Bobby Johnson: Driven to win (part II)

This is part II of our interview with Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson. In this segment Johnson talks about the defensive secondary, the battle for the starting weakside linebacker position and more.

VM: There was marked improvement in the defensive line in 2006 after the arrival of coach Logo. Can we expect more improvement in 2007?

Bobby Johnson: "I think we'll get better and better as we go. We've got to continue to recruit good and better players in there. Those guys are certainly are thinking into what coach Logo is teaching them. They are playing a little confidently than we have been in the past. I think they expect to make big plays now rather than just clogging up holes."

VM: There was a big battle in the spring for the weak side linebacker spot and what your thoughts on the battle for that position and what can we expect to see in the fall?

Coach Johnson: "It's good when you have battles. People are competing against each other. They work harder at it and they push each other. We'll wait and see what happens there. We're excited about the linebacker corps."

VM: Looking at the defensive secondary, you have to feel good about the depth and experience you've developed there.

Coach Johnson: "Again, we've got to eliminate mistakes there and not give up the big plays. There were a couple of games, I know the Arkansas game we gave up a big play, they really didn't move the ball that well against us. We let them get an easy one over our heads. You've just got to eliminate those kinds of errors and most of them are mental. Hopefully experience will help us out."

VM: Is there some area of the team that you walked away from spring practice that you thought they were a lot better than you thought they would be?

Coach Johnson: "No, we thought we had a pretty good team last year and we expected to get better in the spring. I think we did; we had some young guys that we redshirted last year that are going to step up and help us at least depth wise. I think it was a pretty predictable spring, to tell you the truth. We had to replace very few players because we had a bunch of starters coming back so we didn't have a bunch of question marks out there. Now it's a matter of making sure we play as well as we can and we play with confidence and we get the most out of our football team." Top Stories