How Good Are The Bearcats? Greg Schiano Knows

Coach Greg Schiano had his weekly press conference on Monday, as you can imagine a major question from the NY/NJ media was, "How good is Cincinnati?"

To my surprise the questions seemed to be asked in a sincere and informative seeking manner, frankly I expected doubters of UC's validity among those present. Here are the highlights:


Coach Greg Schiano called Cincinnati the hottest team in the country on more than one occasion. He isn't a guy who comes across as someone who puts up a smokescreen so you get the sense that is his genuine perception.


About Ben Mauk, Schiano had this to say "he reminds me of Brett Favre from my days with the Bears. He runs one direction and throws the other, but he completes the pass. All the things you were taught not to do he does, but he makes it work. He is a special player."


When asked about Cincinnati players to worry about Coach Schiano laughed and said "all of them." He called out a few Bearcats by number that were particularly impressive. Both Dominique Goodman and Marcus Barnett were cited as play makers that will create a challenge. He also talked about the Tight End combo of Ernest Jackson and Conner Barwin creating some matchup issues for his defense.


One thing the Coach Schiano said that really caught my attention was when he discussed the UC offensive line. He said this "for what they are trying to do they are probably the best we will face this year." How quickly they have adapted to the new system is amazing. He was really impressed with how well prepared the Bearcats are with the coaching change but thought being around for the bowl practice really has helped.


When discussing the Bearcat defense he essentially praised the entire unit but really went into depth about Terrill Byrd and the corners Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith. He did say it seems that Harucki Nakamura has been at UC his entire career. He was most impressed with how the Bearcats always seem to be in position to make plays, once again praising how well coached the team is.


About his own team there are some concerns for Saturday with some key players being dinged up. Strong Safety Ronnie Girault, a four year starter and second team all Big East player is questionable. Also pre-season Big East defensive player of the year DT Eric Foster is hurt but is probable for Saturday.


A topic that was raised by the media was the concern about special teams; Coach Schiano wouldn't elaborate but took the high road by saying "it's an area that needs improvement."


When asked about the revenge factor from a year ago, "until Saturday that might have mattered, but really that's all gone now. We need to focus and play our game."



You can hear the press conference in it's entirety at:


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