POST-PRACTICE: Dave Doeren (.mp3 file)
You ever do anything at Wrigley?
I did. I was privileged enough to sing the seventh-inning stretch.
It's been your first year since you played at home in a conference game at night. What do you tell your crew to prepare them for the environment?
They're excited man. They just want to go play, and obviously being in a great environment at home helps them. Some of them remember that game, but not very many of them. We've been in enough big environments this year. We got to do our job and not worry about the stuff we don't control.
How are you guys health-wise through the week of practice?
We're about like you'd think we'd be at this point in the season. We've got some guys that are beat up. Riley's probably a game-day decision. Nicholson, he's probably the biggest one that we're still missing. Frasier's out, still.
Other than that the guys that played last week will be in.
How was the Richardson-Prescod, right tackle development?
Yeah, they're both going to play for us. T will play guard and tackle, and will play tackle. They'll rotate, and we're going to need them. Those guys have played a lot of snaps on the o-line this year, and played some physical games against some good fronts. Having that sixth man that can play. That can go in there and help us will be important.
You mentioned earlier in the week that you felt like you guys were close. Is that more frustrating or encouraging to you?
Both. Year one or whatever you called it. When we were losing we were losing for a different reason. Now you feel like you have one play here, one play there, and it's different guys; and that's why it hurts so bad. That you can be 7-1 because you know that you're good enough to do that.
We just got to execute, and we got to reduce our errors. Play hard for four quarters, and make plays when we have the opportunity and not hurt ourselves. Anytime you're close it's ultra frustrating; but there's hope in that too.
I think that's the thing that keeps you coming back because these kids want to win really bad. So do the coaches. I told then now more than ever, you got to just keep fighting.
Have much interaction have you had with coach Sheridan?
I've talked to him on the phone a lot. My first couple years in particular. Then, with us wearing the diamond. We reached out to him. We sent him an autographed helmet after that game from the game; and he sent us a couple nice notes. First class individual, I'm glad they're honoring him. I think it's a great thing that they're doing.
What are some of the things he's been able to pass on to you?
The biggest thing is when you talk to former players. How much they loved him. I think all these former events that I go up to them, they say, yeah coach I graduated this year. I played for coach Sheridan. They say it with such pride.
He meant a lot to them in their lives, and that's the things. I mean, it's not x's and o's. It's just the relationships that he built were guys that you see... the respect he had.
What do you see from Dalvin Cook this year versus last?
He was great last year too. Last year he got a little banged up. I think it's sort of points to the year, and he's been healthy this year. He has everything. He is a strong runner, he has great foot drive, he can make you miss and run over you. Catch the football, he's a competitive guy, and he gets better throughout the game; and they feed it to him, and do a nice job blocking for him.
How much have you talked to the team about getting off to a fast start?
All we're talking about is executing and reducing errors. To me that's what we have to do to win. That's it. You got to find 1 or 2 more plays, and the only way you do that is by executing plays better; and reducing things we can reduce.
Playing fast is about knowing what you're doing and trusting yourself. That's what we got to go do.
Has there been a 45-minute tutorial on what a receiver is covered, and when they're not?
We do it every day.
That's been covered...
We'll watch and review every day.