Interview: Brett Beard, defensive tackle

VandyMania spoke with junior defensive lineman Brett Beard who is expected to a significant force on the defensive line of Vanderbilt.

VM: What are your thoughts heading towards the 2002 season?

BB: It's definately going to be different but I think it's going to be different in a good way.  You know, they say that this year is going to be a rebuilding year.  It seems like every year has been that for a while.  I think we are going to come out and surprise some people.  I don't think we are really going to do too much talking this year.  I think it's just going to be all surprise.  Yesterday's practice was new to us.  It's kinda more college now.  It's more college football like.  I think it's going to turn our whole attitude and effort around.  I think we are going to come out and win some games this year.  

VM: What are some of your initial impressions of the new coaching staff as opposed to the previous coaching staff?

BB:  I tell you what, I'm excited.  They are younger. They are more energetic, more fired up, more into it.  They are younger guys.  They have coached at our level and understand the way we feel and the way we think.  They use that with us and they are putting in a good system.  So far it has been a great challenge and a great experience. 

VM: What do you see the defense doing differently from the practices you've seen as opposed to last year?

BB: We definately went to a 4-3.  We were 3-4 last year.  I think the 4-3 is going to help us this year a lot.  I think we are going to have more sacks.  We are going to have better run stopping because last year the D-line played probably the better football than anybody else.  We added another one and hopefully we can keep it up this season.  The front seven just needs to play out.  We are going to stop the run and have us a few sacks.  

VM: I noticed you have a brace there on your foot. Can you tell me a little about that?

BB: I did that against Richmond, I had a pretty serious sprain.  Played on it all year and then got a screw put in on January 2.   The screw comes out in a two weeks and I'll be ready to go in about three or four [see editors note below].  

VM: Who do you think may be some of the leaders on defense this season?

BB: I think Rushen Jones is going to step it up and Justin Giboney on the DBs.  I think getting Shaub back is going to help us out.  Linebackers, you got Hunter Hillemeyer who is going to bring some leadership to the table.  He's going to be a solid, key player for us as well as Chuck Losey at DE.  We are going to have to have a couple of guys step up and be key players this year on the defensive line replacing Doyle Crosby and Wally.   We are going to have to have Nungessar step up and a couple younger guys.  I think we are going to be new, fresh faces, in an intense, good way. 

Editors note: this interview took place on 14 April. Top Stories