Dave Aranda (Photo by James Bryant)

LSU coordinator/player Citrus Bowl transcript

Here's everything LSU coordinators Steve Ensminger and Dave Aranda, plus players Ethan Pocic and Tre'Davious White said at Thursday's Citrus Bowl press conference.

Rather watch what the group representing LSU had to say? Check out the videos RIGHT HERE.

Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda, Offensive Coordinator Steve Ensminger, Senior Center Ethan Pocic, and Senior Defensive Back Tre’Davious White.

Q: How are the preparations are going?

DAVE ARANDA: We're awfully blessed to be here. Orlando's been very welcoming to us. We've been treated great. I think -- I know that our kids have had fun, enjoying the city and Disney World. The practices have been good. We're inching closer to Saturday and we have been looking forward to this game for quite a bit. Christmas kind of came and went quick with this in the back of your mind and with as close as we are to game day, it's moving right to the very front.

Q: You have been a role model coming back for your senior year to finish strong. Your thoughts on that and how that's been a big topic of conversation in sports these days.

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: Well, first of all, I would like to thank the Citrus Bowl, the committee, for inviting us. We have been having an unbelievable time. It was my first time in Disney World so I really enjoyed it. Like I said, I want to thank you again for inviting us down. Coming back for my senior year, I think it was the best decision of my life. I was able to, you know, to become a complete player as far as like mentally, you know, learning the game. The game slowed down so much for me. Coach [David] Aranda, he's just made football so much easier for me, just put me in position to make great plays. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1719731-sign-up-for-scout-and-get...

Q: Since Disney World was mentioned and your visit to the Magic Kingdom yesterday, I might as well hand it to you, Ethan. Have you found it to be a great opportunity to focus but also have a little bit of fun too?

ETHAN POCIC: Yeah. First off, I'd just like to thank Orlando, like Shaq was saying, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Citrus Bowl. We have been having a lot of fun. We have been really working hard but, you know, at the same time, when we're not working, after practice, you know, relaxing and just having a good time with the team and, you know, really making memories and having fun.

Q: So since you've brought them up, I've got to ask your favorite flavor of Buffalo Wild Wings, do you like that new flavor?

ETHAN POCIC: Honey barbecue boneless.

Q: Now we're going to move on to the offensive coordinator, Steve Ensminger. Your thoughts on preparations for this big game. 

STEVE ENSMINGER: Like the rest of them, we appreciate being here. No doubt about it. And everything's been great: the hotels. The people who have hosted us have been outstanding. And it's just been fun to be here. The preparations have been really good. We had a great two days before we left and got here, and the guys understood what we were preparing for. They have been focused. There's a lot of distractions out there in this town, but the guys really showed up at practice and been focused, and it's been outstanding.

Q: There are a couple more distractions in Orlando than Baton Rouge, right?

STEVE ENSMINGER: There's a few more than 1979, for sure. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1741356-lsu-players-meet-with-med...

Q. For both coaches, this is not really intended facetiously. Given all of the attention to the WakiLeaks scandal such as it was, what precautions do you take to protect your information, your game plan? Just give people a little insight into how that works.

STEVE ENSMINGER: I don't have a damn clue what you're talking about. I don't get on a computer. My assistant right over here, she does all my stuff, so she protects it but I don't do none of that.

Q. Steve, we haven't talked to you in a little while. Can you describe personally, you know, the last three months, just on a personal level, what's happened to you? Just take us through it.

