August 24, 2007

Linebacker Q&A

In 2006, Nelson Coleman and Alain Karatepeyan played in thirteen games. Chris Chamberlain played in twelve but missed part or all of a few early games at linebacker. Between them, they accounted for 178 tackles. Coleman was second-team All Conference USA, Chamberlain was honored on the third-team. The departed Nick Bunting was named to the first-team.

The temptation would be to identify the loss of Bunting as a sign the defense may have less toughness, less fire. Alain Karatepeyan steps up to Bunting's starting spot, but can also play the speed end position. When AK is firing off the line, look for Mike Bryan to fill in. Bryan played in all thirteen games in 2006.

At the 2007 media day, ITS caught the starting three's outlook on the season and a few other subjects.

• Chris Chamberlain

ITS: Going into the season, how does your knee feel, and how do you feel about the knee?

Chris Chamberlain: "I came back pretty quick last year. I think it was about five and a half months or so before I was actually back on the field playing. It was frustrating to get off to a slow start last year. This year, I definitely feel a lot more comfortable. I went through spring ball, been lifting all spring and summer, so my strength is definitely back. It feels good, so I'm excited to get out there this year."

ITS: How do you see the young linebackers, like Mike Bryan, developing this preseason as capable backups?

Chris Chamberlain: "They're developing great. They had a chance to come in here last year and learn. They've got the system down now, so it's just a matter of getting reps and getting experience. They're looking to carry on the tradition of great linebackers here."

ITS: Is the defense any different from last year?

Chris Chamberlain: "Not at all. We're pretty much trying to bring the younger guys along.

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