August 16, 2010

Costigan and Allen fitting in

MADISON - Defensive line coach Charlie Partridge has made it known that he wants to have a stable of eight guys that can rotate in on the defensive line, particularly at the defensive tackle position.

After losing a couple of key contributors at that spot from a season ago, it seems there is an opening for some younger players to step in and fill the void. A couple of young players getting their names mentioned so far in camp are Beau Allen and Kyle Costigan.

At Sunday's annual media day festivities, caught up with the two freshman defensive tackles for a dual interview. The following is a transcript of that conversation.

You guys have one week of practice in the books, how is it going for you guys?

Allen: It's going pretty good. I think we all have a lot to learn, but I think we're proud of having the first week behind us.

Costigan: Yeah, we're just trying to get better each day. Since the first day I got here I think I've improved each day. That's all you can really ask for.

Every coach I've talked to says that Costigan is the strongest freshman in the group. Is it true?

Allen: Yeah, this dude is strong. I don't know…I'm faster though by a lot.

Costigan: Dude, no. Don't put that on paper. That is a lie.

Allen: I'm just joking. This dude is really strong. He's a really hard worker in the weight room and everything.

What does Beau do that you're envious of?

Costigan: Actually Beau is probably faster than I am and he's got 30 or more pounds on me. That in itself is pretty impressive, just his size and speed combination. He's a freak.

What are you benching now? I heard you're over 400 pounds.

Costigan: I got 440.

Oh my gosh, that's unbelievable. What are you at?

Allen: I think I'm at 380 pounds. That's a big improvement from where I was this summer.

How much does strength play a part at the defensive tackle position? How important is that?

Costigan: It's important, but it's a lot of technique and footwork and stuff. It's important, but if you have just strength…you need other things.

Allen: It's a mix of a lot of things. It's footwork, technique and speed. Strength is important, yeah, but you've got to mix it all in.

Costigan: It's not any more important than technique.

How do you like the way Charlie Partridge coaches you guys? He's a pretty technical guy. He focuses a lot on the technique and footwork.

Costigan: I like it a lot. He's kind of laid back so he'll critique you but it won't be in your face. That kind of helps me because he'll criticize you but it's not to the point where you feel overwhelmed. You can handle it.

Allen: He's a great coach. He really knows everything that you need to work on. He'll pinpoint a couple different things that you need to get down. He's a really good technician.

So he makes it very individualistic. He focuses on the specifics of each person. How does that help build chemistry for each person if everyone is working at a high level like that?

Allen: It's great. I think we all have the same goal in mind and we all know where we need to be. That's what we're working towards.

Costigan: Everyone just tries to improve one little thing each day and it just clicks. When he critiques you it just helps.

How has it been as far as speed so far coming in from high school?

Costigan: The first couple of days it was huge, but I think as the weeks go on I think I'm adapting quickly. I think I'm getting a lot better each day.

Allen: I think everyone knows that the high school game and college game are a lot different. (Inaudible)

Is there any concern that you guys are going to hit the wall at all, maybe two weeks from now towards the end of fall camp. How do you fight through that?

Allen: I try to just focus on everyday at a time. It's not really a concern of mine.

Costigan: Just take one day at a time and make sure you get good treatment.

Allen: Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.

There's a little bit of an opportunity for you two at defensive tackle. Do you guys look at it and say, 'Hey, let's focus on right now and maybe get into this rotation as a freshman?'

Allen: Yeah, it's exciting.

Costigan: That's been my biggest goal this whole summer, just trying to prove people wrong because in high school not many people thought that I should even be coming. It's just me trying to take advantage of every opportunity I can get.

Who's impressed you as far as the older guys?

Allen: We've got some great senior leaders on the defensive line. J.J. Watt obviously, Patrick Butrym, Jordan Kohout. We just have a lot of guys. The thing that's surprising is seeing how helpful they've been. They've really just kind of let us know that we're all part of the same group and just helping us, either coaching us up on footwork or watching film together, they've been really inviting. It just means a lot.

Costigan: I'd say every single upperclassmen. Every single person has made a difference and has been extremely helpful.

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