VIDEO: Mora on Thursday
We've had a good week so far. Our focus this week was becoming more consistent. I think they've grasped it and it's a constant process, trying to get better, trying to reach consistency. Some teams deal with it, we've had a rash of it, but fortunately we've found a way to win. This week, we have an increased sense of urgency on it. I get the feeling through the three days, they're focused. They have great respect gor Arizona and are excited for Saturday night and seeing if we can improve on what's held us back. The positive is we're 6-2, but the critical thing is that we improve and hopefully it pays off on Saturday night.
On how they emphasize urgency:
There is nothing that is important to winning and losing that we don't emphasize. Its just impressing upon them that it's going to take a little more, finding that next level. You're working with young guys, things have come very easy for these kids and now they're facing things that aren't as easy. A more demanding environment, bigger and faster players on the other side. Figuring out what it's going to take, 24/7, to reach what we want to reach. If you keep emphasizing and working on it, it will take hold. This generation is so easily distracted because of all the access to the internet, Facebook and Twitter. When we were kids, you had to think about stuff. Nowadays, they don't have to think as much. So I tell them to put stuff away and think about it. Don't go looking at your phone and looking at instagram. Its a challenge with this generation and I think they're doing it. Its gradual and you build it, and I think they're starting to understand it. I hope they are. You watch kids today, I watch my own kids, in the middle of a conversation, they're looking at their phones. We didn't do that. So that's a battle and I'm sure every college coach and teacher in America is dealing with the same thing. When you have a goal, you have to focus on that goal. Impressing on 18-19-20 year old kids how important it is. I haven't taken their phones away, I can't do that.
On if he texts them the message:
That's interesting because I do. I text them constantly during the day. I'll send them messages, videos, thoughts, and thinking maybe that's a way to get in there and they'll comprehend it. Maybe instead of going my way, we'll meet halfway.
On making the message sink in:
I think you keep the same message, but change the way you deliver it. I text them more or I send them videos that have messages I'm trying to get across because maybe someone else can get the message better. Some will think its hokey, some will embrace it. If there is music or messaging that they like, that's a way to get in there. I'm still working out this age group, and heck, Im trying to figure out my own kids.
On if he's changed how he approaches penalties:
We've emphasized it and brought more officials out. Before Saturday, we made huge improvements. But you put 14 down, if they were legitimate or fabricated, they still go down. A lot of that is getting guys understanding and gaining experience in the scheme. Improving technique. As you get a higher caliber athlete, you're able to see a decrease in penalties because they don't have to cheat to win. It's all those things. There has been improvements, though that's hard to say after last week. We always put a huge emphasis on technique. We don't let penalties go in practice. The stress of the game affect some more than others and the opponent and environment affect some more than others. If you're going against a good football player and he gets a step on you, you might do something you shouldn't do. So we step back and work on technique. Your footwork and hands have to be in the right spot, your eyes to. It's constant repetition. It is a process and it does take some time. We have shown improvement but last week was not good.
On how much the discipline of the front seven is important:
It's critical and really everything. We're not a mush it up defense. We have responsibilities for every player and every play and it's important they follow their responsibilities. An assignment and effort are non-compromising. We have to be demanding, but on gameday, they have to be responsible and have uncompromising effort. If we can get that across to them, we have a chance to make huge strides.
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