Football: Coach Stewart and Select Players Quotes
by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.com
April 24, 2010
Coach Bill Stewart
I told the team today - many are called, few are chosen. They have to understand that's it's a privilege and an honor to play the game of football. You also have to think about that in your daily life as well. There's a big thing going on in college football this weekend - the NFL Draft. Many are called, few are chosen. You have to feel privileged to play for the Old Gold and Blue, before you worry about going somewhere else to play.
I saw a lot of competitive hitting today. I was pleased with the way play went back and forth. It was not good by either side, but there was good hitting by both sides, so that was nice to see. We still have a long way to go.
(on play of running back Daquan Hargrett)
Daquan puts that foot on the ground and he goes north. He was nicked-up earlier with a high ankle sprain, but he never said a word. He just goes about his business. He is one of those that is privileged to play and privileged to be a Mountaineer. He looked like he had some good runs today.
(on play of linebacker Casey Vance)
He had a pick the other day. He is making good plays, and Jeff Casteel and I think he's absolutely doing a good job.
(feelings on the run game)
Never good until the season starts. I feel OK; Noel broke a long one today. You can't keep calling the same play over and over in the scrimmage. We try to get the ball to other people. We could come in and throw to Jock (Sanders) all day, but we know we can do that. We tried to run the reverse with Eddie Davis to see what he can do. We're trying to spread the wealth and find more players.
(on play of running back Ryan Clarke)
I like Ryan Clarke - he looked like he did some good stuff. He ran the power-set well for us. I also liked the way he ran the ball off the goal line, and I liked the way he ran the ball going into the goal line.
(areas of improvement before Friday's Spring Game)
I need a bucket list. Coaches need to improve on everything. I don't like to see center-quarterback exchange problems, and that's been a problem. Coley (White) has a hard time with that. I don't want to come out and just keep handing the ball to seven (Noel Devine) and throwing the ball to nine (Sanders). We know what they can do.
What we'll do in the spring game is have the Old Gold on one side and the Blue on the other, and we'll see those guys touch the ball. I want to see the young guys touch the ball.
(on play of punter Corey Smith and kicker Tyler Bitancurt)
Bitancurt is getting better every day. He's doing better - he's kicking pain free, but we don't want him to kick just yet in a team situation. Tyler Bitancurt is our kicker until he is beaten out, and that has not happened.
Gregg Pugnetti and Corey Smith are vying for the punting job.
Defensive lineman Chris Neild
(on play of the underclassmen this spring)
I think toward the end of spring, the coaches try to get the young guys in there to give them experience. They are really starting to develop, and they are doing a good job. Once fall comes around, we should be a good defense as long as everyone works hard.
(on areas of improvement before Friday's Spring Game)
Our defense really needs to come together. We looked good today. I think the spark came when Brandon Hogan had a big hit in one of our drills. That set the tone for the rest of the day. If we need that to play hard, then I think we need to work harder every day. Coming into week four, I think we're looking pretty good.
Running back Daquan Hargrett
(on increased playing time)
I love the reps, I love the competition, and I love the energy. I'm getting more chances to prove myself. If I make a mistake, I don't have to worry about coming out. I know I have another rep, and I can keep proving myself a little bit more. I just want to show the coaches what I have.
I would say I feel about 70 percent, but that's not in my head when I'm out here. I feel 100 percent when I'm out on the field. This is an important spring for me. I just want to get in the rotations and learn the offense more.
Linebacker JT Thomas
(prognosis for this season's defense)
It all depends on how hard we work for the rest of this spring, this summer and fall camp. It all depends on how we work. The more we work, and the more we understand this whole team concept, we'll be a lot better.
(on rivalry with offense)
It gives you something to practice hard for. You want something driving you, pushing you to get better. If you can develop a love-hate relationship with the offense, it makes practice a lot more fun and exciting.