Question: What did you do with the team yesterday?
Coach Carr: “We were off yesterday and there is probably 3 times this year where we will meet on Monday. Normally those games were we play late Saturday night, we will give the players off Sunday. But the regular schedule is that we meet, watch film on Sunday and the players are off on Monday. But because there is no school today, the schedule will be the same as it would be if we were playing late Saturday night game.”
Question: Is there anything that stood out when reviewing the film?
Coach Carr: “Yeah. There are always things. But certainly penalties that occur before the ball is snapped, after the whistle blows; those penalties are inexcusable. Certainly, we had too many. We had some mistakes in there by young inexperienced players. There are always some communication issues in the first game. But we had far too many of those things and ultimately penalties before the ball is snapped killed drives, just as turnovers kill drives. So we had some drives stopped in there where we had great field position because we had illegal motion, moving before the ball is snapped, we lined up improperly. Then you add 2 good drives stopped because of turnovers. Those are the things that force you to miss scoring opportunities. Then of course when you break down the field goal protection part of it. I thought the 3rd field goal, the 1st one that was blocked, was a low kick that is what we thought on the field. But in watching it, it was a protection issue. So we had 2 of those and of course ultimately with the chance to win the game we did not execute a fundamental play, a play that we have worked extremely hard at all fall. So, that is the way it is.”
Question: Did you consider not giving the team Sunday off, just because it was such a tough loss?
Coach Carr: “I thought for a split second, yes.”
Question: Why did you decide against it?
Coach Carr: “Well, because I think we set a schedule, and we are just going to stay with the things that we believe it takes to win here, and I saw in the big picture, it was just not something that I wanted to do.”
Question: What is the biggest challenge of this team to get over the loss this weekend to make sure that they moving forward?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think any time you are coming off a great emotional win or a big disappointment you have got a challenge as a team. The highs and lows and sometimes it is hard to come down from a high and certainly, it is difficult to bounce back from a low. But that comes back to the character of your team. There is no question that our team faces a difficult week in the standpoint of being able to put a disappointment behind us. And yet that is really one of the great tests of athletics. You find out if you can handle success and then you have to find out if you can handle disappointment.”
Coach Carr: “Well, I am hoping that both of them can practice. We will see, particularly tomorrow when we go back into pads and see how they respond, but they are both close. Whether or not they can get ready to play this week, we will just have to see.”
Question: When you looked at films, was there anything that you saw from Chad’s performance that was either uncharacteristic of how he normally plays or did they do something defensively that took him out of his rhythm?
Coach Carr: “No. We dropped 3 balls, and we missed some guys that were open, and we threw an interception. So, you know when you do not take care of the football; it was a 1st down play there. Chad made a bad decision and that is going to happen. But to the degree that you can minimize those kinds of mistakes the chances to win are increased.”
Question: Can you talk a little bit about Dennis Dixon and what makes him good?
Coach Carr: “He is a great athlete, and he is a guy that starts I think with his mobility. He has excellent vision. He has a knack for finding the open receiver. But when you look at what he did on Saturday against Houston in terms of the yards that he produced either throwing or running, I mean he can do them both. He is a veteran guy. He has been around. He has been in big games. You know, of course they are in an excellent position with a veteran back up as well. So that quarterback position is probably as good as you can have.”
Question: Coach what did you think about the offense line after further review?
Coach Carr: “Well, I thought Steve Schilling for an opening game really did some good things. I think that he is only going to get better as we go, but particularly when you ask a guy that is starting at tackle and had very few repetitions in the spring and then you get into a game and you move him to guard; I thought Schilling did a very good job. I thought we had a couple of situations at the center position. We had a snap that went badly down there in the 2-point conversion. We had a couple of problems in the shotgun. But with those exceptions, I thought Justin Boren did a good job. I think Kraus and Long were very good. When you look at the statistics in terms of the running game, in terms of our pass protection, I thought we did some good things there.”
Question: Can you tell us about Ciulla?
Coach Carr: “Uhhh, no. I really do not know. We just have to wait and see how it responds.”
Question: Do you have any hints that maybe you were not, preparation wis,e ready for this game or maybe they had taken this lightly or were not as focused? Did you have any clues at all?
Coach Carr: “Well, I expected some communication issues. I expected that in terms of substitutions that some of those things are part of a first game, but going back to the spring we have had some issues on this team and it is not something that you know for sure. But certainly we had more issues on the field as far as the discipline that is required for winning football then I expected. So, we have got to get better in that area that is for sure.”
Question: Were you sort of alluding there the fact that you had more maybe behavioral issues in the off season than you would have liked and maybe that is a sign of a team that was not as focused as you would like?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think we have a core of outstanding people who are returning, who are motivated, who are leaders. But assembling a team, a new team in the fall where you are replacing veteran players, that is always the challenge. That is always the unknown. Because you really do not know until you get into the stadium and into the competition how certain players are going to respond. And any off the field issues that are distracting to a team and you are trying to deal with those, but they certainly distract your team. So how much that had to do with it, I do not know.”
