Coach's Take on FS Dennis Keyes's Dusty Wittig catches up with UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker and chats about rookie safety Dennis Keyes. The Bruins coach shares why Keyes has a leg-up on most other rookies and explains what Keyes will have to do to make the active roster in Arizona. Find out what else Walker has to say in this Insider Q&A.

Dusty Wittig: In your words, what kind of player is Dennis Keyes?

DeWayne Walker: Dennis has always played with a high football IQ. That is something that is really important and he was fortunate to play in an NFL scheme while he was here. His football intelligence from that standpoint will really benefit him in the long run.

Dusty Wittig: What is the best part about his game?

DeWayne Walker: I would say his intelligence and instincts. He has good enough ball skills and really tackled well in his senior season. I think he has all of the tools to make it in the League.

Dusty Wittig: What is something that Dennis needs to work on in order to make the 2008 Cardinals?

DeWayne Walker: I think he will have to be an ass-kicker on special teams. I have learned from my experience coaching in the League that, especially with undrafted free agents, to make the team you really have to get it done on special teams. Even though he understands the game and has all of these attributes, he will have to earn his spot on special teams.

FS Dennis Keyes
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Dusty Wittig: What kind of guy is Keyes off the field?

DeWayne Walker: He is pretty laid back. I know he has a newborn, and I think he is very committed to his relationship and his baby. He is a family type of a guy who is going to take care of business. I know he has a lot to prove in order to take care of his family and that is important to him.

Dusty Wittig: What is your favorite memory of Keyes?

DeWayne Walker: I would say my favorite memory of Dennis was just seeing how much he grew, in terms of respecting the game of football, between his junior and senior years. He started to put the time and focus into becoming an NFL-caliber player. I was very happy with how much he matured as a football player and a person.

Dusty Wittig: Is there one play that sticks out in your mind that he made?

DeWayne Walker: The one play that sticks out for me is his interception for a touchdown that he had against the University of Washington last season. Both teams were battling and Washington was starting to make a game out of it. His interception really sealed the game for us and stopped their momentum.

Dusty Wittig: How would you describe his leadership skills?

DeWayne Walker: I think he is the type who leads by example. Dennis was one of those guys who didn't say a whole lot. But when he did speak up, the rest of the guys would listen. He does a lot of things behind the scenes, but when he would step up in a team meeting or something, there is no doubt that he had the respect of his teammates.

Dusty Wittig: What do you think of his chances for making the active roster in Arizona?

DeWayne Walker: I'm not too familiar with the secondary situation over there, but with the little bit I do know, I think he has chance. I know that they are looking for safeties, and based on that I think that he has a legitimate opportunity, I really do.

Dusty Wittig: Is there anything else about him that you would like to say?

DeWayne Walker: I just think that his better days are ahead. I think he had an OK junior year and played much better as a senior. Him being in the pro system we have here and having gone through Mini Camp, gives him advantages that some other guys don't have. I just think that he has a great opportunity and has better days ahead.

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