Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wolverine Wednesday: Coach Speak

Big Al and GMat had their regular press conferences on Tuesday and words were exchanged:

Big Al First:

What inspired you to split Devin Funchess out wide?  (BHB: maybe he woke up awhile ago?)
“Well, a couple of things. We’ve done that all the way through. It’s not totally new. We did a little bit more of it in this game. We got Jordan Paskorz back. He played a little bit. He’s a good blocker. We used him in some situations that we would have used Funch. But just, you know, packaging  him kind of like we’ve done all along. Try to move him around. Still not getting him out of the tight end mode. He’s still playing a lot of that and a lot of what we call the U position or the H back. His role is expanded a little bit but it’s still pretty much in line with what we’ve been trying to do with him since he’s been here.”
Does Graham Glasgow grade out better when there’s more on his plate at center?
“He’s a smart guy that plays very, very hard. That helps. And the fact that he had been playing center – I won’t say this was a seamless transition, but it wasn’t a tough one. He’s been playing center all the way through. He and Jack have been battling at that position and playing left guard when it was alternate reps. For him to jump in there and play center was not a big deal for him. But he’s a kid that’s kind of a self-made lineman. When he came in I wasn’t sure he’d ever play here, but he’s worked his tail off and he’s earned everything he’s got, and he’s become at this point, knock on wood, pretty solid
What kind of growth have you seen from Jehu Chesson?
“He’s getting more and more involved. I think the quarterback's getting more and more confidence in him, getting more balls thrown at him. He’s made a few more plays. I like him . I think this kid can really be a good player. He’s still counting his steps on his square outs and doing some things … you talk about letting it rip. When he lets it rip, he can run with the wind. He’s got good hands. The best is yet to come with him, I think. But it probably won’t happen overnight.”
Do you expect to have Jake Ryan with you?

“Who knows? That’s Brady’s call. I don’t know. He’s obviously been working hard. That’s up to the trainers and Brady.”

How much more can one guy add to the defense?

“He’s very talented. You don’t know. You never know. Just like Blake [Countess] coming back after a full year off, I think Blake would probably tell you that his first ball game or first couple, three games, you don’t ever know. Who knows if he’ll be back or not.”

If Jake comes back and is effective, what do you do with Brennen Beyer?

“Really haven’t thought about it much. We have a group of guys and we rotate so much that if another guy is in the mix, another guy rotates.”

Are you surprised by how quickly Jake Ryan recovered?

“Jake Ryan, since the day I got here, he’s been a guy that I have the utmost respect for because football, school, being a great person, are all really important to him. I don’t know if you remember, I said when it happened that if anybody will come back, it’s going to be him. When he comes back, Brady will make that decision. All the work he’s done and all the preparation he’s done and all the extra rehabilitation and everything like that, that’s Jake.”

Have you had a lot of players with a motor like his?

“If you’re lucky enough, you have players like that. You have guys that get it. They understand that, ‘Okay, if I listen to this trainer and I listen to this coach and I do everything this strength coach tells me to do, then I’ll be a pretty good football player.’ A lot of it, too, is having a God-given football ability, which he does. A lot of it is his mental makeup. He has unbelievable pride in wanting to do things right. All those are things that you look for in a player.”

Against Penn State’s pro style offense, the pass rush is going to be more important, then.

“No question, when a team passes that much. The thing you’ll see is they’ll do a lot of max protecting. They’ll keep the tight end in, they’ll keep the back in. And other times they’ll send everyone out. When we do have four rushers on five blockers, we have to change the math. I mean, as long as they keep working to beat a guy and when you look at the film, if we can win the one-on-ones and not get blocked one-on-one on a pass, you can say we’re heading in the right direction.”

Is there anything keeping you from being more aggressive in coverage?

“I didn’t know that we weren’t aggressive in coverage. I hope sometime you don’t say, ‘boy, that guy was really tight and he beat you.’ I think the one thing you have to look at is our thing is always keep the ball inside and in front. Always. And yeah, we could get right up on people and it might look really good for four or five plays, and hten all of a sudden you’ll see two fo them when they’re over your head. And then you’ll say, boy, why were you up so aggressive. There’s that fine line when you play really really aggressive. A lot of it is who are you going against? Can this guy really run? Do they like to throw shots? Do they like to get you up on them so they can throw three or four long ones? I guess the biggest thing on defense is points allowed. That’s our bottom line. Our bottom line is I’ve never been a big stat guy. The only stat that matters to me is can we keep them out of the end zone. We’re working real hard to do that. We have to get better. A team can have a lot of yards rushing and we’ll correct it. They can have a lot of yards passing and we’ll correct it. As long as we get points, that’s all I look at.”

Bonus coverage from PSU Head Coach Bill O’Brien:

Can the Nittany Lions learn from their latest loss? “We’ve moved on from Indiana. We’re focused on Michigan.”

Can this team overcome the odds like they did last season? “I just think that we have a fantastic group of kids that are practicing hard right now and very focused on the Michigan game.”

Will the Nittany Lions run more after such little production against Indiana? “That game is over. We’re focused on Michigan.”

How long does it take for Penn State to recover from a loss? “It’s one loss. It’s over. We’re moving on to Michigan.”

Does Penn State have an identity after five games? “We’re going to play hard, and we’ve got a lot of good players, and we’re very focused on doing that against Michigan.”


1 comment:

Scott K said...

Well, you could say Penn State isn't looking past Michigan.... After that whoopin' they took last week, they would be looking forward to ANY game, rather than looking back.