Have you been told whether you are playing inside or outside this season?
I'll be at defensive end this year.
What has been your focus this offseason?
I've worked a lot with the trainers on the cords and really taken advantage of my time with them. I feel really enthusiastic when I go to work out and that has helped as I really look forward to doing it now compared to the past when it might seem more like work. My roommate Greg [Bryant] and I really push each other and that is always good. We have a friendly competition going.
What is your current height and weight?
I'm 6-2 and at 259 pounds right now.
Has the work with the cords helped in your burst?
Yes, my last 40 time was only in the high 4.7
range but my movement off the ball feels real good and I'll be more explosive this year.
What about some numbers in the weight room?
I did a five rep max on the bench of 410 and did 225 pounds 26 times.
How do you view the change of J.C. Harper from Defensive Line coach to Defensive Coordinator for you personally?
I don't think it is going to be a big adjustment. I'm excited for him and am glad the terminology is going to be the same. He handed out our papers to us already and the calls are the same as last year and that is good. I think it will be good for him now too as he is the lead guy and he'll be able to express himself more as a coordinator more than he did probably as a position coach. I think we'll have a better outcome as a team because of that.
Do you think the team has a sense of urgency this offseason as far as guys working hard?
I think we are having a real good offseason and just looking at the weight room numbers tells me that we are working real hard. I also think it goes back to when Tim Lester came in here and talked to us and told us we need to listen to the coaches and trust what they are saying and I see guys probably listening to coaches more now than maybe they did before. I don't want to say there has been a problem over the last couple years but I don't think maybe some players were listening as much as they should have been. I think that has changed. If the coaches want us to run through a brick wall we're going to do it. We're going to check our ego at the door and go in and work hard. Even with the new coaches I see the guys really listening to what they have to say.
What are your personal goals for this upcoming season?
A general type of goal is that someone needs to step in for [Jason] Babin this year and it could be anyone. It could be a corner or a defensive lineman. Personally I want to fill that spot and I think to some extent people will look at me to fill that spot coming into the season and I'm not really worried about that. I'm ready and feel I can step in and help us a lot this season. I think I can play better and go to the next level in my game. Team wise without a doubt our goal is to win the MAC. We've been saying it for the three years I've been here and I think everyone is going to listen this year and we are going to work as hard as we can to make sure we accomplish it.
Anyone you've seen flourish this offseason you think is ready for an impact?
I think Greg Jennings is a standout person I think. His talent you can go on forever about. I mean he is a gifted person pretty much. He'll be a big part of the offense this year mainly because if you look at our quarterback position we have a new guy coming in and Greg is going to be the one to get the ball to. One thing I was actually happy about was Scott Robinson got moved a couple days ago from safety to cornerback. He's the kid of guy that can play there and he is one of the fastest guys on the team. Darrell Copeland will probably move in at strong safety. Spring ball is going to say a lot for a lot of guys.
Any specific goals for yourself or the team you would like to see accomplished this spring that might not have been done in previous years?
It seems that by week four of the season everyone seems to understand what the offense is running and I know it seems fast but I'd like to see the defense have a good feeling for that by the end of spring ball instead. Guys know all of the plays and obviously we'll have a couple of months off before fall camp but I think it would help us to know a lot of that before we enter fall camp.
Who do you see taking a leadership role on the team through their actions or their words?
I think the seniors as a whole are doing this. We have senior only meetings and then we come back the next day and have a team meeting to make sure people know they are involved and not being left out. If everyone is playing then everyone needs to feel included. Everyone needs to understand what is going on with the team.
Jack Gitler Q&A
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