STEVE ENSMINGER: It's just, you know, when the transition happened and Coach O came and said I want you to be my offensive coordinator, I said no. And he said, no, you're going to do it. The change, it wasn't hard, because we had great coaches, and our staff took it on. And I gave some responsibilities to our GAs and everything else. I kind of passed responsibilities around. Coach [Jeff] Grimes handles our run game. Him and Coach [Jabbar] Juluke and Coach [Dameyune] Craig handled our third down passing game. I just kind of handed it out and said, here's your responsibilities and everything else. And we kind of presented it all together on Mondays, what we were going to go through that day, and on Tuesday the same thing. It was a group effort, and I can't say enough about our coaches, and I can't say enough about our graduate assistants who, literally will stay up there with me at night till 12:30 a.m. at night to make sure we have everything done. It wasn't only me. I promise you this. Those guys did a great job. It was a lot more work. I can guarantee you that. But the fun part about it was, I saw our kids play. We opened it up a little bit. Everybody was excited, and it was fun walking off that field seeing our players smile, and that was the beauty of it.

Q. Questions it for Coach Aranda. I have a quote here from Coach Orgeron about facing Lamar Jackson. He says that you have a tremendous game plan. So without revealing too much, how does one go to slow down Lamar Jackson?

DAVE ARANDA: You have to have try to take away what he does best. I think so much of what he does is, if you try to rush him where it's going to contain him, keep him in the pocket. I think he's a fine enough passer to complete balls on you. If you try to rush him and be creative with your pressures and whatnot, you can get him out of the pocket, and he can hurt you with his feet. So that has shown up consistently throughout the games that they've played so far. I think the other thing they do very effective is, they get you thinking its run, and they call passes and vice-versa. Third down, the quarterback run, I think is a major, major weapon and something, you know, we've -- we've been hit before with Alabama and various other games, and so the ability to get everyone thinking the same, on the same page of, this is what we're defending, and this is our job description and getting guys to buy into it. I think the month-long bowl prep allows for that. We're going to have to execute it. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1740893-live-from-under-armour-al...

Q. Coach Ensminger, when Coach Orgeron took over, he made no bones that he considered it an audition. Did you at all feel that same way as offensive coordinator or were you pretty much resigned to that they would have to make a change at the end?

STEVE ENSMINGER: Scooter, when he asked me to be the offensive coordinator, I had one goal in mind: to see how many games we could win. You know, I went to LSU. I played at LSU. And I just wanted our team to get back to where it's supposed to be. And like I told Coach O, I said, you know what? I'm doing this for you. I think you deserve this job. And I mean that, and I've known him for a long time. I said I'm going to do everything I can to make you the head coach right here and make the Tigers win again. That's it. I was doing it for our school, our state and Coach O and that's it. I have no -- I could care less about being the offensive coordinator at LSU, okay? And I told him that. I said I'm doing this for you.

Q. With you remaining on staff, how do you feel about Matt Canada coming on?

STEVE ENSMINGER: I'm excited about it. I'm excited about it. I've had a chance to sit down and talk to him a little bit. Not a whole lot, just visit with him and everything else. What I love about the guy is, in my opinion, he's a lot like me. He's a lot like Coach O. He's a football guy and all he wants to do is let us coach football, you know. He could care less about being in front of this mic, just like I do, but he wants to coach football and that's the way it is.

Q. This is for both coaches. What are you most proud of this season in both of your respected positions?

DAVE ARANDA: The way that we were able to build our team out of adversity. And so whether it was that first game or whether it was the Auburn game and taking a team that was down, taking a team that was -- wasn't believing and to be able to get them to believe, you know, I think Coach Orgeron deserves a lot of credit in that respect. I think our senior leaders, we have two of them up here on stage, deserve a lot of credit for that. But being able to see just the energy with our team and being able to see their belief was the most -- the thing that I will take away from this season. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1741358-photo-gallery-lsu-s-1st-p...


STEVE ENSMINGER: I'm like Dave. We went through a tough four games early in the season and then went through the transition and everything else and just taking over, and Coach O did a super job of preparing this team. But to be honest, offensively, we always felt our whole offense, we were better than what we were showing and for those kids to get out there and work like they did and to show what we could do offensively, and they did it, and I'm proud of the fact that our kids are happy. We spread the ball around. Our fullbacks are catching passes. Our tailbacks are running really good, our receivers. Just spreading the ball around, doing what our quarterback can't do and everything else, and they all walk off the field. You can tell they're excited about it, and it makes me happy to see that.

