In the countdown to Sunday, we caught up with Defenisve Coordinator Mark Beattie for a chat...
Coach Mark Beattie giving the Defense a few words of wisdom. Pic by Eamon McCormick.
A hard game against the Eagles, especially containing that hard hitting run game. How do you think the D performed?
I was really happy with our Defense against the Eagles. It wasn’t perfect but I thought we coped really well against what can be a very dangerous offense. At one point we had one Eagles drive last the full 3rd Quarter, and the perfectionist in me will ask why we weren’t able to turn them over in that drive but it ate up so much clock and showed that if you’re going to score against our defense we will make you work hard for it.
An unfortunate forfeit from the Galway Warriors this past Sunday, do you think the squad benefited from an unplanned week of training?
Yes and no, there is no substitute for playing a game but we used the extra week well and it was nice to be able to rest up a few bumps and bruises.
Westmeath Minotaurs this Sunday, league leaders and top points scored this season in IAFL1, you excited to face this high scoring offence?
Yes absolutley, you always want to test yourself against the best and Westmeath have really stuck out in the box scores as being a side that can notch up points. We have no doubt it's going to be a tough game, especially on the road, but I have confidence in my guys that if we stick to what we do best then we can get the result we want.
With Jason Duddy (last years Defensive MVP) and big Joe Marley (last years Rookie of the Year) in the trenches putting up big numbers, as well as the impactful duo of John Murry and Shayne Mone returning to bolster a strong linebacker core, you must be up late at night making plays! How big of a part will these guys and their ‘get to the ball’ attitudes have on Sunday?
Yeah those guys you mentioned are key for sure but we are more than just those four. The way I look at it, you’re only as good as your weakest link and the 11 'Boys that take the field are doing the job. I always say it might not be you that's making the tackle but your outside contain, your QB pressure or your blanket coverage that made the play. Might not come up on the stat sheet as much like those 4 guys do but its equally as important. Still, having the talent available to you like the four guys mentioned is fantastic. I wouldn't swap them for anyone.
As defensive co-ordinator, you obviously spend a lot of time putting schemes together to stop opposing offenses. Where do you get your inspiration or ideas from? Any particular team or coach being the base for your defence? Sacksonville maybe?
Yea of course I love watching my team, Jacksonville Jaguars, and learning what they do but to be honest if you just copy another teams plan then your not doing your job. You have to cater your scheme and ideas to suit the players you have at your disposal so that's where it gets tough. I love reading up on other coaches and what they do plus having guys within the defense like Jo Buchanan and Gareth McShane, who are so knowledgeable anyway really does help when you’re trying to get a scheme together. As you know I enjoy having a flexible defense as I think that's important, having guys with the football IQ to be able to adjust from a certain scheme to another and I think we have proved we are capable of that this season. That speaks paramount to the guys individually learning the scheme away from training, taking things on board and doing their homework.
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