April 2, 2011

Scrimmage: Offense responds to aggressive defense

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

"I just wasn't as happy with our energy today. There always comes a point in spring, especially with the offense, where you just kind of hit the wall. Usually it co-exists with the day you start blitzing more, which is what happened, so I understand that. What I want to make sure though is that it's easy to change for a month or two, but can you sustain it. Are you going to wake up and do all the things from this stand point, day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out. I've just seen some little signs in the locker room, where the administrations done an unbelievable job to work and get our locker room the way we want it, they [players] just weren't taking care of the way they should've. Showing up a minute late to meetings, a minute late for a class, I'm just seeing some things pop up right now that we haven't done over the last couple of months, so I want to make sure that's not unacceptable. That's how we're going to change this thing, how we're going to fix this thing."

progress

"I think with an untrained eye, you just show up and watch and probably think it didn't look very good, but from my perspective, I did see some improvement. It's also magnified because we only had one center in practice today so he had to take every single rep and that effects things and compounds things as well. I think when you go back and watch the film, you're going to see somethings you like and things that you can learn from and capitalize on. I thought our defense flew around, made some plays with two big interceptions, one for a touchdown. But then with that, we had another opportunity for learning because that discipline showed up again because we dove into the end zone and got a 15-yard penalty now for. That was the drive in which the offense scored after the 15-yard penalty, so to me that was a real good opportunity for teaching. That's what spring ball's about, what camp's about, to get all of these things out now that by the time the season comes around, we're were we need to be."


Matthews

"He's got a lot of ability. You watch the kid, he showed up last year, in the last four games I think he scored four touchdowns, so he's shown ability. Again, with Coach Beatty's background, my background, I coached receivers in the NFL, I think we can help the wide receivers and make an impact on how to coach those guys. I think, more than anything its the mentality. We've got a bunch of tall, physical wide outs and when the ball is in the air, they have to have the mentality that no one's coming down with it but us. They're going to live on the jugs machine and understand the routes and get as quick and as big and as fast as they can with Coach Galt. So I've been pleased with him but I think he can be a lot better and our whole receiving corps as a group by being more consistent, catching the ball, getting bigger, stronger, faster, being a better route runner and understanding coverage. You know, we teach every position to recognize coverage, no different than the quarterback and how that effects your routes, what are the strengths and weaknesses and how can you attack those coverages. I don't know if they've done that a lot in the past, either high school or their first couple of years here, understanding coverage. So all of those things are a process and they are thinking more now than they probably have been in the past, so I want to get them to the point of where it just comes natural."

Burrow

"He got banged up the other day at practice, so we held him out. So again, we have depth issues and we're already thin, so you lose a guy and that's when it really becomes a problem. People hear you say that you have depth issues and hear about you having a roster of 85 and 120 guys on the team, they're not sympathetic but the reality is that when you have three-deep like you should, well then if you get banged up or something happens, you still have a two-deep and still get through a practice. Well, now when you only have one center the entire practice, well, what are you going to do now? Are you going to be in a situation where you drop the amount of reps you were going to do in practice and everybody else loses out on work, or does that kid kind of have to fight through it? So that's the fine line and Coach Hand's doing a great job of dual training guys, guys that are playing tackle are also backup center, guys that are at guard are also backup center, but the problem is that group needs to work together to become cohesive and understand how to communicate, how to combo block, all of those things. If you're constantly moving those pieces of the puzzle around, it makes it difficult."

Ladler play

"Like we've talked about, we're going to be a big play team on offense, defense and special teams. I don't know if you noticed but on that play they were returning the interception and about to get tackled and then turned and tossed it to a teammate and that guy went in and scored. To me, that's what our fans want to see, what our administration wants to see and our coaches want to see. We want to be an exciting football team. We're going to take some educated risks and we're going to go out and make big plays. That was a perfect example of that, we just can't have the back-end of it with the lack of discipline."

Johnell

"He's a big, strong physical kid, got a real good motor, got some built-in leverage. Just like anything else in life, you love a guy that's 6-foot-5 but you can also look at it from the other perspective, there's been real productive undersized from a height stand point among defensive linemen. Right away you have built-in leverage. If you're 6-5, you've got really learn to bend but he has that. He's active and it's important to him and he's powerful, so I've been pleased with him. The defensive line, again, once we get those guys all healthy, I think we have some depth there. I think we'll have 8-to-10 defensive linemen that can play within a game. Now, does that mean all of them are going to play 30 plays, no, but I mean 15 plays, 30 plays, 40 plays, different rotations will be based on their strengths."





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