Q. Coach Aranda, back to Lamar Jackson, you guys were talking about him before, when I asked Jamal [Adams] last week -- and this is for you too, Tre -- he told me that -- we asked if Lamar had ever faced a defense like LSU. Lamar told me -- sorry. Jamal told me word for word, absolutely not. Do you believe that and what makes you guys think that you can take down the Heisman trophy winner?

DAVE ARANDA: Well, I mean, we've shown the ability to play assignment defense and I think we're still striving to do that for four quarters. We have not accomplished that. But I think it's going to take that for this game. You know, the -- whenever the quarterback's a runner and they're using all 11 guys and if we've got 10 in the box or 10 near the line of scrimmage, then there's assignments that have to be divvied out, whether it's a middle field player getting involved, whether it's the guys that are in the box two-gapping. And so there's going to be a little bit of each of those things in this game and so the ability to fulfill those things, you know, to start the game, to end the game, that's the -- that's the challenge. Now, we've shown we can do that. We've got to do it on Saturday.

Q. I have two questions for the student athletes, if I could. First off, we just had the kids from the Boys and Girls Club in here a little bit ago. Have either of you ever grown up through the Boys and Girls Club or any other youth organizations? If so, what do those organizations mean to you as a person? http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1741076-tiger-blitz-podcast-dec-28

ETHAN POCIC: Yeah, you know, at last year's bowl game, we got an opportunity to help out, you know, with a group like that, and it's good to give back. It's always good to help out with the community and just give back. I know we have another opportunity to do that after this, so I'm looking forward to it.

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: Coming from Shreveport, we had this little thing called the Spar League, so it was like a recreation center. I mean, that was -- that was a place, you know, all kids my age, where we went after school, to just to stay out of trouble. So I feel like that place pretty much, you know, saved me from a situation that, you know, a lot of guys, you know, back home, you know, are in. So I feel like that was the place that pretty much molded me into the man I am today. It kept me out of the streets. It just got me into sports and involved in things like this. So that was the place that I ran to every day after school.

Q. And the second question would be, obviously you both have probably had so much time to think about this, being your final collegiate game. What's gone through your mind leading up to this game, and how do you want the senior class to be remembered?

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: To win a game. I want to go off the field a winner, playing my last game. That's the goal. I want to lay a foundation for the next team that's coming up next year. I want those guys to go into the spring with a good feeling and, you know, believing in this game plan and believing in the coaches that we have. I feel like we have one of the best staffs in the country. I feel like if we leave off the field as winners, that will have those guys pretty much pumped up for the spring game and ready to go for next year.

ETHAN POCIC: I just agree with Shaq. You know, just go play ball, play our game, have fun, you know, and fight for victory.

Q. Can you talk about two things? One, your new contract. You signed up for an extension. Was that a difficult decision as far as were there other offers? And also, just the last game against A&M, the last quarter, I know you weren't pleased with that.

DAVE ARANDA: I think anytime, as a coach, and especially as a coach's family, that you can stay put and, you know, the kids can go to school, the same school for a second year, and you can do some additions to the house, make it your own house, and get to know your players in a deeper way and build the defense or offense that you got, anytime you have the ability to do that, you'd like to do that. So I was very much looking forward to staying on. So we all love the Baton Rouge area and the school systems, and we love the Tigers. And then I think, you know, I look back at that fourth quarter, and I look at it as from the very beginning, though. I didn't make a great enough push, and I did not make a great enough bigger deal of finishing games. You look at the Mississippi State game. I think they scored, what was it, 14 points, 21 points, whatever it is in about six minutes, you know, and I think there was some turnovers that had something to do with that, but we were playing great defense up to that point. I think there were a couple of other games we were up on them, and I think there's just an ability that we still have to do, and it starts with me, is that when we have -- when we have a lead, and we are winning the game, to finish the game. So that's a good problem to have, and so hopefully we have that problem coming up. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1740992-photo-gallery-tigers-arri...

