Question: Any update on Tate's (Forcier) progress?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah he'll be practicing today. Yesterday he did a little bit, not as much throwing. We haven't practiced yet today, but he should be able to do everything today, we hope. Tomorrow, we'll give you the final report."
Coach Rodriguez: "Let me give you an update; earlier in the week we thought Jon Conover would definitely not play. Now there is a possibility that he will. So that is good for our special teams."
Question: The fact looks like Tate is going Saturday; I mean you don't have any doubt at this point that he would play?
Coach Rodriguez: "I fully expect him to be ready to go and do everything."
Question: Can you be more specific about Tate's injury?
Coach Rodriguez: "I don't want to get into specifics, I'm not qualified. It's just a sore shoulder. He landed on it and he would have probably done everything in practice but it was on his throwing shoulder. To rest it, so he could make all those throws today and the rest of the week, we limited him his throwing yesterday."
Question: How is Brandon Minor's health?
Coach Rodriguez: "It's the same. We rest him earlier in the week. He has to practice Wednesday in order to play on Saturday. He goes just about everything on Wednesday and Thursday's practice. Hopefully as times goes, it'll get to the point where he can do everything during the week. Right now, we really limit him on Monday and Tuesday, so he can be ready to go on Saturday."
Question: Is that a rule you have practice Wednesday to play Saturday?
Coach Rodriguez: "It's really not so much a rule. It is how they prepare. If they miss all the reps on Tuesday and Wednesday, sometimes a veteran guy like Brandon can have limited reps on Tuesday and Wednesday and he knows the office and he is fine to go. But if somebody doesn't do anything, you worry about there execution for on Saturday."
Question: Has Mike Williams been practicing?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah, Mike is good to go."
Question: Is there an update on the cornerback spot; the competition there?
Coach Rodriguez: "Still ongoing and it may be a game time decision. It really depends on the next couple of days whether Boubacar (Cissoko) or JT Floyd starts at the other corner opposite Donovan."
Question: Can you tell us the things that you've seen out of the two of them?
Coach Rodriguez: "They're competing. There is a lot of things that we have to get better at, but as I told the team every position is continuously competing and not just on Saturday but during the week in practice and I think our guys understand that."
Question: Do you see yourself playing both or whoever starts is going to probably…?
Coach Rodriguez: "No it really depends on who they play and the game situation."
Question: What about your special teams as a whole; are you pretty pleased with what you've seen so far?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. I think there have been some really good moments and other times where we were close to having some big plays on special teams. It's been solid and sometimes really good. As much time as we put on it and the emphasis that our players understand the importance of it, I hope it keeps getting better."
Question: Has Daryl Stonum developed into a bigger threat than you thought he'd be on kick returns?
Coach Rodriguez: "No, we were hoping that. He's got great speed and he was very productive doing that out of high school and knew he had it. Again, he is a second year player, as they get older sometimes some of the things that you hope to happen and things that they will develop comes to fruition and that has come on with him. You can see him get a little bit better with during camp and then he's getting more and more confident with it. He's close to hitting a couple more in the last ballgame. That gives you a huge lift when you can get that field position."
Question: Are you getting what you want from Greg Mathews at the punt return?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. A couple of games before, I don't know if it was a problem locating the ball or not, but we weren't catching them as cleanly as we want, but he did in the last game. He's got tremendous ball skills, so he can catch just about everything. Some of the things, we've gone after some punts and not gotten them. I think we've tipped one. Then we've had some returns where maybe we missed a block or two. Greg can do that and we're still repping Martavious Odoms back there and Junior Hemingway as well."
Question: How is playing against Greg Jones; what does he do…?
Coach Rodriguez: "He's a real explosive player first and foremost. He's always around the ball. You can tell he's a great conditioned athlete – he tackles. When he hits you, they get on the ground. Greg is a good football player."
Question: Coach it seems that this year the first salvo has been launched over in East Lansing, a lot of reports out there that the players feel that they are being disrespected (Coach Rod: Really? [sarcasm]); just your reaction?
