Coach Pinkel's Weekly Media Address

Tiger head coach discusses his team's recent success,injuries and what he still wants from them with big week ahead

On Monday afternoon, Coach Pinkel addressed the media, with an injury update, and also answered some questions.

Luke Lambert has been ruled out of this week's game, and will likely miss another game or two, due to a knee injury. Aldon Smith is not listed on the depth chart for this week. Coach Pinkel ended that statement by saying "yet", then said that "we'll see". He pointed out that Aldon has been cleared medically to play, and that the final obstacle will be for Smith to go full speed at practice this week.

Coach Pinkel talked about "distraction control", when referring to how his team will handle the extra-curricular activities associated with this particular game. He emphasized that he and his team looks at this week's game as the next game on the schedule. He did, however, acknowledge that he has not yet beaten Oklahoma.

Coach Pinkel talked about how his defense has been playing.

"I feel good that our defense is playing consistently," said Coach Pinkel. "I think we have real good team speed. We're playing with a lot of confidence.................... There's new challenges each and every week. I think the greatest asset that we have on defense is that we really play as a team together well."

Coach Pinkel talked about how putting pressure on the QB helps in coverage, and vice-versa.

Coach Pinkel talked about Wes Kemp.

"He was struggling," said Coach Pinkel. "He was struggling at the end of two-a-days a little bit. We got in towards our first week of practice................. Wes Kemp was struggling, and he was struggling catching. But, he never complained. He's not like that. He's a great kid. He's a great leader on our football team, a very smart guy. What he did, is he just kind of buckled down, and got re-focused. And, he had some adversity, and he battled through. And, you could see clearly in practice, three weeks ago, that he was getting his confidence back.................... We saw it in practice, and then we saw it carry over into the game, and the next game, and this last game."

"What we've seen in games the last couple of weeks, is what we have seen, this transition, of getting himself back," continued Coach Pinkel. "That just says great things about him, dealing with adversity, battling through it, and obviously, making a lot plays for us, which will help us................. But, it says a lot about him................... He had adversity, and he battled through it, and he's a great team player. "

Coach Pinkel acknowledged that he had noticed that Blaine Gabbert appeared to be maybe a little more locked in leading up to last week's game. And, he said that he thought that Gabbert played very well, and that Blaine had played with great poise and focus. He also talked about Gabbert's toughness.

Coach Pinkel talked about Brad Madison and Michael Sam, about how well they are playing, and about how important it is to have such good depth at that position.

Coach Pinkel described Will Ebner's injury.

"It's called a dancer's fracture." said Coach Pinkel. "You can play with it. It's a small chip in the bone. You can't damage it any more. It's just painful................... He is a tough guy."

Coach Pinkel talked about his offense, about how the timing was better in the passing game, and about how well his QB had played. He also said that he still wants to run the ball better.


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