clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kevin Steele 4 April 2017 Post Spring Practice Press Conference Recap

The Tigers' Defensive Coordinator took to the microphone to speak with the media tonight following practice. Check out what he had to say.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

If there's one thing you can count on when Kevin Steele takes the podium, it's that you're going to get a lot of information. He really is fun to listen to. Unfortunately, I couldn't pick out every little thing, so I missed some. Still, though, I think this is a pretty good wrap-up of everything Steele had to say:

- Process oriented. Emphasized takeaways in practice. Have scored on defense a couple of times in practice, but have a long way to go. Biggest thing is having guys who played last year who had some success, but that's irrelevant to this year. Experience does matter, but still have to earn it.

- Cites players who have played and getting guys better, getting younger guys time. Need 18-22 "starters" in this league with the pace, wear and tear, etc.

- Have had some improvements, experiments with moving guys around. Dinson and Javaris Davis have played "Star" position. Daniel Thomas has worked some at Safety. Haven't done much with the linebackers. Hope to add to the four primaries from last year, but not moving those guys around.

- Defensive line has stayed pretty constant. Nick Coe has moved some around from Buck to End. Trying to cross-train some guys. Don't want to get to where they don't have best 11 on the field.

- Didn't know much about Dinson before seeing him in practice recently. Has worked Star and Corner. Really pleasant is that he truly has the skill set and mental makeup to QB a defense. Very intelligent football player.

- Getting freshman in to get meaningful reps. We play a lot of people. In part, because they go against a no-huddle all the time in practice and have to rotate guys.

- Montavious Atkinson you can tell he's comfortable in what we're doing and how we're doing it. Making extra effort. Preach effort, tackling, physicality first and foremost.

- Tre Threat has practiced really well at Buck. He's a perfectionist, hard on himself, doesn't want to disappoint teammates and coaches. Needs to learn to just come back and play the next play. On track, brings something to the table, a little knack for pass rushing.

- Nick Ruffin is an older guy, been through the drill. He, Stephen, and Tray Matthews carry the bulk of the load at Safety. Each guy has a list of things to improve on.

- On freshmen: "well, they know where the locker room is, they know where the practice field is, they can get their pads on right. Occasionally, they understand the defense" but still make some mistakes but are improving.

- Greg Brown is a very good technique coach, schematically we're not changing. "Do what we do how we do it, but he's from that tree, too, no learning curve."

- Behind the three Seniors, how is the depth? "Well, obviously, we're taking Corners and moving them back there and working them. There's the answer to your question."

- "Dirty Mike" Sherwood's versatility: He's a fun guy, gives everything he's got, knows how to play all DB positions, he's a problem solver, gets everyone on the same page. "Coach on the field." Fun to have a guy you can grab and send to play any position if someone gets hurt. Makes him a valuable guy.

- "If we're waiting to replace Mon Adams and Carl now, then we've got problems." It's done through the years in recruiting, practice, etc. You know they're going to leave after 3-4 years and you better have guys to replace them. Doesn't know anyone who has done a better job of recruiting guys to fill the spaces Auburn has than Rodney Garner. "Walk in that room and you can see the grocery shelves are stocked. They may not all be ready to play right now, but there's a plan for them."

- Byron moving inside: seems more comfortable. Gives us a pass rusher in there as a 3-technique. Has gotten really good at running, pad leverages, hands, dominating blocks, just seems more comfortable.

- Talked about the possibilities of how to split up A-Day and then guys going out there that are results oriented, playing to match-ups. Basically, can't really take away much from A-Day. Just play with great effort and be physical.

- Talked about Tray Matthews' hamstring "not unusual for guys who play in the back." Had some tightness and rested him.

- Nick Coe is learning the language. He was close to seeing time last year, but going back to how you set the table of managing roster, replacing players, etc.

- Nobody yet from news guys who didn't get much time last year who are ready to go. Guys are on track like Daniel Thomas and others.

And, finally, hear about Nick Coe and his nickname of "Pickle."