FOOTBALL: Coach Zook Q & A on MSU Game

<B>Opening Statement…</B> "I liked how we practiced last night. I liked how we flew around. We weren't out there very long but we got an awful lot accomplished. We told our football team that we're going to get their best shot. It's important we go there and take care of what we can do, and I think our guys have realized that..."

"...They've shown me this past week that they can zero in on what they have to do and that's a good feeling. It's going to be important we do the same thing this week and then go to Mississippi State and take care of business." On past winning streaks at the end of a season…

"We talked after the LSU game; we have to go one game at a time, one play at a time, one score at a time. The thing our football team needs to do is focus on what we can do. We have proven that we can be a pretty good football team, now we have to become a consistent team. When you start to become a consistent team, then you are starting to show the signs of maturity we are all looking for"

Does Leak need to be more consistent?

"It is important that he does, but I don't like to put it all on Chris (Leak). I really believe that if you say the only way you can be successful is if your quarterback is hot, then you're in trouble. There is no quarterback that will ever be 100 percent the way they need to be every time. That's why it's important to run the football, so you can take some pressure off the quarterback. There's no question that when Chris is hot, he's pretty good. He does everything in his power to be the best he can be and there shouldn't have been a ball that touched the ground last week. He had four drops and of course the interception. Once again, it's not always the quarterback, it's important that everybody plays more consistent. The only time I think he struggled was maybe the LSU game, but maybe we had him worried about too much. I know this, he got us in and out of bad plays, he got us protected, maybe he was worried about the six time he got hit last year, I don't know. Still, there are a lot of times when a completion doesn't happen and it's not necessarily the quarterback's fault. "

On Dee Webb…

"Here is a guy that had very little in terms of experience at corner. We thought he would be a very talented player, and he is. The more he plays, the more experience he acquires and the better he becomes."

On senior leadership…

"You know, there are not a lot of them, but they have stepped up and they know this is their football team. There are not a lot of vocal guys in this senior class, but you don't have to be vocal to be a leader. They've led more in the way they attack in practice and how they call the team together. They understand that it's not long until the end and they are taking every play one at a time and to the best of their ability."

On Mississippi State…

"It will be a physical game and we'll have to be ready for adjustments. There has been some talk that there will be some changes, they are switching personnel around. That's a good staff, a tough staff. I've coached against Sly (Sylvester Croom) in the NFL and he knows football and that staff knows football. They'll look as good as any team we play against. I am worried about us. For the next five games, we are going to worry about us. They are all good teams, all SEC teams. Every team we play can beat us, and we can beat them, so it is important that we tae care o what we can take care of."

On the '92 Miss. State game and it was one of the four worst coaching moments

Suffice it to say that coaching will have its ups and downs and that is about as bad an evening as I have had and one of the four worst ever.

On Brandon Siler…

"well, (the game) gave him an opportunity to get more reps , but Channing Crowder has done a great job with Brandon Siler. Channing is able to give him a lot because of his own experience last year and help him because he was in a similar situation. What is it like being a true freshman? It's not like high school and there is no way a coach can fully prepare them for it. Brandon is an intelligent guy and he's worked hard. He has done everything in his power to get better and that's what has helped him."

On Coach Croom…

"I've known Coach Croom for a long time. When I was at Pittsburgh, our defensive line coach and he were very close. I got to know Coach Croom through him. He played for the Bears and won a lot of football games. I think he has four national championship rings, he's a good coach and was a good player."

Coach Croom talks about all the stuff that he has to do as a head coach in the first year, tell us about the time constraints of being a head coach…

"Not only the first year, but the second, third, and probably the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh. We tell our players that how you live life is how you are going to play the game. If you are having problems getting to class, missing study groups and those sorts of things, then you are probably going to have trouble during the game missing assignments too.

On Earl Everett, Siler, and Crowder on the field at the same time...

There is a good chance of that. Earl had such a great game and he didn't say anything. He flew all over the place. I don't know if he felt like he had to step it up because Channing wasn't there. I told him yesterday, that was how we expect him to play every game now because he is capable of doing that. I don't think there is any question that Brandon played great, and in some capacity, I think there is a chance to see all three of them out there (together).


Fightin Gators Top Stories