Brian Kelly One-on-One

Bearcats head coach Brian Kelly talks with Bearcat Insider after Wednesday's practice about Oregon State, and what has Bearcats Nation a buzz (new practice facilities) in this one-on-one interview.

With a big game coming up on Saturday night against Oregon State, Brian Kelly had his team on the field working hard under some unique conditions. With pumped in crowd noise during certain periods of practice, Kelly is making sure every stone is turned over and his team prepared for their much anticipated trip west.

"We want to be prepared; obviously we went through this routine before Rutgers. Anytime we go on the road where there is an opportunity to have a large crowd we're going to practice our high tempo and make sure we're all on the same page. I thought we did good work today as the guys came out and got a good 20 periods in here today. I thought it was good work."

While Coach Kelly felt good about the days practice he knows this team must continue to work if it's to reach the development needed to win at the level fans are expecting this season. How does the Bearcats head man feel this squad had developed since breaking camp?

"I think it's week to week. There are some things we've got to continue to work on and I think we still have to be challenged. We were challenged at Rutgers and then you don't get the same challenged the next week, so now you're back on the road. You want these kinds of games obviously and you want it to be an opportunity for your team to get better. Regardless of the situation at Oregon State, we'll get better because of a game like this."

While fans may have enjoyed the offensive output against Southeast Missouri State, head football coaches know they lost some time with their first unit. Kelly knows Saturday was a double edge sword for his team.

You know it's a long season and you don't want to be playing Oregon, Oregon State and Ohio State. You don't want a murders row or teams as well. It's a balance, but as a head coach you know there's more out there for you to prove and that's the consistence with your first unit. We didn't get that opportunity against Southeast Missouri but we did get some young guys an opportunity to help us later."

As for what the Bearcats are doing in practice to get ready for Oregon State's offense, Coach Kelly explained his teams main objective for the Beavers.

"You've got to control the edge of your defense. Their (Oregon State) always trying to out flank you with their fly sweeps and it's so important that you set the edge of your defense. If they can get outside your defensive structure they cause all kinds of problems. Setting the edges for our defense and making sure we tackle, those are really the two most important components of playing a team like Oregon State."

And when the Bearcats have the ball what does he expect?

Well, it's not really the same as what we saw two years ago. But we've got a pretty good beat on terms of what they like to do, but we're prepared for everything. You never know what you're going to get. If you look at the Rutgers game we got everything from Cover 1, Tampa 2 to Quarters so you've just got be able to adjust as the game goes and that's what we'll do against Oregon State as well."

After watching wide receiver Mardy Gilyard have a huge game on Saturday night, does Coach Kelly feel his star wide receiver has reached his peak?

"No, I don't think he's clearly arrived in any stretch of the imagination. I think he gets better with the work he gets every day. I think he practiced well today and I think the mark of a good player is the way he comes to work everyday. He's a little sore here and there but we feature him in our offense and he's running a lot and last year at this time he'd be over there on the sidelines probably not taking some reps because he'd have to tap out. But the progress that I've seen is his work volume has increased dramatically over last years."

While the Bearcats made a trip to Hawaii to close out the regular season last year, a trip to the West Coast during the early part of a season is not something new to Kelly or most of his staff.

"No I've never been to Oregon. I've been to Sacramento and UC Davis with a football team and we tried to handle it the same way. We try our best to keep things the same no matter if we're here or in Oregon."

With Bearcats Nation a buzz about a recent article about the new practice facilities, Kelly was surprised to hear fans are asking many questions about the new additions and his future. When asked Kelly was straight and right to the point about what he said.

"Well I just wanted to be honest and give an update. You know we've made great progress but the hay is not in the barn so to speak, you know what I mean. We still have work to do and we haven't reached our goal in terms of fund raising and were getting quite late. We've got to be able to put a shovel in the ground if we want this thing available next year."

"I don't see how we can continue to move forward if this project gets derailed. And you don't want to scale it back. You start scaling back and your not doing it the way it's suppose to be done, those are all things that impact your future. So for our future to continue to be bright and keep moving forward, we've got to get this project completed." "I know our fan base has been great every time we've asked them to step up they've been there. And I don't know necessarily that's the fight here. The fight here is to make certain the university and our community understands this is an asset not only to Cincinnati, but to our entire city."

SIDE NOTES OF STORY

What is Cover 1? Uses only one deep defender (safety) and can be used with many different underneath coverage's. This scheme is usually very aggressive as the defenders look to disrupt the offense by giving the quarterback little time to make a decision as the pocket quickly collapse in on him. Defensives have the ability to blitz from various pre-snap formations while going into a man-to-man coverage.

What is Tampa 2? The roots of Tampa 2 go back to the Pittsburgh Steelers and have been carried forward by coaches like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith. It consists of four linemen, three linebackers, two corners, and two safeties. It's a simple format where speed and aggressive players make it or break it. A quick defensive line is a must and the middle linebacker is the most important player in the scheme. If ran right it's a very hard system to beat and players must be good tacklers and hard hitters.

What is the Quarter Package? While teams have a better chance to run the ball this scheme is used to prevent offensives from hitting a quick score. Teams use this when they've got a good lead and are looking to force the offense to run the ball as receivers are extremely well covered.


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