Players Post-Practice: Elam has something to prove

Mar 10, 2021 | 0 comments

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Linebacker Ventrell Miller, cornerback Kaiir Elam, and defensive end Andrew Chatfield spoke with the media Tuesday evening about the first couple of weeks of spring ball and more.

Here are the highlights:

Ventrell Miller

  • Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is as determined as ever. They have a chance to develop guys more and make the defense better. Miller mentions everyone's been fired up.
  • Miller’s been working on being a student of the game and trying to see how things fit together. He's still trying to get better and echoes Christian Robinson in saying he has unfinished business. The linebacker room is focusing on technical things and communicating with the rest of the players.
  • It's great for the young linebackers to get a spring especially because they didn't last season. One guy, in particular, is Chief Borders, mentions he has a motor just like Miller.
  • Emory Jones is a lot more mobile. You have to prepare for his feet. Miller agreed with Dan Mullen saying Jones has a strong arm. "He can dart you up,” Miller said.

Kaiir Elam

  • He has something to prove all the time. Every time he steps on the field, he wants to put up better tape than he did before. He feels like he didn't play as well as he wanted last year. Elam wants to get better and elevate his game.
  • Elam said he doesn't really have any goals like he did last year. He just wants to help his team whether it's with receivers, the young corners or just being a leader in general.
  • He hopes to get more man-to-man opportunities. He likes playing press-man, but goes back to wanting to do anything to help the team win.
  • He thinks the secondary's made a lot of strides with the small things like communicating. They're still young but each and every week they stepped up. He’s now in a leadership role and that means he has to stay focused, get better and bring his teammates along with him.
  • Elam says he really likes the young corners especially their ability to move and play the ball. He's trying to give the young guys as much wisdom as he can that you might not learn in a playbook. The corners progressed every single week so far. It was his first practice on Tuesday, he had a little setback but he's 100 percent now.
  • Elam couldn’t really point out any wide receivers who stood out so far. He feels the team does a good job of rotating guys and each one goes hard. He's not worried about the offense because Dan Mullen will find a way to score points.
  • On the anniversary of the shutdown: Mullen tells them all the time they have to be resilient. It was really different from his freshman year but it is what it is and you have to adjust.
  • On Emory Jones as a passer: He does a good job of extending plays and being a dual-threat. That really scares a defense. Just looking at the jump he made over the years, he’s done a good job of just getting better.

Andrew Chatfield

  • Chatfield is really grateful for the opportunities every coach gave him over the years. He wants to get better at using his hands and being a better teammate.
  •  Brenton Cox’s made improvement as a run defender. He’s more focused on playing the run this spring while still getting a nice pass rush. He's striving to be an all-around player.
  • You could tell Daquon Newkirk and Antonio Shelton are hungry, older guys. They play with a lot of confidence and provide a big help at defensive tackle.
  • Chatfield saw a significant uptick in playing time last season. The biggest moment for him was just the coaches trusting him to come in and make a play. He was grateful and blessed just to step on the field, especially the first time. He credited the defensive backs and play calls for him being able to make plays and brings up again how blessed he is to just be playing.
  • He said Tyron Hopper is really showing he can play. He's really come into his own and developed over time. Chatfield's very impressed with how he's grown.
  • Jones is elusive, quick, and makes the hard throws. You can hit Kyle Trask when he’s throwing but Jones is not going to let you touch him like Trask might. Chatfield's worried for other teams when they have to face Jones.
  • He thinks Grantham’s defense is great. With understanding where he's coming from with defense, Grantham's one of the best coaches he's played for. He loves the way Grantham plans out things especially with how he makes certain calls. People on the outside can never really understand what's going on when it comes to why teams score on defenses. Last season was a lot with the social distancing, everyone trying to be there for their families. So it's hard to say whether this defense last season played well or poorly.
Tags: Player

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