The hard work has paid off though. The linebackers have been the most consistent group on the defensive side of the ball during fall practice. "We're looking good. We're still kind of young, but overall everybody is playing good," said Smith. The defense as a whole is fairly inexperienced, but thinks are looking good as the season nears. "They're learning, and they're giving it all they've got, so that's really all you can ask for," said Smith.
What does Mike Smith think about the new defensive scheme? "I love the defensive scheme," said Smith. As the players learn different aspects of the scheme, the coaches are adding new wrinkles on a regular basis. "It seems like everyday we've got something down they put something in that's new, and just even more impressive," said Smith. The aggressive nature of the defense is the most noticeable aspect of the new scheme. This aggressive style of play leads to a much more physical style of play. "It's more collisions, and more being physical with people," said Smith. "It's just old school football."