Q. Steve, back left here, in the corner. Can you just share your thoughts on Louisville's defense? Are they underrated? Who do they remind you of? What do you think of them?

STEVE ENSMINGER: They're very underrated. When I put the film on, I saw a lot more than I wanted to see, I promise you. Their front seven is outstanding. They're big inside. Their nose guard I think is a special player. Both their outside linebackers are 250 pounds. They're good against the run. So looking at them, underrated, yes. I can guarantee you that. You look at the stats and what they've given up in the running game and you look at our strength, it's going to be strength on strength. We didn't change a game plan, but I'm kind of curious to see how good our guys play up front and -- but they're a very good defense, especially the front seven.

Q. For both Tre and Ethan. Tre, you talked about coming back it's the best decision you've ever made. You've got a couple guys that have that same decision you went through a year ago at this time. For both of you, if one of those guys came to you, what would you tell them about coming back for your senior year?

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: If you're not confident, don't go. For me, I had different goals in mind, as far as, you know, coming back. I had opportunity to be one of the first in my family to graduate. I wanted to be an All American. I wanted to be All-SEC. I wanted to win a [Jim] Thorpe [Award] and a National Championship. I was able to do three out of four. Like I told them, I always tell them, if you're not confident, don't go. Don't let anyone persuade you, not mom, not dad, friend, girlfriend, nobody, not money. Money -- the NFL is going to be there, but it's all about becoming a complete player. When you get to the NFL, you want to be a day one starter. So that was the big deal for me. I wanted to be a day-one starter. And I feel like for me coming back, I was able to become a complete football player.

ETHAN POCIC: I just agree with that. You only get one shot. So go when you're ready. But do what's best for you. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1740999-gallery-ed-orgeron-greets...

Q. Steve, what did you see maybe in the Kentucky game, especially with the ability of Kentucky to throw the ball as well as they did, that maybe it was something that you feel like you all can take advantage of?

STEVE ENSMINGER: Well, Kentucky made big plays on them. They really did. But they're a totally different offense than we are. Basically. what we got out of the Kentucky game is when we go to three wide and stuff like that, the things we feel like that can be effective on them. But did see that they rushed the pass. It was a great ball game. They pushed rushed the pass. They got after them pretty good. Just Kentucky made big plays on a screen play, on a deep ball and everything else. And I think through all that, you know, we just -- we've got to take our shots too. They're going to be up there to stop the run and we're going to run the football. But we've got to be successful. We've got to make some big plays against this defense and I don't think we're going to take the football and run it down to throw 80 yards or whatever. You're going to have to mix it up and you're going to have to make some big plays.

Q. Dave, I'm sure when you got to LSU, you looked at the film and saw what a good player you had in Tre. When did you learn about his character, what kind of person he was and what did you like about that?

DAVE ARANDA: Very early on, you could see he was the leader of the defense. I think we've got a fair amount of boisterous guys, guys that are real loud. You can be on a bus from practice to the hotel and that thing is rocking. Guys are joking, guys in all of it. But I think the guy that everyone listens to on defense is Tre'Davious. And right from when I got there, you can see it. So when he decides to speak, he has the full attention of the team and the defense for sure. And so, you know, he's a good person. He's a great player. I think everyone respects him. And so we want to give him a win this last game.

Q. Coach Ensminger, what was your reaction when they told you, you had to get up there today?

STEVE ENSMINGER: I've told Michael [Bonnette] since they gave me this darn job, I'm not doing media interviews and he keeps pushing me and making me do it. So, it's my last one.

Q. Quick follow-up, a couple of the players have joked since you took over, the tight ends finally started getting the football. Can you talk about utilizing them this year and the plays you're able to make in the passing game with them?

