Football: WVU Assistant Coaches and Player Quotes
April 20, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Select quotes from WVU football assistant coaches and players.
Coach Jeff Mullen
On the growth of Noel Devine and Jock Sanders
You can see them from year one to year two growing, statistically speaking. I think Noel went from 1,200 to 1,400 yards and a whole lot more touchdowns. Jock went from 50 catches to 70-plus, and I think you’ll see continued growth this fall.
On having plenty of offensive playmakers
I’m real excited about our first four or five skill guys, and I’m happy with the other ones, it’s just that they’re not ready. If we can stay healthy and maintain those four or five kids that have experience out there at the skill spots, then we have a chance.
On developing depth on the offensive line
We definitely have a lot of depth. Last year, we had some real young guys and we lost a lot of guys from that senior class, so it brought a lot of new players to the offensive line. We also had the freshmen coming in and learning all the plays behind us. When they come in, they know what to do, and last year was a bit of a struggle because they were all brand new. This year they’re learning the plays a lot faster, so it’s good to have those players come in for you.
On which offensive linemen have shown improvement
Definitely John Kindler, John Bassler, Jeff Braun. Braun has a big weight on his shoulders because he has to fill that tackle spot, either him or Matt Timmerman. Those guys are going at it day by day, fighting to make each other better. There’s no real anger with whoever gets it, it’s about working together and whoever is the better man gets it.
On the importance of having depth compared to last season
It’ll be nice to have fresh players come in every now and then. We can hit them with more stuff and come off the ball a little harder every play.
On becoming a better player
Development is a process that I have to go through. Just staying here, learning from Noel, watch film and look at how he runs, and that will make me a better runner.
On learning from his other teammates in backfield
When we watch film we try to look at the aspects of every running back. All of us are better than the other in our own ways, so we just come out, learn from each other, watch film, see what we can do better and try to implement that into our game.
On what he needs to do to improve
There are always things needed for improvement - pad level, speed, getting my legs up when I go through the hole, being able to read blitzes, all sorts of thing. Even things that we’re good at - like I may be a good power back but there’s always room for improvement.
On the mental impact of running with the first-team offense
When you run against the 1’s and you make a good play, it makes you feel good about yourself. But then if you take a play off against the 1’s you’ll know it, because if you take a play off from someone like J.T. Thomas, you’re going to know it.
On the offensive line improvements
We have confidence in that we know what we’re doing, and our communication is better. I think once you get the confidence that you can get the job done, everything comes a lot easier.
I’m not going to say there wasn’t any depth last year. No one else played, but I think last year there were a couple players who could have played, but the coaches didn’t think they were ready.
I think everyone on the second team that didn’t play last year is playing tough this year. They’re learning a lot and they’re getting better. I think when fall comes there will be some competition.
Coach Chris Beatty
On Tavon Austin's development
I think he’s getting to the point where his mind isn’t cluttering up his feet, where he knows where he might fit. That’s a process for all our guys. Last year he was inside, outside, sometimes in the backfield. That’s a process to know where you fit in every position and every grouping. He’s done a good job so far but also has a ways to go. We don’t line up this week to play anyone but ourselves. I think he’s doing a good job, no question.
He’s learning everyday. When you play Z, and last year he was at S and H and he was inside, now he’s Z and H and sometimes in the backfield, that’s a lot of stuff to process. It takes years for some people to get to the point where they can do some of those things and be efficient at them. He’s getting to the point where he knows what he is doing, so he can let his natural talent take over.