Football: Coach Bill Stewart Quotes
by Mike Montoro
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (April 10, 2010) – West Virginia University football coach Bill Stewart’s quotes from Saturday’s spring practice.
It was a nice practice. I thought our guys flew around and worked hard. I thought the defense had the upper-hand early today, and then the offensive guys came on and got after them pretty good. We had some injuries. Noel (Devine) got a quad bruise, so we held him out, but he’s fine. J.D. Woods has a slight hamstring injury, but I’m not sure how long he’s going to be out. Football is a tough game. You’re going to get bumps and bruises, but by and large, for the first full-padded practice, we did OK.
I liked the intensity in the inside drill. I liked the one-on-ones, and I thought the team went OK. The offense did OK at the end. We still have a long way to go. We have some guys who are really flying around, and we have some guys who look like they’re having fun. That’s all you can ask for.
Leadership is a funny thing. It takes guts to be a leader. We’re not looking for rah-rah guys or guys who tell their buddies how well they’re doing – we’re looking for leaders. That’s tough; it’s tough to be a leader. You have to stay the course, remember the plan and go in the direction which you know you’re supposed to go. For the first week, it seems to be moving in the right direction. I really like our intensity, and these guys like to compete against each other, which is fun to watch.
On Noel Devine returning soon:
If that were a game, he would’ve been OK. He just got hit in the quad by a knee and that happens. Like I said, it’s a contact sport.
On other injuries:
I just understand [Lawrence Smith] got his finger caught in a helmet. I didn’t mention him because we’re waiting to see a medical report. I think he’s going to be fine. The tip of his finger got caught in a helmet. Daquan Hargrett got his ankle caught, but we’re OK.
On Coley White:
He’s done a good job. I think he’s throwing the ball better. I’m really pleased with Coley White. It’s nice to see him get out there and compete. It’s very frustrating since it’s day four to have a center-quarterback exchange problem, and that’s with one of the younger linemen. He’s not had any problems with the older guys, but I hate to see any kind of problem. I want perfection, that’s all I strive for. By and large, Coley White is doing a good job, and we’re pleased.
On escalating aggression and intensity:
It was fun to see that today. In shorts, everybody looks pretty quick. Yesterday in shells, we banged around a little bit. Today was good. It was a real good test. One of the things I really liked about today’s scrimmage was the way we flew around. Both sides of the ball were getting on and off the field, chasing the ball and hustling to the ball. That’s maturity.
On making the team tougher:
They’re pretty tough. We weren’t real good in 2008 on short-yardage and goal-line situations. I like our defense, and you see how they’re disguising. We have not been able to do that as well since (Eric) Wicks and (Ryan) Mundy. Wicks and Mundy were a treat to watch. These guys are starting to get it. Sidney (Glover) has been moving. I saw Robert Sands and Eain Smith moving and flying. It looks really good. It’s hard to disguise. You have to work at it.
On the linebacker position:
Let’s talk about our Sam linebackers. I really like what I saw with Anthony Leonard and Tyler Anderson, this young man from Morgantown. He’s got my attention and our defensive coaches’ attention. (Pat) Lazear and Branko Busick are two tough guys. They’re doing well. On the wing, you have the Willie position, certainly with J.T. Thomas and Najee Goode. It’s good to see those guys. All six are running around really well.
On J.T. Thomas’ leadership:
You don’t got script or prescribe that. I really don’t promote that. It takes guts to be a leader. Guys who don’t have guts aren’t successful in life. They’re the guys who are telling people how they should be doing things. You show me a guy who has guts, and I’ll show you a man who is a good leader. I’ll show you a guy that’s a good husband, a good dad and a pretty good man in society. It doesn’t take anything but guts to stay the plan. We’ve got to have leadership.
On the punting and kicking:
I really like Greg Pugnetti and Corey Smith. I was really pleased with the way they were rolling to the right. We’ve been working all three sides, kicking left, middle and right. Today, we worked back, tight punts. I thought that was good. I’m not pleased with the kicking at all. Place-kicking and field goal were awful. I’m going to have to watch a lot of film this week. I’m pleased with our punting. We have put more emphasis on the punting, though.
On Geno Smith:
He’s throwing the ball really well. That skeleton you saw right there, early in those three periods, was good. That was like a ballgame. He really did a nice job. Geno has a really good awareness. Coley’s getting it. He made some nice throws today. I thought the touchdown pass to Tyler Urban, the pass to Eddie Davis and Will Johnson were good.
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