Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Weekly Brandon presser

Here comes the presser!! Here come the wise ass remarks, in orange!!

HEAD COACH Gregg Brandon
What can you learn from watching what Toledo did to Eastern Michigan?
"Toledo has been real good the last couple of games. As far as looking at Eastern [Michigan], their defensive line is real good. We are going to have to block them. (Excellent strategy, I agree 100%). That might be one of the best defensive lines that we have faced (hmmm). Their inside guys are hard to block. It will be a great challenge for our offensive line."

Can you talk about the depth that your team showed last Friday?
"All the kids have been practicing hard all season. They have just been waiting for their opportunity. Injuries do occur and those backup kids have to come in and do the job. Without Partridge and Geter in the game that is a huge impact offensively. We were still able to crank out 500 yards of offense. The backup kids were able to step in and do a nice job.

Oh yeah, this was huge. AT, Chris Wright, Glen Stanley (see below), we have showed some depth I don't think we had. And don't forget PJ Mahone, who was MAC East Defensive Player of the Week and wasn't even starting with Jarrett Sanderson went down.

"Defensively, it is the same situation. Glen Stanley has been a backup all season. We have been bringing him along and he has been getting reps and now it is his time. You just hope when those kids get in and get their opportunities they perform."

What have you seen about Stanley to say this true freshman can play?
"He is a very explosive and an instinctive player and instincts are important. To have those instincts along with his speed and quickness makes him that much better. Glen just needs to get in and see more live reps. He will get better and better."

This was a great player for us to get. To date, our two best freshmen are both Floridians. But, hey, people still think we should recruit Ohio harder.

How much were you expecting Anthony Turner to play at the beginning of the year compared to now?
"There was a lot of discussion to if he was not our starting quarterback, was he the backup quarterback, which would limit what we could do with him. The development of Anthony Glaud allowed us to move Turner around and give him the ball, which you saw last Friday night. He is a guy we can hand the ball to, a guy we can snap the ball to and run and he is a guy that can catch passes."

Yeah, he does all those things. Call him Slash...though I don't know if Slash ever played RB. AT is a quality player and much more valuable to the team doing what he is doing rather than being the backup QB.

Was the move of Freddie Barnes to wide receiver and how well he has done there a factor in the Turner decision?
"No, not really. It was just his pure athletic ability. He is just to good of a football player to be standing next to me. We just had to find ways to work him in. With Willie [Geter] and [Corey] Partridge going down we had to get him involved. He is such a good athlete and you saw that on Friday night."

Same thing.

Does this show a player's character when he changes positions like that?
"He is a kid that has accepted his role. It was hard on him being the starter last year and not being the guy this year. We talked over the summer about that and all through camp and said that you have to be a team guy and appreciate your role and help the team win. I am really proud of him for that."

Me too. And I'm proud of our coaching staff having enough imagination to get him involved, rather than leaving him pigeon-holed.

Can you talk about the extended role of Chris Wright?
"He keeps getting better and better. He just had to learn the position. Some people learn and adjust faster than others. As coaches we have no patience. In Chris' case we wish he would have matured quicker, but hey, better late than never. He has three games left this year and two more years at wide receiver. He is going to be a good player for us."

And Jermiah Kelley?
"He is a tough kid. He will get out there and block. He can catch the ball and is a physical guy. He is a player that did not have spring football. He comes in and has to learn the system in camp. It takes a while for those guys to learn to play at this level. It was good to see him emerge."

Can you talk about preparing for Eastern not knowing who their QB will be?
"Friday night surprised me. I did not know until after the game that he was suspended. Eastern started a true freshman last week -- he is a good player. I have watched him on film and he is a talented player. They moved the ball on Toledo. The other quarterback we have seen before as he played against us last year."

I heard this on the post-game and it surprises me. You'd think that you would want to know that. I mean, wouldn't that change your game plan to know they couldn't take the other guy out and bring the regular starter in. And if the media in the press box knew, then why didn't our coach. If EMU has a mobile QB, I'm going to assume they are going to use him, because we have shown that we have trouble with a player with those skills.

Do you have any thoughts on the EMU and Toledo games only counting in the MAC standings as a tie-breaker?
"To win the East you have to beat the teams in the East. To have a shot at that we are going to need some help. It is still out there. One thing I noticed is that there are only two teams in the league that can win eight games and only four teams that can win seven and we are one of those two (with a chance to win eight). If we can get that done we will have something to say. We are still fighting to win the East and still fighting to get a bowl game. Our program goals are still out there and going into November with three weeks left, that is nice to be able to say that right now."

I preferred where all the MAC games counted, but this is fairer. Each team in the division is being evaluated on the same schedule, as opposed to having a year when you had, say, NIU and UT on your crossover games. It is just dumb to have two games in November that don't count. Having said that, if this team can win 2/3 coming home and finish 7-5, that's a good step for our team, even if no bowl game is the result.

What does EMU do well offensively?
"Offensively they are very similar to us in style of offense. They use the shotgun run game. (I thought we spent most of the early part of the year saying that we were a shotgun PASS team, and that was BG football). They have been explosive at times. They have searched for answers with different players and you can see that with the quarterback situation. They have speed and quickness and anytime you play a team like that you have to have your defenders in position. We have to be sound in our assignments defensively."

Yes we do. We'll look at EMU later in the week, but this is still a game we should win, even though they seem to be getting better.

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