Oct. 9, 2007
October 9, 2007
Georgia Tech Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Head Coach Chan Gailey
The long plays have tended to hurt Tech’s strong defensive efforts. How can Coach Tenuta coach that up?
“We can just make sure that everyone is doing their responsibility – don’t drop a guy if you’ve got him in man, don’t chase something that’s not there if you’re in zone – things like that.”
Fans always think that it’s the defensive back missing coverage, but that isn’t always right, is it?
“It can be a lot of different things, and that’s one of the things about football – a lot of people get blamed specifically because accountability needs to be made in our society today so we always assign blame.”
What are your memories of Orange Bowl stadium?
“I was there in, I believe, 1971. We (Florida) had the lay-down play where we let Miami score so that John Reese could break the all-time pass record. We all – not all of us – but most of us ran down and jumped in the pool at the end of the stadium to rub it in. That was a highlight and lowlight of my life.
“I was not in the pool-jumping party.”
Are you surprised that the defense only has two interceptions this year?
“We have a lot of sacks this year. Guys are holding onto the ball instead of throwing it up. Whereas last year, or two years ago, we had a ton of picks. Guys weren’t taking sacks, but throwing it up. It’s one of those deals where what the quarterback coach for the other team is telling his quarterback. What is the general thought.”
What sticks out so much about the Orange Bowl?
“It’s a very unique place, to say the least. The fact that it’s probably the same today as it was when I was there in 1971 says a lot in itself. There are so many memories that have come out of that stadium for everyone that follows college football, and to some extent, pro football. There have been some great Orange Bowl games through the years, some great Florida-Miami, Miami-FloridaState games, and Miami and a lot of other people games. There have been win streaks, home winning streaks that have taken place there, so it’s a lot of history for a college football buff.
Does the win down there two years ago stand out as one of your favorite memories of it?
“Sure. Every time you have a big win you remember it. You don’t forget those times..”
Are you sad that Miami is leaving the Orange Bowl?
“I think it’s good when you can play in a more updated stadium”
Darrell Robertson had a big fumble recovery last week – talk about how he is playing right now.
“He’s around the ball a lot. If you look at the statistics that bears out, and if you watch the film, it bears out. If you look at everything about his game right now, he’s around the ball a ton. He’s got good instincts, he’s playing hard, and he’s having a very good senior year.”
He may have been lost in the shuffle when he signed with Calvin Johnson. How big a recruit is he in your tenure?
“All of those guys have been so big for our program. There are a lot of guys that fall into that category. He may not have received the notoriety at the time, but he’s made his point on the field since he’s been here. There are several guys like that. Not everyone fits for every program, but he was a great fit for here. It was a natural thing for him to be here. I think he recognized that, which is why I think he ultimately came here. It’s worked out to both side’s benefits. It’s been a win-win situation.”
“I’ve liked every one of them. I haven’t liked one more than the other. They all mean the same to us. They are all going to help us be a successful program.”
That being said, was it a statement for you to get them?
“It’s great to get them. We thought they were great players. Those that weren’t highly-touted, we thought they were good too.”
What is the ideal balance of run and pass in an offense?
“Overall for the season, you’d like to be 50-50 if you could. That keeps defenses totally off-balance, which is ideal.
“I know one thing – if you can’t run it, you can’t win, and if you can’t throw it, you can’t win. If you do one a little bit better than another, and you major in it, it’s not an issue. It’s when you become unable to do another one that it hurts you in the win column.”
Do you have to be balanced throughout downs?
“That goes back to your team and how successful you are on first downs. You can’t run it all the time on first down, you have the throw it; but you can’t throw it all the time on first down, you have to run it some. What that percentage is is different for each team, for each coordinator, for each set of athletes that you have on your team, depending on what they do best. What your comfortable with, what you’re successful with, how good your defense is, how good your kicking game is – all of that ties into it.”
With McManus out, do you move Rhodes around?
“We have considered moving our guards around and letting them play all of the positions.”
