Monday, October 20, 2014

UConns young defensive line continues to mature

Due to some quirky scheduling UConn is in the midst of playing one game in 25 days. It has given the UConn coaching staff time to tighten up some things as well as allowing the Huskies dealing with minor injuries the opportunity to heal.

During yesterday's press conference I asked Bob Diaco if there happened to be a particular player or position group which has made the biggest strides in practice during the two weeks with no games to be played. The first unit he mentioned was the defensive line.

"The D line especially the young d-line players are getting better with the fundamental eye progression," Diaco said. "They have done a better job there, (playing) faster, violent, more heavy hands. I think they are moving along."

UConn's defense has allowed opponents between 271-302 yards in the last five games and a major reason is the rapid development of many players seeing their first sustained playing time.

Fifteen different players have tackles for loss for the Huskies and six of them (Junior Joseph, Folorunso Fatukasi, Mikal Myers, Cole Ormsby, Ellis Marder and Cam Stapleton) did not have a tackle for loss heading into the season. Myers and Marder were the only ones of the group to appear in a game before this season and they had a combined total of just 11 career tackles. Marder is the only defensive back among the group so the future of the defensive front seven looks to be in pretty good hands.

"I think we are progressing great," Myers said. "I think we are trying to get better every day and the one thing Coach (Diaco) stresses to us is to get better every day. It doesn't matter what class we are in, as long as we play hard and to the best of our abilities

"They do a great job in strength and conditioning and I feel like I am way stronger than I was when I first got here so that is something helps me on the field, it is showing."

Switching gears, it was rather predictable with Halloween quickly approaching that the announcers calling the UConn/Tulane game made mention of the upcoming holiday when Myers made one of his two tackles for loss since he has the same name (spelled differently) as the main character in the Halloween movies.

"I've been getting that since elementary school, it is something I have always gotten," Myers said. "It gets old after a while."


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