April 18, 2006

Slay's shadow doesn't bother Hines

Over the course of the past football season or two, Texas Tech fans and coaches didn't have to worry terribly much about the defense getting deep-fried by big plays. The presence of steady veteran, Vincent Meeks and the spectacular Dwayne Slay pretty much shut down the opposition's long-range artillery. Now, however, Meeks and Slay are seeking to ply their trade at the professional level, and the players currently slated to replace them have not played many snaps at the NCAA division one level. Tech backers who had grown accustomed to an old, familiar security blanket in the form of Meeks and Slay could be forgiven for being nervous about the new poncho bearing the names of Anthony Hines and Darcel McBath, which currently shrouds the defense's shoulders.

But, of course, experience isn't everything. There are also talent and potential. And confidence. When asked whether Tech fans should be a bit concerned about the safety position next season, Hines replied, "Absolutely not. There's no reason for concern. I mean, D. Slay, he had a lot of experience, but he came in one year and you saw him perform even though he came from JUCO. But our young guys, we've watched guys like Meeks and Slay come through here and they come back and teach us a lot. A lot of our experience is from them, watching them. So it helps us get better."

If Hines and McBath are indeed able to translate the teachings of Slay and Meeks and the experience of watching them play onto the field, Hines's confidence will certainly be well-founded.

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