August 18, 2011

Talking linebackers with Tech's Koonz

With just over two weeks remaining until Louisiana Tech takes the field at Southern Miss, position battles are heating up by the day. After previewing the men in the trenches last week, BTB recently caught up with Jeff Koonz to gauge his thoughts on a veteran group of linebackers.

BleedTechBlue: We're about half-way through with camp, how has it been?
Jeff Koonz: "I think we are having a good camp. I think the competition is much better than it was last season and I think the difference is that they are all raising their game to that next level.

BTB: Is there a player that has elevated his game more than others?
JK: A guy like Adrien Cole is having a much better camp than what he had last year and he had a pretty good camp last season. He is on top of his game because he's brought the mental side of the game into play. He is really paying attention to the detail and you can tell on the field the amount of detail that he is absorbing in meetings and with extra film study. Everything is paying off for him and he is really becoming a very active player."

BTB: What about the rest of the returning players?
JK: The competition is making them better and they are embracing that. We're halfway through camp but we have got to continue to get better and not hold ourselves to our current standard but hold ourselves to the standard of our schedule and who we are going to play this year. Our standard has to be at the level of our great competition this season.

BTB: If the season started tomorrow, who are the three starters that you would send out against Southern Miss?
JK: If we had to go into battle today it would be Jay Dudley, Dusty Rust and Adrien Cole.

BTB: How have the newcomers looked and has any particular freshmen stood out?
JK: I'm pleased with the newcomers. Ty Hook is a very intriguing guy. He is very explosive and very attentive in meetings. He played defensive end in high school but he can bend, run and he is a physical kid because he has punch and power. He is going to have the luxury of having a year to learn and he knows that. Overall, I'm pleased.

BTB: What is your biggest concern on the linebackers heading into the season?
JK: Consistency. We are not nearly as consistent as we need to be. We will have one play where we look really good and then we follow that up with a play that has a mental error or two. We're in camp so it's hard for those guys to stay focused. It's hot right now but we need to focus at the task at hand. If we can get the consistency as a defense I think we'll have a chance to be a successful unit.

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