WVU Assistant Football Coaches’ Quotes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Mountaineer football assistant coaches addressed members of the media on Thursday night:
Offensive Line Coach Ron Crook
On Pat Eger’s injury
He will probably be out for a little while, but I don’t think it will be anything that will bother him long term. It is more of a precaution at this time of the year. The injury was not related to his previous surgery at all.
On what is playing out at the center position
We have had a couple guys who have been working at guard who also have been working at center – Pat’s injury has given us a chance to work them back in and get them some reps.
Tony Matteo has done a solid job stepping in. He is basically relearning a position, because he hasn’t practiced it much this spring. Russell Haughton-James will move in there as well. We haven’t had a chance to get Russell in there yet, but we are looking forward to getting him in there to relearn that position.
On Adam Pankey’s injury
It is hard to say what effect that will have on the team going forward. You hate to see that happen to a kid. He was making a lot of strides. He was improving on a daily basis. It is frustrating from that standpoint. We tell these kids all the time – you can’t control that type of thing.
Running Backs Coach JaJuan Seider
On the running back situation
You can see Dustin (Garrison) and Andrew (Buie) improving on a daily basis. The guy I really like right now is Cody Clay. He is competing his butt off. He is doing a lot of stuff for us.
On how the competition is benefitting the players
It is no secret there is competition – that is why all those guys are here right now. They are pushing each other every day. It is a family atmosphere, but we are still competing. We have each other’s backs.
On Cody Clay
The kid is just doing everything. He is playing attached, detached, blocking and catching the ball. I am really impressed with what he is doing.
Cornerbacks Coach Brian Mitchell
On who is stepping up at cornerback
The guys are a little hesitant to step up right now. It isn’t that they don’t want to be starters. They just don’t know how to be starters right now. When you look at some of the kids, like Brandon Napoleon, he has never played cornerback before. He was a quarterback in high school. Every day is a new day for a number of these guys. They don’t know how to go out day in and day out and be that starter. They are using these reps to prepare for that.
On new techniques that are being introduced
We are talking about a different scheme. We are a 3-4 team. I’m not exactly sure what they did last year. They did some 3-4, but they also did some 4-3. The terminology has changed. Some of the responsibilities on the back end have changed. Their footwork has to be different on every play. You can have one coverage, but six or seven different calls.
Defensive Line Coach Erik Slaughter
On where the defensive line stands right now
We are getting better. We are good at times, but we are inconsistent at times. The good is getting better more often. They understand when to use certain techniques. We are getting there. We are still a work in progress.
On Shaq Rowell and Will Clarke
They are seniors who have played a lot of football. They are becoming great players. The sky is the limit with those guys. They are definitely on the right track. During the last two practices, Will has really come into his own. He has been dominating at times. Shaq’s play has been extremely good.
They are both leaders. You lead before you get on the field, in the weight room, on the field. They are both doing that right now. They are filling the role of leadership on this team.
Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson
On new players adapting to the system after players have graduated
The way we coach them doesn’t change. The system doesn’t change. The way we practice doesn’t change. Everybody wants to talk about change, but the way we coach football doesn’t change. You can only be here for four or five years – that is why you recruit players. They have to move on to work or the NFL. This isn’t the first time that we have lost players. We need to move on. This isn’t the first time that we have had a good group of guys graduate.
On Logan Moore taking reps at receiver
It could be a permanent thing. We are thin at receiver. We are trying to create some depth at inside receiver. We put him out there a couple times with no reps and no meeting time, and he did some good things. We are just giving him an opportunity. He is a smart, athletic and competitive kid. Why not give him an opportunity to get on the field.
Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson
On progress with the defense thus far
It has been good. We have really just started to build the foundation. We have played a lot of base defense. We are trying to get guys into a stance, defeat blocks, run to the ball and tackle. We have put an emphasis on the fundamentals of the game. We still have a long way to go though.
On if depth is being created
We don’t worry so much about the depth chart as we do creating depth. What spring football does more than anything is allow you to get guys reps. On the same hand, you also want to create depth. It is pretty evident that guys like Shaq Rowell can play. If you can create depth behind guys like him, it is going to make you a better football team. At linebacker, there are about six guys that we are trying to compete. At cornerback, we also have six guys that we are trying to get to compete. You want people that will rise to the top and create depth.
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