Troy Woolfolk on Safety vs Cornerback

The full transcript of Troy Woolfolk talking about the defensive bak situation, and about Illinois.

Question: How is your dog doing?

Troy Woolfolk: "He's doing good. My parents actually came and bought him a new cage, so he seems to like that."

Question: They moved you in the game to safety and then back to corner; how difficult a transition was that?

Troy Woolfolk: "I kind of pretty much remember the safety stuff, so it wasn't too bad. It was just the problem of getting into the mindset of scanning the whole field versus just the one player. So it wasn't a big problem, I actually liked it, it was fun."

Question: How many snaps were you at safety for?

Troy Woolfolk: "Probably a total of 12-15."

Question: Was that like a nickel package?

Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah something like that."

Question: What were you guys trying to do?

Troy Woolfolk: "It was like a third down package to protect the pass."

Question: What was the reasoning behind it?

Troy Woolfolk: "It was more to get more of the coverage DBs out there – actually, I don't want to say that. I'm not really sure what it is, but it worked, so I like it."

Question: What's the difference in trying to bounce back from that game as opposed to a game where you lost maybe by a play or two?

Troy Woolfolk: "That was actually really hard, because in the past games in my head I know that one play could have changed it. But this game, they just seemed to dominate us the whole game. They were just a better team that day. It wasn't a question of we could've won if we did this – we just lost. It is just trying to humble up and try get ready for next week."

Question: Is it still indicative of how far you have to go or is that overstating it?

Troy Woolfolk: "I wouldn't say that we had to go that much farther, but I would say it was an eye opener for us. We thought we would have played them better than that and we just now know how much work we need to do."

Question: What do you remember about Illinois from last year?

Troy Woolfolk: "I just remember they are really big and they play hard nosed football. The main thing to stop Illinois is that you got to play smart. You can't just miss gaps and stuff. You just have to play smart ball against them."

Question: If you are at corner what concerns you about Juice Williams?

Troy Woolfolk: "Just working on technique, just that you can get out of line if you don't have a good proper technique so that's the main thing right there."

Question: What is it that (Arrelious) Benn does that makes him so difficult?

Troy Woolfolk: "I would just say that he is a really strong and physical receiver. Most receivers try to shy away from press and that won't be a problem for him because he has a lot of strength to him. Just doing a lot of benching this week."

Question: Who is the best receiver in the Big Ten?

Troy Woolfolk: "That's a good question. I don't know if I can give you answer or not; hit me up tonight, I'll tell you. I have to think about that. I don't know."

Question: He's up there though?

Troy Woolfolk: "He's up there no doubt. My list probably be about him (Benn, Illinois), Blair White (Michigan State)…I was going to say Notre Dame, but they not in the Big Ten. They are pretty good. They got some pretty decent receivers."

Question: Daryl Clark (Penn State) said after the game that you guys looked confused on defense, a time or two out there.

Troy Woolfolk: "I don't think it was a matter of being confused, it was just a matter of not executing our plays. Like the one long touchdown pass to the tight end, somebody just didn't carry out one of the jobs and we kind of made Obi (Ezeh) look bad. So it was not executing our plays and that's what seemed to make us confused."

Question: Where do you feel like this defense is?

Troy Woolfolk: "I think we are a great defense, but our only problem is that we are not consistent. I noticed that against Iowa. We pretty much shut them down the whole game. It was just little problems of not being accurate with our playing. We allow people to score. It is not them scoring on us. The long touchdown passes against Iowa, somebody didn't cover that. They take opportunity of our mistakes versus just them driving down the field."

Question: You say that you are not consistent; how do you build more consistency?

Troy Woolfolk: "That just comes with practice. I think it is just focusing more practice of detail. Like coach said, detail is everything."

Question: Is some of the inconsistency in your defense or are we past that excuse?

Troy Woolfolk: "I want to say this far in the year we're pass that, I think it is just the players have got to look at themselves and look on field of the game and see what they're doing wrong individually to help us better as a team."

Question: Does any of it have to do with the fact that in the secondary you guys have shuffled bodies?

Troy Woolfolk: "I think that could play a role into it, but I think we all pretty much know what we're doing. We have a good coach, Coach Gibson, so I think he pretty much taught us what we do, so I don't think that would be one of the issues."

Question: Is there any consistency as to why of the busted coverage on the tight ends?

Troy Woolfolk: "That's a good question. I really haven't thought of that until now. Other than the Iowa game and the Penn State game, I think those are the only times that has happened. I think it is just a coincidence. I don't think it is a recurring problem that states that we are having a problem doing something."

Question: Does it make it more difficult for you when you're at corner that you guys are playing so far off the ball?

Troy Woolfolk: "Actually I think that is more difficult. If you notice, I press my people every chance I get. If we are in quarter coverage, I try to press because I think it discourages the receiver if I get in his face and get physical with him and it just gives me a better chance of being up close with him and bang up and make my life easier. So I'm not a big fan of playing off."

Question: So it is a scheme thing when you are playing off?

Troy Woolfolk: "It is more of our decision. Whatever fits the corner better. In man coverage, we can sometimes play off or press. It just depends on the cornerback and what they feel like doing."

Question: Greg Robinson doesn't direct you guys in man coverage how to play?

Troy Woolfolk: "He does but to a certain extent. If it's like a third down or something and one to go; he's going to give us the same coverage in early downs, he likes us to be comfortable."

Question: How much as defensive players do you guys see Coach Rodriguez or is mostly Coach Robinson and basically your coaches?

Troy Woolfolk: "It is about 100% Coach Robinson. Coach Rodriguez, he comes in and makes sure that everything is doing okay, but it is mostly Coach Robinson that handles (the defense)."

Question: You say that you know Daryl Stonum pretty well; is he getting a little more frustrated as the season goes along? Coach Rodriguez said that blocking on kick off returns hasn't been up to where it was at the start.

Troy Woolfolk: "I don't think he's getting frustrated, but he just needs to go out there and try to make more plays. I haven't really been seeing the blocking not being up to par like it was, but we just got some good teams out there. So we just got to get some better schemes or something, I'm not really sure."

Question: Have you tried to do any of those returns?

Troy Woolfolk: "Okay one time in high school, I was on kick return, because I was like the fasted guy on the team. I was always running to catch the ball. I guess my eyes closed and the ball hit my head and bounced off and the other team got it. Daryl, DC whatever you all call them; he came up here and he told the Michigan coaches that and they haven't ever given me a chance since. It's kind of sad (laughter)."

Question: Your eyes closed like you didn't have control over it.

Troy Woolfolk: "They closed, I don't know what happened. They closed. See I figure coach, you could get somebody to catch it for me and then pitch it to me and then I'll be gone, no one will catch me." Question: Have you had your race with Denard (Robinson) yet?

Troy Woolfolk: "We going to save that. It's going to be like our ABC. We'll get everybody out there."

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