Q & A Pat Narduzzi #2

Michigan State is now getting ready for a few days off for the holidays before reporting back to campus for final bowl preparations and then departure to the Outback Bowl to take on Georgia. The following is a transcript of the question and answer session defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi had with the media.

Q. Last year even you talked about Denicos Allen and the plays he could make. This year he had 10 sacks, he talked about proving a lot of people wrong. He's not a very big guy. Do you think he's done more than even you expected this year?

Pat Narduzzi: You know what, again, we expect those guys to make plays...Denicos is an explosive kid and he's got an attitude to him and he's aggressive. He's had opportunities to make plays, and whether it's been a three man rush or a four man rush, he's made those plays. He's added in what he's supposed to add in; even if there's even coverage he'll add in. So sometimes you're in a good spot and things happen, and sometimes he's been in the right spot at the right time. But Denicos has done a tremendous job for us.

Q. Does Georgia run a lot of trick plays? Is that something you have to prepare for? Did they run a lot of trick plays during the year?

Pat Narduzzi: Yeah, they've got quite a few trick plays with reverses and that kind of thing. We've got a whole reel up there on what their trick plays have been the whole year and even all their trick plays from 2008 and a couple from 2010, as well. We'll be prepared for them all, but you can't practice them all. We'd exceed the 20 hours per week if we wanted to try to get that done. We know what their favorites are; we know who some of their trick guys are, who the reverse guys are, and we'll prepare that way.

Q. Following up on Reynolds, do you think that's ultimately where he's going to end up next season? And then also, just wanted to know if you've seen any other young guys, any spots yet or anyone that you're looking forward to seeing looking toward next year?

Pat Narduzzi: Well, Micajah's fate will be sealed. As a matter of fact, it's funny you ask that. Yesterday we just went into unit meeting, then we're breaking individually, going in with Coach Gill, and I grabbed (Micajah) by the shoulder and said, you know what, if you keep playing like that you'll never see the O line again, okay. So he's played exceptionally well, and really surprised us defensively because he's back and forth, and he's had great recall. So if he plays really, really good, the offense may not see him.

The day after he has a real good day, Coach Staten is like, man, we could really use him to get a few reps on offense. I said, sorry, you ain't getting him. So he's...not today or tomorrow, but he's really played well.

And then some of the young guys, again, there's been a bunch of them. We haven't had as many of those young day practices as we have in the past because of that championship week. But Lawrence Thomas stands out to me. He's a big, physical guy that had a chance for at least two days this week to step up and play. He's physical, gets the defense lined up, tough. He's done a nice job.

Ed Davis and Darien Harris are going to be three excellent linebackers for us, all three of those guys with LT. That is a good linebacking corps. I think I may have told you back in the fall, I don't think we missed on one kid on defense last year, so every freshman that came in I could say something about, whether it's Trae Waynes or R.J. Williamson, is going to be a great safety for us, and both those guys will play a lot for us next year, I can tell you right now.

And then on the defensive line, Damon Knox, every one of them, James Kittredge, Brandon Clemons, Shilique Calhoun, he gets in the other day against the one offense, and he's in two plays, he gets a sack. He's going to be a great player for us. So we've got a lot of guys here that have showed up, and they show up every day on the scout team. Our offense tells us about it. So we don't need a bowl practice to find out if those guys are players are not. They do it every day I hope.

Q. Your thoughts on their freshman running back Isaiah Crowell.

Pat Narduzzi: I think he's a very good football player. I've heard they've said it's open for competition. They've gone times during the year where they've put a DB back there, a tailback and receiver, but I think that guy is the guy. I'll be shocked if I don't see him in the starting lineup. He's fast, he's explosive, and I think he's a great football player.

Q. I know a lot of Georgia's receivers are young, and that was the case three years ago when you saw them, also. Can you compare the receivers this time to what you saw three years ago?

Pat Narduzzi: Well, they had one young guy three years ago, and that was A.J. Green. He was the baby. But Massaquoi if I recall was a senior, I think. So they had one older one and I think they both had just under 1,000 yards receiving. Those were their two go to guys. This year they've got more guys, they've got more depth there, but I don't know if they've got the talent of those two guys. Don't get me wrong, I don't know if they're first round, second round, but those were two excellent players. You don't see them being featured like A.J. Green and Massaquoi, but they're great players, and I'm sure they'll play at the next level, too.

Q. They've got a couple of NFL quality linemen out there. Is there anybody in the Big Ten that their offensive line reminds you of that maybe you've practiced kind of in that vein?

Pat Narduzzi: You know what, every offensive line is a little bit different. As we talked, when someone said they're considered the biggest offensive line in the country, I was like, they're bigger than Wisconsin? Are you kidding me? They're probably like a Wisconsin I would say, obviously size wise.

They're strong; if they get their hands on you, they can put you on your back if you don't play with good leverage and good technique, so I would say probably like a Wisconsin.

I don't know if in the run game...they don't run the ball like Wisconsin so you don't see them trying to pound it at you like that. They run a lot more one back sets so their offense is not built like Wisconsin but they're big and strong like Wisconsin.

Q. Have you taken Isaiah aside since the game and talked to him a little bit? Also about the late play down the field, have you had any extra conversation with him to kind of get him over that game?

Pat Narduzzi: No. Coaches have a lot longer memories than the kids. He probably forgot it that night. His dad probably talked to him in the hotel and said...but Isaiah, he's 100 percent in, and Isaiah is doing whatever he can do to win, and that play was not his fault, period. And that's how it is. There's 11 guys on the field and I can point out two other guys that did the wrong thing on that play and Coach Tressel could tell you that, as well, that could have helped Isaiah.

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