Cutcliffe Press Conference Quotes

Head coach David Cutcliffe met the media on Tuesday to discuss the season to date

Opening Statement
"We're coming off a pretty emotionally devastating loss. We certainly physically got whipped in most areas. There's always something to grab that's good, and you looked to do that. Certainly challenged the things you know you can do better, and then you address issues you think need to be addressed. You fix as many things as you can. One of those that's not broken is, I told our players this, them working like you have to work to get better. To be totally into it, to be totally positive, you all would be truly amazed, if you were privy to see the effort and the energy that went into preparation. That's why I referred to after the ballgame, how confident we were. The transition from practice field to game field is perplexing to some degree. We went back to work today; we did alter a few things, approach. Still not changing our intensity level. Not changing what are expectations are. We have hit and done the things that you need to do with a team that's struggling. You don't back off of it. We did alter some things, and we thought that went well. Preparation is never just a week's practice. You hope what you've done in weeks previous build for you. That's got to start paying dividends, and it will. I don't think anyone has lost their confidence in our process or our program. You have the fight the mentality, ‘How can I keep confident?' ‘Do we have a chance?' and we've talked about that. I'm very proud, of our players, and of our staff; their perseverance. Resilient is not even a strong enough word for what people have displayed, in the midst of this losing streak. What we have to do is re-gather and we're going to play a really fine Navy team. They're a very physical team. A team coming off a huge victory. And so they're in that other mode. The one we're searching. But I believe in my heart of hearts that we'll be prepared and ready to go compete. And we do look forward to that opportunity."

Tweaks made in practice
"We took some extra time throwing the ball, schematically, both ways. Defensively, knowing that we were hurt the last time we played an option team, with a couple big plays in the passing game. We spent a lot more time, and we certainly respect Dobbs' ability to throw the ball. We spent extra reps in that regard and then offensively trying to get back to throwing for 60, 65 percent, and upgrade the quality of our passing game. We added some full speed work that we felt like we needed. And we took some full speed work against the option, which we hope pays off. It's risky, you worry about getting folks hurt. But we were cutting our linebackers and defensive front, cutting our secondary and just going at it. Hopefully that prepares us to face this option offense."

Have you ever had a team that made the transition from the practice field to the game field like this?
"Not quite like this to be honest with you, no. We all have come out sometimes after a Thursday practice and you think ‘Boy, we are ready.' And you don't play as well as you'd think. And there are things that occur early in every game that may alter the path of the game. That's just a fact in any sport. Something, two or three events, occur and it changes what would have been maybe a great day. I think that part of it does become one of those things that overcoming adversity, which is going to occur in a game against good opponents. Overcoming adversity is probably most difficult when you're struggling in the won-loss column. You have to fight to handle that and manage that, which is something we spend a lot of time working on, but haven't done it very well."

Kicking game
"I'm real pleased with our specialists. Jackson Anderson has had a solid year. Certainly Alex (King) coming on as a punter gives us some flexibility. He's very athletic. He really has exceeded expectations. We knew he was somewhat of a factor. We tried to give him a shot a year ago. Kevin (Jones) had struggled off and on. And at this point in time, with Kevin struggling in the season, Alex just look it and ran with it. Will Snyderwine; I don't know of a better kicker in the country. He's got a repertoire, which you see in his onside kicks. Both of those were executed well by the players. But the kicks were just perfect. We have great confidence in him, his range is spectacular. With good weather conditions, I can try a 58, 59, 60 yard field goal. He has that kind of range. He's improved his accuracy in kickoffs. We're very pleased with the specialists."

Development of offensive line
"I think we're good in the area of pass protection. We have a somewhat less mobile quarterback now than we had a year ago in Thad (Lewis). So that changes things a little bit for them from a pocket standpoint. But were better than we have been since we've been here. I liked our first line in '08 with some older kids, which was good. They were tough, and they were battle tested. But we're better across the board, and we've got more options. And that's going to grow. I'm excited, even though we might lose a couple of fine guys this year, what we have rolling in the offensive line, feel really good about that position."


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