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Linebacker update

Coach Darryl Burko (photo Derek Mortensen for Electric Umbrella)

The Huskies entered training camp with talent, but not much depth, at linebacker. The unit has also undergone a small shuffle since last season. The group is coached by Darryl Burko and he spoke with Huskie Outsider on Tuesday afternoon.”We are pretty good two-deep,” Coach Burko remarked about the unit. The Huskies typically employ only two linebackers. “There’s real good competition at both the mac and will spots. Geofff Hughes has been playing great football at will, and that’s kind of new for him. He was a high school linebacker but he’s been a halfback and rover for us the last couple of years; he’s outstanding at will. Dylan Kemp has moved from linebacker to Hughes’ former rover position, which is a transition that began in the latter half of last year. Burko was asked if the switch was made because of the skill set that Hughes brings to the will, or the way that Kemp’s speed fits the rover position. “It was a combination of both I think. Kemp settled in to that spot at the end of last season and he’s really got the perfect attributes for that position, and I think that Geoff is a linebacker instinctively, and he’s always wanted to get back into the box and play linebacker. He brings great tackling ability, but he still has the skills to go out and cover people, and we ask the will linebacker to cover quite often so he’s really the perfect guy for that spot.”

Coach Burko went on to describe the battle at the other linebacker spot. “There’s a competition between Dane Bishop and Richard Zacharius, who are both great players, at the mac spot. Either way, we know we’ll have one good player there and one good player who won’t be starting; it’ll vary from game to game and situation to situation, and we know that they’ll both play a lot because they’re both very good players.”

The Huskies frequently go to a three man front and bring in an extra linebacker; in camp, that is when Brad Kotania has been on the field. “Brad’s had a bicep issue that is still bothering him a little bit. He got some opportunities to play last year and he was outstanding. He is just a smart, good all around football player.”

One Response to “Linebacker update”

  1. stanthefan says:

    I’m definitely not a big fan of the 3 man front, especially on second and long, and against a strong passing QB. I hope we show a lot more versatility on defence with the front 7. We need more stunt and blitz packages, and definitely more pressure on the QBs. Without pressure, our back 5 can’t cover very long.

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