Klatt Speaks About 2003 Shoulder Problem

Colorado quarterback <!--Default NodeId For Joel Klatt is 1221025,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1221025]>Joel Klatt</A> addressed members of the media at Tuesday's press conference. Inside, Klatt's comments verbatim, including some insight into the shoulder injury that Klatt played with most of last fall, the same injury that <!--Default NodeId For Bobby Purify is 1223510,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1223510]>Bobby Purify</A> recently suffered.

JOEL KLATT
Q: Did you notice a difference physically in the Missouri game vs. the first three games?
Joel Klatt:
I definitely saw a difference between Missouri and North Texas and CSU. But Washington State was pretty physical on defense. Maybe you see the differences in the conferences.

It picked up a little bit, though. Missouri's a big team up front and they caused us some problems

Q: Oklahoma State prides themselves on being physical. Is that what you've seen of them on film?
JK:
Yeah, I've seen film on Oklahoma State. The offensive line dictates a lot of what you're team is going to be like. Obviously, they're running the football. They've got a very physical offensive front. When your defense has to play against that every day, then in turn your defense is going to be physical like that.

I'm expecting them to be very stout up front. We'll get in there and tangle a little bit. They look very aggressive on defense. They've got some tremendous, talented players in the secondary.

I don't know what's going on with their corner (Durrent Williams). I heard maybe he had broken his arm, but I'm not really sure.

Q: Looking back at the film, was physicality the only thing that caused you problems with Missouri?
JK:
It was one of those things where we were close, and (lack of) consistency on offense really hurt us, in terms of week to week. We haven't been able to put back-to-back games together, or quarters together. We just need to continue to strive for consistency a little bit.

Up front, their defensive tackles caused us problems. They're very good football players. But we've got to put it behind us and continue on from there.

Q: Does finding that consistency just mean better focus?
JK:
I definitely think we can pay more attention to details, individually on offense. We had some big plays slip away from us, and when it comes down to us, really the defense gave us a chance, but our offense has to make the plays to get it in the end zone.

It was just a matter of missed opportunities for us, and we just have to make more plays.

Q: Was your game plan as simple as it was for the previous game?
JK:
Yeah. I thought we had a very good game plan. They did some things that, I don't want to say it took us out of our game plan because it didn't, but we had some things there, but we just didn't make the plays and capitalize on our opportunities.

Oklahoma State cornerback Darrent Williams (9) returns a fumble vs. Southern Methodist Sept. 18.
AP/Brody Schmidt

Q: If their cornerback Williams is out, does it open your the passing game?
JK:
When you're looking at a defense, you've really got to look at the middle of a defense. If you're good at defensive tackle, if you're good at middle linebacker and safety, you're normally going to be good. It's just like baseball; you've got to have a good catcher, pitcher and center fielder.

A corner can only do so much? Can he shut down half of the field? Absolutely. If he's not playing, we'll probably be able to spread the ball out more. He's a tremendous player. If he's not playing, it will allow us to do some more things, but it's not as if he's an all-Big 12 nose tackle. That would change things more.

Q: If Bobby Purify can't play, how much more difficult will it be for you to be consistent the way you want to be?
JK:
It'll be a little more difficult, but guys just have to step up. That's why we're here, that's why we're on scholarship. Lawrence Vickers is a terrific back. He's going to be able to carry the football, as well as Daniel Jolly. They each have Big 12 carries under their belt; they know what it's all about. It's just a matter of getting them prepared.

I know Bobby's going to try and play. I had the same exact injury last year; I know what it feels like. He'll be guttin' in out pretty seriously.

But in the event that he can't carry the ball a whole lot, we're fine with Lawrence or Daniel carrying the ball.

Q: How do you assess your play so far this season?
JK:
I think that with the exception of the Washington State game I feel like I've played pretty consistently. My completion percentage is still up there close to 60 percent. If you take that Washington State game – it was kind of a tough game for the whole offense.

But I think our passing game has improved each week. You saw us make some plays Saturday, some big third-down conversions. I think we're throwing the ball pretty well, and I'm managing the offense, but we just didn't make some plays when we needed to. That's really what hurt us.

Q: Can you explain that shoulder situation you had last year?
JK:
It's an AC joint separation. What happens is, your collarbone comes out and attaches to your shoulder right here. You can kind of see through my shirt I have a big lump where it never really healed.

The shoulder is attached to that collarbone by a bunch of tendons and ligaments and mine just tore completely. It wasn't anything to do but numb it up and go through the pain. So what happens is, it separates and stays that way. Right now I don't have any pain with it.

The reason that I couldn't play vs. Baylor was because I was a quarterback. I couldn't throw with the same zip. It'll definitely be different for a guy that won't have to throw (like Purify). It just comes down to a pain issue,, and how well he can take the hits.

Q: How long did you play with pain from that injury last year?
JK:
All year.

There's only so much medicine can do. I couldn't sleep on my right side until after Thanksgiving. It's just kind of a matter of: Bobby's tying to prepare himself for the next level, obviously. And he's got to play a little bit and let those people see him. I don't know what he's going to do. Like I said, it's just a matter of playing with pain.

With me, I couldn't put my arm above my head. I couldn't really throw the football (for two weeks).

Colorado tailback Bobby Purify is listed day-to-day with a shoulder injury the week leading up to the OSU game.
Photo: Buffalo Sports News

Q: How effective can Purify be with that kind of injury?
JK:
Well, I still think he can be very effective. He knows our protection scheme inside and out, he knows our scheme inside and out. Mentally, he's right there with me in terms of knowing the offense. When you have a guy like that in the backfield, calling out the pressures and the blitzes, it helps immensely.

LV is about the same in terms of knowledge base. But, obviously, a player with Bobby's leadership capabilities, it hurts us a little bit if he's not 100 percent.

Q: Do you see having these next two games at home as away to play catch up so to speak?
JK:
Absolutely. These next two games are going to be huge for us. And every game from here on out is going to be huge for us. But we're not any shape to be looking ahead. Oklahoma State is absolutely a tremendous ball club. It'll take our best effort of the season to beat them. But refocusing after last week, I think that's what we'll be able to give.

Q: Oklahoma State is still curious about how good they are. Are you?
JK:
We saw them run the ball vs. UCLA and UCLA is not a cupcake team. They remind me a lot of our team here in 2002 — kind of letting Chris Brown hammer away with the big offensive line. We'll see when they get into a pressure situation in a hostile environment if they can throw the ball if they have to.

I'm interested to see what they're going to be like. But, more importantly, we need to cure things on our side and make sure that our team is ready to play at a high level.


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