“First of all, let me tell you that were extremely excited about being in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. It gives our football team an opportunity to go out on a winning note, to send the seniors out the right way, and to get some momentum as we go into the offseason. The practices that we’ve had up to this point have been really good and really spirited; guys have moved around really good. I think guys have been excited that finals are over and that they have an opportunity to play some football.”
Statement on Vic Koenning:
“For the last three years Vic has worked extremely hard and dedicated himself to making this defense the best he could make it. Last week he and I met, and we made the decision that Vic was going to pursue some other college jobs and other college opportunities out there. So it was a mutual decision. He’s not going to coach in the bowl game. I thanked him for everything that he has done for this program, he’s a great man, a great family man, great guy that cares about kids and does a good job coaching and I wish the best for him in the future.”
How will you handle the defensive coaching staff for the bowl game?
“The remainder of the defensive coaching staff will put the game plan together and the only thing will be different is that Dan Disch will call it in the game.”
At what point did you feel a change was necessary?
“I don’t know at what point. I’m not one that’s quick to jump to anything. I’ve been evaluating the entire year but until the season was over with and I really sat down and really looked at what was happening, and that was probably a day or so before I talked to Vic. We were all out on the road recruiting.”
Do you have a timetable for a replacement?
“I don’t. As soon as possible, until I find the right guy.”
Do you plan to stay committed to the 4-2-5 scheme?
“Do we have to be a 4-2-5, no I don’t feel that way. That’s going to have a lot to do with the next coordinator that comes here. But I still think that I am very committed to being multiple and get to various fronts from the same personnel base.”
You’d be willing to go with a 4-3 guy as much as 4-2-5 guy?
“Or a 3-4 guy. As long he can show me how it can be successful against the offenses we’re going to face in the future. There are a lot of ways to skin it. The scheme itself doesn’t bother me that much.”
What kind of characteristics are you looking for in the next defensive coordinator?
“I want a guy that is going to be high energy. A guy that is very positive and excited about coaching those guys and that is going to get 11 hats to the ball. That when you look at the tape you will look at that team and go ‘wow,’ those guys are having fun.”
On the statuses of Marquise Williams, Ryan Switzer and Lucas Crowley:
“They’re good. They’ve all practiced every day this weekend. I don’t remember if they practiced that first Saturday that we practiced, but this past Saturday and Sunday both of them have practiced, and they will practice today. So they’re moving around fine.”
What was Marquise’s issue?
“He had a lower leg contusion that he couldn’t push off of, but he’s not having issues with it.”
Is the loss to N.C. State a motivator for this game?
“I’m a firm believer in learning from every situation. Whether it’s good or bad you’re going to learn something. I hope so. We’ve got a bad taste our mouth right now that we need to get out. And the only way that we’re going to do that is to play well and win a football game. I would imagine that naturally that would take place.”
Were you waiting for your defense to rise up in the second half of the season this year like the it did last year?
“I was just looking for some consistency to spurt playing at a higher level and be more consistent doing it instead of in spurts and in games. We just never really achieved that.”
What was the biggest up and lowest down for this defense?
“I would say the game against Duke was a high point. I don’t know what the lowest point. I really don’t know that.”
If you make a change in scheme on defense, does that make things more difficult given that you’ve recruited to a 4-2-5 over the course of the past three years?
“I don’t think so. You’ve got guys that can play. Whether they are at the bandit or at the ram. A ram has been a guy that has been a hybrid that can play both spots. Whether you’re in a 4-3 or a 3-4 you’re playing so much nickel and dime coverages these days that you are using a lot of secondary people. So I think we’ll fit whichever way we go.”
Does that fact that teams like Pitt, Duke, and Georgia Tech play a power running game, does that play a role in this hire?
“No doubt. We’re going to have to do a much better job against those teams with what we do. If that means changing out personnel in certain situations then we are going to have do that.”
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