Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weekly Presser, as the Coach loosens up

One of the things that is amazing about our Coach is that when things are going bad, he acts like nothing is wrong. Ah, that's actually not fair. But, he doesn't have a lot of specific things to say...and a decent amount of excuses.

Now that things have settled in, and we have a two-game winning streak, and the season will end with us at least having a shot at a division title, and suddenly he starts to say things that we already knew--like the offense is underperforming and throwing too many short passes.

With that, let's move on to the presser. Wise-ass remarks are in orange.

First, the team will practice very light this week (T-W-R) and then come back on Sunday for a full week next week.

He was asked about the offensive line, and how he felt they had performed, given that they were the biggest concern on the team when the season started. Coach agreed that he was pleased with how they had performed, and that a big part of the practice schedule is designed to rest them up. We're not deep and trying to red-shirt some guys, and that has caused them to have a lot of snaps. Special credit was given to Brady Minturn, who has adjusted to playing tackle, where he hasn't played before. He said there are problems on offense, but they are not all the line's fault.

I have to agree. For the guys we had to replace, the line play has been pretty good. Certainly, they will get better. We haven't been great running the ball, and at least some of that is probably line play, especially on some plays that have looked like defensive jail breaks. And, Coach later said we weren't throwing more downfield because of protection concerns. But, this unit has performed well and seems to be coming together even better.

Speaking of problems on offense, Coach said he thinks we have scored OK, but that we haven't gotten the yardage production he would like to see. He specifically mentioned the figure 400 yards. Anyway, there is a lot at work here, including injuries. Later, he was asked if he was more disappointed in the running. He said running has been "not great, not awful" (sounds right), and averaging 120 yards, and he would like to see 150.

He also said passing yardage was down, but that we are not going deep as much as he would like, partly as a result of concerns over protection. He also (correctly) said we had gotten better in the red zone.

In summary, he said, "its not what we are used to."

On the injury front, he hopes Freddie will be able to play against Buffalo, and that AT could have gone against OU, but wasn't needed. Bullock got a concussion at OU and is OK. He thought Willie did "OK." And no, Jason Rice didn't get the ball as often as we hoped, but he had to mix Bullock and Geter into the offense, so there are only so many carries.

He was asked about what we needed to win the East. and he proceeded to say we win and Akron losses and then opted not to spend "an hour" explaining the rest of it. (You can always log in here). He also said things like "that's what they tell me, the wizards."

He said he was "kinda" rooting for Buffalo. We need Akron to lose, but he worries about the Bulls coming into the Doyt on all that momentum.

He has only played two true freshmen this year, which is a sign of success. He's happy, as we have good young players at O-line and LB, and they have not been forced to burn a year.

Also, JUCO transfer Casey McHugh has also red-shirted, which has been good. He also said that if he is healthy enough to play, Eric Ransom will get a sixth year from the NCAA.

There are 17 seniors on the team, and he likes to have 15-18 each year. This year, lots and lots of them are contributors. This is one of the things that was/is frustrating Falcon fans. We lose a lot, and don't stand to be as good next year, so we'd like to see ourselves accomplish something this year.

When asked about Andrew Beam, he said our plans are "ever evolving." (Don't tell President Bush). I don't know who thought he was just going to spill how he was going to use Beam, but they asked. Anyway, they are trying to involve him however they can. But keep it under your hat.

The TD pass to Tyler was supposed to be a pass to Chris Wright on the inside. Tyler was supposed to be a "run off guy" to just take a guy out of the play. But OU didn't send anyone out there. Apparently, Hofher was screaming into his headset that they weren't covering Sheehan, and Beam saw it and made a football play. He joked that AT wouldn't have been "paying attention."

Other notes:

  • AT is healthy.
  • He was pleasantly surprised that Dozier was MAC-E POTW.
  • He has challenged the seniors..."this is it."

Finally, when Buffalo ended up in a 3-way tie for the MAC East Championship last year, they gave the team watches. No really. Only Buffalo.

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