Is the continuity affected anyways, or is it affected more with the changes?
“It would if we decide Rhodes does have to play right guard some, but it’s a senior doing it. If you were asking ask a sophomore to go do that, to me it’s a lot bigger task. If we didn’t think he could handle it, we would not ask him to do it. If we’re not more solid doing that, we shouldn’t do it. We should leave it as-is and let the other guys play right tackle.”
On the penalties called on Trey Dunmon last week – bad game or learning experience?
“It was both. He’s got to realize what he can and can’t do. It was a bad game in that respect. He did some good things, but those were not good.”
Is it a cause for concern?
“Not if he’s as smart as I think he is and he learns from his mistakes.”
Do you change your tendencies with Patrick Nix now on the other sideline? In what way? How much does he know?
“Yes. Some of all of that. We will change some things because we know what he knows. But he probably knows that he knows what we know so he will probably assume that we’ll change it.
“He knows the signals. But we’ve changed quite a few too, so he doesn’t know them all, but he knows some of them.”
How much does it help that he went against Tenuta’s defense in practice?
“It helps a lot. If we knew a guy left here and took our whole defensive package, it would help us. If you work against the same defense every day for four or five years, you get an understanding of it, so it helps him tremendously.”
Jamal Lewis, Sr., S
Since you are going up against your old offensive coordinator, (Patrick Nix, offensive coordinator at the University of Miami) do you expect any inside information?
“I’m sure he knows all of us on defense; our weaknesses and our strengths. I think it’s going to be a great game. It’s going to be great to go against Coach Nix. I have known him for about three years.”
What did you expect of your defense going into this year?
“We expect to be one of the top defenses in the nation. We still have a chance to do that, we just need to tighten up our secondary. (We need to) take things more personal as far as looking at more film and routes, because as an entire defense, I think that is our weakness.”
Does a gambling defense put too much pressure on you guys (the secondary)?
“No, it’s not too much pressure. Coach (coordinator Jon Tenuta) makes it as simplistic as possible. We just have to take it on as a challenge to be able to cover a guy one-on-one.”
Taylor Bennett, Jr., QB
What is it going to be like knowing former Tech coordinator Patrick Nix is up in the press box?
“It will be just like old times, I guess, except he will be in a different box. It will be interesting. I’m anxious to see what happens, how he plays our defense. We finally get a chance to play against him instead of scrimmaging.”
How quickly are you able to put last weekend behind you and focus on this week?
“Every week is a new week and you can’t linger on a loss or on a win. It’s one week at a time whether you win or lose. That is the mentality that we take every week, every year. We have to put that behind us because the only thing you can look forward to is another game.”
Considering the way Tashard (Choice) has played hurt, what does that do for the rest of the guys? Do they notch it up a little bit when they see him gutting it out?
“Absolutely. Anytime Tashard can get out there and run the ball like that; but at the same time we want him to be smart. We don’t want him to push himself if we may lose him for the rest of the year. So that is kind of a fine line that he has to settle with himself. But anytime we can get Tashard out there and run the ball it’s comforting.”
Jake Blackwood, So., S (father and uncle played for the Miami Dolphins)
What does that stadium (Orange Bowl) mean to you?
“It’s apart of my family history to a certain extent. I know it means a lot to my dad because he played so many years there and it means a lot to me because I know that so much of my family’s history has taken part there. It means a lot”
Have you and your dad (Glen Blackwood former Miami Dolphins player) talked about this game?
“Yes, we have looked forward to this game for a while and this is definitely one he has marked off on his calendar to be there. I think this a great experience for both us; for him to see his son down on the field that he played on and for me to be able to play where my dad set foot. It is going to be a great experience. I am looking forward to it.”
You are definitely on punt coverage/kickoff coverage?
“Right now I’m back-up on kickoff coverage, kickoff return, and I am backup on punt block.”
You are the one during the Clemson game who knocked the ball lose when D.J. recovered it, right? “Yes, that was on punt coverage, but punt block is where I am backing up.”