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Notre Dame media day: Defense soundbites

| Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Defensive line coach Mike Elston on the switch to the 3-4:

“There’s been great feedback. It’s not just the scheme. They love the culture of a young staff. I was not here last year, I don’t even know half those guys, but it’s a young staff, it’s a loving staff, we teach with diligence and excitement. When adversity hits, we don’t point the finger, we love them harder and force them to do it better. I think they appreciate that.” 

Junior defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore on learning the new system:

“We had all spring to get better. For the first couple weeks it is kind of hard. But practicing all spring, through the summer and now into the fall, we’ve gotten a lot better.” 

Senior safety Harrison Smith on the defense’s reputation:

“The players knew it coming in, and the coaches just hammered it into us: ‘The rest of the country thinks of you like this, is that how you want to be thought of or not?’ They stay on us, when we get tired and might forget about it, they keep it fresh in our minds. So we’re always going, working, trying to get a good name for ourselves.”

Sophomore linebacker Manti Te’O on taking on a leadership role:

“I’m the oldest of my family. I have four younger sisters and a younger brother. The things I do with my sisters and my younger brother relates to how I connect with my teammates. At my home we’re a famly. Here, as a football team, we’re a family. For me, I just need their trust. To know that I’ll always be there for them, whether it be on the football field, in the classroom, in society, wherever. The game of football goes far beyond just the playing field.”