Kevin Wilson Press Conference Part 2
Pat Narduzzi. He is the best or one of them in this league and in the country. He's a friend. I worked with the guy. They structurally know where to lineup. They know where they're supposed to be. They know where their eyes are. They know their schemes. They're really strong in their blitz package of when they blitz and how they blitz. They do a great job. A lot of it comes from Pat's ties that he's taken to an extremely other level. But to Coach Hoeppner, who I had a chance to go against a long, long time. He knew how to cheat and make somebody play with their left hand. Load that box up, where your eyes need to be, and your gaps need to be, and play structurally really, really good with really great defense. They're good up front. Max Bullough, their linebackers, their edge players are awesome. They should have graduated three years ago. You see the same cats every week. Their corners like it down. They're competitive. One of the great safeties from up the road, a Ben Davis kid. They put 15, 16 kids out there that can play and hunt. Their defense is going to be a great challenge. (A lot of that press coverage and one on one coverage. How much of this week is maybe about challenging some individual guys to basically go out there and get the best from the man across from them? ) WILSON: That's a part of it because that's what they do. But you've got to have 11 guys still if your protection is breaking down. Quarterback's not putting the ball on target. You're not calling the right stuff. It's not just one guy making that play. It takes 11 guys to make the extra point. It's not just the kicker. You've still got to block your gaps and do your job. When you're doing something right, takes 11 guys to play good run defense. It takes 11 guys to pass. It takes 11 guys to throw it. If you're throwing it well, your line is pass blocking. It takes 11 guys. Yeah, there are some one on one match ups, and they'll be competitive match ups. The way Michigan State plays is they compete. They get up in your grill. They get up in your face. They do what they do, and they do it every week. They do it no matter who it is, and they do it good and make you compete. There are going to be competitive plays. Their type of defense is they make a lot of competitive plays so that you're going to have to. Same deal defensively. We've got to find a way to get stops and not let their offense get in rhythm like they did last week against Iowa, because I think that was the big thing last week is their offense got in rhythm, and even gave them more gaps last week. (You guys had good offensive balance Saturday. How important is it for you guys to gain some form of balance? ) WILSON: It's always easier because of what happened to Missouri. It's just easier when guys start really locking you down and getting your eyes on receivers. Really pinning their ears back and getting your quarterback throwing on his heels. The first pick in the Iowa game by one of the great corners was really caused by protection. The quarterback couldn't get through the throw. So some dude that no one even knows that's fighting on a twist, coming through, getting a hand. The quarterback couldn't transfer his weight, ball comes up short. He says great pick by that guy. It was a team play. If you get one dimensional, it's hard. These guys are going to make it tough. They're really good. Because of that, they have a chance every game because they're going to play great defense. That being said for us, our defense needs to be better. We've got to find a way not to beat ourselves on offense and making enough plays to be on the right side of the ledger. We'll only have a chance as a team. It's not about our offense against their defense. Our defense last week, their offense really matched up well against an outstanding Iowa defense. Controlled the game, and that's where that game really went Michigan State's way. They played very well as a team last week. (You talked on Saturday, you mentioned that you're kind of always viewed as an offensive coach and you've got to coach the whole team. Did you make it more a point during the bye week to spend more time working with defense? Have you tried to do that just in general and put more of your focus working with those guys and making sure you're doing what you want to do?) WILSON: A little bit. Sometimes maybe even trying to organize practice and get on the field with them. Sometimes the coaches go with the quarterbacks. Coach Johns has quarterbacks and receivers, Carter does great as a receiver guy helping him. Sometimes I was over with those guys. We try to work practice where I kind of go over there, and the I kind of stood where the umpire was right between the linebackers and started yelling. Let's go. Get the call. Get lined up. I don't have any defensive answers, but there is an attitude and effort that we need to play with. It was bothering me that I didn't see us playing as clean as we needed to play. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't what I thought we needed. I didn't give them a bunch of answers. I did say here's what they're doing, and what I think they're going to attack you with. As an offensive coach, I study offenses. I'll sit there and watch plays with them. Okay, right now it's this or this. As an offensive guy, you can get it right. As you guys as fans you get ready to say they're going to do this play. You guys call the play. He's getting ready to run it up the middle again. Everybody calls plays, right? So I do that. You watch plays. But I ask our defensive guys to be more assertive, more confident, get our kids to speak up and be louder. If you're a confident team, confident person, you're loud. You don't have to brag, but you're loud. When you have a new kid at school and you go to school, you're real quiet and you put your head down and walk away from people. A confident person without bragging