Aug. 13, 2003

by Lisa Mushett

Day two was a hot one for the Irish as temperatures climbed into the upper 80s in South Bend. Today, caught up with senior inside/outside linebacker Derek Curry to see how the defense was progressing.

Q. How has the defense looked through two days of practice?

A. It is going all right, but we still have a long way to go. We still need to work on conditioning, learning more of the defense and recognizing what the offense is doing. We have had a decent start, but we have a long way to go.

Q. You say you have a long way to go. What areas do you think the defense needs to work on?

A. Sharpness, execution and recognition of what the offense is doing on the field.

Q. How does the offense look so far?

A. They look good, but to be honest, I am so focused on what I have to do and when I have to do it, that I am not paying much attention to them.

Q. You specifically have a to play all the linebacking positions this fall. Does that help you get through the monotony of fall practice?

A. It helps, in a way, in keeping me focused, but it also can slow me down because when you do not know something you have a tendency to go slower. I received a lot of work in the spring at both positions and I like the opportunity of playing both inside and outside.

Q. Physically how is the defense doing now?

A. We are good. A little sore – I need more ice.

Q. How do you think the change in the two-a-day policy set by the NCAA is going to affect the team this fall (the NCAA has regulated the number of two-a-day practices during fall camp stating that you cannot have two consecutive days of them.)?

A. I don’t think it will change the way we play. We have the same motivation as when we had two-a days. We will hopefully be fresher going into the start of the season which will be a good thing.

Q. During training camp, everything is basically 24-hours a day, seven-days a week football. How does one stay mentally focused on the task at hand?

A. You just do it. You get used to it. The longer you are here it gets easier as well. You get acclimated and learn to live for the moment.