Sept. 27, 2010
Opening statement: “I want to start off by saying how sad that we are with the news of Anthony Cesario. He was a friend of ours, a player and student-athlete here at Colorado State, and it was just shocking news. It kind of hit us all over the weekend hard, and we certainly wish the best for his family. It really kind of puts all this football business in its place. Secondly, we’re going to kick off this weekend by asking for donations in canned foods at the stadium to kick off the Cans Around the Oval, which will be later on this fall. My wife and I are going to give a 10-cent donation for every fan that comes to the game to kind of kick this off, and I hope there are 40,000 fans. And also we’ll take canned foods and donations. It’s the least that we can do; we keep talking to our team about community service and giving back. We’re all so darn fortunate. I know myself I feel like I’m the luckiest guy on the planet. It’s a small way to give back, and I think we’ll continue to do these things not only as coaches but as players throughout our program. Having said that, we definitely feel good about the win last Saturday. We started to put together some consistency offensively, which helped our football team. We did some nice things in all three phases, but we still have a long way to go in all three phases. But it was a step forward. I was just so happy that our players and coaches got rewarded with a win. Now we turn all our focus on a very good TCU team that is coming in here this Saturday.
On whether SMU’s early success against TCU showed the Frogs as vulnerable: Every game is winnable. We certainly played them very well here two years ago; we didn’t play very well down there last year. We obviously take a look at our opponent, we like to analyze their schemes, take a look at their personnel; what they do well, what they don’t do well. With this football team that we have here at CSU I think it’s more prudent that we just continue to practice the way we’ve been practicing, and try to take another step forward. Like I’ve said all along, I really like this team, I think we’ve got some talent in our locker room; we just have to play our way into a groove so to speak.
On TCU’s defense: I have all the respect in the world for Gary Patterson, not only as a head coach but with his defensive background and the things he’s done. Just the way he’s run his program there the last 10 years or so, they’re getting to the point where they lose a defensive end in the first round, and they come in with another guy that’s as good, and the guy backing him up who might be better than the guy who’s playing. They had a very talented inside linebacker last year go in the draft, and now they’ve got another guy in there playing who looks like he may even be a better player. That’s the mark of a good program, good coaching, and a good resourced program. At TCU you get the opinion that they don’t want to be just a good program; they want to win a national championship, and that’s what we aspire to do here is be a program like that. They’re up and running. You could say maybe they’re not as experienced defensively but they are certainly playing well with some very talented players.
On Mark Starr’s injury: He had a concussion-related head injury and he seemed to be doing well after the game. It didn’t appear to be anything serious, but I’m not a doctor, we’ll have him checked out and have him checked out again. I’ve said all along, we’re very cautious with head injuries here. But I’ll know a lot more tomorrow. We’ll look at him today and then again tomorrow and make a determination where he is at.”
On the tendency to err on the side of caution being the rule in football: I think you see cautiousness throughout the NFL, college football, and high-school football when it comes to head injuries. I think it’s the right thing to do. This is just a game. Mark’s got the rest of his life ahead of him. But again it didn’t seem very serious, and Terry (DeZeeuw, head athletic trainer), is very professional; he and his staff of doctors will make the right determination for Mark.
On mandating an amount of time of clearance from non-concussion like symptoms: We do that. Every young man on our team goes through a test prior to having any type of head injury, and we’ll repeat that test, and see if there’s correlation with the results after the guy has had some kind of concussion-like injury. It’s certainly not my area of expertise, I let the doctors, Terry and his staff determine what’s right, but we do want to be cautious with those type of injuries.
On Starr being clear for this Saturday: He’s clearable, but again he has to pass some tests. Once he does he’s not going right out to practice; we don’t want to put a helmet on a guy and put him in contact, we want him to first exert something physically and see if he still feels fine. Then we’ll gradually get him back in the contact.
On whether he has any additional info on OL Weston Richburg, ejected Saturday for fighting: We’ll go through the league office; there’s going to be a determination today, and we’ll just let that run its course.
On Richburg missing the first half of the TCU game: I don’t know that for sure yet. We’re in contact with the conference and they’ll treat it fairly.