kind of has a presence. We talked last week about having more defensive confidence, being more vocal, being more simple so our kids weren't thinking. That's all I talked about with those guys. I tried to get into a couple meetings and have an offensive view of what I think and what I wanted to see. Then I went over to practice a little bit just to have a little presence. But I didn't give them any answers. I said here's what I think you need to do. Now you figure out how to do that. Coach Mallory and his guys did that; not me. (When you say you don't give them any answers, what do you mean exactly?) WILSON: I'm not a defensive guy. Coach Stoops said all the time, don't listen to me. Here's what I think as an offensive guy, but I don't have that view. When you're looking at a picture, there are different views that people have. Randy Walker had an offensive view of running a program. Coach Stoops had a defensive view. I saw that as an offensive person. I'm trying to get this offense to be a little more of a head guy. We're doing everything we can to try to give our defensive players and coaches, as we still run our offense and practice, what can we do to help bring our defense along? We've worked very hard in the positive way in the open date. Again, I credit those guys. Here are the problems I see I think you should fix. We're not getting lined up right. We're misaligned. How many guys on this play didn't do the right thing? Two guys, three guys. We'll have errors, but we're having too many. If we're having too many errors, that's on me. That's on us. Let's simplify. We tried to make it easier. (Do you spend more time trying to get that mindset or get that view so you can look at it from both angles?) WILSON: I don't know if you ever to me you're going to see it the way you see it. Shoot, there are a lot of times my eyes go to the box because I used to be a line coach. I coach quarterbacks, but I watch their feet, watch your feet, watch your read, get your body aligned like a golfer, because I understand that. I can't sit behind the quarterback and say you should throw here, because they start moving that way. I never saw that. I saw what guards and centers see. I saw those. You have visions. You have things you see. To me you've got your view. My thing was, I don't know if I'm ever going to see things, but there is a presence. I think our team needs to play as a complete team. I felt last week I appreciate the way our special teams and our defense and our offense played because it was a little more of how I feel and I'd like our program to be. Not being selfish, but the way I think we ought to play as a unit. That's why I think that's the way it ought to look. Still wasn't perfect. Still gave up some yards, too many third down conversions. Didn't convert enough third downs. We had errors, fourth down scores. We had some things in the kicking game weren't perfect. But it felt like something how I think we ought to play. (The true freshman on the defensive side of the ball, are they developing the way you want? What would you like to see more out of those guys? ) WILSON: I think they're doing well. It's still, one of my comments is I think I'm mothering you too much. Turn your work in, be nice to people. Clean up your locker. You're a man, don't act like an 8th grader. You know the rules, do the rules. If you mess up, that's our fault. Okay, we'll take a little on and off the field. There are guidelines and rules. You understand how to practice. You've got to get on the field. But it's a two way street. They're doing okay. They're gaining on it. But I do think some of those things they're talking about in simplifying our communication helps those guys. Because athletically they're doing well. (In that vein, have they maybe gotten some of those front seven rotations to a point where you feel like time of possession isn't as important of a stat because you control a lot of fresh bodies? Or you can keep legs fresher because you've got deep rotations along the defensive line and at linebacker? Maybe in part because of some of those young guys?) WILSON: We are playing a number of those guys like Marcus Oliver and T.J. both played a lot at Mike. Cormier was back practicing last night. So we'll get him back in the mix, and Alex Todd has held up and done well. But, again, time of possession, we've got to quit, not being quick, but you can't go three and out. You can't turn it over. This is a team that probably leads the country in three and outs that we're playing. They do a great job of getting you off the field. That would be a formula for disaster, so it's going to be hard to get your drive started and have some success. But I mean a part of that is getting defensive stops on offense. You can't go three and out. We do our tempo, but part of our tempo is one of the reasons we scored as many points as we scored. That's part of our formula to win. I don't know if we're talented and built to win 17 14 right now. Maybe not our dynamic physically with our line playing and the structure of our guys. We just got to put it together. Put together a chance to maybe score and we've got to push that deal. (From a health standpoint how are you doing with David Kaminski?) WILSON: Good. David got a knee injury, but I don't know if it's a surgical knee. I'm waiting to go get an MRI read. I didn't hear this morning. I would anticipate we'll have again the same crowd. Again, Peyton Eckert's back has not responded, so we'll have the same two guys at tackle with Spriggs and Evans. We'll have Reed at right, Bernard back at left, and Collin Rahrig at center. Other than that, offensively, tight ends, backs, everybody's good to go. Defensively, Griffen has got a pulled groin. Didn't play last game, but playing seven, eight linebackers, so we were able to get away with that one. Cormier's back in the mix, which helps the front.
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