STEVE ENSMINGER: When I first got there, I actually didn't meet with the offense for three days. They just went to positions. Everything else went out there. We ran plays and we ran plays and I kind of told them, I think it was on Wednesday, I said, we're doing this, I said, because we can run the football. And I said but we have to become a great play-action pass team and we've done that. So we've kept ourselves in manageable third downs and if we can do that in this game and every game, keep ourselves in manageable third downs, third mediums, third and short, and stay out of the third and longs, we're a very good offense. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1741065-lsu-excited-and-ready-to-...

Q. This is for the two players. I just want to find out from your guys, what was the season like from you guys, kind of going through the change and then the ups and downs? What has it been like for you guys?

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: A life lesson. Life's going to throw things like this at you. It's all how you respond. And, you know, with the transition and Coach Myers going out, I feel like as players, we responded great. We responded great because any time you come to a school, you want the coach that sat there on your coach and told your parents that he was going to be there, you want him to be there the entire time. When it didn't happen, I feel like, you know, we did a great job of, you know, coming together as a team and playing team -- team ball. So it just gets you ready for life. And as far as us two going to the next level, you know, it's a business now. So they're just getting us prepared for that.

ETHAN POCIC: I'd have to just agree with that. I think we really responded well. I think every, you know, after every game that we happen to lose, you know, the next game, we responded well and just never, you know, put the foot off the brake. Always on the gas.

Q. In terms of this being a business, obviously [Leonard] Fournette not being here, how does that change things for the offense?

STEVE ENSMINGER: It doesn't matter what position. Leonard Fournette is a great player, okay, but it's next man up. Whether it was the Texas A&M game, he couldn't play it, next man up. And there's guys, Darrel [Williams] and all them guys, they just stepped up and played. And you ask your teammates around them, hey, how about a little bit extra, you know, and our offense has responded. Our offensive line, our receivers have played so well. Like I said, we would love to have Leonard here and everything else, but our team is very confident in who we have in the back field.

Q. Coach Aranda, you have a reputation of taking a real cerebral approach to defense, and Coach Petrino obviously one of the more renowned play callers. Do you see it at all as kind of a personal chess match for you, and how does that affect you?

DAVE ARANDA: I don't. I can see, with Coach Petrino, though, I can see him get people. You know, I think the quarters beaters -- so many people play quarters coverage versus, Lamar Jackson, get as many people in the box as you can. I think he has -- and Tre'Davious has seen them all throughout our prep. He has the best quarters beaters you could possibly draw up, and he calls them all at the right time. And then I think his ability to have a look-over game, so if he sees something from a defense that he doesn't like that is not advantageous to them, offense looks it over, changes the play, and he's got you right back in a beater. So all of those things forces the defense to have to be flexible and not be a stagnant defense of one or two things. So that's a challenge for us for sure.

Q. For both coaches, what has it been like with Coach Orgeron getting the job? What makes him suited, and how well of a job has he done this year?

DAVE ARANDA: Well, I think Coach O has a great feel for the heartbeat of the team. I think he's shown that when he was at USC and was an interim coach. He showed that here at our spot when he was an interim coach. I believe the players love playing for him. I know the coaches love coaching for him, you know. And so our ability to be fresh throughout the year, both players and coaches, our ability to have fun at the workplace, both players and coaches, and our ability to, you know, come in tight together and be a family, I think all of that is from Coach O.

Q. My original question got asked, so I'm going with a lighthearted follow-up to Tre and Ethan. Tre, what was your favorite part of that Disney experience yesterday? And, Ethan, I saw a picture of you and KJ in those teacups. Was there any concern about getting both of you in there?

ETHAN POCIC: It was definitely a tight squeeze in the teacups, but it was fun just to go and hang out and relax and hang out with the team.

