However, with only two returning defensive starters, head coach Greg McMackin knew this was going to be a unit they'd have to coach, and with just over two weeks before the start of the season, he's pleased with how the defense has progressed.
"They're doing a good job or learning and working, you can see on video the technique is coming through, they're a very smart team, a very close team and they've been working very hard," said McMackin.
"We gotta come out and set the tone and let people know we're going to be the toughest defense that anybody's seen, people are overestimating us, but you've seen it, we're tough, and we got more guys behind them, we lose one guy there's not a lot of drop off, and we're going to come out and really surprise some people on defense," said linebacker Jake Heun.
Despite the lost starters, the team returns plenty of players with experience, including Blaze Soares and Rocky Savaiigaea.
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