Question: Injury status of the players, Brandon Minor in particular?
Coach Rodriguez: "Brandon is still day to day. His ankle is a little bit troublesome; it is more his shoulder. He's got a bruised shoulder. He didn't do any contact yesterday. We'll see if he does some today. Martavious Odoms did some yesterday, but he is still day to day with his knee. Junior Hemingway has had some issues with his back, so he is day to day as well. David Molk is having his surgery tomorrow I believe."
Question: Is Carlos Brown available?
Coach Rodriguez: "Carlos, he should be able to do everything this week."
Question: Tight ends have given you guy's problems this years at time and their passing game; Garrett Graham has had a few good games for them; how concerned are you?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah I'm concerned about a lot of things that they do offensively. They do a nice job. They play sometimes three at a time and they move them around. We know they are going to come downhill at us, but they do enough movement and trading tight ends and motions and things like that to try and limit what you can do defensively. It is a concern. Not only that, but they are big up front and have big running backs, and we are a small team. I'm sure they are going to come right downhill at us."
Question: What has your breakdowns been covering the tight ends; the same thing every time?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. We've had breakdowns. It's not necessarily a tight end; it has been a different thing every time. We had man to man on the back in the last game and didn't cover him. Some of those major mistakes are things that we can't afford, because we are not good enough defensively to overcome the smaller mistakes let alone the major mistakes."
Question: How different is this offense from what you've been seeing?
Coach Rodriguez: "It's quite a bit different from what we've seen really all year. They do a good job. They know if they try to impose their will on you, they are big physical guys up front, huge lineman, big backs, big tight ends. They do a great job of blocking on the perimeter. It is a different challenge. Our guys, I think they understand it. We are not a big team defensively. We're too small, we know that. So we've got to address that in the future, but right now our guys are going to have to play big and we can't get displaced in the run game where they block down and move us three to four gaps down. We've got to hold the point pretty well."
Question: Can you tell at Tuesday at practice whether guys have moved on; like did you see it yesterday?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. I've said that every week. We've had good practices all year. The guys have moved on, not just on Tuesday, but it has been on Monday. That's the day that we discuss the last game and then move forward for the next one. It has been a pretty resilient group from that standpoint. Having 11 straight now with no open dates, I think you have to do that anyway. I think if you had an open date, you can let it linger for a day or two more, but you can't afford to that with each game coming up."
Question: Have you had experience where guys got it in practice and practiced well but it didn't transfer?
Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah I've had. That's where you think you understand but every year I say that. I've had guys who had a great week of practice who never made a single MA (missed assignment) then in the game have a couple. It's hard to predict. You just got to keep coaching them. We just got to do a better job coaching them and make sure what translates…translated from the practice field to the game time."
Question: How is Will Campbell coming out?
Coach Rodriguez: "He's coming along. He's a true freshman. He's still learning to play. Technique wise, some of the things that we ask him to do with his hands, instead of just looking over and trying to find the ball to trust his techniques a little bit. He has gotten a little bit better each week, which is good. Will's got the type of size that we need. He's not playing nearly at the level that he will be in the future though."
Question: Coming off two weeks where the opposing offense really tried to spread you out, what are guys going to try to do from a linebacker standpoint against this really physical offense and are you going to make any changes?
Coach Rodriguez: "We might. It wouldn't be smart to say exactly what we are going to try and do scheme wise. I think our defensive coaches have just been trying to find the right guy. Not just the schemes that they are facing but just for defense in general. Guys that will play downhill that'll tackle well. Our linebackers are trying hard. This is a game where we are probably going to have to play quite a bit of them. We have not substituted nearly like I'd liked to on defensive. I said earlier in the year, we need to play more people and we haven't been able to do that defensively. This game, we are probably going to have to play more, because we know they are going to pound us."
Question: Why haven't you guys?
Coach Rodriguez: "We haven't felt comfortable. The defensive staff hasn't felt comfortable that the younger guys behind them are quite ready to play. We haven't gotten the depth, the quality of depth that we wanted to do and guys aren't quite ready and I don't think it is fair to them to really put them in there just for the sake of putting them in there. I think you can really destroy their confidence if they go in and are not quite ready. That's an issue that we've got to address. We can address that in recruiting but we really got to address that as a staff and say, how else can we get guys more experience, particularly when we play this kind of stretch that we're doing with the 12 straight games."
Question: How is Denard Robinson coming along in practice in terms of grasping all the things that you want?
Coach Rodriguez: "You know I sense a little something every week with him. There might be one play where he is really starting to get it and there were a couple of plays yesterday like that. I told him and Tate earlier, it would have been nice to redshirt you guys, as 90 some percent of the quarterbacks do in the country in their freshman year. The little experience that got this year I think will bold well for them in the future."
Question: When did you tell them this?
Coach Rodriguez: "This was probably way back in camp. I probably reminded them three or four times probably since then."
Question: How is Perry Dorrestein's back and if he is ready would he move into the lineup?
Coach Rodriguez: "He's better. Yeah Perry's back is better. I don't want to say that it is a coin flip, but both he and Mark (Huyge) will probably play at right tackle. We felt that Patrick Omameh did enough at right guard to keep him there and now we got a little more depth at right tackle. Perry moved a lot better yesterday than he did last week."
Question: Who is starting at linebacker?
Coach Rodriguez: "Don't know yet. I'm not being evasive, we really don't know yet defensively at a couple of positions until probably Friday."
Question: Is he more adept at covering a team like Purdue as opposed to…?
Coach Rodriguez: "Kevin (Leach) is about 200 pounds, where Obi (Ezeh) is about 230, so there is a natural difference in speed and those things. Kevin is a pretty physical guy and Obi can run pretty well. I think for us, I don't think our scheme has been finalized yet and I would anticipate both of those guys playing quite a bit."
Question: Do you think Brandon will practice today?
Coach Rodriguez: "I'm hoping. He did some things yesterday. He didn't do any contact things because of the shoulder. Again, I've not seen him yet today, but we got the pads on again today and we'll see whether he can do a little bit."
"It is not a situation where he can do any more damage, I don't believe. He's such a tough guy. Having a couple more days of it. Today, he will be very, very limited but he's got to do something in order to get ready for the game."
Coach Rod Wed. Presser: Full Transcript
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