Nov. 1, 2009
An interview with:
Q. Any update on injuries?
COACH WEIS: Well, Dayne (Crist) is going to get an MRI tomorrow. We’re cautiously optimistic that it’s not as bad as we originally thought it was. But, you know, we’re keeping our fingers crossed on that one because when he got tested, the knee was a lot more stable than we thought it would be.
So like I said, I don’t want to get his mom too excited because yesterday I told her what the best or worst could be. But there is a chance it could be better than I thought it was going to be, but we’ll have to wait for that test.
Trevor (Robinson) got a low ankle sprain. He’ll miss some time. I don’t know if he’ll play this week or not. But today, Sunday night at 8:00 o’clock, I’d list him as doubtful. But there is a difference between a low ankle sprain and a high ankle sprain. A low ankle sprain is a lot better than a high ankle sprain.
And Kapron (Lewis-Moore) seemed to be moving around pretty good today. So things looked positive there.
Michael (Floyd), I’ll get his tests back probably tomorrow night. So at the press conference on Tuesday I’ll be able to tell you where we are with him. That basically is it.
Q. After you review the film, basically the same feeling that you had the in the first half that you had in the second half?
COACH WEIS: I was happy with the defense pretty much the whole game. (Six) three and outs in the game the first defense gave up 100 yards offense the whole game. The defense gave up only 200 yards for the whole game. But when the first guys are in there, they gave up 109 yards. That was pretty impressive. With sacks, pressures, you know, playing the game behind the line of scrimmage. No explosives in the passing game. When is the last time we’ve been able to say that.
So I thought it was a pretty complete performance. The thing I was encouraged with the most, I thought both lines really controlled the game. The defensive line I thought really had a good night.
I thought the offensive line, if you control the line of scrimmage, I’m disappointed with the volume of penalties with the offensive line. That caused my dissatisfaction in the second half especially. We really cost ourself on offense with the six penalties. Not the delay of game that a intentionally took at the end when I was going to punt it, but six penalties that we had in the game cost us 134 yards of field position. So for that, I wasn’t very happy.
Q. I know you talked about Golden’s play last night and how incredible you thought it was. After seeing the tape, any better?
COACH WEIS: Well, I would imagine, I haven’t seen the TV copy, but I would imagine the TV copy looks even better than the coach’s copy. From the coach’s copy you just see what happens. You see the angle that he comes in. He comes outside in.
But the best part about it is it was a 30 second time out. So it worked out about exactly as if you drew it up in the dirt, it worked out exactly the same way. The protection was good enough to give Jimmy plenty of time to talk and throw the ball out 60 yards in the air. He threw it to the perfect spot. And Golden was kind of behind all three of those guys and comes leaping in with his hands up there and just plucks it away from him and muscles it in. It was pretty impressive.
Q. What was it like when you guys landed with all the different time changes between central to eastern and the hour going back? Was everyone just wondering what time it was?
COACH WEIS: Well, this is pretty easy. Going down we set our clocks back and we just kept them the same. So that was our strategy. Turn your clock back on the way down and don’t change it on the way back.
We actually got back about an hour earlier than we thought we were going to get back. So sometimes my operation guy puts a buffer in there to make himself look good, so when we get back early everyone can pat him on the back and say atta boy. But I think we had that figured out.
Q. Is that the best you would say your defensive ends played? They seemed very active all night, like Kerry Neal, Steve Filer and Darius Fleming basically down the field?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, having that three man rotation is pretty nice now because you get the athleticism and rolling them in and out and fresh legs. Just tearing them loose. They were active.
The interior guys were pretty active, too. For most of the night with the three man rotation as well. (Sean) Cwynar got in there some, too. But most of the night it was Ian (Williams), and Ethan (Johnson), and Kapron (Lewis-Moore) rolling through there. So those guys all had pretty active nights.
Q. It was just a couple of weeks ago that Darius Fleming was making fun of Steve Filer’s three point stance. How far has Filer come in such a short period of time?
COACH WEIS: Well, I’ve told him for quite some time I think I even talked about the possibility of him being opposite of Fleming as the year went on in nickel pass rush situations. And it’s taken some time for him to work his way into that rotation. I think he’s in that rotation to stay.
Steve just gives us another dynamic, athletic guy who, I think, once they buy in, once he’s bought in, he’s going to continue to get better and better and help us.
Q. Did it take some convincing that that’s where his future was?
COACH WEIS: He was a sam linebacker. And I said, Steven, Darius is a sam linebacker and he’s got his hand on the ground in nickel all the time as well. I think he’s very happy to be where he is right now.
Q. I know you’re talking one game at a time, but you did mention about controlling your own destiny last night. You’re convinced that if you won the table that you will definitely get a BCS bid?
