‘Straight violence swag’
D-Line brings attitude, confidence to veteran defensive corp
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
If you talk the talk, then you better walk the walk. That’s exactly what defensive coordinator Andre Patterson expects from his defensive line unit that has given itself the nickname of “straight violence swag.”
The starting four made up by a trio of juniors, Germard Reed, Horace Miller and Marcus Bagley, and senior Greg Watkins, are approaching the 2012 season with a mentality that screams confidence, toughness and attitude.
“That’s their deal. All I tell them is when they come up with something, they better stand up to it,” Patterson said. “If you think you’re violence swag, then you play like violence swag.”
Throughout most of the spring drills, the defensive line looked to have the upper hand when lined up against the offense, which had six offensive linemen injured. That showed during the Spring Game in which the defense forced three turnovers and pressured the quarterbacks consistently throughout the game.
Reed said it was time to give the unit a new name that better fit their style of play.
“At the beginning of spring, I asked coach (Patterson) what name we should come up with. He said, ‘why don’t you stick with boy dogs?’ I said, ‘I think we should come up with something for ourselves.’”
When asked when and why the nickname for the defense, Reed replied by saying that once he steps onto the field, he wants to be mean and feels that can rub off to the rest of his teammates.
“I used to walk around and say ‘straight violence’ and just try and take that onto the field,” Reed said. “One day, we got ready to break it out in the locker room and I said ‘straight violence on three’ and Horace (Miller) always says ‘swag.’”
Miller, on the other hand, has been carrying himself with that mindset for a long time and says that at times, people misinterpret the word swag as just a fad.
“I always say ‘swag.’ That’s a lifestyle for me. A lot of people don’t know what swag is. They think it’s how you dress and walking around with your pants down and stuff like that,” Miller said. “I take swag as a demeanor of confidence and being secure about yourself, if you combine straight violence and swagger on the field, you’re just going to be a dominant force. Straight up.”
Bagley joked by saying that Miller’s first word growing up was swag.
While keeping it fun, the unit hopes to live up to their name, but they also hope the entire defense plays with the same confidence by the time the regular season starts.
“By the time the season comes the whole defense is going to be ‘straight violence swag,’” Bagley said. “Coach Patterson likes it.”
At the same time, they’re looking forward to it catching on with the rest of the UTEP student body and perhaps start a trend that will become as viral as Tebowing.
“It will be world wide. The defensive line will have shirts with ‘straight violence swag’ and our names across them,” Reed said.
Miller said embracing it is only part of it. Once they’re on the field, it’s simply about football.
“It’ll be a global force...you’re going to see people at UTEP, around campus wearing it,” Miller said. “We’re all embracing it. It’s fun, but when it’s on the field, we mean business.”
Daniel Ornelas may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.