Q: Is depth a concern for you at defensive tackle?
Budd Thacker: "I think we'll be alright. The D-line line, we don't have a lot of depth but we've got a lot of workers. Our whole D-line, we work. That's one thing that we are going to try to do. We are going to work to make sure we are the best we can be on and off the field. I am not too worried about that."
Q: It's almost that way for the whole defense. Because of what happened last year you've got experience everywhere.
BT: Pretty much. We've got a lot of players, a lot of freshmen that played last year. They are all coming back with some playing-time experience. I am sure that will play a big role in how we do this year. We only lost coach (Kevin) Steel and we got (Chuck) Amato in here. Amato's one heck of a coach. You can't beat Amato. I think he's going to take care of the linebackers and I think we are going to have a very strong defense this year, actually."
Q: What about your role this year?
BT: "I don't know. All I can do is wait and see. I am going to give them everything I've got and work my butt off on the field and in mat drills. Just show them that I am ready to play and hopefully I can work my way up the ladder."
Q: Did you ever think coming in that you would play as much as you did last year?
BT: "When I came in here the plan was to play. It definitely was. I always shoot for the best. I always want to be the best I can in whatever I do. When I came in here, my goal was to play but I didn't think I was going to see the field as much as I did but I am glad I did. I actually got out there and was able to show a little something. Hopefully it will pay through this year."
Q: There's been so much talk about the offense getting leaner and meaner this offseason. Has there been that kind of thing for the defense, too?
BT: "It's like that every year, man. You can't get mean enough. Defense, you've got to have a nose for the ball. You've got to out there and just play as hard as you can. You ain't gotta worry about all these other little things. Defense is just hard-nosed football. Every year you want to improve getting meaner (and) being able to focus. It's like going through mat drills, trying to finish out that fourth quarter. Just build a mental attitude."