LB coach Hargreaves leads unit’s improvement
Linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves has helped produce a vast improvement in the Cougars’ defense compared to last year. The Daily Cougar spoke to Hargreaves about what he’s been doing to make them a priority instead of a liability.
The Daily Cougar: What have you been more impressed by in your defense thus far?
Vernon Hargreaves: They’re obviously playing hard, and their ability to create turnovers has impressed us tremendously. They don’t get flustered, and we know we can adjust to any offense our opponent throws at us.
TDC: What is the key to not to look ahead of Memphis?
VH: You have to prepare each game for what it is. It’s sometimes human nature to kind of look ahead sometimes. But the guys that know any week they can get beat are the teams that are more disciplined and can get the job done.
TDC: What have you preached to your defense since you got here?
VH: You have to stay as focused as you can on the process. The process is what you do daily during the week of preparation. You got to keep that the same so you can stay focused day in and day out. I’m not going to watch less film this week than I did last week. It doesn’t matter if a team is not that good. My preparation toward my team is going to stay the same and never change.
TDC: How do you win games in other facets of the game than the potent offense?
VH: Sometimes the defense sometimes gets overshadowed because the offense is so good. I dont care what the offense does — we have to do our job. It is what it is. Sometimes the offense won’t be able to score points and that is where our defense has to show up and prove what we’re all about.
TDC: How do you coach the linebackers on improving every time they step on the practice field?
VH: I always preach to all our defensive players, “You can’t be satisfied with your game.” I tell them to always strive and get better each and every day, and they will see vast improvements in their game to make them the best player that they can be.