Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Defensive Overhaul Shows Promise @ Rebels Camp

Juniors Malo Taumua and Isaako Aaitui traded places, with Taumua moving to end and Aaitui to tackle.

"I'm still learning it," Aaitui said. "It's kind of difficult coming from big end to inside. (But) I feel really good about it."

To add depth, junior Ramsey Feagai was moved from second-team offensive guard to backup defensive tackle.

In camp, at least, the changes appear to have paid off. The players are bigger, more athletic and have made plays.

When the team broke camp in Ely last year, the coaches had real concerns about the defense, particularly at safety, that turned out to be well-founded.

Not all of the answers have been found, but there don't appear to be as many nagging questions this year.

"Our defense is making it harder on our offense," coach Mike Sanford said. "It's harder to complete passes. It's harder to make first downs. I like how our secondary has played.

"I also like how our defensive front is rushing the passer, and how they're defending the run, too."

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