COACH WEIS: All I’m saying is if you keep on winning and teams ahead of you keep on losing, you’re going to keep on moving up. That’s just a fact. I guess we probably moved up four spots in one (poll), and six in another, and all we did was play one game. So I think every week it’s going to be like that because you get down to the crunch time and there’s always going to be teams ahead of you that play other teams that they’re going to end up losing to. And you’re going to keep on moving your way up.
What I was saying very clearly is we’ve just got to take care of our business. We can’t worry about what everyone else is doing because they’re going to knock each other off, that’s the way it happens every year. So you just have to make sure that you just do what you’re supposed to do. I think at the end of the day things will workout the right way.
Q. I know you addressed this last night. But how concerned are you with keeping the team focused on one game at a time? I know you mentioned it last night?
COACH WEIS: It might have been tougher last week if we were playing Washington State at home to be honest with you. It might have been tougher if we were playing them here. But, you know that Alamodome and going to San Antonio and that whole alignment, I wasn’t just giving coach speak.
It felt like a bowl game in pregame. That’s what it felt like. There was a lot of excitement. The buzz in that place. Normally that’s not how you feel when you go on the road, especially when they’re rooting for you instead of rooting against you.
So then we’re coming home. You have the triple option. You have one week to prepare for it. Which is their deal? You’ve got a shortened game. Okay, less possessions on offense, and their defense is playing better on top of it. Maybe you’ll get the players’ attention, because in the last couple of years it’s been a dog fight against them.
Q. Do all these young defensive players now that are making such a significant contribution understand what they’re about to head into now?
COACH WEIS: We weren’t in the locker room five seconds, and if they didn’t understand, they understood by the time I finished talking yesterday.
Q. There are five or six prominent guys on the front seven that haven’t had to play, you know, 30 minutes against them?
COACH WEIS: But I think they understand what we’re into. There were so many players today that were already asking for DVD’s so they could start watching stuff on their own because tomorrow’s player’s day off you know with classes and stuff like that. But a lot of guys wanted to get a jump start to make sure they saw what they were going against.
Q. How critical is a healthy Kapron Lewis-Moore this week against a Navy team like that that runs that offense?
COACH WEIS: Well, Kap has been playing better and better each week. When I saw him walk into the locker room last night I was going to ask him if he wanted me to carry him out to the bus. But when I saw him walking into the team room today, he hardly had a limp.
So if you were asking me odds today, I would give you questionable today and probable by Tuesday. I think we’ll have Kap ready to go.
Q. No matter what the result of Dayne’s tests are, how does that change Evan (Sharpley) week this week and what he’s going to do?
COACH WEIS: Well, first things first, Evan has to get out of his last period of the day over at school where he’s student teaching this week so he we’ll try to get him over here and get him more in tune with the entire game plan.
But it sure looks like a heck of a conversation that I had back with him. It looked pretty good that conversation I had with him last January. Where, just in case we might want to explore this option. I think our whole football team feels good that we have a guy like Evan Sharpley sitting there waiting in the wings if we need to call on somebody to be a back up quarterback.
Q. What did you think of Dayne’s play up until the injury?
COACH WEIS: Got off to a slow start. That first pass, that one hopper over there to Golden (Tate), that wasn’t the way we wanted it to go. Then he threw a comebacker short over there to Golden.
But I thought that seam that he threw to Goody (John Goodman) was as good a throw as anyone could make. That window wasn’t really big. He threw it. He threw as good a throw as you could make.
The play that he got hurt on, to be honest with you, Goody was more open on that one he was more open on the play that Dane got hurt on, than the play that Dayne threw the touchdown. Only problem was he had some pressure coming from the right on the second one. So he had to step up and he had to step up to avoid the guy coming from the right. So instead of throwing the ball to Goody, he started to flush to the right and he got caught from behind.
Q. Last night after the game you talked about one of the benefits was you could go to the guys that had been talking about, hey, can I play more, can I play more? And show them the tape. And somebody points out, hey, this is why you aren’t playing. Who are some of the guys that would maybe I would imagine good man’s one of them that stepped up and said, yeah, these are guys we should look at a little bit more?
COACH WEIS: Well, we’ve been playing Goody more. So there are plenty of guys that stepped up in a favorable mode, they aren’t my concerns as much, Pete, as the guys that want to get out there, want to get out there.
Then they get out there and get physically beat up or don’t make a play or make mental errors. They’re my bigger issue. We spent more time addressing the constructive criticism part of it.
Goody’s really been playing himself into the mix for sometime now. Him playing and getting a touchdown is no big surprise to us, because he’s been playing more and more the last bunch of weeks.
Q. As far as the no explosives, that’s the first time that’s happened this year. What do you think the keys were to that as far as the secondary really shutting that down?
