Defense Picking Up Intensity

Defense Picking Up Intensity

Southern Miss was back to work Wednesday afternoon as they took in another practice in preparation for the opener with East Carolina. The defense, and especially the linebackers, have been focused on picking up the intensity. Dylan Reda talks about that and adjustments they have made in this post practice interview with GoldenEaglePride.com.

Dylan Reda and the linebackers know it is up to them to pick up their game against East Carolina Saturday. Reda said the practices since the Nebraska game have refocused and gotten them on the right track.

"One of the biggest things that we did was continue to work on our game shape," he said. "If you watched the game you saw that we were able to hang with them and then we just gave out in the second half.

"We have had three really high tempo practices, and we went full pads and high tempo on Sunday as well. One of the biggest things we worked on was the quick style of East Carolina.

"We also worked on just being sound defensively. There were breaks in the defense and in the Nebraska game we struggled in coverage. We've worked in the film room and we feel like everything is ready to roll now. We've worked out the kinks."

Reda said necessary adjustments have been made and the practices this week have been just what they have needed.

"I feel like we've adjusted fine," he said. "When the ECU game week came to us, we are quick, full speed, and come Saturday we are going to be at another level."

With injuries and difficult circumstances for the defensive ends and linebackers, Reda is preparing to run multiple positions.

"Actually yesterday I was talking to Coach West and he said he was wanting me to learn the Mike position more just in case something happened there," he said. "Chauncy (Smith) might have to move over to the Will behind Terrick Wright.

"Brandon might have to play more defensive end. Being the Will I need to know how to play the Spur as well, so I need to know what those responsibilities are. I feel like I can play any of those positions and succeed well. I just want to help the defense any way that I can."

Reda has adjusted quickly to life at the next level, after transferring in the spring from Junior College.

"The biggest adjustment for me has been the speed of the game," he said. "There are great athletes at the skill positions in this conference. We go up against Lampley and Sims, who is the fastest player in the conference, every single day.

"I have to cover more than Junior College as well. Now, I feel very comfortable and am ready to show what I can do."

Reda is excited about the opportunity to do just that in front of the home crowd Saturday.

"Everyone is so fired up," he said. "The stadium looks great, and everyone's family is coming. My parents and sister will be there. We are all ready to be in front of our crowd."

The Eagles will have another closed practice tomorrow, including no interviews with media afterward. They kick it off Saturday in the home and conference opener against the Pirates.

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