CB Darnay Holmes
October 16, 2020
Q: I’m guessing there wasn’t a lot of practicing in the rain at UCLA. What was it like out there?’
A: We had a few days where we practiced in the rain. The main thing our coach always told us was if you don’t mind, it don’t matter. My main thing going out there today is not really taking note of it and keeping my focus and approach dialed into the day and the calls ahead.
Q: Were you surprised when that decision was made that you guys were going to be outside?’
A: Definitely wasn’t surprised. We know what we have going on here with Coach Judge. Coach Judge is going to make sure that we’re a blue-collar team. He is going to do everything he can to implement that style of play.
Q: As a rookie corner, you are going to have quarterbacks that are going to go after you to see if you can handle that kind of thing. What has it been like having to prove yourself all over again in a way and show these quarterbacks that you can handle that kind of thing?
A: It’s actually fine. At the end of the day, it’s me versus my man and just go out there and compete to the fullest. I always go out there with the mindset of I’m going to allow God to allow the situation to flow the way that it’s supposed to flow. I’m not going to try to dictate things or try to really give the experience I want to give. I’m going to go let things go the way it’s going to go. I know I am going to be at peace because I put my best foot forward that play and that rep.
Q: What have you learned from playing with a guy like James Bradberry, who’s obviously having a great year. Everybody talks about how he’s kind of just quiet and goes about his business. What’s it been like learning from him and playing next to him?
A: I can ask him anything. Day in and day out, I’m his right-hand man. We talk to each other. We pretty much talk about personal things and he pretty much helps me navigate through life. As a rookie, you need someone right there in your corner. I have JB, Jabrill, Logan, Nate, there are so many guys who are willing to give a helping hand. It’s just a blessing to have them.
Q: In five weeks, what is the biggest thing you’ve learned?
A: I would say recognizing things. Not being so in tune with what my job is but be being able to diagnose what the offense is trying to do.
Q: One of the things that Coach Graham was talking to us about was he said, “I try to teach my guys just do what I say.” Almost don’t use your own instincts, just do what I say. Is that hard?
A: I think you probably interpreted the answer wrong. He definitely allows us to go out there and play freely. He always makes sure we’re not robots. He definitely gives us that coaching and those tips to make sure we play faster so our instincts do flow and are shown. Coach Graham is a guy who is going to make sure he coaches you hard. He’ll make sure that you understand what he wants done and pretty much break down the things, so we’re detail orientated.
Q: This is the first time most of us have talked to you since that 49ers game. How quickly were you able to put that penalty you had in that game behind you? That was kind of a turning point, how quickly were you able to put that behind you and get back to playing well these last two games?
A: Right when he picked the flag up, it was over with. It really wasn’t something that I allowed to linger in my mind. I learned from that experience. It was a blessing I learned from that experience early on.
Q: As far as where you’re at technically when you see yourself on film every Monday. Do you see a different player than the one that started in Week 1? How satisfying is it to see the gains, whether they are incremental or big leaps that you’ve made in your game within this defense?
A: It’s been a blessing to see the progression I’m making. I’m never at the point I want to be at. I feel like I will never be there, that’s just the person I am. I will never be satisfied. It’s just me being able to take on the coaching points, being able to diagnose things, being able to communicate more. I’m actually seeing that, it’s actually running off in my play. I’m playing more confidently because I know what I’m doing. I know what I can anticipate. Pretty much just watching film, I feel like I’m more free flowing.