Football: Quotes From Coordinators
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Post-practice quotes from West Virginia's offensive and defensive coordinators:
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson
On Tavon Austin’s spring thus far
It has been great. His effort has been great. In the past, he would not run 100 percent all the time. Guys that are fast like him are typically like that because they can turn it on any time they want. He is giving us great effort. He is a playmaker – not that he wasn’t before. He is also a leader. His attitude is where we want it.
On if Tavon’s current effort opens up what you can do with him
You can do whatever you want with him. Golly, you have to get him the ball if he is one the field. The sky is on the limit with him.
On if the coaches had to teach him how to practice properly
Yes, a little bit. We had to teach him to play fast all the time. He had a tendency to jog off the ball, which is okay because you have to let him be a player. He has to understand though, that means playing fast and doing everything fast.
On what kind of leader Tavon is
If you pay attention to him, he is an emotional leader. He is going to sit there and talk to the group, while having high energy. When things are going good, he just shuts up and plays.
On if one game can do it for a player
Tavon had confidence before the Orange Bowl, but that game was a peak of a whole year of having him a whole year plus through our bowl practices. We would like to see a lot more of that.
On working Tavon with fellow receiver Stedman Bailey
You can’t just focus on one guy. When you have a guy like Tavon, you have to account two defensive guys on him every snap. When you do that, it can mean that Stedman is going to have a big day. It also works the other way if you try to eliminate Stedman in the game. If we have one or two or other guys that can do that, it will really opens things up for us.
Co-defensive coordinator Joe DeForest
On the defense’s depth
We are only really a spot or two shy getting what we want. That isn’t an excuse, though. This isn’t a rebuilding year for our defense. If you look at the Big 12 offenses and the number of snaps they play a game, you can’t ask a kid to play 100 snaps, or even 80 snaps. You have to have depth where a kid can spell a guy for 10 plays in the first half and 10 plays in the second half. We have to develop that depth in order to play in the Big 12 since there are so many fast-tempo, spread offenses.
On when substitutions will occur
Third down is obviously a special situation. There are certain situations in the game where you may lean towards playing certain players.
On turnovers created this spring and getting off the field on third down
Our goal is to get three turnovers a day. Our goal for the spring is to get 36 total this spring. We are on track for that, but we didn’t have a good day on Tuesday. We have a third down scrimmage, and we keep track of who wins that battle between the offense and defense. If the guys don’t get off the field on third down, their punishment is that they have to stay out there and keep playing.
On how coach Dana Holgorsen has managed the offense’s pace against the defense
He is in charge of managing the game. He has to get a pulse whether we are tired or whether we need a break. When the offense is on the field, it is his job to ensure that they do everything they need to do to score. I’m sure there are situations in the game that you would rather milk the clock or try to push the pace, but he will manage that and I’m sure he will do a good job of that.
On how Holgorsen has been involved with the defense
He lets us do what we want, but him and I talk a lot about what gives him problems and what gives us problems. We will let each other know the goods and bads of what each other does. A lot of offenses and defenses don’t do that because they are afraid to share that type of information. We are a close-knit staff, though, and we want to do that.
Co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson
On what position has the easiest change with the defensive scheme adjustment
I would probably say that the linebackers have the easiest adjustment. When you have a three-man point, the linebackers have to read and react because the defensive front has changed. Because of the many different techniques we will employ up front, the lineman will have probably the biggest transition.
On having youth along the defensive front
We do have young guys. We will try to keep it simplistic for those guys and not try to do too much. We want to try and build something with those guys, and we are working towards that with each practice.
On Isaiah Bruce
He is extremely talented and extremely athletic. He has the ability to make plays in space. He has to get better at stopping the run and attacked the line of scrimmage, but those things will happen with maturity and the addition of strength. We are bringing him along slowly, but I have liked what I seen from him.
On Bruce’s athleticism
That is what we look for in our players. We like multi-sport athletes, but the game is changing so fast with all of these spread offenses. Everyone has some version of the spread offense now, so you have to have guys that can make plays in space.
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