Football Assistant Coaches and Player Quotes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - WVU assistant coaches and players spoke with members of the media Friday morning.
Junior Running Back Dreamius Smith
On his ability to block
That’s just something that I wanted to pick up and improve on. My junior college coaches stressed that a lot, so I knew I had to bring that here and show that not only can I run the ball, but I can help out blocking, too. I’m still working on it, and it can always improve.
On how important blocking is in this offense
Blocking is one of the things coach Holgorsen and (running backs) coach (JaJuan) Seider stress most here. They all know we can run the ball, but they want to see what we can do when the ball’s not in our hands. If we just show we can block, it will do nothing but help in the long run.
On how often he is being used out of the backfield
Every time and then, I’ll swing out and do a couple routes. It just depends on what the play call is. Every back that we have can do that. The ones who get in will get a chance to do that.
On his strengths
I would say my vision and just lowering my shoulder to get those extra, tough yards. I can always break a long run, but I’d say my strength is fighting in between the tackles and getting those tough yards.
Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Cody Clay
On his health
I had a little problem with my hamstring, but everything is fine.
On how much he has seen his position evolve
We started off doing just fullback stuff, then we moved to tight end stuff. Now, they have us doing a lot of tempo stuff, where we’ll go from fullback, to tight end, to wide receiver in three plays. It was actually good that I was out for a few days so (sophomore) Garrett (Hope) and (freshman) Ellijah (Wellman) could really figure all that stuff out and I could sit back and coach them a little bit.
On what he has seen from the backups at his position
They’re both just really tough guys. And they’re going to have a little bit of trouble with the receiver stuff, because neither of them had really done that. That’s what I came here to do. They’re both in the fullback position and the tight end position and are going to be really helpful for us.
On being able to play different positions to stay on the field during up-tempo times
It’s tough for defenses to adjust to that – with me going from fullback to tight end to receiver. It’s hard for them to match that up well because they have different packages that they have to adjust to what we’re doing.
Redshirt sophomore Linebacker Isaiah Bruce
On his position in the defense
They have had me all over. I have mostly been playing on the outside and just a little bit on the inside. This is just exploratory at this point and seeing where everyone can fit on the line. If they feel like it will help the team, it may become permanent. If not, then I will play more middle. If you know the middle you should know the outside as well because the same principles apply for our type of defense. It really should not be about depth. Everyone should know everything.
On playing on the outside
I like it. I get to rush a little bit more. I haven’t rushed off the edge since 10th grade. It is a little bit more fun right now, even if we are in camp. I am just taking it all in. There is less traffic on the outside and so much in space. I feel sometimes I am just away from everything, but I need to be a little bit more patient. There is less traffic and you do not see everything in front of you, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I definitely have gotten a lot better at being patient and slowing down, waiting for the play to come to me instead of chasing it down. If the ball is going away, I need to stay and be patient because there is always a chance of cutting back, and if he cuts back, that is my play. I need to make sure I do my part, my one-eleventh, to make sure we have a successful play.
Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Will Clarke
On redshirt-senior Shaq Rowell and the defensive line’s depth
I like how he (Rowell) clogs that hole and makes running backs bounce out to (sophomore defensive lineman) Eric (Kinsey) or myself. I am very confident in our depth. It allows us guys that start to get more of a break and everyone to catch their breath. We will be fresh when we come on the field. We have been critical in film and (have) been using self-motivation and group motivational techniques on the defensive line to develop the younger players.
On his final camp
I am excited that camp has finally ended, and I am ready to play. It will be my last one, but it is camp so I won't miss it too much.
On entering the Big 12 and perception this season
The Big 12 throws the ball a lot, which gives opportunity to get a good pass rush on a lot of teams. This league is a defensive end's dream I guess you could say.
Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson
On discipline during the game
I believe that you have to strain people. They have to surrender to your way of doing things and conform to what we’re trying to accomplish as a whole.
I think sometimes players can have the right intentions and play outside the framework of the defense. I believe that you have to strain people to get them to become disciplined. The picture for our players is that a diamond doesn’t become a diamond without intense heat and pressure. Maybe the politically correct way to put it is that we apply a lot of heat and pressure on our players and our coaches to try to get them uncomfortable and maintain that discipline when the bullets start flying on the field. When you come to that adversity you have to focus and concentrate on the big picture, which is your assignments and responsibilities.
I think we are instilling confidence. We’re tough on the kids. We strain them and have very high expectations on the field in the mental and physical aspect. What people don’t see is that we have a genuine caring attitude toward our players in the locker rooms and in the meeting rooms. We tell our players not to mistake that loving and caring attitude as softness either. Our kids know we love them and care about them, but on the same end it’s tough love.
On two deep and player substitutions
This is a game about matchups and it’s become more so that way. You have to defend from sideline to sideline and from goal line to goal line. You can’t do that by just putting this group of people on the field and letting them go. You can’t allow the offense to create mismatches. And that’s when the personnel and substitution patterns come in place.
On aggressive coaching style
I try to create chaos on the sidelines during practice. The way I see it, if I can create that environment and players can still concentrate and carry out their assignment and know what their responsibilities are, then the game is going to be easy. Then I’m the motivator. I will call the defense, encourage, and make adjustments. It’s completely different. I don’t coach games like I coach practice. I try to strain people and surrender them to doing things the way I want them to do it. If they’ll do that, and they carry it out, we will become a unit.
On camp overall
At times we showed good things. At times we didn’t look so good. That’s what camp is for. It’s a process. I told them yesterday that fall camp isn’t over for me. It won’t be over next week. Even though school is officially starting, to me, next week camp is still not over. We don’t have an opponent. We can continue to progress as a defense. We can continue to focus on us. Camp isn’t over for me.
Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson
On Coach Holgorsen’s influence on his coaching style
He’s a little more conservative than me, at least at this point in his life. There was a time when we were probably the same when it came to attacking and throwing the football. I threw the football 89 times one game. But what I didn’t do is make the defense play honest. They knew when they went into a game that I was going to throw it. I wasn’t going to make you consistently stop the run. What we’ve done is learned to understand that what matters is who wins the game. He’s kind of put my ego to the side a little bit. That doesn’t mean we can’t go a ton of yards. It’s an evolution of the offense that occurred, and I’ll give him the credit for that because it definitely wasn’t me.
On what to expect from the offense
We’re going to do whatever it takes to win the game. If that means winning 31-28 or 14-7 we’re going to do that. We’re trying to figure out the weaknesses of the defense. If they’re playing down, we’re going to take a shot. We’re never going to get away from the background we have of playing fast at times. We will mix tempos up a bit more. When you play fast all the time, that’s pretty predictable too. The beauty of what we do here is we’re going to fastball and when we’re not going to fastball.
There’s one thing that fluctuates in our offense. The plays don’t change but the emphasis on the plays do. It depends on the makeup of your team. You’re going to get in formations that are best suited for your personnel, and that’s what we’re doing.
Big 12 Tournament Behind the Scenes
Mike Carey: Big 12 Tournament Preview
Bob Huggins: Kansas Preview
Players: Spring Football Update
Craig Turnbull: Big 12 Championships Preview