Sam Webb: Your oldest, most experienced guy, Greg Mathews, he has played a lot of snaps here and caught a lot of passes. I imagine that you probably leaned on him and put more pressure on him as the older guy. What did you see from him this spring?
Tony Dews: "I saw a very athletic guy that has a lot of ability. I found that Greg was a very savvy, football savvy kid, smart. So I did lean on him; he is a good a person, I think, as he is a football player. I found out that Greg Mathews loves football and he is a competitive joker."
Sam Webb: Tony Clemons is a guy with similar size, and ability, but didn't play much last year. You guys played him in the slot. Is that a position that you see him staying in, is he going to move around?
Tony Dews: "I will always take a guy like Tony Clemons if I can have him, because he is an athletic kid, comes from an athletic family. I actually coached his older brother Wes at another school, but Tony I think is a swing guy. I think he could play both and when you get together here and we start our meetings, if he is the best guy at slot, he will play slot. If he is the best guy to play outside, he will play outside. He seems like he is smart enough to pick up both positions and obviously the more positions he can play, the more value he will have and more chances there to give him to play a lot more."
Sam Webb: One of the guys who surprised me a lot with how much he was running with the #1's this spring was true freshman, Daryl Stonum, he made some strides, picked up some weight. What kind of growth did you see from him from the day he stepped to here all the way to the end of the spring?
Tony Dews: "He progressed and progressed quite well. He showed flashes of what…he lived up to his billing sort of speak… and as he caught on mentally, he obviously got better. Everything is still so new to him. This spring with the off season lifting and going through a summer workout, he has given himself a heck of a chance to be able to compete to play in the fall. He obviously has a lot of talent and everybody else in the country recruited him, because he is a talented kid. He progressed. I think he has good ball skills. He certainly can run and in this type of offense. He will have an opportunity to play one-on-one with DBs at times and I think he definitely will be able to take advantage of some of those match ups."
Sam Webb: What would you say after being in this offense and being with Coach Rod as long as you have, what is the biggest misconception about this offense in your opinion?
Tony Dews: "That we don't throw the ball. That would be my first thought because I am often grilled on that one. But I think the best thing about the offense is that Coach Magee and Coach Rod…. the whole offensive staff do a great job of just the adaptation to our personnel. That is why we all got some butterflies to some degree because everyone is unproven still sort of speak. Certainly you worry about things, but I think there is enough experience in that offensive staff room to find out what we need to do best to be successful and put these players in a position to win games. The biggest misconception is that we don't throw a lot, but thing I have said in the past… like last year… when you are winning, scoring a lot of points and the game is in the second half you are up, you are going to do what you got to do to win the game and not necessary appease an individual."
Sam Webb: A lot was said about how close the atmosphere is, whether it is a family atmosphere or not here. What would you say to any comments about that?
Tony Dews: "I would say that we are a very close knit group of people, and I think the outside people wouldn't know maybe how he opens his door to us, as a staff and our families. People may not know on the outside that he knows when all the staff's birthdays are and all our kids. Our kids get gifts and birthday cards from him every year. That is something that the public wouldn't know and maybe he didn't want them to know…I let the cat out of the bag. My daughter turned three years old, and my daughter got a birthday card and a gift from him. I have been on several other staffs and other head coaches don't even take the time to acknowledge. I forget family member's birthdays (laughter)… and here is a head coach that has 105 kids that he is coaching or more every day, but yet he takes times out and he knows when each one of our staff member's kids birthdays, as well as our player's birthdays. He acknowledges those for those kids. I think that is a personnel touch. I have been fortunate to be to several places and held jobs, and there has not been one other place that I have been… and I have been around some good head coaches… but that is one thing that certainly is unique about him that I think goes a long ways, even with the players. I know, as a guy that works for him that it takes a long way with me that he acknowledges my child's birthday."
GBW Exclusive: WR Coach Tony Dews Speaks
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