One Week In: Popovich Changing Techniques

One Week In: Popovich Changing Techniques

Newly hired corner back's coach Jeff Popovich has hit the ground running, already implementing some changes in technique. With an off-season full of questions regarding the position battles at cornerback, InsideRunnerSports.com checks in with Popovich after one week on the job.

A central focus of Spring practice will be the evaluation of the cornerback's position. The depth chart released on March 20 makes it appear to be a battle of players from the 2012 roster and newly added players.

With Spring just getting going, the level of competition and expected amount of contribution among the players is as open as it ever will be.

"The reality in my mind is that there is not necessarily one's or two's," said Popovich. "They are all competing for jobs."

Holdovers Darrien Starling and Crosby Adams are currently listed at starters, with newcomers Bennett Okotcha and Andre Brown in the reserve role.

"Ideally I'd like to get comfortable playing with four or five corners," said Popovich. "I fully anticipate all of those guys being in the mix competing for jobs and all of them playing and helping us win."

So far in Spring workouts, each player has had both good and bad moments.

"They've got a lot of natural ability. And they're working extremely hard," said Popovich. "I'm very impressed with their natural ability and their work ethic."

A few other names to note: Sophomore Fred Blow has had several good moments in workouts this Spring. Juco Trevor Baker from California, who will join the squad in the fall, is also expected to contribute.

"It's a tough position play, we've got to have guys ready to play," said Popovich. "Receivers substitute, you've got to be able to substitute DBs. In order to do that, you've got to feel good that the guys who are not the starters are going to go in and execute and make plays."

Popovich has certainly hit the ground running by already implementing changes in technique on the field.

"I showed up on Monday, we started practicing on Wednesday," said Popovich. "I've changed some of the techniques and it's new to them. There's a bit of a learning curve. They are further along than what I expected to be at this point."

Popovich is slightly changing the press techniques as well as how the corners play off receivers. It may to be early to truly evaluate the position until all of the players become more familiar with these changes.

"They've all come in and watched film on their own," said Popovich. "As you see them become more comfortable with what I'm asking them to do, you'll see them make more plays instead of worrying about making sure they're doing the right thing."

In addition to a change in on the field strategy, Popovich has make it clear that he will be a high-energy presence on the field.

"I'm a pretty high energy guy," said Popovich. "I'm almost a little reserved right now because they don't know me and I don't know them. As the players get to know me and as I get to know them a little more it will probably increase a little more."

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