When one is around athletes on a daily basis, you often see a youthful disguise, mask or should I say diversion from the truth on many issues. But there is no masking the true feelings when Derrick Locke speaks. He is a straightforward person, who really really believes in himself and doesn't mind telling you.
How tough is it getting over the loss to the Crimson Tide on last Saturday? "It is tough knowing what could've been but that's in the past," said a bright eyed Locke beaming with confidence. He said Steve Spurrier is no big deal to him because he feels like they are getting better.
"We are relying too much on the passing game," Locke said. "You've got to trust your offensive line more. When you gash somebody for a big run, they feel good about themselves. We are constantly saying we have to run the ball and then abandon it, what kind of message does that send to them.?"
On the other hand head coach Rich Brooks doesn't quite agree with Locke. "Well, we had sixty-two snaps, we were behind 14-0," Brooks lamented. "There's not a lot of chances when you run and get no gain or get two yards. Yeah. I like to run more, too but we already discussed there are fewer snaps. Do we run and get two yards and two yards then punt, or do you try to throw? Yeah, I'd like to run, too but we already discussed earlier this year that there are fewer plays in college football and certainly when your opponent is running the football and burning the clock, it makes it difficult to have a lot of snaps. All things being equal I'd like for it to be about fifty-fifty but we weren't in that position because we were not moving the ball on the ground."
"I thought we would run the ball better at the beginning of the year. And some of that was predicated on the fact that I thought our quarterback would be a bigger factor in the run game as well and that really hasn't transpired. We really have not thrown the ball well enough to keep the heat off the numbers in the box."
Locke is becoming more of a factor in the passing game as evidenced by the eight receptions he had in the Alabama game. "Getting the ball out of the backfield, that's fine with me, If it's going to help us win, I don't have a problem with that," Locke explained. "I'm all about winning."
However, he quickly made it plain that he is not eager to be a receiver over running back.
"I Don't mind being flexed out or in the slot - I just want the ball in my hands. I feel like we have to establish the running game, you have to run the ball. I'm not being greedy but we have to run the ball. We have to build our linemen up, give them confidence and we are not doing that. And a running back has to get in a groove."
Brooks said we'll have to see what happens in the future. Fans, and Locke, will anxiously await.
DEMAREE: Locke says run, baby, run
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