Q&A with Mark Whipple -- Part 1

The Hurricanes are off to an excellent 3-1 start this season. Read on to see what offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is saying about the offense following the first four games of the season.

On staying up for the entire FAMU game:
I don't know what's your question It's 0-0 right now. It's gonna be zero zero and if we go ahead 7 nothing we will deal with it then if we go behind 7 nothing then we will deal with it then. We're just practicing trying to get better and we have a long way to go. They got good players. Joe Taylor does a great job. I have competed against him. Their staff, they do a super job with their kids. They did it when I was at New Haven and Joe was at Virginia Union. They play hard and they will play with passion. I have been on the other side of this ledger. I have been at 1AA and played Kansas State, North Carolina State, and those guys and I know it's a great opportunity for both teams but I been on the other side and know you don't have to say a whole lot to the team. So we will get a great effort from them and we expect a great effort from our guys and we will play it out. I mean I have a plan last week. If you are down 10 nothing or up 10 nothing you kinda see what you got and go from there.

On self-scouting after the start to the season:
Offensively I don't think we are very good honestly. I mean you look at it, I told the guy (Tuesday) everyone wants to talk we are 3 and 1 we have been outscored. Bottom line is stats are stats. What are we like 85 in the country or something for offense and 63. Jacory Harris is 7th in the conference. And I don't see any of our guys playing that well. They've found a way to win. That's the most important thing -- they found a way to win 3 out of 4. We stay on this track and hey, we're playing somewhere in December, and that's not what we're trying to do. So we have to get a lot better. And that's been addressed. To answer your question, yes, we selfl scout and look at we do, look at what has been effective. We do that every week and what's FAMU doing. We have to clean up a lot of things from Oklahoma and I watched Florida State and what we did then I gotta clean up some. But our guys are, I did not see them take a step back (Tuesday) morning and that is a positive.

On only two first quarter touchdowns this season:
Yeah like I said we have been out scoured so that would make sense. We're just trying to score touchdowns in the first series so the play calling hasn't been great either. That's what we'd like to do. Our first 10 plays obviously haven't been that good. I know our first ones haven't been good at all so I may just throw a hat in a ring and let someone else call them. So we gotta get better there is no question about it.

On who has been playing well:
JJ played great last week. He did a good job. At times our line's been pretty good, at times Jacory's been pretty good, at times our receivers have been pretty good. Mike James played pretty good for a freshman that hadn't played fullback much. So some guys there, tight ends at times. It's just been inconsistent and I think it's probably my expectations at times to say hey we don't get this look on this play, Jacory's gotta go here, on this detail you gotta run the play this way. All the time coaching it just seems like I don't have enough time to get it all and get it where we need it to be. And I suppose when you sit back and say it's only been four games and I think their expectations are like mine that we've got to do a lot better.

On expectations coming into the season:
They've always been high; I guess that's just the way I've been raised. The last two places I've been in - Pittsburgh and Philly - come play for a Super Bowl. Here, we're trying to play in January. So there wasn't any…..I knew that Randy and I were on the same page at that point. I didn't come to a place that just wants to go to a December bowl. This is what this place is about. Just look around and you kind of see it. You only get what you expect, and we expect great things from out players. I expect great things from myself and our coaches. We're all in this together and I will say this, we do have a good team, meaning we don't have ‘I' guys, but guys who will share, guys that like to help each other. You see the camaraderie, the competition between offense and defense, there is competition between coaching staff. They put it aside and when you come off the field so that means a lot. I have been in this business a while so when you see that you feel like you maybe put a little more expectation, greater expectation on them each week.

On going from college to the NFL back to college:
There is a difference in offense style that way I think maybe some things that I am gonna tell you exactly what I am gonna do are just. Maybe we gotta lean towards things that we have done that weren't maybe not successful in the NFL but that kinda match up here the way people play. Football is football, I am having a hard time, last week what are they gonna give us? I haven't played against these guys. When you've played against a Jim Johnson defense or a Dick Lebeau defense and decipher that and how they do it. You know you have an idea against Rex Ryan but here I never competed against Bob Snoops team or Oklahoma so you didn't know. You're going off tape. This week is the same, Joe Taylor's changed so we don't really know what we are gonna get. In the NFL you know there is a 4-3 team a 3-4 team, there're a quarters teams, man free, here's their blitz game, you are not gonna get as much 0. Here it seems like you got a lot more, so eluding to what I said before I have gotta do a better job preparing our player than I have done in all the different things.

On Jacory's performance so far:
I'm harder on Jacory a little bit. Maybe more than some of the other guys and he's younger. He can handle it that way. Each guy's different. I'm getting to know them a little bit better that way but you know it's the right time, it's like hey you know it wasn't a time to get on him when he made a bad and threw the interception, the first one. Big game then he needed a little grab behind the neck and soft grab massage, say you're fine you just missed a read.. Other times I would not have been that nice. It kinda goes back and forth and he knows. I think we have a good relationship. You know it's good when we win, you know it's like when he plays well its good, when I call good plays its good. I think we have a good understanding. I just want the best for him. I have to remind myself honestly that this is only his fourth or fifth start in this offense. I have seen the things on the sidelines, I'm calling a play and there is a certain thing then it's like he didn't see it. And then I go well he didn't see it because we never had that in practice. And now we can go back on the film roll the few things at Virginia Tech. Hey you get this look here it is, here is what I am thinking on a 3rd and 12 call. That just takes time with any coach or quarterback and him being able to tell me ‘hey what do you like in the situation'. That's that's we are just building on that. It's fun and I gotta do a better job with all those things. With not only him, but with receivers, what's their good routes -- what's Travis run? What's Hank run? What's this? Mike James is a little different and Graig Cooper and he's a little different than JJ. Dedrick Epps is a little different than Jimmy Graham. It's a little bit like a jigsaw puzzle that we're trying to fit and we're getting there but not really as fast as I'd like it to be.


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