VIDEO: Keishawn Bierria on Spring Ball Day 10's Luke Mounger spoke Wednesday with UW junior inside linebacker Keishawn Bierria, who talked about 'Death Row', the origins of the nickname, spring ball, and getting more than just competitive with the offense.

On “Death Row” “It’s something the older guys passed on to us. It’s a name – the “Death Row” part. It has its own meaning. But it’s also a way of thinking and a style of defense we should play.”


On “Death Row” becoming more recognized by the public “I don’t know. I guess it’s the year to bring it out. I know every year the defense has this kind of label for them and this year we picked “Death Row. ” It was something, we just all came together and said ‘we should be Death Row.’ Somebody just thought of it and everybody just got attached to it. That’s what we are.”


What is the “Death Row” mentality? “I don’t know if I should say it right now. It’s whatever anybody else wants to make it. Our defense, we have our own meaning for it. I’m not going to be the guy to just express that. It’s whatever you think it is. Death Row has something to do with convicts. It’s nothing like that for us, but it definitely has a strong connotation for us.”

Does this spring feel different for you after being a starter last season? “I think last spring – because I was out most of the time just working on injuries and stuff – it’s definitely different for me. I didn’t get to do this last year and it’s also taken a full year just to prepare my teammates and get ready for the season.”


On finishing as the top defense in the conference last year “Coach Pete got on that today about being the first defense or whatever. We’re kind of trying to push that off our table right now and just work on being in 2016 and just do what we do best.”


On having the confidence of being the best defense in the conference “Oh definitely. Yeah.”


On “Just doing our job. Just locking down our job. Just going out and knowing the defense’s ins and outs and just getting to know the game better. Also just getting to know our teammates better. Just throwing young guys in and making sure they feel at home and are ready to go as soon as they come in. We’re just trying to build everyday. Everyday we’re trying to take a step forward. That’s what we’re trying to work on. Last year we had some bumps. This year we’re just trying to make it real smooth and just make sure we’re climbing.”


On practice getting heated at the end “It always gets heated when the defense is dominating. We like it. That’s our part, but definitely guys have to keep their poise. Even though this is practice you have to treat it like it’s a game. Just keep your poise but still bring that edge. We kind of live on the edge playing defense, but we just have to make sure you know your position, know what you’ve got to do. And you also have to have your mind too. You can’t be out there throwing punches. We can’t have that in a game. This is what we do. Things get hot when you’re competing at a high level.”

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