How’s spring ball been for you so far? “I think I’ve made some strides this year. I was going into spring ball trying to focus on my technique and I think I’ve made some strides. I haven’t been as consistent as I want to, but overall I think I’ve had a pretty good spring.”
Is there one thing in particular you’re working on? “Being patient at the line. Part of being a DB is you have to be good at the line. I was watching a lot of Sidney (Jones)’s film this offseason. He was the best at the line I’ve seen all year. So I studied a lot of his film, just to be patient and stuff like that. I worked on that a lot and hopefully it’s showing up out here. I think I have improved on that but I have a lot of getting better to do.”
On the defensive backfield dynamic “Being part of a great defense is cool. I get to see all these guys compete out there and learn from them. I mean, we’re all competitive with each other, but it’s friendly competition. You see him doing good, I want to do just as good as the other guy. We all push ourselves to get better. I think it’s cool being part of a great secondary like we are.”
Is ‘Death Row’ a secondary thing? “It’s definitely the whole defense. Actually, I think Shaq Thompson and (John) Timu started it. One day the defensive backs said we’re going to call us ‘Death Row’ and it sprung off from there.
Did you decide to go public with that nickname this year or are people just paying better attention now? “I think we proved it on the field this year. I didn’t play that much, but the defense last year proved it. And we lived up to it last year so now it’s like we’re taking stance saying ‘we are Death Row.’”
How can the defense improve after last year’s great year? “I’d say just the little things. Focusing on technique, knowing what each other is doing, watching more film together, making sure we’re more of a unit. The whole defense is a unit, not just individual position groups. So just knowing what everyone is doing and watching more film and doing the little stuff in the weight room and stuff like that to be better overall.”
Is it hard to have an underdog mentality after last year’s success? “We’re still the underdogs. 7-6 is still 7-6. We’re still the underdog. We still have to improve. We didn’t win as many games as we wanted to last year. If we’re not the champion, we’re the underdog. We’ll still have that same mentality.”