August 22, 2007

Coach E on the D

Nearly all of the question marks around the 2007 Missouri Tigers have centered on the defense over the last three weeks. Missouri is replacing six starters on that side of the ball and the Tigers had their share of defensive problems a season ago. spoke with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus after practice on Tuesday. Where are you defensively compared to where you were a couple of weeks ago when camp opened?

Eberflus: "I think our depth is developing, they're getting better. Obviously, there are a lot of young guys with the twos and that type of thing and they're learning the defense. They're certainly developing and doing a good job. I think our starters are starting to come together in terms of the one unit, playing together, playing hard, playing smart. I think we've still got a little bit to go before the first game, but it's a work in progress and we're getting better every day."

PM: After the first scrimmage, coach Pinkel said you had a lot of athletes on the second-team that weren't, at that point, ready to play. How much closer are you?

ME: "I think whenever you play offense or defense, I think you've got to know, number one, what your assignment is. Then understand, number two, how to execute that assignment. I think that's where we are right now. I think a lot of guys know what they're supposed to do, but now they've got to learn how to do it. And then they've got to learn how to do it our speed, you know, the speed that we teach them to do it, which is full speed. Those last two phases, I think they're starting to understand how to do stuff and how to do it our speed. Once they get those last two steps, they'll start doing it more consistently."

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