Pat Narduzzi and the defense were the first members of the team to speak with the media.  Here are the highlights from his round table interview:

ON THE TALENT HE SEES ON THE FIELD:

“No pads, so it’s hard to tell.”

ON COMPARING THE TALENT AT MSU WHEN HE ARRIVED AND NOW:

“It’s been so long, I forgot what it used to look like.”

ON JEREL WORTHY:

“He has a good feel for what those guys do up front.”

“He’s going to make plays on Saturday afternoon.”

“John Lewandowski and Coach Dantonio stay on him when and if he tweets.”

“He got ripped by Coach Gill in D-Line meetings.  He wants to get pads on because he feels he can’t do anything without pads.”

ON REPLACING GRADUATING STARTERS:

“The linebackers are the ones you look at, losing Greg Jones and Eric Gordon.  We’ll know more at the end of August than we know now.”

“Right now Isaiah Lewis is the penciled in starter (replacing Marcus Hyde)”

“It’s hard.  I think ‘what’s Youngstown State going to do?  What’s Notre Dame going to do?  What’s Michigan going to do?’  It takes experience to know what they did last year.”

“Chris Norman has to be the Greg Jones and Eric Gordon of this year.”

“It’s a challenge getting up to speed.  Getting our young players up to speed.”

ON NOTICEABLE IMPROVEMENT ON THE DEFENSIVE LINE:

“Rashad was a guy that struggled mentally coming in.”

“Coach Mannie has gotten rid of some of his baby fat.”

“Pickleman is another guy up front.  You should see what he looks like.”

“Pickleman isn’t going to just sit back and twiddle his thumbs and say ‘Whitey’s the starter.'”

ON DEFENSIVE ENDS:

“There’s a lot of competition there.”

“We’ll see who makes plays.”

“There may be more competition at that position than any other.”

ON PRACTICING WITHOUT PADS:

“It’s like soccer camp out there right now.”

“You can’t do anything in shorts.  Really it’s just an opportunity to get hurt.”

ON THE BOWL LOSS TO ALABAMA:

“The guys get motivated by themselves.”

“I’m a gut that likes to be positive. So when you say ‘bowl game,’ I say ‘what bowl game?'”

“They were a talented team.  We had two 6th rounders (in the NFL draft) and they had four 1st rounders.”

ON TEAM YOUTH:

“Trenton Robinson and Kevin Pickleman are our only seniors on defense that are projected starters.”

“We’re going to play with the best players, the best 11.”

ON LAWRENCE THOMAS:

“I don’t know where you guys got this that he was going to move (from linebacker).”

“He needs to get rid of some of his weight, needs to shed some of the baby fat, but he moves pretty good.”

ON THE OPTIONS IN THE NICKEL AND DIME FORMATIONS:

“We’re going to get those 5 best defensive backs on the field on 3rd down.”

ON TONY LIPPETT:

“He’s going to be a 2 way player for us.”

ON WHAT HE LOOKS FOR THIS YEAR FROM THE DEFENSE:

“We need to be a more destructive team, we need more penetration.”

ON WHO IS LOUDER, HE OR DAN ROUSHAR:

“I’ve worked with him at 4 places, and he’s loud.”

ON DEPTH:

“If you are on a 15 play drive you’ll need to rotate guys.  But you don’t want to see a drop off either.”

ON THE ROAD SCHEDULE:

“Our defense has to be a bunch of road warriors.”

“They’re all great teams.  We won’t face a bad team on the road, and we won’t face a bad team at home.”

ON THE POSSIBILITY THAT CHRIS NORMAN MAY CHANGE TO THE OTHER OLB:

“The more times you tweak around with something, you move parts around, sometimes they break.

ON DENICOS ALLEN:

“Denicos is tough enough, he’s not a big guy but he’ll rock you.”

ON TRENTON ROBINSON:

“He just has a great feel for the game.”

“He’s come a long way.”

“Now he does almost everything the way it’s supposed to be.”

“He’s a guy that showed the toughness and courage to tackle guys at this level.”

ON THE BATTLE FOR PLAYING TIME AT SAFETY:

“I think it’s going real well.”

“He (Isaiah Lewis) is a very good athlete who can go be the field safety in a split second.”

“We really won’t know that (who the best backups are) until about halfway through doubles.”

ON PRIORITIES EARLY IN PRACTICE:

“We don’t coach during the summer, they’ve been doing 7 on 7.”

“Now is for breaking bad habits.  Improper steps, bad breaks, that kind of stuff.”

ON SUMMER STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING IMPROVEMENTS:

“Based on what Coach Mannie said last night there might be only 10 guys who didn’t get stronger from last year.”

“Joel Heath, Shilique Calhoun, and William Gholston each blew away the run test yesterday.  They could have back-peddled the last part.”

ON WILLIAM GHOLSTON:

“Gholston had a great summer.  He looks great.”

ON KEVIN PICKLEMAN:

“He has a bad neck, but he has no neck.  How can you hurt a neck you don’t have?”

ON DENZEL DRONE:

“He’s one of our leaders on the defensive line.”

“He was a summer D-Line coach.  Denzel has just kind of taken that upon himself.”

“John Misch was going to be a coach someday because he was always asking questions beyond, Denzel is the same way.”

ON EVALUATING TALENT:

“Gameday, Coach always talks about it.  You have to know who those guys are and who can do it on gameday.”

ON GOING FROM GOOD TO GREAT:

“Defensively, that’s what we want.  We were good last year, but we want to be great.  Good isn’t good enough anymore.”