What was the process involved following Saturday’s loss?
“We got back in Sunday and evaluated the film. It was bad; everybody saw that it was bad. But we had to go and get all of the corrections done. We had to learn from those mistakes. We put that game to bed and we moved on to Clemson Sunday night. When we went to practice, we were practicing for Clemson, and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
What right now is concerning you the most on the defensive side of the football?
“Let’s be honest. What isn’t right now? The biggest thing for me right now is to make sure that those guys are all right mentally; that’s the main thing. They have to get their confidence back and get themselves going again and play good ball.”
How do you do that?
“It’s a new day. You wake up the next day and you have to put it behind you. In this game and what we do, you have a game coming up this week, you can’t sit around and wallow in your pity. You have to move forward. That’s tough to do mentally, and it’s tough on the players to do, but they’ve got to do it. They’ve got to put it behind them. They’ve got to learn from it, and they’ve got to want to be better, and they have to work harder the next week.”
What kind of things have you revisited since Saturday until now?
“How did we prepare? What did we do the last two weeks? Was it too much? Was it not enough? You look at every aspect of it. Then you look at the offense and the defense; you break down the game. Why did we make the mistakes we made, what happened? Well, what could we have done to prevent that? What were the mistakes made? Did they not know what they were doing or did they not execute what the plan was? You do that, and you do it in all three phases. We did that from punt team to the kickoff return team. You name it, we did it in every phase of the game, and hopefully we get some things corrected.”
How did the injury to Jon Heck affect what you were trying to do?
“When it rains, it pours. You deal with it, and the next guy steps up, and you’ve got to play, and you move on.”
Some coaches say that after a tough game they will rewatch the film and hammer the film with their guys and others will say they are not going to look at the film. Where do you fall on that scale?
“Both. I’ve done both. It depends on the team, depends on the makeup of the team, and depends on the mentality of the team. It depends if there are things you can learn from what happened and if those are going to pay off for you in the future. It just depends. You take a lot of things and learn from all of it. Can we learn from this, do we want to rehash this, or do you want to move on?
How’d you do it with this particular team?
“We watched the film. It’s too early in the season, and there are lessons to be learned from that game. I’m sure nobody out there thought there was anything good, but there were some good things that happened in that game, and those guys need to see it. They need to learn from it. They also need to learn from the mistakes they made. We watched good plays and we watched bad plays and we compared the two. We tried to explain why this was good and why this wasn’t, and how do we get these over here to this side.”
A lot of people wondered what happened on the 3rd-and-28 in which ECU was able to score a touchdown on the play. What transpired on that play?
“I would’ve liked to tackle him somewhere along the way. It was 3rd-and-long, we were in man coverage, and they ran the football. Somebody got out of a gap, and the guy hit it and he broke a tackle, and everyone else is running with their receivers down the field, so you didn’t have any eyes on the ball. It is unfortunate, but it happened. There is nothing you can say that was good about that play at all, and that was a play that probably turned things for the worse.”
Do you think it is tough for your offense to maintain momentum when you’re changing quarterbacks throughout the game?
“Well, if I thought that, I wouldn’t do it. If I thought it was hindering our football team, I wouldn’t do it. I assure you that our offense - whether it’s the linemen, the running backs, even the quarterbacks - it has not affected them. It’s a planned thing. It’s not something, depending on how Marquise is playing, Mitch is going to go in. That has nothing to do with it. Mitch knows when he’s going; Marquise knows when Mitch is going. That’s all planned before the game.”
What is the best way to improve the tackling of your defense?
“What you have to do in that situation is get people to the ball. You can’t rely on one person to be there all of the time to make the tackle. It’s not going to happen in college football today. I can go and watch any game on any given Saturday and I can show you missed tackles. It’s part of the game, it’s going to happen. You have good athletes on both sides of the ball, but the key is that you have to have multiple hats there. We have to get more people to the ball, everybody running to the football, so that if someone does break a tackle, you’ve got someone else there to put him to the ground.”
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