Shaun Cody "It's going well. We've got guys working hard out there. We've got some openings like at wide receiver where some guys are stepping up so everything is going good so far."
Talk about how it felt today to get back out there with the pads on.
Cody "Yeah, it was fun, they had a coaching clinic going on so we had a nice crowd out there watching and guys were running around out there having fun making tackles. It was the first time we've got to really bring guys to the ground so it was fun."
You guys have come out for spring ball at a real high intensity level, what do you attribute that to?
Cody "You've got to give credit to Coach Carlisle for what he does with us during training. We train at such a high intensity, it doesn't matter if we're lifting weights or whatever, everything we do in this program is high intensity. You have to credit Coach Carroll too because his motor never stops. With Coach Carroll and his staff there's no real time to really loaf around."
What is the focus of spring ball for the team?
Cody "I think it's a good way to knock some rust off. I know I havent been on the field for a while so it's helped me to knock some rust off. It keeps you acclimated to football throughout the year and for some of the young guys it's a good opportunity to step up. When we have guys leave like Kenechi Udeze and Mike Williams it means other guys have a big opportunity in spring so that when it comes time for fall ball it can be their spot and they will be ready to earn it."
Let's talk about the defensive line and the fact that you and Mike Patterson might make up the best pair of defensive tackles in the country.
Cody "We feel good right now, me and Mike. We work well together because we've played so long next to each other. He's a great player, he never talks out there, but to have a guy like that out there next to you helps so much because we know each others game. It's gonna help this year too because we have guys who can back us up like Manny Wright and Sedrick Ellis, these guys are gonna be big time ballplayers and it's good to know when we need a blow that those guys have our back."
Talk about the defensive ends.
Cody "We got a lot of guys competing right now at d-end with a couple spots open after Omar and Kenechi both left. We've got Lawrence Jackson, La Juan Ramsey, Travis Tofi has really been looking good and Van Brown is definitely going to have a big year as a senior. It should be a great thing to watch this spring to see those guys compete."
The offense has really come out on fire this spring until you guys put on the pads today. What do you need to do to slow down that offense?
Cody "It's tough going against Coach Norm Chow's offense, those guys just air the ball out and it's frustrating sometimes from a defensive line perspective because everything is a three step drop and they get rid of the ball so fast. It's hard to get a really consistent pass rush so it's really tough from that standpoint. They have a great offense and it makes us nothing but better to go against them. We've been a little successful so far against the run but I know they will get better at that too."
If the USC defense is winning by two points with two minutes to go and the USC offense has the ball what would happen?
Cody "Oh, we would definitely stop them (laughing). What kind of defensive man would I be if I said anything different? We would definitely crack down with guys like Matt Grootegoed and Lofa Tatupu back there, those guys are leaders who make big plays."
Have you felt yourself assume the role of a leader this year?
Cody "Yeah, I've got to step up with Kenechi being gone now, guys like Melvin Simmons are gone, so it's time for a guy like myself, Mike Patterson and Matt Grootegoed to step up on defense and show these young guys how to play football."
Talk about Pete Carroll and Ed Orgeron and what they bring to help you succeed.
Cody "With Coach Carroll it's his knowledge of the game, what he knows about the game and what he passes on to us. You just want to sit around him all day and absorb information with what he says about defenses. With Coach Orgeron it's technique and the way he practices, it's so intense. It's fun to be out there with those guys, it's something special."