Football: Dana Holgorsen and Jeff Casteel Quotes
WVU Coordinators' Quotes from Saturday's Practice
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (April 9, 2011) – West Virginia University football offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel quotes from Saturday’s spring practice.
Offensive Coordinator Dana Holgorsen
Another day in the books—we are to a point where you have to push through,and it’s all about getting a bunch of film and learning about what you did right and what you did wrong. Today,we got over 50 team plays,and we’ll be able to learn from it, that’s for sure.
On what you have learned so far:
Just who they are and what they are capable of. Assessing where we’re at with the installation process; what we’re having success with and what we’re not having success with, mainly from a communication standpoint. We’ll continue to teach them what they need to do and once they figure out what to do, then you get them to understand how to get better at it.
On what you have seen from Geno Smith in this past week:
I’m pleased with what his body language is. He bounces around pretty good and the guys look to him. If it’s not going great, he is the guy that is going to be able to get them going on the right track. The way he is communicating with guys, and the way his bounce is and body language is, is pretty good at this point. He has a long way to go, obviously only after six practices, we’re far from looking the way it’s going to look in September. It’s all about getting the plays,then running them and learning from it.
On the development of Paul Millard:
He’s getting there. He’s overwhelmed. We’ve went through the offense twice, but we’re talking about a guy who should be looking forward pretty quick to going to the prom. He’s young, and he’s green. He does not have the game experience that Geno has and he doesn’t have the confidence that Geno has, but he doesn’t get frustrated. He makes mistakes and plays the next play.
On how J.D. Woods is doing for the team:
Very spotty—he made a couple of plays with the team today, which was good to see. He’s the kind of guy who will make a couple of plays at times and forget he’s there for a whole practice. He needs to learn some consistency both on and off the field.
On any of the running backs standing out this past week:
Trey (Johnson) is getting better. He’s the one to me that looks like he has improved. (Daquan) Hargrett has been consistent. He’s been steady and consistent. Those two have been doing a good job. Vernard Roberts is a guy that we didn’t know what we had with him, because he is a high school kid as well, but he’s showing some pretty good things. The two big fullbacks—(Ricky) Kovatch and (Matt) Lindamood--those guys are playing pretty good too. They aren’t scared to mix it up, which is exciting to see.
On the offensive line:
I’m still trying to figure out who they are and who does what well. We have about 10 bodies that we are rotating in, and that’s going to be a lot longer process to figure out who those guys are and where they fit, especially because we are not playing with a couple of them right now due to injuries. Really we’re trying to piece it together and show them what to do. We’ll work on a bunch of individual technique with them and throughout camp in August, we’ll move some people around to figure out what the best vibe is. We’ll try to get a little bit better every period, but it’s incredibly spotty.
Is there something holding Ivan McCartney back?
He’s young. He’s somewhat inconsistent, which happens with younger guys. This is still his first year on campus. He does some things that look good and does some things that look bad. He needs to continue to develop and continue to gain confidence and as he does that, he’ll have a chance to make some plays. Athletically, he’s got it.
On the plan for using Ryan Clarke:
We’re still evaluating him. He’s a guy that can carry the ball and a guy that can block. The better he can get at both of those aspects, the more he will play. If he puts the ball on the ground again, he’s not going to play at all.
Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel
On the media attention and the fan attention to the new offense:
We really don’t concern ourselves with the media and fan attention. We come out every day and go to work. We know we have a lot of work to do. Everybody knows we lost some good football players, but we also have some good football players here. We just have to get them all on the same page. For the most part, I think the kids are doing a great job. The one thing I think we hinder our guys with a little bit is because we’re not out there with the same group all the time and this is a game you need to get used to playing with people. We keep mixing and matching, but we’re still looking at different people and not necessarily the overall look right now.
On full pads, but no full tackling to the ground right now:
When we scrimmage, we’ll normally go live. We try to save the kids. It’s a long season. They finished up in January and here they are at the end of March, beginning of April, right back in it. That’s a pretty big grind on those kids, so we try to stay off their legs as best we can, when we’re not scrimmaging.
On developing bad habits with tackling form:
That’s always a concern, but if you’ve ever been to any of our practices, we haven’t been tackling live in eight years. There are some situations out here where our kids would’ve normally thrown, but what do we care if a guy makes a three-yard play diving at a kid’s knees and hurt a kid. We’re on the same team, and we’re just trying to get better. We try to keep kids off each others’ legs.
On experimenting with different things:
We’re just trying to look at the base stuff. We will eventually, but the kids will control that. We’re trying to teach them the base defense and go from there. You can’t do anything unless you know what your base is.
Is there a focus on wanting to get better at a certain thing?
Obviously, you want to be able to force more turnovers, and in the past we’ve been able to do that. Last year, we weren’t able to do that, but our goal right now is to evaluate kids, try to let them create an identity for themselves, find some leaders, find some guys that can work when they’re tired and not come out and make the same mistakes each day. We have a long way to go, before we have to be ready to play.
On the development of leaders in the last couple weeks:
Keith Tandy is a leader, Julian Miller is a leader and now Najee Goode does a good job of leading for us. Being a leader is also guys that take full-speed reps in adverse conditions where maybe they’re not the most vocal guys, but you can be a leader in a lot of different ways. So we have some young kids that are stepping up. We’ll be okay leadership-wise. Those guys that I mentioned know what it takes to win and they know what kind of standard they want to have here on defense, so we’ll have plenty of leaders.
On Najee Goode having an interception in practice and forcing turnovers as a whole:
We’re repping things out. Obviously, if we can get the turnovers, it’s a good deal for us.
On the progress of Bruce Irvin:
Right now he’s seeing the same thing he saw all last year—it’s pass. He’s doing a pretty good job right now. Bruce is making strides. Bruce is a guy who wants to be an every down player, and he’s going to be an every down player, and he has a great teacher in Bill Kirelawich. He’ll be just fine.
How can you assess a grade to your defense at this point:
We’re looking at the kids in terms of their alignment, their responsibility and if they’re getting in the right spot, no matter what it is that they’re seeing. We have ways to evaluate them, and it’s basically - are they executing what we’ve asked them to do for whatever defense is called.
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