COACH WEIS: Well, I think that they really practiced hard, number one. Number 2, I thought there was good pressure. When we put pressure on, there was good pressure. And when we didn’t blitz guys, I thought the front four was getting pressure. Okay, which was a good thing.
Then we had a mixture of blitz zones and eight man drops. You’re going to go there and you’re going to see we’re dropping everybody. I think the quarterback got quite confused when he saw that because we did it earlier in the game. All of a sudden he had nowhere to go, and he pulled the ball down right off the bat and ran. I thought the defensive staff did a nice job of mixing that stuff up.
Q. Off topic a little bit. But at halftime they had Tony Dungy on, and he was talking about Jimmy (Clausen) and breaking down some tape. He said he (Jimmy) reminded him a lot of Drew Brees. I think when we look at quarterbacks it’s like Tom Brady, Brady Quinn in your lineage, what do you think about that comparison?
COACH WEIS: No disrespect, but I don’t see that. I did a lot of work on Drew coming out. Drew’s very athletic. No disrespect to Jimmy, you know. Drew was a shotgun only quarterback at Purdue. I watched every single play of every single game he played his senior year coming out because we were thinking about taking him. As a matter of fact we took his left tackle Matt Light who is still the left tackle for the Patriots.
I’m a big Drew Brees fan. And I think he’s one of the upper echelon quarterbacks in the league. So if he’s comparing him to Jimmy as far as the production that Drew Brees is getting, sign me up. Maybe he’s got a better feel for that, because I don’t see as much as Drew anymore as they’re lighting up the scoreboard this year as I do with Jimmy.
Q. We’ve been pestering you about this. But we in the media are getting pestered. Is there anymore light you can shed on Shaq Evans and why he isn’t in the mix?
COACH WEIS: He’s not in the dog house as I continue to say. I’ve heard this several times in the last few weeks about him being in the dog house. As a matter of fact, the last week and a half, he’s actually practiced better and better and put himself in a position to get significant time.
The issue is, the position he’s in a position to go ahead and play in the multiple wide receiver sets, and the guys playing ahead of him were playing too good to really take out. I’m not looking to take out guys just to take them out.
When it came time to substitute when his group was in, we had more two wide receiver sets and three wide receiver sets. And he and Deion (Walker) share one possession on two wide receiver set. And on three wide receiver sets he, Robby and Deion are all in together.
At that time of the game in that situation I wasn’t calling very many three wide receiver sets. It wasn’t to keep somebody on the field or keep somebody off the field. It was because I was running the football. I was in the stage of the game where we were predominantly running the football.
But I promise you may God strike me dead, there is no dog house for number 11.
Q. I won’t ask you about it again. I promise you that.
COACH WEIS: Okay, well, we’ve asked that question a couple of times. I understand when a guy who is playing or earning some playing time and then, you know, got sick, and missed some time and got back in there, why you’d ask the question. But I’d never lie to you guys.
I try to be evasive as I possibly can (Laughter). But I don’t lie to you. There is not a dog house.
Q. Maybe you can tell us who is in the dog house and we can save you time next time?
COACH WEIS: Pardon me?
Q. Maybe you can tell us who is in the dog house. I’m just being facetious, Coach?
COACH WEIS: That’s okay.
Q. I don’t know if this is a question that you covered on Thursday, but academically is Jimmy Clausen in line to graduate in December?
COACH WEIS: That’s a good question. I think that he’s pretty close. But I don’t think he’s done in December. I think he’d need at least another semester. That would be the three and a half year mark. I’d have to check on that. But right now that isn’t the plan.
My plan is for him to graduate next year after another heck of a season for us. But we’ll see how that goes.
Q. Has it at all changed your mentality with Jimmy managing the turf toe if Evan’s got to go in there? Or is it basically the same thing you’d do if Dayne was in there and you had to decide whether or not Jimmy could take the rest of the game off at any point?
COACH WEIS: I would keep the exact same game plan. What I would do is I would cut it down though because the back up quarterback doesn’t get nearly as many reps. What I do, I do the same thing with Dayne. As we get through Thursday’s practice, Dayne and I and Ron (Powlus), we get together and eliminate all the plays that he’s uncomfortable with if he’s in the game so that we don’t call something that he doesn’t have a comfort zone with.
We don’t put in new plays, but we just don’t call plays that he didn’t get a chance to rep or he doesn’t feel comfortable with. We’d do the same thing with Evan. We’d get through till Thursday, and after we met with him on Thursday, he’d say I haven’t repped that play. I don’t know that play. I don’t feel good about that play.
So it would be the same game plan Jimmy has, just a much cut down version in the passing game. The running game would stay intact, but the passing game would be minimized.
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