Football Assistant Coach Quotes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University assistant coaches meet with media at Milan Puskar Stadium Saturday morning:
Coach Robert Gillespie
On how the running backs have progressed
You can get a better idea of things once the pads go on obviously. The guys have been physical. So far, they have been preparing well, and they have been doing a great job in blitz pickup and protecting the quarterback. We have been doing a really good job of converting on third down – that is one that Coach (Dana) Holgorsen has wanted us to do, because we want to become a better team in those situations. In third and short, our guys have also been doing a great job.
On the running backs’ pass blocking
The willingness for those guys to do it has always been there. The fundamentals are also getting a lot better. Our defense is doing a really good job in giving us a lot of different looks to protect against. We will be prepared for anything that we see in the Big 12 this year.
On the newcomers
Torry Clayton is probably the newest guy. He is a scholarship player that is here, but we do have a veteran group that is helping each of the new guys. Dustin Garrison, Andrew Buie and Shawne Alston have each been doing a great job in helping him understand our protections and taking care of the ball. He still has a long way to go, but it is helpful when you have guys helping like that.
On depth at running back
We are starting to develop a little bit of depth. All of the guys here besides the newcomers have gotten reps before. We could still use a few more guys, because it is going to be a long season and a bigger grind this year.
Coach Joe DeForest
On third-down packages
I like to use corners and safeties. I always like to use the next-best available guy, whether it is a corner or a safety. We feel good about the two young safeties who came, and we really feel good about the two freshman corners that we are working with right now.
On interchanging linebackers between positions
The Sam and the Will are definitely going to be interchangeable – they should be interchangeable. One’s progression and reads are little bit different in the run fits and the pass fits. Each player should know every other player’s role. The boundary safety and the free safety should be able to play each spot. Both corners should be able to play on either side of the field.
On turnovers in practice
I’m pretty sure that we forced four yesterday. I think there was only one day in which we didn’t get one. There are going to be opportunities to force turnovers. Our kids love it. When they do get one, we show it to them as a team defense. We will also go on film and show them the good effort plays and the bad effort plays.
Coach Shannon Dawson
On depth at receiver
Now is about the time where you start to make some decision on who is going to be where and who is going to redshirt. I have confidence in my whole group. There isn’t one guy that has gone out there and just failed. You have guys that you want to have step up and be a little more consistent instead of making the same mistakes every day. There are probably three that are consistently on the same page with our quarterbacks, and they are the guys that played a lot last year.
On improvement of ball skills from the spring
We were vastly improved with that until about two practices ago. We have had a case of the drops the last two practices for whatever reason. We just put pads on – that is more of a mental thing. It isn’t like we are dropping every pass. We are dropping about three balls, but in my opinion, that is too many. We are dropping some easy balls. We dropped four balls that could have been touchdowns a couple practices ago. I try to teach more to what a guy is doing wrong in his route or pre-snap and let the drops take care of themselves.
On working with a player with a mental block
If I have problem with something and somebody keeps pointing that issue out, there is a good chance that it will become a bigger problem. In my experience, one thing probably leads to another. If we have evaluated a kid and offered him a scholarship, he probably has pretty good ball skills. Now, if he gets here and is dropping balls left and right, it probably has something to do with his comfort level. We typically don’t recruit receivers that can’t catch the football, and if we do, that is our fault.
Coach Keith Patterson
On defensive installation progress
We are trying to develop a mindset. It is like building a house. You have to build the foundation, and that is really all we did during the spring. They are starting to understand the scheme a bit more, and we are trying to give them things that are a little more complex. In some cases, you can see the light click on with some guys, and you can visibly see the improvement from Monday to Saturday. If we continue to do that, I think we have a chance to play really good defense.
On the back and forth between offense and defense
It is encouraging, because you can get better as a team. I think we had a great day two days ago. Yesterday was a good day, but the offense had the edge. If you are going back and forth, it creates competition. It also creates a better football team. We have a great attitude and a great competitive spirit.
On playing a large amount of freshmen
Anymore, it is different than it used to be. These kids are coming in so physically talented. The weight programs and the coaching in high school football are so much better. The kids are so much more prepared when they get here. A lot of that has to do with the seven-on-seven tournaments and the tournaments they are playing in during the season. It is what it is, and we can’t use playing freshmen as an excuse. We are just going to try and get them better each and every day.
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