I put together a short Q&A with coach Mario Cristobal below from an interview I did after Wednesday's practice.
A little bit about what you did in practice today?
"Third-down red zone live work. Live action as well. All our packages on defense. Went short yardage. A complete day. We want to make sure every single practice going forward we are having a complete practice and we hit every phase."
Anything stand out to you today?
"We got to see Elijah Maxey back healthy. He got dinged up early in spring. He came back today. Made a couple of real nice plays...Playing physical ball. Winston Fraser is starting to play real good football. Anthony Gaitor did a lot of things for us last year and we want to have a lot of different body types that can do the same type of stuff with different personnel groups. We are cross training a lot of guys. They have done a great job taking in the information. We are going to push them to the limit all spring."
Anyone stepping up at line backer to replace Toronto Smith?
"I mean, they are all doing a good job, every single one of them. They all bring something different to the table. We are going to demand more from them. Our line backer productivity has to continue going up. We lost a real good player in Toronto Smith. We have a lot of young athletic, physically gifted guys that are putting in the work and putting in the extra time. We expect our line backer core to get better. It's continual work. They are putting in the effort."
How do you see the defense coming along under new defensive coordinator Todd Orlando?
"They are doing a good job. I feel real good about the ones [first-team]. They are out there, they know what they are doing. They twos are flashing, especially at the defensive line position. Which you always want to have a whole ton of depth at. I think for the first time in a long time, i don't want to say we have legitimate depth but we do have a couple of guys that can go in there and play and we can win with. We need to develop another 3 or 4 guys that can do that. Our defensive secondary I think is playing good football. They are extremely athletic, fast and can close on the ball. We want to have that next level defense."