TAHLEQUAH — Ironically, Carlo, 41, will replace a coach that he had a vast amount of respect for in Knoll. Carlo even went as far as to describe Knoll — who Carlo worked with at Upper Iowa — as his mentor.
“We had a really good relationship,” Carlo said of Knoll, who was NSU’s assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator.
“I don’t know if you really replace a guy like Coach Knoll, you just try and fill his shoes.”
As a player who has spent time with Knoll and Carlo, Faafetai Te’o said he has noticed differences between the two.
“Coach Knoll just wanted you to be more athletic, where as Coach Carlo wants you to be athletic but be smart out there, too,” said Te’o, a 6-foot-1, 290-pound defensive lineman. “Like, some plays when a guard pulls, Coach Knoll would just tell us to attack it. Coach Carlo tells me to wait patiently and play as a linebacker and fill the gap.”
Evans said Carlo is technique guru.
“He’s going to teach technique and get the repetitions with the guys, and they’re going to do it over and over and over,” Evans said. “...All of those techniques that he’s teaching will carry over on Saturdays and it should be a plus for us.”
Carlo will team up with Steve Patterson and collaborate on co-defensive coordinator duties. But Carlo admitted that Patterson will likely handle the play-calling duties in order to set his secondary on every play.
“Defenses are normally run from the back to the front,” Carlo said. “You have to decide what kind of coverage you want to run to stop the passing attack. I have the easy job. Coach Patterson has the hard job.”
As for Carlo’s early impressions of NSU’s defensive line, there have been a few players that have caught his eye.
“I think Te’o has done a good job. James Renfrow has looked pretty good,” Carlo said. “...Right now, we’re looking for consistency. Football is a game of mistakes, and whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins.”