On Kevin King “He really picked it up this last week. His tackling improved. He’s such a smart football player. We’re able right now to play him outside and we can play him inside. And you’re right, his length on the outside is an advantage, but his length on the inside is a real advantage. Those quarterbacks try to sneak those balls in those tight windows and all of a sudden you’ve got this 6’3” guy with a 40-inch vertical jumping up there and he can cover a lot of area. He’s definitely improved. We’re still not where we need to be. I think he should have had two picks and probably should have scored a touchdown last week, but we’ll get there.”
On Kevin King’s transition from safety to corner and the characteristics needed to play on the outside “No question, you have to have speed. I think it would be harder to go from corner back to safety. He went from safety, where he really knew what the job was of both corners, the nickel, the WIL linebacker, and now he’s going out to corner where basically the safeties are telling him what to do, but he really already knows what his job is supposed to be. Now it’s just the technique part of it. He’s grown, he’s still got a ways to go, but I really like the path that he’s on right now.”
On if he asks his DBs to be as versatile, similar to how o-line coaches ask their players to be versatile “It’s very similar. We have some swing guys that will go from safety to corner, or safeties that have to know both safety positions. All the safeties have to know both safety positions, as well as the corners have to know both corner spots. Usually I’ll have one or two corners that will be a swing guy and have to know safety, just to make sure depth wise. Injuries are a part of football. We just had an injury. It’s not going to be the last one, sad to say. It’s a long season, so definitely we have to have swing guys that can go both ways.”
On the challenge that a mobile QB like USU’s Chuckie Keeton presents “No question, this guy is electric with the ball in his hands. So we’ve got to do a good job of keeping him in the pocket, and then when he does run, we have to cover the receivers first because he can throw it, and now all of a sudden once he gets across the line of scrimmage it’s all hands on deck. Everybody’s got to swarm and get him down on the ground. Hopefully we’re making him get down on the ground fast. We don’t want him out there running around like a running back. If he does that we have to put some heads on him.”
On how Austin Joyner's injury affects his rotation “Obviously it’s one guy down so it hurts our depth for sure. All of a sudden another guy goes down and now it gets a little tighter back there. Austin was on his way to getting more and more reps at corner. So now, obviously with him out, some other guys are going to have to step up and play more reps for us.
On who will take Austin Joyner’s reps, and the possibility of it being a freshman “No, there are no other guys. It’s going to be more in practice; more guys are getting more reps now. So now, more tired legs and those types of things. Once you lose a guy like that there’s really nobody to replace him. So it’s making sure the safeties also know corner, so if something happens we may have to move a guy over in that direction.”
On keeping Austin Joyner engaged while hurt “I call on him in meetings. Make sure, ‘hey what’s your technique on this?’ He’s got to be ready to roll. That’s how he stays engaged, and obviously watching practice and making sure he’s taking good notes and those types of things.”