One on One with Coach Malone

Earlier this week the Broncos new cornerbacks coach, Coach Van Malone talked with Broncos Illustrated. He talked about making the decision to join the football coaching staff at Western Michigan University as well as about the group of cornerbacks he has and about some of the preparation that took place during the spring and summer.

Coach Malone talks about coming to Western Michigan University and his preparation for his first season as a coach of the Broncos cornerbacks.

"Well coming here was an easy answer because Coach Darnell coached me in college (Texas) and had a great influence on my life and to have the opportunity to be able work with Coach Darnell. I've learned so much in the short time I have been here and being around the other guys on the staff, I think the chemistry that we have is really unbelievable in such a short time. The players are also a part of the answer. Their attitudes, the fact that they want to win and they have really shown that big time. All of those things are an important part of the answer. It was just easy to come here. The next thing is it's a lot warmer than North Dakota (laughing). Also the great tradition that Coach Darnell has started and the fact that he just does a good job, I thought before I came here, of developing young men and as a coach that's what I am all about. As far as what I did this summer I just got ready and worked real hard. I think we as a staff worked real hard on developing our guys' mental attitude to understand that it's as long as you say, "ah we're old poor Western" then that's what you are. If you always do those things that you always did, and we have a sign in our staff room, "If you always do what you always did you always get what you always got." I used that this summer "if you always think." I try to apply those things to your thought process, your attitude. If you always thought and looked at yourself the way you always did that's what you will see what you wanted to see. If you change your attitude, change your outlook about yourself, about the way you do things then I think you will start to see a difference in your action and then even in your results."

He talks about some of the changes that were made at the cornerback positions during the off-season.

"Well in coaching the cornerbacks I just feel like we are glad that Scott (Robinson) moved over at corner, I'm glad to have him. DeRae (Allen) being a young guy was thrown into the fire pretty early on and you hope as a guy is thrown into the fire in year one that in year two he has grown from the experience. I think just watching DeRae in the spring and watching his development I think that he mentally and physically of course he could do it. But mentally I think he has come a long way. Scott just making the transition from safety to corner it's the same but in many ways it's a little bit different are the things that he is expected to do. Oseloka of course also spent a little time at corner and as he did that we felt like in his short time as a corner he made strides even as a safety. Because of the things that he learned at corner kind of helped him out at safety. I'm excited about our guys I'm excited about the three signees and those guys coming in because I think it's going to be a competitive group. We're going to be a lot more aggressive and that's what these guys wanted, that's what Coach Darnell wanted and I think that this spring gave us a pretty good indication that we will be a little bit better."

He talks about what it's going to take to get the job done this season.

"Well I think one of the things we did a great job of this spring was coached effort. We coached it at the start and let the guys know it was very important to the coaching staff that you get to that football. Once we started that it started to roll and we didn't have to coach it anymore because if you as a coach have to spend a lot of time coaching effort, than you are wasting your time. Early on we taught them how we wanted it and after that we just expected it. In the secondary I think the guys did a real good job of grabbing hold to that and understanding that pass or run you need to be involved. In the cornerbacks one of the things we try to preach is that there are a lot of interceptions that come when the ball is tipped and it's floating and it just hits the ground. That's an interception. Interceptions are valuable and our main job, our number one job, is to prevent the offense from scoring. Our number two job is to get the ball back for the offense. A lot of times you will have three and out and they will punt. Bam, we got it back for the offense. But what if you can get it back on first down? What if you can get it back on second down? The best way to get it back is when they put it in the air, because when it's in the air it belongs to no one. When the running back is carrying it, it belongs to him, you have to strip his arms off of it but when it's in the air it belongs to no one. So we tried to really grab hold of that idea and train guys to be ball hogs, to really be aggressive when the ball is in the air."

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