Perry knows Danville's defense needs to make improvements

October 16, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Danville's defense figures to be able to shut down Trimble County Friday, but defensive coordinator Jerry Perry knows the Admirals have a lot of improvement still to make before the Class A playoffs start next month.

"We still are not a very good tackling team. We still do not get lined up correctly all the time. We've got to recognize offensive sets better and pay a little closer attention to detail," said Perry.

Perry said part of the defense's problem is that preparing for versatile offensive teams like Manual, Boyle County and Highlands left little time for work on fundamentals.

"You spend a lot of time on formation recognition and not as much on fundamentals like tackling," Perry said. "No one seems to run a conventional offense any more. You seldom see the same thing twice and that makes it harder on defenses."


Perry also thinks Danville, which is ranked No. 1 in Class A by The Associated Press and No. 2 in the Durden Ratings, has yet to see the type of offense that could give it the most trouble during the playoffs.

"Highlands, Boyle and Manual are all very good offensive teams, but we still have not seen a team that is just going to line up and play smash-mouth football. Holy Cross, Mayfield and Beechwood are much more likely to line three backs up in the backfield and just run right at you," Perry said.

"The playoffs are about who can control the ball. You see less scoring because you face better defenses, but also because coaches get more conservative. We've played four finesse teams so far. Lincoln County, Carroll and Owen County played more power football, but they didn't have the athletes of a Manual, Boyle, Somerset or Highlands."

Danville is giving up 13.5 points per game. The Admirals have 36 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback sacks and 16 turnovers. They have also stopped opponents 72 percent of the time on third down conversion plays.

Grey, Teater have been most consistent defenders

Senior linebacker Dexter Grey and safety Davis Teater have been Danville's most consistent defenders. Grey has 15 solo tackles, 16 first hits, 20 assists and four tackles for loss. Teater has 16 solo stops, 15 first hits, 14 assists, two caused fumbles and one interception.

"They have been our two best players," Perry said. "They both do a good job recognizing alignments. That's not a knock on the rest of our players, but they just do the best job. They also don't play as much offensively as some other players do. They specialize more on defense. They not only are more aware of what is going on on defense, but they also make more plays than anyone else."

Junior linebacker Kelvin Turner has 43 total tackles, including four quarterback sacks. Lineman Masaak Tagarook has 26 tackles, including five for loss, and lineman Mario Berry has 27 tackles.

"Kelvin has to move around and play a lot of spots for us. He plays outside linebacker, inside linebacker and safety. We just have to move him where we need him because of our limited numbers," Perry said. "It's the same with Mario. He has played tackle, linebacker and nose guard.

"Moving around so much can make it hard to get into a defensive flow. But finally it all comes together and everybody gets more comfortable with everything they are doing. That's what we want by playoff time."

Danville (6-1) will face a Trimble offense that has scored just 33 points all season. Last week Harrodsburg blanked Trimble 50-0 and limited Trimble to 42 total yards.

Perry says quarterback Paul Deese "is a good player and athlete" and that Trimble also has one athletic running back and receiver.

"They spread the field against Harrodsburg, but I wouldn't be too surprised to see them go more back under center against us and try to run more rather than try what they did at Harrodsburg," Perry said.

"We just want to make sure we keep getting better no matter who we play. We still have not played up to our potential. For whatever reason, we just have not gotten there yet. We've got to get healthy, focus better, tackle better and play with more emotion. If we do that, we'll be fine in the playoffs. If not, we'll be in trouble."

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