***ANGUS MCCLURE ON MONDAY***
On what Eddie Vanderdoes will do while out:
He’ll be staying ahead of us in our preparations, he’ll study film for our next opponent while we’re prepping on our current opponent. It will keep him mentally in to it and elevate him as he studies for all the different personnel groups, it will make him a better football player. He’ll have rehab so I want to keep his mind in to it like we did with Owa.
On how they’ll replace him now:
It’s going to be hard to replace Eddie, we all know the type of player he is, the force he can be and he showed it on Saturday. We all feel bad for Eddie, he worked so hard to be in the best shape he’s been in. The plan is to use two guys, Eli Ankou, who is a veteran, who played over 20 plays on Saturday and graded out as one of the best lineman on Saturday, and of course Matt Dickerson, who’s been a steady backup here, and he played over 25 snaps. We’re going to use a combination of those two guys.
On what he’s seen from Eli Ankou:
Eli is one of the strongest players on the team, with great natural strength. I’ve seen him really evolve in fall camp with techniques. Now that his wrist is 100% that has helped him, but he also has great awareness. Being in the system has helped him. He told me on Saturday, he wasn’t thinking a lot. And you guys saw it, he was having a very good game.
On the type of players they are:
Eli is excellent versus run blocking, using his strength and leverage, and he does an outstanding job. He’s more of a bull-rusher. Extremely bright and a good communicator. Matt Dickerson brings a little more speed, a pass rush, and in some ways, they’re different and in some ways, the same. I think using those two guys in a combination will bring the best benefit to us.
On if this means Rick Wade will play:
We’ll see, Rick is still very active in our game-planning and split time last week with the traveling squad and the scout team and he was back and forth. We’ll continue to develop Rick. We’ll have him ready but we’ll see if we have to use him.
On if there is another way losing Vanderdoes hurts:
Yeah, we’re the guys up front doing the dirty work, and they don’t have statistics for that. Eddie was a physical presence, he commands double teams and allows our linebackers to run downhill and make tackles and anytime you have a guy like that, it will help your defense. He displays great quickness for his size. He’s just a physical presence that will grab the attention of an offensive coordinator and you have to have a scheme to handle him.
On if there is less margin for error with injuries:
Our depth is the deepest it has been in my four years. We have the ability to use Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Najee Toran inside, Ainuu Taua has had a great camp and he played about 10 plays at the nose guard position. Ainuu can certainly play the nose tackle position. We have guys who can play after Eli and Matt. There are guys who can definitely contribute and will see more playing time with Eddie not in there.