Obviously you've been seeing a lot more time with the first team, how has that been going so far?
"It's been good. It's been better and better every day being with the first team offense and going against the first team defense. As a whole we need to continue to improve every practice. If we do that we will be a better team coming out of the spring."
Has it been easier to get into a rhythm this week as opposed to the week before Spring Break? How has wearing pads changed the mindset?
"It's been more normal because this week we've obviously been in pads. We got those first two practices out of the way and now we're back in the rhythm of practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday so getting in the rhythm will help everyone getting it together."
What's it been like so far taking all the reps against the first team defense?
"There are good players on both the first and second teams but the speed is a little bit quicker. It helps because you're with guys that are fast and you're going against guys that are fast. I like going against the first team much better."
How's the rhythm with the receivers at this point?
"It's getting better. The beginning is going to be a little busy after not being on the field for two months but things are getting better and better every practice."
Sophomore Safety Brandan Bishop
With this being the first week of practice, how are things for the secondary so far? Is there much pressure at this point?
"We're young as a unit so we're just trying to get used to playing together, getting used to all the calls and getting more comfortable on the field. It's a work in progress right now."
How has it been different so far with what you guys are learning at this point? Does it feel much more advanced than where you were at the end of the season?
"You always try to build and progress and we're going to try and be a lot more solid in the secondary and obviously myself and all the guys are going to learn from last year and take the experience that we got and try to be a better overall unit."
How has it been facing the first unit in practice thus far for you?
"That's always fun. Whenever you can go against the white shirts it gets you a little more excited than going against a scout team so we definitely like that."
What about being in pads again?
"That's football. That's what we're here for. Anybody can play in shorts and a t-shirt but once you strap pads on is when you really see who can play."
A lot has been said about the defensive secondary needing to improve this season for the team to take the next step. Can you see anything at this point in practice?
"It's early but I feel like we're going to take the necessary strides to be a better unit as a whole and we're growing up. We're not all first year freshmen anymore. We've got juniors and seniors and with Nate (Irving) back in the linebacker core things are going to improve.
"It's great to look in the middle and see No. 56 out there. We really missed him last year and he's a big part of our defense so to have him back is huge."