Transcript: Darren Perry

<b> PITTSBURGH -- </b> Darren Perry was an assistant to an assistant last year but has since been promoted to defensive backfield coach this year. The 35-year-old former safety was also sent to the George Young Coaches Career Development Symposium last month with Ken Whisenhunt. <br><br> In other words, Perry is a young coach to watch. He talked with us about his aspirations , as well as his young secondary and how it's faring under new coordinator Dick LeBeau.


How much more responsibility do you have right now?
I'm basically overseeing the whole group, running the meetings, organizing what we do, what we need to see. It's a little more extensive than what I did last year but Ray (Horton) is in with me and we try to share as much of it as we can, but I guess I coordinate it all.

It's a good feeling isn't it?
Oh it is. I'm excited about it. It keeps you on your toes. I welcome the challenge, and, again, I'm working with some great people so that makes it a lot easier.

You were one of the three guys here who went to that coaching symposium. Doesn't that identify you as an assistant coach to watch for the future?
Well, it's hard to say right now. Obviously everybody has goals but you just have to be patient and hope things work out for you, but I think everybody at some point has aspirations of moving up and becoming a head coach. That's a long way down the line though.

It looks to me as if there's more rush from the secondary this year. Is that right?
Well, coach LeBeau is going to be a pressure-oriented guy. That ain't gonna change. He likes to bring a number of people and right now we're kind of experimenting a little bit and seeing what we can and can't do, who we can bring and who we can't. We've got a lot of options. At some point we'll zero in and narrow it down as much as we can to allow our guys to play fast.

Can you tell us anything about what to expect next year?
It's hard to say. We're just trying to make sure we're all on the same page because in this league when you're not all playing the same defense and the same technique that's when you allow the big plays. So we're trying to condense it as much as we can to allow our guys to play fast. We don't want to be over-complicated but we want to have some flexibility. Again, the big thing is allowing our guys to play fast and win one-on-one match-ups.

You have a number of interesting young players back there. How are they coming along?
It's still early. It really is. Hopefully when we come back to training camp those guys will feel a little bit more comfortable, and then once we get into the preseason games they'll feel even more comfortable and be able to show what they can do because right now their heads are spinning. We've got a lot of stuff in and it'd be unfair for us to try to evaluate them right now because they're not really reacting the way they probably will be down the line. So we just have to be patient, try to give them as much as we can, hope they grasp it and then we can move on. Once we get to training camp the pace will be so much faster. We won't wait around for anyone to learn. We'll have to keep growing.

Are you excited about the speed potential back there or are you apprehensive about the lack of experience?
A little bit of both. I told them that I don't mind starting with a bunch of unknowns at the beginning but when it's all said and done we better be accounted for. And people will know. That's what's we're striving for, and that's the big key. We're trying to get these guys there as fast as we can.

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