Spring Football: Curtis Bray on the DL’s progress

By Chris Williams, Publisher

You’ve probably heard or read this next sentence a hundred times over the past two weeks Fanatics.

In order to make a bowl game in 2010, Iowa State needs to find a way to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. How is that going during spring football? caught up with defensive line coach Curtis Bray last week to talk about this. Here’s the Q&A.

How has spring ball gone so far coach?

CB: It is going well. We are trying to get better. We need to become smarter. We are playing a lot of younger guys. They just have to grow up quick.

Are any of those young guys standing out?

CB: Aaron Moore (pictured above) is doing good things as a freshman. He has got to be a guy who can contribute. He has to get a little big tougher physically and mentally. He needs to know his calls and exactly what is going on. Besides him, Roosevelt Maggitt played some last year along with Patrick Neal. They need to keep progressing and keep doing better. They were backups really last year. They need to show that they can compete for a starting job.

What does Roosevelt need to do to get on the field this year a lot?

CB: He is going to get on the field. For us, he needs to be a better player. His big thing is being more consistent. He has the talent. He has the ability to do it when he stays focused on his job.

If the Northern Illinois game was tomorrow, would Patrick Neal or Roosevelt Maggitt start opposite of Rashawn Parker?

CB: Probably Patrick Neal because he is more consistent. They would split time probably.

When I interviewed you a few months ago, you told me that you wanted to see more consistency out of Maggitt this spring. Are you seeing that?

CB: Yes. He is a lot better player than he was last year. He is going against KO every day, which is making him a much better player. He has gotten better. I don’t mean to sound disappointed in him at all. But for us to be a high level defense, he has to be a lot more consistent.

Defensive line as a whole, I know that putting pressure on the quarterback is a key. Are you guys making strides?

CB: Slowly. Slowly. They just need to keep working at it. We have to put them in the right situations to know what they can do. Whether we are a blitz team or whether we are dropping eight. Or even if it is a four man rush, we need to figure out as a staff how to get to the quarterback more. That still is one of our priorities, that and stopping the run more consistently.

What has Rashawn Parker’s role been so far this spring?

CB: His number one role right now is rehabbing and getting himself healthy and moving football wise. He’s been doing drills and really holding out of contact. He’s been a great leader. He is the one kid on our defense who will step up and talk to anyone. We need a huge leadership role from him this year.

Has that been hard for him to do when he’s not out there with them?

CB: Right now it is. It is a little bit harder for him but he is doing it. I know that once he practices, he’ll do it a lot more. He is working on his own drills a little bit. That is when we notice that we are lacking his leadership. We do miss him in the huddle. When you are out there on the field, that is when you need him.

You also have Rony Nelson coming in this summer, can you give us a little bit of a scouting report on him?

CB: He is a strong player. He isn’t overly big but he is very strong and very quick. Hopefully what we saw on film will show up. That is great athletic ability and great quickness off the ball. Hopefully, he will address a little bit of the pass rush issue that we have.