Indiana Pregame: Rick Stanzi Q&A

Rick Stanzi continues to show signs of improvement, but also signs of inexperience as he navigates his way through his first Big Ten season. He spoke with the media on Tuesday and the talk centered on what he can do to get better...

Q: How do you feel you are progressing?

Rick Stanzi: Steady, there is still a lot of room for improvement with things like turnovers, that need to be corrected for us to have success as a unit and as a team. For the most part, the only think you can do is to keep your head up and learn each week and try to get better as each week goes on and do everything you can to help the offense.

Q: You guys have had ups and downs. What do you do to have more ups?

Stanzi: Staying positive. You know there will be mistakes whether you are a veteran or a first year starter. That comes with the game and everyone has to deal with that. Staying positive and fighting through tough times that you are used to. It's not really a big deal, you have to stay positive.

Q: Some people say turnovers are concentration in a lot of ways.

Stanzi: That is part of the concentration, making sure you realize how important the ball is. When you know it's in your hands, to take care of it and not give it up. It's a concentration and physical. More concentration

Q: What made that last play not work?

Stanzi: Umm…a couple different things. For the most part it's behind us. It's not what didn't make it work. 4th and 1, we need to be out of those situations more so than worry about what happened on that play.

Q: What area do you need to improve in the most, turnovers?

Stanzi: Right now, that is what sticks out the most to me. Taking care of the ball, that is one of our main goals as an offense. Coach stresses it each week before the game. Eliminating turnovers is the biggest thing. If we are committing them each week, we have to get rid of that.

Q: How do you get over the hump?

Stanzi: Come ready to work. Have a good week of practice and get ready to go to Indiana and be positive and play our best that we know we can. Finish when we have the opportunity.

Q: You watched film on Sundays. What is the balance of pluses and minuses that the offense is bringing?

Stanzi: You said it right there. The things we are doing right are pluses, turnovers are minuses. The way we grade stays in house. It's the same across the board for any team. The things people notice you are doing right, everyone can see it. You get to the red zone and have turnovers and don't convert, those are things that are minuses and need to fix and we correct those each week and work on the game plan. Don't give takeaways when you can put points on the board. We will work on it this week. You can only do so much in practice.

Q: It seems like there are more pluses than minuses.

Stanzi: I would have to look at a sheet. I would say so. But the thing is, you can have more pluses, but if the minus is a fumble on the three or an interception, that will outweigh a bunch of pluses. It's important to realize how important the ball is and how costly turnovers can be in tight games. We know there were going to be tight games and there will be more of them. We know what turnovers will do to us and we have to correct that. That is concentration through game time. We need to get ready to go and understand what the ball means to both sides.

Q: Do you have less freedom from the coaches to change things because you are younger?

Stanzi: I would say the same if I was a three year starter. Coach has the offense the way it is, and you will have the same amount of freedom in there, no matter who the quarterback is. We have what we do in our game plan. If we see things out there, we have freedom to go out and make some changes at the line that are within the game plan and are there to help us into a better situation.

Q: Do you know who you want to throw to before a play or is there a progression?

Stanzi: Usually with any type of offense, the timing with the receivers is choreographed. There are progressions within that. Depends on the play. That is in any scheme. The same with the run game, outside runs and inside runs.


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