Spring Update 4/4/07: Notes from Wednesday’s Press Conference

Defensive coaches Corwin Brown and Bill Lewis spoke to the media on Wednesday as did the defensive players.  I posted an article on Derrell Hand and another one on Kallen Wade on the main site earlier tonight and here’s some notes on coach Brown and coach Lewis’s press conferences.  Here’s also a link to all of the videos today provided by und.com’s All Access.
Notes from Corwin Brown’s Presser:

  • Brown said they have been getting better results against the run, in pass drops, understanding coverages, and eliminating mental errors, but did note they have to play much smarter across the board.
  • Brown noted that one area that needs improvement is recognizing an offense and knowing responsibilities and where the help is coming from.
  • The older defensive linemen are picking up the defense and taking to the coaching well, but overall it didn’t seem that Brown was overly encouraged about the defense.  Three defensive linemen he recognized by name were Trevor Laws, Dwight Stephenson, and Patrick Kuntz.
  • Brown mentioned Chris Stewart will have to work hard to catch up with the time he’s missed due to injury this spring.
  • When discussing the safeties, Brown said everyone, with the except of Zibby, needs to play a little bit better.  He stressed that the safeties are the last line of defense and that if they make a mistake “the band is going to be playing.”
  • It’s still early and there is a lot of competition going on along the defensive side of the ball, but Brown did mention that they are confident that there are 11 guys that they could put on the field and have a good idea of what will happen.
  • Brown stressed that regardless of alignments, they will make the defense play a lot of different ways.
  • He said its still too early to tell where some of the young guys like Morrice Richardson fit in.

Notes from Bill Lewis’s Presser:

  • First off, I gotta say that Lewis is just a natural teacher.  Watch the video of him on und.com and you can get a sense of what makes him a good coach.
  • Lewis stressed that the secondary is a group of hard working players and that he’s been very pleased with the effort turned in at each practice.
  • The coaches are evaluating in the secondary this year and there is a lot more competition this year than has been in past years that Lewis has been here.
  • Lewis and the defensive coaches are trying to get everyone in the secondary to look at themselves as either a corner or a safety as opposed to being a strong safety or a free safety.  They want position flexibility and want to get the two best safeties and two best corners on the field.
  • In the nickel package, Lewis is looking for the next best defensive back to fill the nickel role and won’t look exclusively at a corner back.  Whoever is the best non-starting defensive back, whether it be a safety or corner, will get the nod.
  • The defensive backs are accepting the coaching well and starting to pick up their responsibilities.
  • The last two practices they have worked on nickel package.  They have also started to work on “down and distance” situations the last two practices.
  • Lewis noted that Zibby is still learning a lot and said he feels Zibby came back so that he could take his game to the next level.  Lewis also noted that Zibby is very focused this spring, maybe more so than any other spring since Lewis has been here.

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