On sending in game tape: Not just with Weston’s incident, but with every game, there are plays that are put on a DVD that are sent not only to Ken Rivera but the league office. Sometimes it’s to dispute a call; sometimes it’s just to get a ruling so myself and the coaches can learn more about how something is being ruled on. Every week there is a DVD that’s going to the league office, and there’s stuff with Weston on that DVD this time.
On whether Richburg will receive further discipline from the team, or just the conference: Yes, it will be from them. He’s already served a half; he was out of the game in the second half this past Saturday.
On uniforms for Saturday: I always let our seniors pick; they know they can get amongst themselves and talk about it. I’m sure they’ll come see me; they usually do on Tuesday and talk about what they want to do.
On wearing orange again: I liked the orange on Ag Day, and again, we talked about this last week, I think Ag day is special around this university. We try to make that special with our kids. I think we’ll do that every Ag Day, and maybe one other time a year, who knows.
On TCU’s quarterback, Andy Dalton: He’s played a lot of snaps, he’s very experienced, and he can throw and run, so that gives them some dimension back there. But he’s also surrounded by some very talented players and that always helps.
On C Tyler McDermott replacing Richburg last week: It’s like our backup quarterback, we could be out there one play on Saturday and if you prepare like a backup and you prepare with the idea that you’re not getting in, in the back of your mind, then you’re not preparing the right way. I thought Tyler responded well. He was upset (after losing his starting role). He and I visited in my office when we made the switch, and we had a nice talk. I like the way he responded at practice; he had a good week of practice. And then all of a sudden we’re trying to drive down and win a football game and he’s in there snapping the ball, and he’s doing a good job. And the same thing with Ben DeLine, what happened there at the end of the game with him. He missed an extra point, and rather than going in the tank, our kids rallied around him and said they had all the faith in the world in him, he’d get another chance, which he did and he came through.
On the running game and Raymond Carter’s patience: I thought Raymond did a nice job. I also thought that we blocked some things a little bit better. The run game is not just the back running the ball and the line blocking, we have to hit the right seam, and sometimes the quarterback is helping us do that, and the receivers, getting down field and helping it. We’re in more of a sync. Again, we played four games and I think against Nevada we didn’t run the ball badly and last week (vs. Idaho) we didn’t run the ball badly. We’re certainly not the run football team that we aspire to be. We said all along that our offense feeds off that; the better we can run it, then the better that everything else is going to go. We hope to be getting better each time we go out on the field with our run game.
On particular improvements from this past game: Everything got better, a little bit better. Tracks by backs, pad level and placement with the offensive line, assignments; just everything starts to come together a little bit better and you have a little more success. We were in the football game, not in must-pass situations a lot of the times, which allows you to get more attempts at your base run game.
On TCU’s defense being set up by the defensive ends and corners: They are very talented at corner, and they can rush the passer with more than just a couple guys. Gary’s scheme is very similar; he knows what he’s doing and he has answers. It’s a well-coached and well-thought-out defense with some very talented players.
On Idaho’s defense: They were good; that was the best defense we’ve seen to date. They were a good defensive football team and that’s why I thought it was a pretty good job by our offense to play like they did.
On TCU not being straight-forward like Idaho: TCU is not a real complicated package, either. Usually the better defenses that you see don’t do a lot; they have good personnel and they do what they’re doing very soundly with good technique. Not to say that TCU doesn’t have certain things they do; they can pressure you and all that, but the beauty of their thing is how hard they play how well they play and who they’re lining up with.
On having confidence in K Ben DeLine: I’ve got confidence in Ben; I like Ben as a person. I’m glad he’s on our team. We all had our fingers crossed, but I liked the situation we were in when he lined up to kick that.
In gaining confidence in DeLine over time: I thought he did really well as a true freshman; he didn’t strike the ball as well last season, but now he looks back to form to me. We’re glad to have Ben DeLine on our team.
On Tony Drake returning a kickoff for a touchdown: It looks like we’re awfully close. With the number of games and the number of returns, we are a fairly good return team. There were a couple there where I thought he had a chance. I’m hopeful that he’ll get one before the end of the year here.
On comparing Andy Dalton to Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick: Dalton is a better thrower and more accurate probably, but not as explosive as Colin in the run game. If you block something for Colin, he might go the distance on you; kind of different schemes, but both very good quarterbacks.
On TCU running the option: They’ll still run it; he’s (Dalton) not going to be the focal-point ball carrier like Kaepernick is going to be for Nevada.
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