Anthony, a five-star signee in the 2011 class, believes the Venables scheme is easier to grasp than what Kevin Steele had in place last season.
“It’s kind of an easy transition from last year’s defense,” Anthony said. “This is more simplistic. You get it a lot more. It’s not as complex as coach Steele’s defense.”
As a freshman, he recorded 29 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks in 292 snaps at the MIKE position.
“Last year was a big learning curve. I had to get used to the speed of the game, learn the playbook,” Anthony said.
Of the 13 games he appeared in, Anthony started three. He was non-committal about saying he wanted to be a full-time starter in 2012.
“I’m just coming in to work. Regardless, what happens, happens. I’m just here to work, compete. We’re all competing from the spring to the summer. You never know how those things turn out,” he said.
Earlier this spring, Venables noted Anthony’s versatility as one of his best attributes.
“I think, the beauty of what he can do, is kind of based on what other guys can do. I do think, athletically, intelligently and instinctually, he can do a lot of things,” Venables said. “He can do more than one thing. Some guys are just built to do a certain thing.”
Probably an example of why Anthony’s worked at two positions so far this spring.
“Right now, he’s got me trying to learn WILL, which leaves the box some. But I’m learning WILL and MIKE. I’m trying to take on those two tasks,” Anthony said.
For him, it’s a plus that Venables’ system has been fairly easy to grasp.
“It’s an advantage for all of us, the new DC coming in and giving us a chance to learn things so we can be ready to go by the fall,” Antony said.
He detailed the differences between the schemes used by Venables and Steele, “It’s a different scheme, different words. It’s real simple, but not too simple.”
And that’s got to be a good thing for a gifted, young player like Anthony.
“I feel a lot more comfortable. I feel like I’ve grown a little bit [since last season]. I can just settle down and play the game,” he said.