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Starters return to BI defense
Tiger Defensive coordinator Jeff Miller (in background) believes his defense is poised to go against the toughest teams in the 3-AAAAA Region with six returning starters on the roster. - photo by Photo by Patty Leon/Coastal Courier
The Bradwell Tigers have will have a strong defensive front as six players return to their starting positions from last season.
Senior Shaquille Russell will take the inside linebacker position, a spot that's been his for the last two seasons. Junior Daveen Herron will round out the other inside linebacker position. Seniors JaShan Thomas and Dominique Jernigan return to the line and seniors Manuel Crum and Derron Williams are coming back to their defensive back positions.
In addition to their seasoned starters defensive coordinator, Jeff Miller said he has a pool of talent from the younger players coming up from the junior varsity squad
"We have others player who played a lot that were not starters but will be this year," he said.
While the Tigers' two inside linebackers have a wealth of game time under their helmet, Miller acknowledged this is one area of the Tigers' defense where they lack depth. It means the Tigers need to keep their main two starters healthy throughout the season.
Miller said when it comes to the Tigers' strength it's their depth at defensive line and backs as well as plenty of game experience for the rest of the defense.
The Tigers look to maintain a three-man down front defensive stance.
While this places more pressure on the linebackers, Miller knows his current linebackers’ ability and skills.
This style of defense allows Miller to send in the blitz from multiple positions and at the same time us a five-man front when needed.
Miller implemented their defensive style when he came on board as the defensive coordinator in 2004. It helped to fit the niche between not having enough big guys to play at line and having those who were bigger but not quick enough to play as backs.
Miller said the key to winning games is to play with a solid defense.
"You play smart," he said. "You need to win the third down and win the turnover ratio."
The recent region change by the Georgia High School Association didn't affect the Tigers' 2008 schedule, but as in the past, the Tigers are up against some of the most physical teams in the state in Region 3-AAAAA.
The toughest opponent?
"The next opponent on the schedule. I treat every opponent the same," Miller said.
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