The following are comments from the players and OC Dan Werner after the Grove Bowl game yesterday.
Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner: (On the game) I was not pleased with the turnovers the Blue (number one) offense had. I was pleased with the way the Red offense took care of the ball. We got the ball to a lot of different players, but we had some opportunities for more plays that we didn't take advantage of. I tell our receivers all the time that their chances don't come around very often so they have to take advantage of them when they get their shot. We had some drops that have plagued us all spring, but in the second half I thought the receivers did some good things and caught the balls they were supposed to catch. Up front, we didn't do a very good job of handling what the Red (number one) defense threw at us at times. I was disappointed we couldn't get more running game going because it's been pretty good this spring. (On Red QB Billy Tapp who threw for 3 TDs) Billy impressed me today. He took care of the ball and when receivers were open, he hit them. That's what quarterbacks are supposed to do. (On backup TBs Bruce Hall and Hiram White) We moved Bruce because we felt he had playmaker capabilities. He has not proven us wrong. We will need him next year. He's got to continue learning, but he's off to a good start. (On the offensive installation) We put in about 80% of our offense this spring, but we put it in quickly. We wanted to throw a lot at the team and get some film clips on everything we do. That way, the kids can study film in the offseason and work on what they need to do in the system individually. By August, they should be up to speed. (On the tight ends) I saw some good things today and throughout the spring. Robert Lane and Robert Hough aren't real big, but they are tenacious and they get after people. We want Lawrence Lilly to make a move in the offseason and in August - he's prototypical, but he's playing in flashes. (On QB Seth Adams) Seth had some nice reads and throws today, but he has to take care of the ball better. In his defense, he was going against the number one defense today and they came to play. My hat is off to them. They were flying all over the field and made it difficult for anyone on offense to get a lot going.
DE Peria Jerry: (On his spring) I'm playing harder now. I thought I played hard last year, but when I looked at everything I did in 2005, I realized I had to take it up a notch or two. My attitude about playing hard every snap is better. I didn't realize I was taking plays off last year, being a freshman and everything, but I was. I didn't do that this spring and the results were very good. (On playing DE) I can play DE or DT, wherever the team needs me, but I feel really good at defensive end. I feel more like an outside guy than an inside guy, but it doesn't really matter. If Coach O needs me at DT when fall comes around, that's where I'll play. (On his summer plan) It's all about bigger, faster and stronger. If I stay at DE or move to DT, I still want to get stronger and faster. That will be my goal and I will approach that just like I approached spring - all out. (On the DL) I like what (DT) Hayward (Howard) got done in spring. He needs to learn to use his hands better, but that will come. It looks like (NT) Brandon (Jenkins) has decided he wants to be in the lineup and has learned the same lesson I did - you have to give it everything you've got on every snap. We need him to keep doing that. (LEO) Chris (Bowers) had a good spring rushing the passer. He's trying to get bigger and stronger too. He's got time to do that. (On the defense) When we get P-Willie and Jamarca back and plug in a few of the newcomers, I think we will be very good. I'm excited about it. People think we are going to have problems up front on defense, but I think our front seven can be very good and our secondary is experienced and should be real good.
WR Michael Hicks: (On being elevated to number one last week) It's just another step in the learning process. It's up to me to keep the job and to stay in the WR rotation. I started learning more as the spring wore on and I made a lot of plays in the last scrimmage. I have to continue that. I don't think I am a finished product and I need to become one before spring rolls around.
WR Marshay Green: (On his spring) I'm excited that I'm a number one in my first college experience, but I'm not fooling myself. I have a lot of work to do. I really have to get bigger and stronger to hold up on this level. My speed and quickness are my assets, but everyone has speed and quickness on this level. I have to get bigger and stronger. I'm proud of what I accomplished, but I also realize how much work I have to do in the offseason to stay number one.
QB Billy Tapp: (On the 3-TD passing performance he had in the Grove Bowl) Our coaches called a great game. Everything they called seemed to open up. All I had to do was execute and take care of the ball. Coach Werner stresses taking care of the ball and that's what I did. It's been a difficult spring learning a new offense but I think we made progress at the QB position. I believe I am much better now than I was at the beginning of spring.
TB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: (On being the TB on the losing Blue team) It wasn't our day. That happens in football. Some days you feel it, some days the other team feels it. We couldn't do much with the Red defense today. We've been running the ball pretty good all spring, but today was there day. We've had our days too and that's a good sign for the team. It's good when there is real competition between the offense and defense and we had that most of the spring - we just didn't today. (On his offseason plan) I'm going to keep doing what got me to this point - working to get better. I have some specific things I want to work on individually, but it's all about work and getting better.
TB Bruce Hall: (On being moved to TB) I like it, so far. The coaches told me they thought I have some playmaking ability and they would give me a chance to show that. I think I did, but I know there's more to it than that. I've got to keep working, but there is light at the end of the tunnel that I can help this team in some capacity and I'm willing to do whatever it takes.
FS Charles Clark: (On his fumble recovery and long return for a TD) I had contain on the play and the ball just popped free. I caught it and spun out of a hit. It was clear sailing from there. (On the Red defense in the Grove Bowl) We were clicking today. We came out ready to play. When we come out focused and intense as a unit, we are tough to handle. We were focused and intense today. This leaves a good taste in the defense's mouth as we get into the offseason. We have a foundation laid and something to build on, I believe.
WR Carlos Suggs: (On his 56-yard TD reception from QB Conner Wise) I had dropped a pass earlier and wanted to redeem myself. I gave the defender an out move and cut it up field. Conner led me perfectly. I was glad to make the play and make up for the drop. I credit the coaches. When I came to the sidelines after the drop, they all told me not to hang my head and to keep my focus. That's what I did.
QB Seth Adams: (On his day and spring) I started getting comfortable in this offense and made some strides in spring, but I've got a lot of work to do. I didn't take care of the ball today like I should have, and that's the most important thing. I take my hat off to the defense, they were relentless today, but we had some good days this spring too. We aren't discouraged, but we are humble and know we have work to do.
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