Q: (Opening Statement)
Drew Tate: I thought Montana played us great in the first half. They played tough. They kind of did what Florida did, I think. They tried to load the box up and forced to be one dimensional. They did a great job. We were still able to get some runs in there. Other than that, my performance, I thought I left a lot of plays out there that I could have made. The good thing is, I've got another week, and I'll get better.
Q: Talk about how you were able to use Albert as a starting point to get other guys involved.
Tate: It's just the way it goes. We wanted to be balanced going into the game, 50/50 run/pass. It started off that way, but we had to do some other things, just because of the looks they were giving us. Like I said before, all of our guys are real hungry to make plays and do the right thing. You all saw it. Brodell didn't get down on himself, I tried to keep him up. I think he missed the first 2 or 3 then he made that great catch on the post. It's attitudes like that that we need, to help us win.
Q: What about the young guys?
Tate: I thought they did good. I thought Dougie Fresh, or Dominique. I call him Dougie Fresh. He's fresh. He's smooth, he lets the game come to him. He was running the deep ball, and I threw it short. You all saw him do a little swim move, come back, and catch the ball. That's just how he plays, just real smooth and he knows the game, he's real smart. Bowman did good, coming in and blocking when we needed him to. I don't think he caught a ball, but I think he's got the first game jitters out, he's just waiting to catch a ball.
Q: How do you feel about the line?
Tate: I thought they did great. I was excited with Rafael. We didn't fumble a snap, that usually happens once a day. It went well. He did good. I felt like I had a lot of time to throw on drop-back. That was great. Maybe they missed some things on run plays, I don't know. I think they're just going to get better. I felt that our huddle was very poised and collected at times. We'd get penalties, it'd be like 2nd and forever or 3rd and forever, and it's the kind of attitude we need.
Q: What contributed to some of the penalties? A timing thing?
Tate: I don't know. Were they holding calls or something?
Q: Yeah, there was a false start, a personal foul, a couple holding, just getting in sync a bit?
Tate: Yeah, I'd say in sync on the false start. Personal fouls, I don't know about that one. The holding ones, I don't know. We did good on the snap counts, our guys didn't jump, but I thought they did good. I was pretty surprised as far as getting snaps. Rafael did a good job making his calls. He'll probably have to get louder, because some of the tight ends said it was hard for them to hear. As a group I thought they played well. I didn't get pressured much, I don't think I got sacked, I might've once. We should have gone hot there, but they've been great.
Q: You have three excellent running backs.
Tate: Yeah, we do. Albert had some great runs when he was stopped, he just found a way out. Damian did a great change-of-pace when he got in there. He can cut and go, do it all. You all saw Shonn, he's a power guy. As far as running backs, we have great depth at running back and tight end. That's going to help the receivers come along even better.
Q: How does this compare to what you see when you've been practicing the last couple days?
Tate: Yeah, I thought it was pretty good. I thought it was the same as far as tempo, getting out of the huddle, getting up and down. That's something from Coach Ferentz, since day one that I've been here. It's just something, being conditioned and everything like that. Get out of the huddle, and go, the tempo needs to be up there. As far as throwing the ball and catching, it's been the same. I don't think we had any mess-ups in routes that I know of. Usually every once in a while in practice we have, but everyone was focused today.
Q: At one point it was 17-7 in the 3rd quarter, were you happy with the way the team responded?
Tate: I think so. Didn't they score, then we took one down and scored?
Tate: That's what we've got to do. We've got to respond. That shows a lot of character in a team. I think there's plenty of senior leadership on this team. It's just going to have to come all together and how we practice in the upcoming weeks. Now we've got the first game out of the way, that's good to have a routine. Guys know what they're doing, what the should do, what they shouldn't do. You can really tell a lot about a team going from the first week to the second week. This is a big week for us, especially going up to Syracuse.
Q: Is Chandler now your go-to guy?
Tate: I wouldn't say that. I don't have a go-to guy. On the touchdown pass, the defense they gave us, a safety was on him and safeties aren't cover guys, otherwise they'd be corners. We look for mismatches, and that was a mismatch we had, we went with it. Go to guy? We've got three receivers, a tight end, and a running back. You go to whoever's open.
Q: The rumors really picked up this week that you were hurt. Did you pick up on that at all?
Tate: Did it look like I was hurt?
Tate: Did I look like I played hurt? Didn't I like break my leg before the Capital One Bowl Game?
Q: I think you tore a rotator cuff.
Tate: Yeah. I wonder what's going to happen next week. (Laughs)
Q: When could you tell that Bowman and Douglas were ready to help your team?
Tate: I knew Douglas was at first. Bowman has the ability, I was just waiting to see how well he got the system down. He's doing better every day. Thursday we were doing our stuff and he messed up a couple times. I don't think he messed up today, but he's still learning. Fresh, he's doing great. I wish we would have had him about two years ago. I honestly think, just the way he plays, he's just natural at what he does, he's a great player.
Q: How'd the nickname come about?
Tate: I don't even know. Dave Raih's old roommate, he just called him Dougie Fresh. It kind of rolled over to this guy. You all are going to interview him, I'm sure. He's always got a smile on his face, he's just goofy. Nice guy.
Q: Will the return of Grigsby make the passing game even better?
Tate: I think so. When he comes back, I'm sure Bowman will get in there, he's got to, they took his shirt off. We've got to find the best 3 WRs that we can when we go with a tight end. Grigsby's going to bring a lot to the table as far as experience. He played great for us last year, came on in the Michigan game, became our 3rd receiver. Now he's a little step higher than that. I think he's going to bring a lot and help us out.
Q: Is this the most weapons you think you've had in your years here?
Tate: It's kind of like what Brett Favre said. He may have the most talented team, but the experience and all of that stuff, a lot of young guys. I feel like our team's the same way as far as offense. Great depth at RB and TE, it's just the receivers. Calvin's a senior now, he's playing like a senior, did a good job on blocking today. Herb, when he comes back, he's going to do fine. I think it's a huge game for Fresh and Bowman.