Quotes/Notes/Video from Doc Holliday's Sept. 19 Press Conference
Bye week quotes below
Press Conference Video
Going into an open date, the majority of our coaches are on the road recruiting yesterday and today. They will all get back tonight or first thing tomorrow morning and we will get back to practice on Wednesday. Any time with an open date, you have to concentrate on yourself and get better as a football team so we will focus on that this week. We will continue to break down Cincinnati tape and get going on them on Monday night. But, most of the work this week is on us getting better as a team.
On not having an open date (within the season) last year:
I think you always miss open dates. They talk about player safety and welfare and I think they are moving in that direction. Looks like starting next year, I know they have proposals out there where it is a 14-week season and everyone will get to have two open dates. And to be honest with you, that is a good thing for player welfare because the kids get an opportunity to get a week off and catch their breath. Get healthy before moving into the next group of games. With that being said, this is still kind of early since we will have to go nine straight weeks after this week.
More on the bye:
With camp starting early like it has, when we get ready to go play Cincinnati, we are right at the nine week period and about halfway through the season as far as weeks are concerned. They come in early and now there will be about nine straight weeks to finish up, so we are at the halfway point as far as that goes. I think this comes at a good time because I think we can get (receiver) Obi (Obialo) and (defensive lineman Channing) Hames, (defensive lineman) Nyquan (Harris) and get all of those guys back to being healthy and ready to go for Cincinnati. Hopefully we will be as healthy as we have been all year.
On young offensive linemen filling in snaps:
Not just Alex (Mollette), but we have had Will Ulmer and Tarik Adams so there are three redshirt freshmen who have all played a lot of snaps. That is good and bad. The good news is they are all three freshmen and who are back for three more years. The bad news is they shouldn't be playing as freshmen. I thought they have held their own, for the most part, and they will continue to get better. But, it is good to see those three young players go in and perform the way they have.
Offensive line confidence going into the bye week:
They should (have more confidence). They have only given up two sacks in three games which I think is one of the top couple teams in our league as far as sacks given up, so that is a good thing.
On the season to this point:
I like the team. I like where we are at this point. I think some of the moves we have made, defensively, have really helped. Moving (Ryan) Bee inside, we have become a lot more athletic inside and also the play of Ty Tyler playing both inside and outside has helped us. With our depth in (the defensive line) I think the emergence of (Marquis) Couch, (Damien) Dozier and the (Davon) Durant deal at foxbacker ... all three of those kids have played extremely well. They all have a role. Artis (Johnson) ... anytime you get a junior college guy, you're not quite sure but he has played tremendously. So, there have been a lot of guys who have stepped up. Marcel (Williams), offensively, that is a new guy who has been tremendous for us. Tyler King, I was anxious to see how he came in there in the second half. Probably should have gotten him in there in the first half after what I saw there. He played well and that was great to see. I like where we are at this point but I think there is no question that we have to get better as a football team. But, I do like what this team is all about. I like how they play and right now we are a solid team that needs to continue to get better.
On Tyler King's leadership, even as a freshman:
You get a lot of these guys that come in and (Tyler) kind of took over that role with that group of "futures" with (Jaquan) Yulee and all those guys. (King) was a leader of that group for an entire year and that is a tight group. And that carried over into the locker room at halftime. He stood up and did some things that I haven't seen a freshman do (in a while). He stepped up and that was really good to see.
On the offensive line:
There is no question that if you get a great back, there are a lot of things that can happen. That offensive line suddenly looks a lot better. We've seen that over the years that we have had here with (Ahmad) Bradshaw and a lot of those guys that have come through this place. And it is the same thing anywhere. Everywhere I have been, whenever you have a tremendous back, whatever you block they find a way to get more and it seems like (King) is that kind of guy. It was exciting to see what he did but he is a young guy and as a freshman he is going to have to get better.
When you have good teams, you have guys that hold each other accountable and that is what this team has done to this point. They have to continue to do that. Offensively and defensively, there are just a lot of things that we pointed out in the meeting on Sunday that there is a reason that we have a chance to be good. The way Keion Davis reacted to Tyler King being successful was tremendous. We get into that four minute drive and we have (Tyre) Brady, who likes catching passes, gets in there and tells that offensive line that we are not throwing it. It's little things like that I notice as a head coach that tells me that we have a chance, if we hang together, and keep working hard so that we can be a good football team.
More on leadership:
Probably two of the best leaders that I have ever seen in coaching were Tim Tebow and Phillip Rivers as freshmen. Those two guys are completely different but I don't think you have to be a senior to lead. You just have to be a leader. You have to be a guy that sets the standards and brings up everybody around them. That is what those guys did and we have some guys that, as you all have had the chance to meet and get to know Artis Johnson and Marcel Williams, are two of the best kids that I have ever been around. It is easy to see how they go to work every day and the way they go about their business and practice. They have the respect of their teammates. That carries over to gameday. You watch those guys play and they play just like the way they prepare. The biggest thing about a leader is you get the respect of your teammates but you can't just lead out here on the football field. When you walk out of those doors after practice and go to class and all those things you have to do, those guys just do everything right. And that is what leaders do, and those two guys are great examples of what leaders should be.
On the big turnaround in run defense from last year to this year:
I think we made the moves we had to make to get the best people on the field. The development of players and a lot of the credit goes to the weight room and Luke (Day) and what happens starting in January. I think a lot of those players are the same ones we had a year ago, it's just that they are better players right now because of their development. I think Ty Tyler is a great example. Ryan Bee has gotten better and so has Blake Keller. But the emergence of Durant, Couch and Dozier are three guys that were in the program a year ago. but to be honest with you, didn't do anything. The three of them didn't contribute so those guys grew up and continued to develop and be a part of the program. Chase Hancock has become a much better player. Omari Cobb is 30 pounds heavier and those secondary guys are all a year older. You just see those guys start to develop as players because they are more mature and they are older, and then the new pieces that we brought in seem to fit really well.