"I respect what he has done. He has had a lot of success over the years. He has had number 1 defenses. The thing you always respect about anyone is the fact that they have a scheme, they stick with it, they believe in it and they thoroughly understand it. You know you aren't going to beat him due to him not making adjustments because he knows his scheme inside and out. You have to beat him playing really sound football."
How often have you coached against his defenses?
Although Coach Dunn didn't tell me this personally, he did tell a friend of mine that it is very, very difficult facing a Morris Watts offense because you run so many plays out of the same look. Can you say the same thing about his defenses?
"Yes, you can't look at many things he does and know exactly what is coming. You have to be sound in how you attack the defense. Some defenses you can look at and know what they are getting to because they are tipping it off. It is very difficult to get a read off of his defenses."
Do you have to spend more time preparing for a Joe Lee Dunn coached defense than you normally would on a normal defense?
"Yes, we have to spend some time because we have to make sure that we do a good job explaining to the kids what he is trying to do. The biggest thing is you have to be sound in what you do because he knows it inside and out and is going to make the adjustments. We have to block all the things he is going to do. So that we can be really sound, sometimes it limits the number of things we can do."
I know you have faced each other on the field. Do you know each other personally?
"A little bit. I have spent some time with Joe Lee at national conventions. I have never worked with him, so I don't know him as well as you do when you work with someone."
You said you have never worked with Joe Lee Dunn. Have you ever had the opportunity to work with?
"Yes, I almost came up here one other time. When I left LSU and went to Michigan State, I almost came here. Coach (Sherrill) talked to me about (the offensive coordinator job), but the deal I got from Michigan State made that happen."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.