WVU Football Assistant Coaches Quotes
Morgantown, W.Va. - Members of the West Virginia coaching staff addressed the media at Milan Puskar Center on Saturday, Aug. 3.
Assistant Coach (Offensive Line) Ron Crook
On improvements from players since spring camp
Everything has come along very well from what we’ve seen out of those guys in the summer. They look bigger, they look stronger and they look more fit. They move well, and they’ve got more quickness to them and more agility, so our strength staff did a great job with them all summer. The guys did a great job buying into what we’ve been talking to them about and teaching them to do. The whole team has had a great summer.
On the work ethic and improvements of redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Marquis Lucas
I don’t know if i would say he was the biggest change, but it’s definitely clear that it’s very important to him right now. You can tell with his approach, mentally and physically, and with the gains he’s made over the summer. He’s had a great work ethic all year. He’s definitely a guy we’re expecting big things out of this year.
On Lucas working with the first string in camp
He has been working with them. But, again, that will remain very fluent throughout the preseason camp.
Assistant Coach (Defensive Coordinator) Keith Patterson
On how things have been going two days into camp
It’s good. I’ve been encouraged more so than anything with the spirit our players have had. It’s important to them. Everyone is excited day one and what encouraged me the most was day two they came back out with that same type of energy and same mentality. That is making progress. A lot of times you see a drop off in the enthusiasm from day one to day two. I thought we actually picked it up a notch.
On how positive it is for the new guys to be so committed
It sure makes your job a lot easier when kids are excited about wanting to learn and wanting to give great effort. It gives more time for us to pay attention to detail. When you don’t have to spend so much time getting the energy out of them, then obviously you can spend more time on coaching the detail of the scheme.
On preparing the defense for up-tempo play
Our whole defensive system is built around that. The guys have heard me say it before: ‘70 percent of all big plays in Division I college football come because of misalignment or busted assignment.’ Our whole philosophy is the faster we take the field, the more knowledge we can obtain from the sidelines. Therefore, it allows you to play faster. They have to know the situation.
Assistant Head Coach (Receivers) Lonnie Galloway
On what he has seen in camp so far
That’s the best thing about what’s going on right now - everybody is competing for a position. No one has a position. We have guys that go first or second, but they know they have to show up everyday and compete.
On Junior Wide Receiver Mario Alford
He can run. He has good ball skills, but Mario (Alford) wasn’t able to go through spring. He is, I wouldn’t say spinning, but he’s trying to catch up and put it all together. He’ll be counted on this year.
On Junior Wide Receiver Kevin White
Kevin (White) is big. You can tell from the spring and going through summer workouts is that he has gotten stronger and thicker. He could run when he got here, so the biggest thing for him is that he has to practice at a high level. That’s the challenge for him - to practice at a high level. And, knowing that if he doesn’t, there is someone behind him that could take his place. We’re expecting big things from him. But at the end of that day, there are guys out there competing for jobs.
Assistant Coach (Cornerbacks) Brian Mitchell
On the depth
You cannot rep more than five. When you are starting to incorporate nickel and dime packages, you may get to six. On a day-to-day basis when you get into a game situation, you are only going to be able to rep two deep. That fifth guy may be a swing guy, may be the nickel or the dime. Right now, we do have depth, and if we can go into the season with five strong that can do exactly what we are asking them to do, I think we are going to be in great shape.
On the personnel on defense
Defensively, we do have a number of guys that have played quite a bit. A lot of freshman had to play last year and a ton of sophomores had to play last year. Of course, you couple that with guys like (junior linebacker) Shaq (Petteway), (senior defensive lineman Shaq) Rowell and (redshirt senior defensive lineman) Will Clarke, hopefully we will have a good mixture. I think we are going to be a group of individuals that are going to run to the ball and give great effort. We will be fundamentally sound, and coach Patterson and the other coaches are drilling fundamentals day in and day out.
Assistant Coach (Offensive Coordinator) Shannon Dawson
On camp thus far
Two days non-padded is more about communication than anything. You can’t tell anything without any pads on, upfront especially. Even at quarterback, with no pads on, it is basically 7-on-7. Until pads get on and the game becomes physical, it is hard to tell anything.
On what he has liked through two days
What you would expect. With the new guys, it is going to take a little while for them to get on the same page. Our stuff pretty much stays consistent, so that first group and the o-line that have been here are all on the same page. Those younger guys and those new guys, even the JUCO players, are going to screw up. It is going to take them awhile.
On having so many different players on the field
As assistant coaches, we try to make every room uncomfortable. That is the key. I think that ever since I've been here, rooms have been comfortable, because there has to be clear-cut, these are the guys and these are the guys that are behind. Right now we have three, sometimes four or five, people in every room and at every position battling to start, and are capable of starting. The whole level of competition has picked up, and you can tell it just in the air. If you take a day off you will fall.
On the running back depth
The thing about running back is a lot of them are going to play. That is a position that, if you watch college football, you need a lot of running backs to withstand the season. It is a physical game, a physical position, and those guys take a beating. To have multiple of them that can play so you are not giving 90-percent of the reps to one guy will make you better.
On if the production of running backs is going to be better or if the offense is going to be different
The offense does not change. The thing that changes is the makeup of the team. The pieces change and the focus of the offense might change. An example may be if you are thin at running back, and there was a time last year that we went into games banged up and with one healthy guy, we would go empty a lot. We didn’t run any different plays, we just ran them out of different personnel sets, because that is who was healthy. The focus is going to be different because of the personnel we have. If you have a lot of running backs that are capable then you want to get them the ball in every way possible and as much as possible. We are just trying to get the ball to the best players. The easiest way to get a running back the ball is to turn and hand it to him.
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