Carnell Lake Speaks On Memphis Showboats Defensive Depth

Carnell Lake Speaks On Memphis Showboats Defensive Depth

The Memphis Showboats have retooled their defense into one of the top units in the UFL. Defensive Coordinator, Carnell Lake, has played a major role in ensuring that this group will be ready to go for kickoff on March 31st.

Today, Carnell spoke with the media to break down what he’s seen from this defense so far, and the excitement he has for the upcoming season.

First and foremost, it’s a different scene for Lake this year. He’s transitioned from Todd Haley’s staff, to now working with John DeFilippo. So far, it’s been an experience that he’s enjoyed thoroughly:

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’m very excited about the depth of the coaching staff that John brings to the table. Paul Pasqualoni is a linebackers coach with a ton of NFL experience, we’ve got Antoine Smith at the D-Line who also brings a lot of experience. Defensively, we’re really looking good there.”

When it comes to depth, this defensive unit features so much talent across the board. Lake spoke very highly of the players they currently roster, and has been quite impressed in UFL training camp with their performances.

“It’s been interesting, in total we’ve had a lot of depth at a lot of positions. The safety spot with Jarey Elder and Christian McFarland, we’ve also got a young player with Lamont McPhatter, it’s been really interesting to see that dynamic. Our outside linebacker core – we’ve got Greg, Jeff, Jordan – any of those guys can start for us on defense right now. That’s just to name a few.”

Up front, Coach Lake also touched on the tremendous forces they have in the trenches. This team retained a couple of big names, including All-USFL DT John Atkins.

Another returning tackle that Lake highlighted was Daylon Mack, who is looking to bounce back after dealing with injuries in 2023.

“Daylon Mack is like a tree stump. You cannot move this guy. He’s gonna hold his own in a one-on-one, and can hold his own on a double team block down there in the trenches. It’s been good to see these guys growing and progressing with the team.”

Speaking of progression, another point that Carnell made clear was that his athletes are responding well to his schemes. It’s a group full of high-IQ playmakers, which has been evident since day one in training camp.

“I’ve been very pleased so far in camp – the progression I’m seeing from these players, I’m surprised at how quickly they’re picking it up. I’m excited to see how they adjust during game day because that will be the real test where they have to process information fast. So far, so good in practice.”

With their opening matchup against the Houston Roughnecks right around the corner, Lake is focused on getting this unit ready for battle. The Roughnecks will, no doubt, want to run the football – which is something Carnell is preparing for.

“We want to come out of the gate strong. Focus on the fundamentals. We have to stop the run. Last year, Houston had one of the top three rushing games in the USFL, and I don’t see that changing for them. They’ve always had a pretty strong offensive line. Obviously on the back end in the passing game, we’ll want to make sure we are keeping the ball in front of us – and be opportunistic when we can.”

The Memphis Showboats will kick off their season on the road, against the Houston Roughnecks on Sunday, March 31st.

What are your thoughts on this Showboats defense for 2024? Will Carnell Lake run the best defense in the league? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!