Football: Assistant Coach Quotes

  • By Abby Norman
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  • August 04, 2012 12:05 PM
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West Virginia University Assistant Coach Quotes

Defensive Coordinator Joe DeForest

On how the players are reacting to having more freedom on defense…

What I have seen the past two days at practice, they are moving around; they are not stiff and they are not unsure about what they are doing. As a defensive coach, they are able to move around and show some disguise. They are not just lining up so that the offense knows what they are doing. That is what we are going to try and do. Give them the freedom to move around and create confusion.

On retaining what was learned in the spring…

They do seven on seven during the summer, and there was some carry over. Overall, I am very pleased. I am surprised how well the freshmen actually picked it up, because they were doing seven on seven the first day of practice and they have a lot of knowledge already.

On challenging the team to get turnovers during camp…

It has always been three a day, and it was. We had three yesterday, and we had one on the first day. We don’t really judge it when we don’t have pads on, but we still demand it. We put pads on today, and we are going to get three a day for every day of camp. That is our goal.

Co-Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson

On being tough in the first days of camp…

I think you got to pay attention to detail, and I think that you have to set your standard high for your players. Sometime you got to have your good cops and your bad cops, and I just think that it is not necessarily that you are being negative; sometime you just coach loud because you are demanding that your players pay attention to detail. I tell my players all the time that if you let some 50-year-old man under your skin, you are not ready to win in front of 75,000 people.

On the biggest challenges the first few days of camp…

Knocking the rust off is a big challenge. It has been a while since we have played spring football. I have been very pleased with the progress that we have made over the first few days. Guys are flying to the football, playing with a lot of confidence, and I think that is going to be key for us. We have big shoes to fill defensively. We know what we are offensively, but defensively we have got to develop an identity. I think we have done that here over the first couple of days, and we are starting to develop that. The kids are playing extremely hard. They understand that we want to force turnovers and be physical and try and get that ball back to our offense as fast as possible.

Running Backs coach Robert Gillespie

On comparing his running backs to Joseph Randall at Oklahoma State…

We have guys who can do a lot of different things. (Joseph Randall) at Oklahoma State was the one guy that could do it all. Right now, we got a few guys who can do different things. Some guys can catch the ball, some guys are short yardage guys, some guys are better pass protectors, so I think that we have got a good mixture of guys in our group. Adding Dustin back to the mix is definitely exciting for us as a coaching staff, and he is out there working hard. This year will be a lot better. Three true freshmen played last year, and it was tough, but those bumps and bruises that we took, are going to pay dividends this year. Those guys are working hard so far.

On which of the three will play more…

I asked the guys the other day, ‘Who started the first game last year?’ Andrew Buie shot his hand up. ‘Who started the last game?’ Shawne Alston raised his hand. That is what this season can come to again. We don’t know who the starters are going to be, and who is going to finish the season so all of those guys know that we are going to need every hat in that room in order for us to win that championship. So those guys are just working hard, and they are a very unselfish group. They don’t care who goes out first, because they know that we have a role for each of those guys in that offense. Those guys are going to all play. One guy has got to step up and be that lead dog and be the alpha male and hopefully one of those guys embraces that role.

On Ryan Clarke and Donovan Miles position…

Both of those guys are the same and those guys are working hard. Obviously, Donovan came in a little late but he caught up to it after the spring. That role is going to evolve, and we are going to put the best two players out there. If the best combination is Garrison and Buie, those two will be out there. It is not a true fullback. We do not have a true fullback. We put two good athletes there on the field and as long as those guys can understand the scheme and know what to do, all those guys are going to play. We don’t have a true defined role for the A or B position right now.

Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson

On staying consistent throughout the season…

If you look back at last year, everybody wants to look back at the very last game, and I don’t think you can execute any better than that. But, there were games leading up to that that we did not execute very well. Hopefully, our consistency level will improve.

On playing the young receivers…

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t want any of them, but in the situation we are in, some of them are going to have to step up and play. After two practices, I can’t tell where they would be as far as when game one comes around. Their attitude and effort is unbelievable. Football matters to these guys that we brought in and you can tell which is a positive thing.

On the minimum number he can play with…

You got to make anything work. In the bowl game, we had two inside receivers and one guy that rotated with both of them, because we had so many people hurt. So we had three total guys with two positions. Ideally, you would want to go into a game with two guys deep at all four positions that can actually play and you feel good about. Has that ever happened, rarely. You can say what you want to, but the bottom line is that the backups you have, you have to really trust and there are going to be a couple that come on.

On what Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey will work on…

You have got to fight boredom, and that is the biggest thing. When you structure it the way you structure it, you have guys repeating the same things over and over again. The capacity for boredom is extremely important. I tell our guys all the time that if you look through every aspect of life, if you look through singers and anybody who has become great at anything, the reason they become great is because they have done the same thing over and over again, and they don’t get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. The problem with mediocrity is if you get a person that wants to do too many things, they don’t get enough reps at one specific thing, they become average. That is the selling point in my opinion.

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