UConn lost a lot on defense we know.
Two starting corners in Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz; two starting linebackers in Sio Moore and Jory Johnson; a starting defensive end in Trevardo Williams and a defensive tackle in Ryan Wirth.
Right now UConn Coach Paul Pasqualoni is anxious to see who steps up – because several players need to really, on both sides of the ball but the D lost the most.
“The play of the overall defense whether it’s the defensive front, the linebackers or the secondary, ok, we’ve got to have dependable, consistent play out of every one of those units and where we stand right now that’s got to improve,” UConn Coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “That’s got to improve for us to have the kind of success we want to have.
“On the other side of that pancake I like the approach, I like what the offense got done this spring. I think they really improved. I think there was significant improvement there. I think the fact they’ve been together now and understand each other and understand what’s expected, the scheme, etc., so I would say on the other side of the pancake I’m pleased with how far the offensive line has come. I’m anxious, kind of excited to see them start preseason.”
The spring game set up was certainly different than in past years. It didn’t include any scoring or a lot of scrimmaging.
That wasn’t the point.
“It was an opportunity to more evaluate the consistency and fundamentals, assignments and techniques than it was the overall how many plays can you run and how many different defenses and blitzes you can be in, so the emphasis was more making sure that when the players heard the play or the defensive call they knew exactly what their assignment was because you’re playing a lot of younger players and I didn’t want anybody confused. I didn’t want any mental paralysis, not knowing what to do, and not being able to play full speed.
“I wanted to evaluate the guys on the defensive line guys like Julian Campenni, Mikal Myers, Angelo Pruitt, Andreas Knappe, Tim Willman. I wanted to see a basic approach and see exactly where they are. The linebackers, Graham Stewart, Jefferson Ashiru. The offensive line I wanted to see Tyler Samra. I wanted to see Richard Levy. I wanted to see where those guys were when they knew exactly what to do, you know? That was more the emphasis of the spring game and I thought we got done what we needed. From an evaluation standpoint, it gives me a good picture. Now you go back and ask me the question what’s my concern? I just told you what my concerns were. That’s based on 15 practices culminating with the spring game so I know exactly where we are right now going into the summer. So when I have exit meetings with every player on what I think they have to do to get better and what we have to do collectively to get better as a team I’m able to give them facts that are backed by evidence on film. So I think that’s an important process you go through so everybody is clear on what they have to do and what we need to do to start this preseason camp.”