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Devoted to the daily goings on with Rutgers football, both at High Point Solutions Stadium and behind the scenes.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lewis Toler talks Rutgers' NFL output, Dave Cohen and more

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: Tyler_Barto

Nearly six months after Western Michigan fired Bill Cubit, Lewis Toler jettisoned Kalamazoo, Mich. His arrival at Rutgers offers a stopgap at a cornerback position in need of one.

You can find Friday's first training camp feature on Toler linked, but here is more from Toler that didn't make the cut:

On allure of following former Rutgers defensive backs: "All of the corners last year had great success with the defense. They really played well. That was another attraction to Rutgers because I liked their style of play. They made a lot plays."

On his playing style: "I could be a physical corner. Finesse, I really like to be smooth when I'm playing. I really love man to man. It's just a great opportunity to make plays in a great defense."

Lewis Toler's Western Michigan experience fits Rutgers' attacking
style. (Tyler Barto)
On transitioning to a new program: "It's a flashback to freshman year because it's like nobody really knows you. You don't really know anybody. I really have a good relationship with (fifth-year seniors) Jamil and Jamal Merrell, so that helped me coming on to the team."

On defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, a former Western Michigan coach: "Coach Cohen's defenses are flying around relentlessly. That's what he preaches. Once you get on the field, you have to go get after it."

On beginning camp on the second team: "That's not something coach needed to tell me. I already realized coming in that you have to earn everything from respect all the way to leadership. I'm looking forward to it."

On decision to transfer: "I realized at the end of the season. Obviously our staff got fired. I did research with some of my academic advisers and I figured out how I was going to graduate."

ARCHIVE: Jamal Merrell: '(Toler's) very humble'


As part of an ongoing series, The Trentonian will take an in-depth look into certain concepts with Rutgers' schemes and explain them through the eyes of the players.

Part 2 concentrates on the X, Y and Z receiver positions, as well as the finer points of zone blocking.

Junior safety Lorenzo Waters on Friday on where each receiver lines up:
"The Y is generally the tight end. He'll be on the ball most of the time. To the tight end's side, you'll have the Z receiver. He'll be off the ball, which makes the Y eligible. And the X is normally the lone receiver on the backside. If you look at a pro surface, it'll just be a guard, tackle and X split out wide on the ball."
The Y can also be a slot receiver in certain formations. Since most run plays occur toward the strong side (with the Y receiver), the X receiver is usually a backside blocker.

The X receiver, if split out wide, must be able to beat trailing linebackers that line up nearby in a base defense. The Z receiver typically has more flexibility in terms of motioning and route combinations.

ARCHIVE: Waters as a dependable eighth run defender

Head coach Kyle Flood said he's taught three blocking schemes — gap, man and zone — at Rutgers. New playcaller Ron Prince's arrival could mean more zone blocking to fit Rutgers' personnel.

Kaleb Johnson, a junior left guard, details the nuances of blocking scheme:
"Zone blocking is more everybody has a gap — gap left, gap right, double teams in order to get to the linebackers. The power scheme is more down block, pull. Everything else is just basically pin and pull. Zone blocking is more gap."
Down blocking involves angling toward the nearest defender — left or right — depending on the direction of a run play. Zone blocking, Johnson said, is always designed to reach a linebacker.

"Wherever the linebacker's going," Johnson said Friday, "I'm going."

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