Coach Rodriguez: "I can't control what they say and neither can our players. I don't think any of our players have said anything disrespectful. I would hope not. I think our guys…we respect their program and their players and what they've done. Again, we've always concentrated more on ourselves and what we do and how we go about our business and not so much what anybody else does in their program."
Question: When opponents say things like that; do they use that throughout the week?
Coach Rodriguez: "Maybe (laughter). I think sometimes as coaches we always trying to find something. But I don't think what you use during the week, whether you put a quote up or somebody says something, really has much relevance to Saturday. Once the game…you would think that all the athletes are so fired up and competitive that they are going to play as hard as they can no matter what. I think sometimes it does during the week, it maybe helps to narrow their focus, or helps their focus during the week in preparation. As a coach, I worry as much about that as anything else. Okay, how do we keep our guys focused during the week and how do I make sure that they are preparing the way they're supposed to prepare. Sometimes you'll put a quote up or something or something about a rivalry game or some kind of fact that you think will help with their focus."
Question: Was it a different trip because your not going on an airplane and everything, do you coach differently from getting up there?
Coach Rodriguez: "No not really and we've got that drive to Ohio State or Notre Dame and this is closer, so it makes it more convenient. The longer the trips are probably more disruptive, but even then we're fortunate to go the day before the game. Back in the old days, when I coached small college, you'd get up at six in the morning and get on a five or six hour bus ride and play an hour and a half later and drive right back. So this is easy."
Question: Will you walk from here or there?
Coach Rodriguez: "Friday, we don't normally practice, so we may go and walk around the stadium, but you're not going to do anything, even though the stadium might be empty there maybe somebody peaking through a window. So we'll have a quick meeting here, bus up there and walk around so that they can see the locker room, the stadium and maybe do a little Hoosiers thing. It is 100 yards and 53 and so wide."
Question: Just because this is the first road game?
Coach Rodriguez: "No we always walk around. This in particular because it is grass. They can get a feel for what the grass is like and where we are going to warm up and what side is our bench. It's pretty obvious, but we go through that. We don't even change into shorts of T-shirt or anything; we just walk around and then go to the hotel."
Question: Have you noticed that the guys are more focused this week?
Coach Rodriguez: "I think that they've been so focused every week I haven't seen a difference all year, even from the first game to the last game. I do as coaches we remind them sometimes, you understand how important this is to a lot of people. Our guys are pretty smart, so they understand the importance of it. Not just the staff, but they hear about this game 365 days a year too. I'm sure our upper classman have talked to some of our new guys, our freshmen about how this game is talked about not just this week but for all year and years to come."
Question: Have you decided if JT Turner is going to play at all?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. We're still repping him. He's getting more and more reps, as freshman, he's learning. I'm hoping that he'll keep progressing. If he keeps progressing as he is, his playing time will increase."
Question: Corner, safety or both?
Coach Rodriguez: "Corner."
Question: Talk about Tom Pomarico?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah Tommy has been really solid. He's done a great job. He's been very, very consistent. We're fortunate. Until we got done with the game, you're not sure, but Tommy has been even better in the games than we could have anticipated, so it's good."
Question: How much more did (David) Moosman work yesterday on snapping?
Coach Rodriguez: "Well, we do so much of it anyway that it has become natural. If we change even a little bit of his technique, a little bit more comfortable and some of it again was our quarterbacks. Sometimes our quarterback's eyes are not in the right spot, so they could have maybe handled some those snaps. So we've worked really hard on it the last couple of days, particularly in case it is going to be wet. So we did some wet ball drills with that so that they can be sure."
Question: What did you do technique wise?
Coach Rodriguez: "Just a few things. I'm not going to divulge everything, because maybe they shotgun snap. Really we just did for Moose, because he's a pretty good athlete, some of the snaps that were just a little bit off was his body position over the ball. So just making a few adjustments there will help. David is very, very conscience almost to a fault. So he'll get it fixed."
Full Transcript: Coach Rod at Wed Practice
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