slim side for a tackle…

"I don't know what he's weighing. He wasn't bad, though. But he's a guy that makes plays. Coach Howard said that he just makes plays. Sometimes his technique is not the best, but he's one of those guys that always seem to be in the right spot. But, like I said, we'll find out more about that when it comes to pads (Saturday) and the next couple of days after that.

"You've got to see them hit. You think they know it because you've run it before, but it's been a long time since fall. They've done 7-on-7s, so they know the pass concepts a little bit, but they haven't been running ... can't be doing runs. That's where it becomes a little different, where they have to get used to it again.''

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