Just a few days into fall camp, Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley likes what he’s seen from the defense overall, particularly the depth he has at his disposal.
But he also acknowledged that the defense is a work in progress.
“We’re looking for — not incremental, but substantial, improvement particularly in effort running to the ball,” Scalley said Friday after Day 3 of practices.
“It’s never as good as it seems, never as bad as it seems. I like the energy. Also, we don’t have pads on. It’s tough to determine what type of defense you are without pads. I like the energy. We’ve got athleticism and depth it seems at every position group.”
Scalley was pleased with the work the players put in during the offseason.
“The leadership has shown up. You can tell that there’s been a lot done without us (as coaches),” he said. “That’s how you can tell the difference between an OK team and a good team and whether or not you’ve got a shot is what they do on their own.
“It seems like they’ve done a great job.”
Defensive lineman Junior Tafuna, the reigning Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, said he’s enjoying the atmosphere in camp so far.
“The mood of this team is exciting. We’re trying to figure out who we are. We know where we can go and what we can do,” he said. “It’s just about coming together. We’re excited for what’s going to happen in Game 1 and the rest of the season.”
Stanford senior grad transfer Gabe Reid, a defensive end, said practices at Utah are a change from what he experienced at his previous school.
“I’d say it’s pretty different,” he said. “High-intensity, high-tempo. It being my sixth time around, it’s good to have a changeup. It’s been good.”
The Utes start Week 2 of camp Monday.