Monday Presser Notes

Coach Carr talks about the victory over MSU and the teams schedule during the bye week.

Opening Statement:

“I don’t that think offensively or defensively you could ask anything more of a football team than what our guys did last Saturday. I think that with the exception of one play on defense, it was an outstanding performance. And it was a team effort. That’s really what it comes down to. I was very disappointed in our punt coverage on one play and our kick coverage on the last kickoff. In both of those situations we were in position to have great field position. Particularly on the last kickoff we could have really used the clock and our field position to maintain control of the game. On the first punt return, Ernest Shazor did a tremendous job of getting down the field and he was in position to make to play. Instead of slowing down, he got there so fast and it was such a good kick that he ran on by. But Pat Massey made one of the great plays of the game because that ball is going back for a touchdown if he doesn’t make a great individual effort. On the last kickoff, we missed a couple of tackles and Carl Tabb made a great individual play to save a touchdown. I thought another key play in the game was the play that Pierre Woods and Pat Massey made on the fake punt. That gave us great field position and it was a heads up play. So we had some good things in the kicking game, but certainly we’ve got to make some improvement in that area of the game.”

On how the defense is playing:

“I think that for the most part we have played very very good defense. When I look at a defense I look for a team that is good against the rush. I think that what we did the last two weeks in terms of the yards that we’ve given up in the rushing game really makes it a lot easier to play football. We did a great job. I think we have a lot of guys that are playing extremely well. Our linebackers are playing better than we’ve played in quite some time. The other thing I look at in a defense is not giving up big plays. I think that we’ve done a very very good job of that with the exception of the one long touchdown which was really a communication problem.”

“My hat is off to Grant Bowman. He made an unbelievable effort to get ready to play in that game. What I like is we’re playing a lot of guys…a lot of young guys…and they’re stepping in without Marlin in there. I could never have guessed that our secondary could play as well as they have, so we’re getting great effort and great performances right now.”

On the team’s schedule during the bye week:

“What we’re going to do is see the film today. We were off yesterday. Normally Monday is an off day. We will practice Tuesday and Wednesday, which means we will stay in our normal routine. Then we’ll take some days off at the end of the week so that our players can concentrate on academics and get some rest. We’ve gone ten weeks straight here, that’s 2 ½ months, in addition to three or four weeks of training camp. I think that it’s a long hard season. If you’re playing really well, you hate to have a bye. But I do think that coming off of 2 weeks of emotional performances, it comes at a good time. Our coaches will spend a couple of days recruiting and then we’ll get back to Northwestern and our normal routine next week.”

On what will be worked on during the bye:

“I think that you’re always trying to work the phases of the game that you’re not playing as well in. That’s certainly something we’ll have time to work on. I think the key thing that you want to try to do in an off week, particularly form an offensive standpoint, is to maintain the timing. It is a different week and you want to be able to go back into game week next week without the interruption of your timing. That, I think, is the real challenge.”

On Willis Barringer:

“I think Willis Barringer is one of those guys that has really stepped in! He had wonderful spring and went into the fall competing for a starting safety position and played very well. Then he got injured. I think that injury, really as a young player, is not easy to deal with, particularly early in the season. And, there are always things that happen when you’re out…and it affects some guys more than others. But I think Willis really hung in there, and now late in the season is really playing good football. He’s a physical guy, a good tackler, smart, and I think he’s only going to get better and better.”

On Leon Hall:

“Leon is a very athletic guy. I think the thing that is remarkable about him is the composure he has. I don’t care what happens out there...he doesn’t get rattled! He’s extremely poised and extremely smart. This kid is really special. He is just one of those kids that you love to be around because of the kind of person he is and the way he handles things.”

On working with the guys who are redshirting or don’t play much during the off week:

“We’ll do some of that as well. It will give us the opportunity to coach some of those young guys and see how their development is coming along and give them an opportunity to compete out there.”

On Jacob Stewart:

“We’re hoping that with another week that he’ll be ready to go next week.”

More on Jacob Stewart and Marlin Jackson:

“The guys I’m concerned about are Jacob Stewart and Marlin. I think the chance is good that they’ll be ready (for Northwestern). But again, you really don’t know until you get out there Tuesday, and sometimes Wednesday. But I think we’re very close or it will be very close.”

On Chris Perry’s ability to stay healthy this year:

“I think it all started for Chris two years ago after his sophomore season. I think that it was a disappointing season. I think that for the first time, he really addressed the issue of his weight and conditioning. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t think that he was in bad shape. I just don’t think he understood at that point the significance of conditioning. Then, I think the bowl game on January 1st last year was another eye opener for him. BJ went out early with a broken hand and Chris played more snaps in that game than he had ever played. I think after that game he realized the toll it takes when you play that many snaps. To be ready to do that through the course of a season, I think he understood that he needed to get into the best shape of his life. I think he’s been able to endure and have the stamina to get stronger as we go. I think that’s a mark of his commitment to conditioning. And obviously he’s older. I think mentally he’s stronger because he has been through some seasons and been tested.”

On Quinton McCoy’s development:

“Quinton is one of those guys that has got to develop his strength and conditioning, but the last couple of weeks I’ve seen some improvement there.”

On the failed waggle play that resulted in a fumble vs. MSU:

“I don’t want to dwell on it. I don’t want to necessarily reveal my thinking on it because we might face the exact same situation again, and we might want to run the same play, but just do it a little bit better. I think they did have a good call there defensively and I think you have to give them some credit. The truth is there are a lot of ways to look at it. The only right answer is if it works. If it doesn’t it’s the wrong answer. Certainly it was a play that was there. We’ll have to see what happens if it comes again.”

On if the tight end was as wide open on the play in which Navarre fumbled as Mignery was on the TD play:

“The tight end was Massaquoi and he was uncovered. Risk and reward.”

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