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: Just like he said, it was fun, you know, just to bond with my teammates for this last trip. So I was just trying to have fun through it all.

Q: Can you talk about those graduate patches that are on your shirt? That must be something you're really proud about.

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: Most definitely. Like I said earlier, I'm one of the first in my family to graduate from a flagship school. So it was a big deal for me and my whole family. I'm going to wear it proudly.

ETHAN POCIC: Yeah. A lot of hard work goes into it. Most people don't see it, but being a student athlete is not easy so it's definitely a big accomplishment.

THE MODERATOR: For those who didn't read the media guide, who did you major in?

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: Sports administration leadership.

ETHAN POCIC: Same thing. Sport administration.

Q. Steve, I've got to ask. You mentioned 1979 when you sat down here, so obviously I've got to bring this up to you. Have you been telling the stories to the players about that bowl game way back when and what do you remember from those days from the Tangerine Bowl?

STEVE ENSMINGER: I never tell stories about myself. I don't share anything with these guys about myself. But I do remember in 1979, I was a senior that year. Coach [Charles] McLendon was our coach. We came in here and we beat Wake Forest and we had a great time. It's the only time I ever had a chance to go to Disney World and we put the Mickey Mouse ears on and we had a hell of a time. These guys, they weren't even born then. Ethan [Pocic] walked in and said, you played with leather helmets? I said, I'm not quite that old.

Q. Coach Dave, I wonder if you could comment on how much you've watched the Houston film against Louisville, and how much their success and pass rush do you attribute just to crowd noise and false starts and that sort of thing and did you see anything you can use?

DAVE ARANDA: When I look at the Houston film -- I'm good friends with their coordinator, and he and I talk a bunch offseason-wise, pressures and schemes and all that. And so we're out recruiting Houston. I was able to stop by prior to -- prior to this game. And I think it was -- people were talking about Louisville or Florida State as the possible games for us. And Houston played  both of those teams recently, you know, and so I was able to meet and talk and all that. Houston runs a very similar scheme to what we do. But I think the issue that's up in that game is that Houston was able to get up on them offensively and put them behind the chains and I think that's the only game where the run component didn't show up, you know, so Houston's teeing off on them, exotic pressures and all this other thing and the quarterback run really didn't show. I think it was just more drop-back pass and all that. And I think kind of fed the fire, so to speak. You know, you look at when Louisville played Florida State and some of these other teams, I think they had that same look in the eye of here comes all this pressure but the quarterback run bit them and made them pay for it. So that's the price you pay for pressuring, is the quarterback's running around the edge there, so I think that's the big lesson.

Q. This question is for the two players. From the time that you started your career there at LSU to where you are now, could you tell me a little bit about a defining moment or something that happened that made you a better person or better player during your experience?

ETHAN POCIC: I think just all the stuff we do off the field, all the volunteer work, all the things we do to give back to the community to help out, you know, really, you know, makes you mature and realize that some kids do look up to us and just to be a positive role model.

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: Just following off what he said, basically the same thing. Our school and our athletic department does a great job of making sure we get out in the community and do community service and go see kids and things like that. When the flood happened in Baton Rouge a couple months ago, we went to a shelter where they were holding a lot of people that lost their homes and things, and the only thing they wanted to talk about was the LSU Tigers and LSU football. So that definitely was a positive, and it just shows that people really care about LSU and care about what we do. So it's up on us to try to win football games and be the best role model as possible.

THE MODERATOR: I wonder if we could stay to that theme and ask each of the coaches for their thoughts on how these two young men have developed at the school.

DAVE ARANDA: Just the one year that I've been here, when Coach Orgeron is always looking for captains. I mean, these two made the cut, I think, every week, you know. So you knew that Tre'Davious was going to be there, and Ethan was going to be there, and you can just see it the way they handle themselves on the field and off the field. I mean, they are what you would think a captain should be, so I'm awfully glad they're on our side of it.

