Gitler Growing More Comfortable

"Nasty" Jack Gitler has been nearly as tough on offensive lineman this spring as teammate Jason Babin. Gitler spoke with us about his progress, goals and his new coach along the defensive line among other topics.

How comfortable are you with where the defensive line stands thus far in spring drills?
As far as the coaching aspect the defensive line as a whole has it down pat and we all have a good idea of what we are doing out there. As far as working on things and pushing the offense knowing we're getting a hard pass rush and they have to get rid of the ball as fast as they can is making it harder on us. As a whole we are getting it pretty good out there.

What are your impressions early on with coach Harper?
First the way he coaches us he goes over things really well and he is very technical. He gets after us for doing the little things. Everyone likes him and we have a good time with him and as far as changing the defense goes he's made it an easy transition out there and it really hasn't been that hard learning the new stuff he is showing us.

Are you set at defensive end or do you see yourself playing inside as well?
I think now the way we're working it's going to me and Babin at defensive end. As for the future we could be going to a three technique where we could move inside to tackle so it depends on the different rush schemes where we line up at. We could all move around to different spots but right now I think I'm set at defensive end.

You have been very impressive this spring. Any change in your offseason workout plan?
I think the biggest thing is getting comfortable with the position. People always talk about getting comfortable with that you're doing and last year was my first year at defensive end so last year was a big learning experience and so far this spring I feel like I know what I'm doing and I can go out there and play without thinking as much. It just feels better out there this year.

Any specific goals this spring you have for yourself?
I just came in and wanted to be a big contributor to the defense and help the defensive line a lot. Last couple of years I was in and out bouncing around on second string and I want to be out there all the time and just be the hardest worker pretty much. Watching people like Babin and others and everyone hustling to the ball that basically what I want. Just run to the ball and hustle all the time and never stop.

Any concerns or pressure on yourself and the defensive line having the linebacker position so thin?
I think Paul Tithof has made a good impression on a lot of people and a lot of people talk about him. He's a smaller linebacker but he is moving around real well and I think the defensive line knows that we are all going to be working real hard and the linebackers will be covering the inside gaps. I think we'll have to pick it up and just play as hard as we can every play. If it was Lape and Malloy from last year we'd still be working just as hard so I think that is the way we have to look at it. I think we're just going 100% no matter who is in there.

Any players really stepping it up out here this spring?
Blayne Baggett studies all the time and he is really working himself hard. I think he is one that really sticks out.

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