Denard talks QBs: Devin, Persa, and himself

Denard talks about Dan Persa, about being on the field with Devin Gardner, about taking less hits this season, about his health, about playing at night and on the road, and more.

Question: You talked the other day how hard it is to prepare for your own defense in practice because they throw so many things at you. Is that different than last year, is it more confusing to try and play against them in practice now than it was a year ago?

Denard Robinson: "It is at times because they all move around and stuff and they got a lot of stuff going this year. It is a little bit."

Question: How much does that help you when you get into games against other teams that are maybe as complex?

Denard Robinson: "It helps me a lot. Because I can sort the defense out real fast."

Question: How much did Saturday help your confidence?

Denard Robinson: "Yeah it helped me. It really helped me because we have that. We've been doing it all summer, it is just we had to do it in a game or something like that. That's the only thing it was, just put it forward in the game and you guys could see."

Question: Was there a concerted effort to throw shorter, intermittent passes?

Denard Robinson: "We were just trying to get the ball to the receivers and do some good things with them."

Question: Ryan Van Bergen talked about the package where you and Devin Gardner are in the game together and you guys haven't even scratched the surface…you're smiling, are you excited about that package?

Denard Robinson: "Yeah. We haven't done nothing really out of it that we're going to do. It is going to be kind of fun to do it."

Question: Do you anticipate you'll do it every week or will we see once every once in a while?

Denard Robinson: "I don't know man. You got to ask Coach Al. Whenever he throws it at us, we'll be ready."

Question: Did you come up with a name for it yet?

Denard Robinson: "Not really."

Question: You don't want to think too much into the future but do you think that package particularly might help you when you look at the NFL?

Denard Robinson: "Naw. I'm not looking at the NFL. I'm looking at right now and trying to get better right now as a college player."

Question: Is it different being in that spot because Devin is making the calls at the quarterback spot, do you have to turn your mind off a little bit?

Denard Robinson: "Not, really just listen to the play call. Sometimes I can just see the signal and I can look at my playbook and see what the play is."

Question: Do you ever think what it would be like to go against you?

Denard Robinson: "No, I never thought about going against myself."

Question: How difficult do you think that would be?

Denard Robinson: "I don't know. I think I should be able to stop myself (laughter)."

Question: What is it going to be like to get on the road with this team?

Denard Robinson: "It is going to be a sight to see. It is going to be a great team we play against. Northwestern is a great team. We're going into a hostile environment and we just got to be ready."

Question: You guys have been able to get the running backs going the last couple of weeks, how important is that for the development of this offense?

Denard Robinson: "You have to have a pass game and a running game to have a good team and that's what we're doing."

Question: Van Bergen used the word swagger when it comes to the defense, is that something that you see in practice, do you see a different attitude with them than you did last year?

Denard Robinson: "They got confidence and they're playing well and their confidence is going up so that's good."

Question: Looking at this away game, playing at night, what do you like about both elements, both playing at night and on the road?

Denard Robinson: "I don't really like playing at night. I get the butterflies before the game, so I would rather play. On the road, it is a different feeling. Everybody ain't with you, the fans ain't with you. You got to go out there and kind of try and get them quiet before they can be the 12th man."

Question: No one is just like you, but when you watch Illinois' game against them and (Nathan) Scheelhaase who does some of the same things, can you see things that worked for him and can translate that and know that it could help you this week?

Denard Robinson: "Yeah he is a similar quarterback to me and he can do some exciting things and I know I see him do some stuff and we kind of favor each other."

Question: What do you see of Dan Persa, the Northwestern quarterback?

Denard Robinson: "He is probably one of the (most) amazing quarterbacks in the Big Ten and probably the country. He does some things that other guys can't."

Question: Can you flip a linebacker over your back like he did?

Denard Robinson: "I didn't catch the play."

Question: You learned going through the motions of the Big Ten last year with how physical it can be, but what else did you learn?

Denard Robinson: "You got to take care of your body and make sure you don't take hits you don't have to."

Question: Because you only carried the ball six times, do you feel different after this game than other games?