Question: Your defense looked better in the 2nd half. What is the biggest jump that they have to take from game 1 to game 2 against Oregon?
Coach Carr: “Well, they have to play for 4 quarters. I mean you cannot give up big plays. You know when you give up a big play as we did… we started the game exactly like we would have hoped to. We took the ball offensively, put a great drive together, a drive that we executed, the passing game, the running game. We had a 7-0 lead and then we come back, and we miss a tackle that allows a guy to run a long distance for a touchdown. So those things that always impact the morale. I think that they unsettle you for a little bit. Certainly in the 1st half, we were unsettled defensively. I thought that in the 2nd half, we played extremely well. But again on the last drive, we had a couple of issues in terms of execution that allowed them to get into field position and have a chance to take the lead.”
Question: Coach what is your perception of your future here at Michigan after this past weekend’s loss?
Coach Carr: “Well, we have a game this week. So, I am trying to get prepared for that game.”
Question: There are a lot of criticisms about you questioning your future at Michigan.
Coach Carr: “I am not getting into those issues. I have no concerns about any of it.”
Question: Coach tell me about this loss. How are you going about handling the disappointment?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think that any time that you have disappointment, as a part of a team, depending on what your role is, you have to do the things that are necessary in your role. And, you know, we have had disappointments before, and I would say in the majority of cases we have responded in a positive way. That will be our challenge.”
Question: After all of the criticisms after last season and this game, do you feel the need to prove your critics wrong something?
Coach Carr: “Well, I do not think that worrying about all the things that are out there are part of the solution. Part of the solution comes from inside the team, from inside the program.”
Question: Even though Appalachian State cannot be voted into the polls that is coming out; if there was an opportunity would you vote for them in this weeks top 25?
Coach Carr: “The polls are the furthest thing from my mind.”
Coach Carr: “Well, I think who will be out there on Saturday will be dependent upon what happens in practice and certainly evaluation of game performance impacts it as well.”
Question: Talk a little bit about that Donovan Warren play?
Coach Carr: “I thought that Donovan Warren went in as a true freshman and did some good things.”
Question: What about Steve Brown?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think that he struggled a little bit, but he is a young player. He has got good ability, and I expect that he will continue to compete.”
Question: How do you decide between playing a young player that may be more physically talented and a veteran that is more experienced?
Coach Carr: “Well, that really comes down to the trust that you can develop as a coach in a young player. Can he handle; sometimes a guy is not ready. Even though he has the better physical skills in terms of the measurables. He may be faster, he may be more athlete, but in the end what you have to do is try to put a guy out there that gives you the best chance to win that day.”
Question: How is Oregon’s offense similar to Appalachian State?
Coach Carr: “There are a lot of similarities. The QB is a critical part of the offense in terms of the running game. You have got to be prepared for the option football. I think that they probably, my guess it that they will run a little bit more option than Appalachian State ran, but I think there is a lot of similarities. It is a spread offense for the most part. They are in the shotgun for the most part. I think there are a lot of similarities.”
Question: Is tackling better pretty much the key to slowing an offense like this or is there something more to it?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think that any time you are playing defense football, it is about getting off blocks and pursuing the football and tackling. Certainly, we missed too many tackles.”
Question: Appalachian State had a lot of success using draws in the middle of the field. How do you defend the middle of the field a little bit better when they are spreading you out?
Coach Carr: “Well you got a choice. Really it comes down to down and distance and sometimes your instincts when you are calling the defenses. The spread offense is exactly what makes it so effective. Because of the formations that you get, you are spread out and if you do not spread out, if you do not line up over those receives, then you create serious mismatches on the perimeter, where they throw the bubble screens and now you have got a skilled athlete out there in a situation where you have another wide receiver blocking a CB. So that is really the trick of it. But with the QB as a running back, from the standard offense, they really have an extra guy as a running back. So they may be in a 1-back set, but because the QB is a threat, they are in a 3 wide receiver with 2 backs in the backfield and that is really what it comes down to.”
Coach Carr: “Well, we will have to see.”
Question: You did not say anything about Mouton last week.
Coach Carr: “He had an injury 7 or 8 days, maybe 10 days before the opener. But I expecting him back to practice.”
Question: Everyone has feelings, is it personal to you when there is a headline in the Ann Arbor paper this morning that says this loss proves the game has passed Carr by.
Coach Carr: “I did not read that.”
Question: This being a headline is it hurtful to even hear that?
Coach Carr: “I would have to read the article first to really make a determination.”
Question: How is Mike Hart’s health and can you talk about the performance that he had in the 2nd half considering the thigh injury?
