Hawkins Press Conference Quotes

Head coach Dan Hawkins spoke with the media following Saturday's spring game at Folsom Field. Among the issues he addressed was the quarterbck situation.

Q: How do you feel coming away from this?
Dan Hawkins:
Wind blown. (laughs) You know, it's always a double-edged sword when you scrimmage yourself because, obviously, on one hand one group does well and the other group doesn't quite as well.

Your offense comes out and puts 50 points on the board, you're going, ‘What's wrong with the defense?' Your defense shuts down the offense, you're going, ‘What's wrong with the offense?'

I thought it was very clean. Offensively, we didn't turn the ball over. I think that's a big deal. Our penalties were at a minimum.

But I'm used to scoring a lot of points. So when I don't see the ball in the end zone, I kind of start ticking a little bit. But fundamentally, we did some good things. And, again, for use (there's been) just a huge install (of scheme) every week. A lot of stuff to go over and a lot of stuff to get in.

Thankfully, I don't think we got anybody hurt. We've got stuff to build on. We've got to get in here in the summer and continue to get a lot better.

Q: How much more were you hoping for?
Hawkins:
I never expect to get shut out. But you're also on the other side – you're happy that the defense is playing good defense.

Q: Did either of the two quarterbacks do anything to separate themselves?
Hawkins:
No, we really haven't got into that mode. We're just going to let this thing play out through the summer, get into camp and see where we're at coming down the stretch.

Q: Bernard (Jackson) seems to be running a lot. Is any of that by design?
Hawkins:
Have you ever played quarterback? (reporter answers, "No, sir.") OK, when people come screaming up in your face and you can run, you run. And that's a blessing that he has. That's the best part of his gift, so we don't want to deny that to him. We're not going to squelch that by any means.

Hopefully, what'll happen over time is our pass protection will improve for both he and Brian (White), and he'll have an opportunity to show what he can do with his arm. He's just blessed with some (running) talent there so when things break down — which they often do in spring — he can get it going with his legs.

Q: You gave Mason (Crosby) a lot of long opportunities today.
Hawkins:
That was for the fans. I mean, c'mon, you've got to get something going. If you can't get the ball in the end zone, you've got to give the fans something. I want him to break the (NCAA) record, so we had to give him a few opportunities out there. It's kind of unfair because when the guy goes out and makes a 48-yarder, everybody's going, ‘Oh, that's a yawner.' He's just so good.

Q: Has anybody stood out in your mind on either side of the ball?
Hawkins:
I don't know if that's exactly an accurate statement. I think we've had some guys have some pretty good springs. In the sense that they stood out – I just don't look at it that way, to pinpoint one guy.

Q: Stephone Robinson, are you finding a role for him as a returner and in the offense?
Hawkins:
Yeah, he's a guy that does a good job with the ball in his hands and we need to manufacture ways where we can get it to him. Whether that's quick screen, reverse punt team. But he's a guy that can run with the ball in his hands and we want to give him that opportunity.

Q: Are you any closer to seeing this offense establish an identity without knowing who your quarterback is going to be?
Hawkins:
No. We're still in the massive install stage, and we need to get (Jack) Tipton and (Tyler) Polumbus healthy, and get those guys in there. It was great this spring to be able to get those young linemen some reps in there, but we've got to really work to solidify that group up front so everybody else can have an opportunity.

The sad thing is, on defense if one guy makes a great play, he makes all 11 look awesome. If one guy on offense makes a bad play, he makes all 11 look bad.

You have a situation where you have just one breakdown. Everything else is awesome, but it looks totally defunct because you have that one issue.

We've got to get those two guys healthy and get everybody on the same page up there to give our skill guys a chance to operate. And that'll happen. It's been a tough uphill climb for those guys.

Q: Do you see anything in the punting competition that makes you lean toward Crosby or anyone else?
Hawkins:
No. You know our big thing is just to continue to iron out the protection and the longsnapping situation to really give those guys an opportunity back there. But all those guys have had their moments this spring. Again, it's like quarterbacking. You've got to have an opportunity to have the ball delivered to you and then an opportunity to get the thing off.

Q: How was your first experience playing at Folsom?
Hawkins:
It was great. But then I'm one of those guys – I know this sounds corny – but I'm great on the practice field. I don't think being in a stadium with 100,000 people or if you're out on the practice field with 10 people. The great thing is being out there with the guys and experiencing that.


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