April 13, 2009

Spring Focus: Will LB

For the 2009 season, linebacker coach Don Pellum has a rare commodity on his hands, some players who are not only young and talented but also experienced. One of last years' starters has started off this spring right where he left off. Duck Sports Authority caught up with Coach Pellum to get his thoughts on the Will position.

In 2008, Spencer Paysinger had a fine season by any measure. Second on the team in tackles with 95, 12 of them for loss, Paysinger also showed prowess in the passing lanes with two interceptions. This spring, the junior from Los Angeles has picked up where he left off.

"Spencer is very similar to Casey (Matthews) in that right now he is operating at a very high level," assessed Pellum. "On the field, he's making a lot of plays that other guys can't make. Part of it is understanding but part of it is athleticism. He's getting his hands on a lot of balls in coverage and a lot of that is he is just understanding things, like the receiver went to this side so somebody's coming back behind me. I'm going to step up down here then I'm going to expand because he knows if the QB sees him go there and the opening is over there but he is already planning to go over there. He's doing some advanced thinking."

Paysinger has put on a few pounds of good weight in the off-season, and actually picked up some speed in the process.

"He's gotten bigger," Pellum observed. "He's about 230 now and he ran in the 4.5's. So that part of it is really good. So I'm really excited with him, he and Casey both. When they're both in there we are operating at a pretty high level. We changed a lot of things defensively, but those kids are picking it up and not missing a beat."

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