Coach Darnell Quotes

Following the Broncos 20-24 loss to the Northern Illinois Huskies, Head Coach Gary Darnell talked to the media in his post-game press conference. Coach Darnell talked about Coach Joe Novak and the Huskies football program, he talked about the responsibility of the coaching staff among other things.

"You don't like to have to do this every week, come up here. But there was certainly an outstanding job done today by Northern Illinois and Joe Novak and his staff. I think all of you know how I feel about him and their program. I think they have ascended to a level that they are a good program. That they are a good team also. They were able to take the game and make that one more play that we were weren't able to make. It sounds like a broken record but I can't tell if that story is any different than it's been in the past. As we work to try to change things and make things better, I know in my heart where it has to start and it's got to start with me and our players. I just feel like we cheated our players. There's to many things that happens during the game that keeps them from winning and I think at some point the responsibility has to go where it starts and that will start with me. I will try from this point on to do as good a job as Joe Novak and some of these other people we have played as they have done with their teams."

Coach Darnell talks about the false start penalty that was given to the Broncos on the 2nd to last drive when the Huskie Marching Band was playing through the snap of the football.

"I don't know. Functionally we actually had a guy move before the ball was snapped. That's a matter of poise. I just believe with all my heart that poise can be taught and evidently we haven't taught it well enough. I think we ended up with 5 penalties for the day but they are always in some critical situation and that's the difference…It's the statistics of living the life of a loser and we can't do that. It's when those penalties happen and it happened in critical times when we needed to not be going backwards. We needed every inch we could get and that didn't happen."

Coach Darnell talks about the drop off in the amount of offensive yards from the first half to the second half.

"I'm not sure yet. I think we still felt like the things that were there, were still there for us. Say on one of those 80-yard runs, that's usually one guy missing an assignment or something like that. Maybe that one guy showed up and so we didn't quite the big play. We just never really shook anything loose and I don't think we were ever able to loosen them up in the second half and as it got down to the end, that's what exactly happened."

Coach Darnell responds to a question asking if he has ever been through a tougher season with 4 losses that are all within 4 point games.

"No. No. No. I felt like going into it the possibility existed. But after awhile I think they're still a MAC team, Central (Florida) was a MAC team, Bowling Green is a MAC team, Northern (Illinois) is a MAC team, we're a MAC team, we're supposed to win some of those. I think we just are. Shouldn't be that difference."

Coach Darnell talks about the blocked punt.

"I really don't know on that one. It happened fast and our protection normally is pretty good. I really don't know because during the game I even asked the guys and I felt like I think that we think that actually a guy was just soft on his technique and slid by the guys fast and got back there. I don't think it was a blown assignment as much as it was. It just wasn't firm enough and maybe soft too. I think they twisted two guys at one guy in the middle and he just kind of glanced at one or the other. Still yet timing wise we probably should have still been able to get it off. But I won't know until I see the tapes on that one."

Coach Darnell talks about the holding call on the punt return.

"I don't know. I can't talk about it because I really didn't see it. It's fairly unique. It was a long ways behind him. Again, if our player did that, shame on the coaches. If we haven't taught them to play well enough to not do something like that, that is poor, poor coaching. If that did in fact happen we have really dropped the ball as a coaching staff."

Coach Darnell gives his thoughts on letting a golden opportunity go before halftime.

"Oh yeah. You got a third year guy (Antonio Thomas) catching the ball right in there and he fumbles the ball. Obviously we have not done anything as far as teaching that young man how to play football. So it's not his fault if he goes and takes and drops the football around in heavy traffic situations. If he is doing that then the players shouldn't be held at fault. Surely he knows better than to do that and obviously he didn't."

Coach Darnell talks about being hard on his self. .

"No. No. No, there comes a time, there finally comes a time, you got to look at it and see what it's all about. There's a matter of responsibility. We raise our players. We have the biggest players as far as young men and I think they do what we teach them to do and when I see them not play well I never look past ourselves and I certainly never look past myself. Because the way our program functions, I allow the coaches to coach and I lead them in the right direction and right now we don't look like we've been led very well."

Coach Darnell responds to the question of what it is going to take to turn the season around to finish .500.

"Probably point towards next year. Meaning we have to make sure everybody understands we are a good football team, we don't play very good. With all my heart I think we will be in the thick of things next year but we got to make sure that we work on learning how to play football better than what we've played. By doing that we might have a chance to win some games, but whether we do or we don't we will certainly be laying a base. We have to. There's a little bit of futuristic feelings amongst myself personally and even among the team. Sometimes, I know I have had to do this in getting a program going in the right direction, but sometimes you just schedule yourself about a 24 game season. I just feel like that is probably what's going to happen in this case. We've got a 24 game schedule that when that 24th game is over with that's what we want to feel good about. Didn't want it to be that way. We would have had to have some wonderful things happen earlier in some of those close games or whatever, but it didn't turn out that way. Truthfully, it's kind of a backhanded kind of thing but the future's now. If there's anything thing else that we will build on that's what it will be. When we play Ball State, we will play them for next year. We're playing them for right now. We're about having a program and doing the right things. I see that with these last four games what we will be pointing towards."

He gives thoughts on some of the younger players getting some playing time.

"…The older guys are going to take care of it. If we do a poor job of communicating with the older guys then we will find the group that we can communicate to and we will do that. But, I would not take away a season from an older guy just because it's their season. They deserve to get the right to try to participate and contribute as much as possible if they do it correctly. If they don't do it correctly then maybe we might find some younger guys to do that."

Coach Darnell talks about what he told the team after the game.

"I apologized to them. It was time for the to hear that. Some guy sitting there, feeling bad because he made mistakes, it's not his fault. They have to be handled better and if they are coached better they won't have to be hanging their heads. And make sure if we are only saying things that is only being 95% adhered to, what needs to be adhered to is 97% or 99% whatever it is. But that's your job in leadership. That's one thing, we're adults, they're young men and I'm pretty adamant in this world that I want the right people taking the responsibility. For this case I think that's us as a staff and more so not a staff. I don't get mad at the staff. I don't get mad but at one guy and that's just how we're set up here though. I've been given that opportunity to run a program that way here and that's the way we've done it and right today it's not working. So we have to fix it."

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