After Copperas Cove’s defense failed at times during the 2013 season, the Bulldawgs are eager to improve, and Tyrell Thompson is no exception. As a junior, the defensive end recorded 50 tackles, including 30 solo and eight for loss, while also pressuring the quarterback nine times and delivering a pair of sacks.
With spring training complete, Thompson talked with the Herald’s Clay Whittington after the team’s recent Blue-Gold Game regarding the upcoming season.
How did it feel to get out and play in game-like scenario?
It felt really good. We’ve been practicing for the past four weeks, and this felt like an actual game, so it was different, and the intensity level was up a lot more.
Was it nice to be going at full speed for a change?
It is a big difference. Practice is a lot slower, and the offense doesn’t go as fast, but I think the defense made some good adjustments. We played really good. I feel like we did really good.
How do you feel the defense has progressed over the course of spring training?
On the first day of spring ball, the offense was just killing us. By the second or third week of (head coach Jack Welch) yelling at us, we finally got what he was saying.
The defense has improved, the offense has gotten a lot better, so we are good, and we are all on the same page. If we have the offense, defense and special teams all on the same page, then we are going to have a good season.
Where do you think the defense has made the biggest improvement?
I would say the defensive line and the secondary.
In what ways are you seeing them get better?
Last year, I personally feel like we didn’t have a good secondary. I know we had good players, but we didn’t understand what we were doing. The guys this year, they understand what they are doing, and on the defensive line, we are getting better and slowly perfecting it.
Personally, how did you feel during the spring game?
I felt really good. I got tired sometimes, but that is just me getting back in shape. But overall, I felt really good, and I feel like I can do some big things this season.
Are you starting to get excited for the upcoming season yet?
Yeah, every time I go home and watch film, I’m just ready to face the next opponent. It is fun going up against your teammates, but it gets kind of old because we all know what we are doing and stuff like that. So, I’m looking forward to seeing a different color jersey out there.