Coach O - 'We have a lot of football left'

The following is Coach Ed Orgeron's Monday press conference from Sept. 17.

Orgeron: Look forward to seeing our team today. Coaches watched the film thoroughly. Some of the good things that happened was the play of Mike Wallace on the deep ball. Really was pleased with that, the throws, the big plays, especially the punt fake. Outstanding job by Coach Freeze. He planned that and does a good job for us. We came back and scored a touchdown right after. That gave us a chance in the game. On defense the only thing we thought we did well was we eliminated the big play. Other than that we played very poor. We totally understand overall that our play was very poor, our planning was very poor, and our execution was poor. This week we will focus on Ole Miss. We will focus on our fundamentals. We'll work on doing the right things, tackling, being in the right positions. We'll work on our kickoff coverage. I thought it was atrocious. We need to find the right guy to do the right things there. We're going to switch up our schemes a little. We'll really, really work on getting our team better. We'll be positive. We'll be upbeat with our football team today. I know they don't feel good about their performance. Neither did I. Neither did our coaching staff. But we have a lot of football left. Lot of games left, and we'll get better. Florida is a great football team. What sticks out is the speed on their team. They're very well-coached. They're fast. They're sound. They average 55 points a game and only giving up 46 yards rushing. We have our work cut out for us. I know it will be a tremendous atmosphere. I know our guys will be up to play a great game against Florida. Questions.

Q: Talk about the tackling.

O: One of the things is our linebacker play. We'll continue to find the right mix at the linebacker position. I think we fixed a cornerback problem we had. Now we've gotta go fix an outside linebacker problem. Hopefully we can work on that this week, try a couple of different guys. We'll get that fixed.

Q: Talk about the offensive line.

O: Poor pass protection. Getting beat one on one. Not necessarily a scheme problem. I thought we were competitive. They had some blitzes and we had the right guy to block them but we didn't block them. Overall not a very good performance by our offensive line.

Q: Talk about the kickoffs.

O: We'll have to do something different than what we're doing. It's not working. It's all good schemes. You have to have a great kicker with this scheme. We don't have a great kickoff guy right now. He's not putting the ball where we need it. We need to try a couple of different things that's going to fit our kicker.

Q: How is Seth Adams?

O: I don't think Seth's going to practice for most of the week. I really think it's going to come up to gametime. We'll try Brent (Schaeffer) and Michael Herrick and see. Probably Brent would be the starter. But he's going to have to have a good week of practice. His consistency has gotten better. He's improved in the things that I asked him to do. And he's been pretty good so far.

Q: Talk about Florida's Tebow. Remind you of anybody?

O: Donovan McNabb. He's that type player. He throws the deep ball well and a good throwing motion. I think he's a great player.

Q: Playing against a QB like him, is this where assigments come in to play?

O: Assignments and tackling. We have to work on our tackling. We work on it every day. We have to simplify what we're doing on defense, get in the right spots, get off the blocks, and tackle.

Q: You mentioned about the fire and passion your team has to play with. We haven't seen that a lot. How do you get them fired up?

O: I really think our players are playing hard. I'm not questioning their effort out there. We're coming out with a lot of fire. We're just not making the plays. You can't kick the ball off and them start on about the 50 and they score. It takes a little air out of your team. We need to start faster and create some big plays. (Ole Miss) is ready to play. I'm with them in the locker room. These guys have fire. They have energy. They have desire. I think it's going to build when we start playing well. When you're not playing well, guys are little subdued on the sideline. We need a spark. We need to make something happen. Playing at home against Florida, it's going to be crazy. We need to make a couple of big plays. We need to make some turnovers. Get BenJarvus the ball in his hands. Be a little bit more creative on offense to make things happen. Just have a little more fun. I think we've been uptight, working hard on a winning season and going to a bowl. Each game is like a must-win game for us. We need to relax on that and go out and have fun and make a play and let the chips fall where they may.

Q: Do you think with Tennessee last week and LSU next week that Florida might be flat?

O: I hope. We'll take it. They're a well-coached football team. They know us. They understand. It's a natural deal. You play Tennessee and have LSU after us. I know all their coaches there. They're a very well-coached football team. I don't think they'd let that happen. But on our part, we're going to be ready.

Q: You mentioned not giving up big plays against Vandy as a positive.

O: We went to a lot more zone coverage last week. We played some three-deep and man to man against Missouri and got burned. We gave up a lot of big plays. We went more to a zone coverage last week with a four-man rush and had a lot more success. We are hoping we can build on that.

Q: Talk about how tough Florida's offense is to defend.

O: It's difficult because of their talent. They're really an option football team. Their (QB) is a runner. They're a little bit more run than most spread offenses. They have speed.

Q: This deep into the season, how do you turn it around?

O: We're 1-2. Last year we caught fire toward the end of the season and played well against some big teams. I expect us to do the same thing this year. Every week we have a new outside linebacker. We'd like to have a little bit more game experience there. We played with three new linebackers. They make mistakes. That's not an excuse; they're making mistakes. Hopefully we can get more experience and eliminate those mistakes. I am disappointed because they kept on running the same play at us and we couldn't stop it. We didn't tackle well. Those are the things we should control as a coaching staff. Mental errors on the coaching staff. We need to do a better job of simplifying our defense and give them the pictures in practice that they need to see. You can't give them all and you can't make robots out of them. We're going to scale it down and get back to the basics and get after it.

Q: Is this your biggest challenge as head coach at Ole Miss?

O: They look like the best team we've played since I've been here by far. Fastest team. Best coached team. They are very, very talented. But we're up for the challenge. It's why you coach in the SEC. That's why I came here. We'll be fired up to play this game. We look forward to seeing where we are as a team.

Q: Will you change anything if Brent is at QB?

O: Maybe a couple of different plays for Brent. We need to play to his strengths. Or if it is Michael, we need to play to his strengths. Looks like right now it would be Brent, depending on the week. We could put in a couple of different things. I know on offense we have to change some things a little bit. We're a little too vanilla. We have to change some things to get more production out of our offense. You'll see that this week.

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