Denard Robinson: "I feel better, and I go get treatment and the staff does a great job with that."

Question: How important was it to get Kevin Koger and Junior Hemingway going, to get these guys going after a couple of weeks where they didn't have a lot of production?

Denard Robinson: "It's great to get the receivers the balls. I love seeing them making plays with it, I enjoy it."

Question: Did you like Kevin Koger's stiff arm that he had?

Denard Robinson: "I couldn't see it. I got hit."

Question: You didn't see the film of it yet?

Denard Robinson: "He said he put a move on it, but I didn't see the move. I just saw the stiff arm."

Question: How healthy are you right now?

Denard Robinson: "I'm feeling pretty good."

Question: The arm? Your boo-boo?

Denard Robinson: "My boo-boo is good."

Question: Will you be wearing the wrap this week?

Denard Robinson: "I don't know, we'll see."

Question: Do you need to?

Denard Robinson: "We'll see what the doctor tells me. Whatever they tell me to do, I'll do."

Question: Was it any different for you?

Denard Robinson: "Naw, I didn't even feel it on there after a while. I didn't feel it at all."

Question: Was the arm hindering you in the past few weeks?

Denard Robinson: "No."

Question: Watching the film, how far away is the passing game from where you want it to be?

Denard Robinson: "We still got things to work on. We still got to get on the same page a little more. We always got time to improve, so that's what we're doing."

Question: Who's tougher, you or Vincent Smith?

Denard Robinson: "Both of us arepretty tough, I don't know."

Question: Does he impress you with how physical he is for his size?

Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. Like I was saying earlier to one of the other guys. He's probably one of the toughest dudes that I've been around my whole life and he will fight you until he has nothing left."

Question: You guys are ranked #12 right now, coach said it was too high, what do you think?

Denard Robinson: "I think it is too high too. We still got things to work on. We still got time for improvement, keep improving and do things better."

Question: How do you think Stephen Hopkins look at playing fullback and did he embrace that role?

Denard Robinson: "Yeah he embraced it. That's one thing about this team, nobody is selfish. Everybody's ready to do whatever we got to do to win."

Question: You keep saying that he's one of the toughest guys and you say he'll fight you to the end, how tough is he?

Denard Robinson: "He's a tough guy. I can't explain how tough he is. You have to see it to say it."

Question: So he has never actually fought you?

Denard Robinson: "No. We're good friends so there is no fight in us."

Question: He has that little man mentality?

Denard Robinson: "I think so. I don't want to say that about him then he's going to fight me (laughter). He's a great guy and everybody on the team is tough, but he has got his own way of showing it."

Question: You said Koger was talking about the move that he put on somebody. Do you guys compare and brag about jukes and stuff?

Denard Robinson: "I don't brag about it. Some guys like Kev, he thinks he can shake his stuff, he's a big guy, he should be running people over, but he feels like he can do things like that still. He's a great athlete so he can do that."

Question: Does Dave Molk calm you in the huddle; what is his huddle demeanor like?

Denard Robinson: "We're always having fun. When we're out there we're trying not to be too serious because we play bad when we serious. We all know that."

Question: What about Molk specifically?

Denard Robinson: "He's loose. He's loose on the field, and let us go do what we go to do, we know we can do it."

Question: Were there times this year when you were being too serious?

Denard Robinson: "Yeah. We kind of did that a couple of times versus Notre Dame and it didn't turn out how we wanted to, and then we had to loosen up a little bit and just do what we had to do and do what we're capable of doing."

Question: As a team leader, you felt that the team was overrated, do you make sure other guys know that too and they have the right mentality?

Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. Everybody in the locker room, we know that we have got to do way more work than we have done. Everybody knows that we didn't play a perfect game this weekend, so we got to keep coming to work."

Question: How is Brady Hoke at team meetings, is he loose and fun, because he doesn't always seem like that?

Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. He's a guy when it is time to get down to business, it is business time and when it is time to have fun, we have a little fun. So that's how he is."

Question: When you say he is business-like, what does that mean, is he firm or he intense?

Denard Robinson: "It's business. He's an intense guy and it is business time."

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