April 13, 2012

Defense putting in extra time

Junior Jacques Smith get the text message daily from linebacker Herman Lathers. The messages is simple, meet me in the film room.

It's become a daily gathering of anwhere from two to 10 players depending on everyone's schedule to try and learn Sal Sunseri's new defense. For the veteran defensive players, some who have had the same position coach and some who are learning the third defense of their career, they don't have to be talked into the extra skull sessions.

"I remember when Coach Wilcox and them first got here, it took us awhile, now, just to get the gist of it because there were so many young guys, Smith said. "And even the older guys, you could tell it was a lot different. And now that I've been through the exchange of learning a new defense and coming into a new one, I know it takes more time than what you think it takes. And that's why every single week, we have groups of 10 to 15 guys at a time probably, like, four times a day coming up there, getting with Coach Sal, getting with Coach Staley - our assistant linebacker coach - getting with all those guys to make sure that we know our assignments, we know our plays and that we won't have any mental breakdowns on the field."

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