STEVE ENSMINGER: Yeah. I was lucky enough to recruit Tre'Davious out of Shreveport and everything else and had a chance to meet his whole family, his grandmother and everything else, and they're wonderful people. And to watch him grow and do the things he's done is special to me. This guy right here, in my opinion, I think he's the best in the country, and I know that, but he's a special person. I know his mom and dad. I see his mom every time we walk of the field and give her a hug. He's the leader of our offense. When you do, at the center position, some of the things we ask him to do, which allows us to double team other people and get moving and everything else, makes him a special player, but he's a great person.

Q. Steve, a couple questions for you. One, did you really sleep in your office this year on the couch?

STEVE ENSMINGER: I do it every year, you know. I always stay at my office, you know. That was nice that there were games where I didn't think we had completed a game plan, didn't have  what I wanted in there, and stayed up there late. Yes, I sleep on the couch. That was just part of it, you know.

Q. The second one is, how do you prepare in a week to call plays after not doing it for close to ten years, right?

STEVE ENSMINGER: It's difficult. I'll be honest. The difficult part is not your system, you know. If it's your system, back when I was coordinator and everything else, you could just roll off your tongue just what you wanted to call. And the game plan, having to put the game plan together, you know what you want, and I literally have to look at the game plans, when we first started, and see how we called this play by the formation, by the adjustments and everything else. Now, after these last two and a half months or whatever, I feel very comfortable with it, but I had to -- on quarterbacks -- on Thursday and Friday nights, I had to go home, and I had to study, just like they did, on how I was going to call this play in these situations. Hell, I was studying again, which I didn't never like college anyhow.

Q. You said earlier that you think Coach O deserves the job. That's why you took on the role as coordinator for him. You know, when he was hired, it wasn't universally well received. Maybe some people thought LSU should have gone out for a bigger name or head coach with more success on his record. What makes him suited to do the job? Do you believe that he's the right man for the job?

STEVE ENSMINGER: I know he's the right man for the job. You know what? I saw him talk to the team. I saw him in meetings every day trying to get this team together, bring this team together in what they did. I saw him take our practice schedule and change it, and it changed for the better. I see how he treats the players, and these players play for him. It didn't take me long -- and I've known Coach O since the '70s. It didn't take me long to watch him lead this team, how he treated the players, how he treated the coaches, how we're going to practice, how we're going to overcome defeat, and how he responded to it, I knew he was the man for this job.

Q. This is for Tre'Davious. Tre'Davious, Coach O was called Coach Aranda a mad professor. What was it like every Monday getting a game plan from him?

TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE: It was -- I mean, it was easy. I can tell you that. But, you know, with the schedule Coach O set up for us, we have a lot of meeting time so it just makes everything so much easier. It was a lot of meeting time. So we meet for, like, an hour and 30 minutes. So we were able to take everything that we've seen in film and take it onto the field and not make as many mistakes. So with the game plan Coach Aranda puts in, we have great players on our side and in the back end, we have a great front seven. So with those guys putting pressure on the quarterback and eating up the run, it makes our job in the back end so much easier. I can give the credit to the front seven and Coach Pete Jenkins and those guys for getting those guys ready each and every Saturday because it makes our job so much easier on the back end.

Q. Coach Ensminger, just your thoughts about Danny Etling, people wondering where he's going to fit next year. You know, do you start building for the future with a young quarterback? Have you seen him improve? Where do you see him fitting in?

STEVE ENSMINGER: Just like all the rest of them, we'll have a new coordinator come in and he'll have to compete for a job. Nothing's given to you on this team. But I've seen him improve and I think the thing that our staff did -- I thought we did a great job of fitting our offense around him, what he can do and not ask him to do things he can't do. But you know what? I think he's a very good quarterback. He's gotten better. I expect him to have a great game and I expect all the rest of them when it comes spring to compete for the job. And that'll be Coach Matt's decision. 

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