Interim coach Norries Wilson runs Rutgers Monday press session

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers interim coach Norries Wilson held his first Monday press conference, where he touched on Chris Laviano as his starting quarterback and the transition into game week against Kansas.

The Headline – As expected, Chris Laviano remains the starting Rutgers quarterback heading into Kansas. Laviano is 0-2 as a starter, but interim coach Norries Wilson spoke highly of what he did so far.

Wilson added that for any quarterback to play well, the pass protection has to be better.

“He had five sacks, and five sacks don't make any quarterback I think start to look at the rush more than he should have to,” Wilson said. “So we have to get an opportunity to get our guys in the best positions to protect Chris and stay in the best protections that will give him time to see the ball down the field.”
Laviano completed 72 percent of his passes for 593 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in his first three appearances for Rutgers (1-2, 0-1) this season.

“Chris is doing a good job getting us in the correct alerts when he's asked to,” Wilson said. “Being the quarterback, a good run game helps the quarterback. Good pass protection helps the quarterback. Being an accurate passer when he doesn't get flushed.

Worth Noting  -- Wilson played a major role in the Josh Hicks commitment to Rutgers. Hicks chose Rutgers because of his experience at a sleepaway summer camp. Wilson, in his first year as running backs coach, worked with Hicks for the full three-day slate.

Hicks, who wore an Emmett Smith jersey to his Monday interviews, received high praise from Wilson.

“He's grown up a bunch,” Wilson said. “Like a lot of kids from high school, who are not asked to do a bunch at running back other than run the football, he understands protections and he comes in and he meets on his own and watches film on his own and he wants to know. He wants to be a complete player.”

Quote of the Day – “I'll tell you the same thing I said when it happened at Columbia. That's probably going to be something for my children's children. I tell the players a lot: Don't be scared to be first. I don't like the circumstances that it's occurred upon, but sometimes like I said the other night, you have to do things because that's what the situation calls for. I'm proud to be here. I'm proud to stand in for Coach Flood who I have a ton of respect for, and I'm very happy to work for -- and I'm very happy to be here at Rutgers. Rutgers gave me an opportunity -- three people gave me an opportunity when I got fired at Colombia: Tom Coughlin, Joe Philbin, Kyle Flood. I interviewed for Tom Coughlin, and I told him that Kyle Flood offered me a job, and Tom Coughlin said, "Norries, you'd better take that job.” I'm happy he told me that.” – Norries Wilson on being the first African American to be a Rutgers head coach.

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