Football: Bill Stewart Quotes

  • By Daniel Whitehead
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  • September 14, 2010 04:01 PM
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Opening Remarks
Brandon Hogan has been suspended indefinitely from the Mountaineer football team for breaking team rules. I, and I alone, will handle the discipline and the punishment in a fair, firm and strict manner. He will rejoin the Mountaineer team when I deem fit.

It is a tremendous honor and a privilege to be the coach and be in the Old Gold and Blue. In my way of thinking, that privilege has to be earned. I’ve said this many times and not too long ago. It’s my job to do more than just teach blocking and tackling; it’s my job to prepare young men for life. I will keep you updated and you will be the first to be informed when his status changes. For now, the book is closed on that status.

As far as Marshall goes, I feel very fortunate to come out of that tussle on the favorable side. Marshall, as you know, has a very good football team. I think they’re blessed with tremendous talent, the best talent in Conference USA.

I know they have a good coaching staff, and I know coming off that bowl season last year with the talent they have now and the coaching staff, they will contend for the Conference USA title. To come out of that tussle in the fourth quarter, with a 96- and 98-yard drive and a two-point conversion, and to win it in overtime, I’m pleased. The game is now in the books and it’s history.

Now, for the Maryland Terrapins: this is a great happening again. We’ve had a two-year leave of absence, and I personally, being a native West Virginian, am excited for the chance to play the Maryland Terrapins. It has been a great rivalry throughout the years. I know a lot of those guys.

I coached with Tommy Bratton at William and Mary; I replaced Coach Ralph Friedgen as the offensive line coach at William and Mary in 1981. I’ve known five to six of those coaches throughout my entire coaching career. It’s always been a dandy of a game. It’s a heck of a border war; this is a great border rivalry when two nearby states can play. I’m really happy about that.

Maryland is a good football team. I don’t know about the last two years because we haven’t played them. I know we played them in 2007, and we’re playing them again in 2010 – that’s what I know. I very much look forward to this football game; it’s going to be a tough one.

On Brandon Hogan’s replacements:
There will be a few guys battling for the spot. The three in the mix right off the get-go are Brodrick Jenkins, Pat Miller and Brantwon Bowser. On punt returns, we’ll see if it’s Tavon (Austin) or J.D. Woods. We’ve got some guys who can catch the ball.

It will be up to Coach Lockwood and the defensive staff to determine who will play. All three of them will be looked at today in practice.

On Maryland’s two quarterbacks:
They’re two very good quarterbacks. Our defense is working hard, and they’re going to have their hands full. They both move the ball very, very well and can move the chains. They’ve won two games; it’s going to be a very difficult task for our defense.
One is an effective runner and the other has a stronger arm. Both are very good. O’Brien is 6-3, 215 pounds and the other is a 6-1, 195 guy. They’re about the size of Geno Smith and Barry Brunetti. They’re doing a very nice job. You look at the film and say, “Wow.”

On Maryland coach James Franklin as a recruiter and former NFL quarterbacks coach:
I know James very well. His efforts are not overlooked; I look at their two-deep, and they’ve got some very good football players. At running back, they’ve got two dandies. They’ve got a big offensive line and nice tight ends. Their defense is good; their punter is averaging 46 yards each time. This is a very good football team and it’s going to be a heck of a game.

On LB Pat Lazear’s status:
Pat is not fully recovered yet from the bone bruise. He’s running, but I can’t say if he’s going to play this week.

On preparing for Maryland:
We have a good working relationship. We’ve swapped film from previous years and are evaluating. They have a different team, but if a play has been thrown in the arsenal before, it can be thrown in again.

On what the team learned from the Marshall game:
The first thing you ask is, “Do you hang together?” We’ve been through some bumps in the road and have had some trials and tribulations. How do you get through them? You persevere. You buck up a little bit tighter, put your belt on a bit tighter and you find a way to get things done.

That’s what we did at Marshall. That being said, you don’t want to get in that predicament as we did. You credit Marshall because they played a good game. We hung together, and hopefully we bounce back and have a good year.

On the fourth quarter of the Marshall game:
What kind of team would fold? A team that isn’t tough, that doesn’t have resiliency, that doesn’t believe, that hasn’t been through the school of hard knocks. We didn’t. That shows me something. We scored; knocked the ball loose, then went 96 and 98 yards with a two-point conversion and overtime. I’m not going to apologize for that.

You keep believing, call what you think you can call and give your best effort. You have a quarterback in his second complete start manage the ball and throw to five different people in their respective routes with absolutely tremendous throws. The players made plays.

On the play of the offensive line:
They’re not playing poorly. We had over 400+ yards on offense, and we have a quarterback who didn’t have a glove placed on him on two 90+ yard drives in a hostile environment. I wouldn’t say that we’re cement on the line at this point, but they’re a work in progress. I don’t let one section get finger pointed. I talk to this football team as a family.

On the hurry-up offense:
We did well with it but it’s not something you can do the entire game. You have to get in the huddle and call a power play here and there to put in a good mix.

On the play of Geno Smith:
I learned that he is one cool customer. I like to think of myself as not getting too rattled when things are tough. You have to think, and to stand and do rah-rah cheers isn’t for me. Our quarterback is different. At one point, I saw him blistering the offensive line and threw his helmet down and got after them a little bit. What else would I need to say? On the last drives, he said, “We are going to do this. He looked at everyone in the eye and looked dead at me and said,” We are going to do this. We are going down that field.” I looked at the line and the others and said, “Let’s follow him. Let’s go down the field and let’s get it done.” He’s got it.

On the two-point conversion:
It was the biggest throw of the night. The first option was taken, I saw Geno’s body get ready for the second option and he saw Jock running in the back of the endzone and threw a high, easy ball for him to go up and get. I can’t say he wouldn’t make that play last year, but I can say that his chances were better this year to pull that off.

On the play of Tavon Austin:
He has been a real mainstay. He loves to come and play; he’s a team guy. He would play running back in a lot of offenses, but goes out and does a nice job as a receiver.

On Najee Goode:
He’s done a really nice job. The play he went out and got the guy on the outside shuffle they kept hitting us with, he did a very nice job. Boy, he made a play and they lost about seven or eight yards on that.

On the environment of Milan Puskar Stadium and if any heckling or booing goes on:
Oh, we don’t do that here. We’ve really cleaned up; we’re the neatest, tidiest, most courteous fans out there. Our fans will not get rambunctious, will not rock the bus like the old days and they will be very cordial. It’s a great place to play when you’re from here and a tough place to play when you’re not. I love our fans dearly. I love our faithful. I’m looking right at you: don’t ever, ever change.

On the progress of Noel Devine since his first encounter with Maryland in 2007:
He’s become a real gentleman. Leaps and bounds he’s grown. Socially, he’s quiet, but he’s trustworthy. I know he trusts the coaching staff, especially Coach Beatty. I know he trusts the senior class, or he wouldn’t have come back. If there wasn’t a trust factor, Noel Devine and Jock Sanders would not have come back.

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