Secondary/Safeties Coach Dave Merritt
June 20, 2014
A: Antrel is not starting to understand, heís starting to develop as a safety. He was a corner, as we all know, drafted out of Miami. Now all of a sudden heís a safety and heís now starting to understand the position more so than ever. Before, as far as formations, he didnít see formations, he didnít really see the concepts of being back there and seeing the route concepts. And nowÖ
Q: Is this recent?
A: Iím saying when I first got him the first two, three years. And now the last two years itís all coming together for him and heís feeling more comfortable. With Antrelís ability to continue to learn and grow he hasnít, in my opinion, hasnít scratched his ability as a safety yet. Last year as a glimpse of what Antrel could actually become. Just imagine if he had started that maybe eight years before at the position. Again, the first couple of years you all know we played him at nickel, we played him at bison, we played him at corner, we played him at safety and now heís able to just play strictly safety and itís coming together for him well.
Q: What makes Quintin Demps ideal for that third safety spot or a good candidate?
A: His speed. His speed, his ability to actually change directions and burst. Quintin has played back in the post for most of his career. One of the things that he told me when he first arrived was, ĎCoach, I want to be down near the box.í So when he said that I said, ĎWell you know what, Iím going to give you all of the tools to hopefully help you be successful down around the box.í His speed, his ability to change directions and burst is one of the valuable assets that he brings to the table.
Q: Why does he want to be down in the box?
A: I think itís because heís played back so many years as a deep safety, being back 20 yards. When youíve been back there for that amount of years you want to get down around the action. I think he probably has seen guys being down around the action, Berry that he played with in Kansas City, Pollard, the kid that was with him in Houston so heís see all of these guys down around the action where heís been back just as a safety valve. Now heís down close to the box and heís learning the linebacker aspect of it.
Q: Does he have to prove to you, when you play near the box you have to be more physical. Does he have to proveÖ?
A: No, heís physical. He doesnít have to prove that to me. I know he is physical enough, definitely.