Coach Carr: “Well, I thought at one point, I did not know if he would return or not. I think he played like you would expect Mike Hart to play. He made some great runs there in the 2nd half. I think, you know, his injury we will have to see. I think that he will be fine. It is nothing major and yet we do not know how a nagging injury will impact the guy, how it goes forward, so we will just have to see.”
Question: Was Carlos Brown in uniform the 2nd half? Could he have played?
Coach Carr: “Ughh, no. There was no way that he could play.”
Question: He did come back in uniform in the 2nd half.
Coach Carr: “I was not aware of that. Emergencies.”
Question: Mike Hart sat out most of the 2nd and 3rd quarter, was it just him coming up to you saying that he wanted to play through the pain that allowed him to play in the 4th quarter?
Coach Carr: “Look. The trainer is the guy that makes decisions on whether guys can play or not. So, he got banged up early in the game and it stiffened up a little bit on him, but Paul came to me and said he was ready to go.”
Question: You said you thought Englemon played well?
Coach Carr: “Yeah, he did an excellent job and did a great job on special teams. I am very pleased with the way Brandent responded in that game.”
Question: Coach on the last block was that Shawn Crable supposed to go inside or was he handling the outside guy or how was the protection supposed to go?
Coach Carr: “Well you have to secure inside out.”
Question: In any way does this loss present a more difficult challenge in your career that you might not have had any time before?
Coach Carr: “This is one game. Hopefully, we can focus on that game as a team and get ready to play like we are capable and play like we want to play.”
Question: You said that your team faces a difficulty, but you know this team better than anybody. What does your gut say about how this team will respond?
Coach Carr: “I think Saturday, we will know a lot, but I think that sometimes it takes a while to put a team together. But part of the answer will certainly come Saturday from an attitudinal standpoint, from a confidence standpoint. I think that Oregon is an outstanding football team and you know, we have already discussed that. When you come off of a difficult disappointment then obviously there is a challenge there.”
Question: Coach outside of miscues and the penalties, what other factor do you think will allow you to get more consistency out of the offense?
Coach Carr: “Well, it all starts with being a disciplined football team. Being a team that can communicate on the sideline in terms of what the substitution situations are, communicating at the line of scrimmage, not having delay of game penalties, not having penalties before the ball is snapped or after the snap, because when those things occur, you are going in the wrong direction. So I think it all begins with that and taking care of the football.”
Question: What did you think from the film what Will Johnson was able to do in there and how he has approached this season?
Coach Carr: “I thought Will Johnson was outstanding in that game. I thought he really showed a lot of leadership skills late in the game. I thought he was a very, very positive force for our team on the sideline and on the field. You know that is really what happens, because Will is an extremely quiet guy and yet he plays with a real passion and yet in that game, he came outside of himself a little bit, and I think it motivated some of his teammates.
Question: Does it help preparation because the offense (Oregon) is similar to Appalachian State or does it make it more difficult because of all the decisions because there is not a lot of changes from what you taught last week or is it more difficult because of the way Saturday went?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think obviously when you are playing the same type offense, you have got some reference points. I think that there is no question that it makes it simpler from a defense preparation standpoint.”
Question: What does Brandon Graham have to do to see me playing time this year?
Coach Carr: “He has to practice better. He has to do the things that he needs to do.”
Question: What was your day like yesterday; do anything differently?
Coach Carr: “I did what I normally do.”
Question: When you look at the 1st half and success that App State running the football up the middle, did you figure out the reason for that on film and what adjustments did you make at halftime coming out for the 2nd half?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think you know they hurt us with the cutback play and sometimes that is because the backside LB is pursuing with a poor angle and not staying in position to make the play, where he is responsible first. It looks like the play is going away, the play cuts back and that is where the discipline of playing your responsibility is critical. I thought we did a much better job in the 2nd half.”
Question: Considering you said the last two kicks, were you said were protection issues, you were pretty happy with Gingell’s performance?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think he made two very good kicks and you know, yeah I think Jason Gingell looking at the film, you cannot fault him for those last 2 and certainly he made 2. For a guy that has not been in games before to go in there and kick 2 in a row in his first start is a very positive thing for him.”
Question: If the protection does not break down on the last one, based on the trajectory did that look like it needed to be on the final kick?
Coach Carr: “Well, that happened so fast, but Jason did feel like he hit it well. But I do not think that you can judge those just by looking at the film.”
Question: How did you feel John Thompson played?
Coach Carr: “I think he did some good things.”
Question: Is team speed an issue at all after the loss on Saturday and is that something that you and the coaches talked about?
Coach Carr: “No.”
Question: Were you surprised that they could single cover the receivers?
Coach Carr: “I think they did a good job there.”
Question: When looking at the tape did you think they’d be able to do that?
Coach Carr: “Well, they had a very, very experienced back end of the defense. Of course, they were well prepared. I think they did an excellent job.”