"Coach Pehrson says that it's not the size, it's the leverage," said Nua, who was attracted to Navy because of a similar family background to Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo. "They're small guys in the NFL, too. They might be different in size and skill, but it's still football."
Senior defensive end Wes Henderson, who grew up in Pittsburgh rooting for the Steelers and had heard Nua's name before, said that he doesn't see a big difference in what Nua is telling them from what he has heard in the past, but "when you look at his size and the fact that he was a good player, you can tell he knows what he's talking about."
Towson senior Frank Beltre, who was an all-CAA defensive end last season and a preseason All-American this year, admitted that he didn't know that much before researching Carter on the Internet.
But Beltre said the defensive line has been "soaking up" what Carter has to say much in the way the offensive line did last year when former Tigers star Jermon Bushrod, now a Pro Bowl tackle for the New Orleans Saints, came to practice in the spring to help during the NFL lockout.
"When he teaches us technique, we try to emulate it and build on it," Beltre said. "We know that it's going to work because he did it for 12 years at least."
Carter said the biggest difference in coaching in the NFL and on the college level is the age and maturity of the athletes.
"You're not only teaching the ABC's of football, but you're also teaching about the discipline that it takes to be a student athlete, to pay attention to detail and make sure they are not just successful on the football field, but in the classroom, " Carter said. "You're trying to teach them more than just about X's and O's. You're trying to teach them about life."
Ambrose doesn't look at Carter as a former NFL player and assistant (with the Broncos, New York Jets and Washington Redskins) who has spent much of his coaching career in college, including a stint at Maryland under Ron Vanderlinden.
"I consider him a damn good football coach," Ambrose said. "There are intricacies that are picked up or used or left at the NFL level that can be used to some degree at this level, and some can't. … The fact that he had extensive experience and success at both levels makes it a perfect combination."