Oct. 1, 2013
Tommy Tuberville Press Conference Quotes
Oct. 1, 2013
“New week, it’s kind of a new season starting we have had our non-conference schedule which means only wins and losses but now we are getting into our week of first conference games. We have been preparing for this, now going on nine months our guys are exciting about it, obviously coming off last week which was a tragedy and we all know that, it’s been very tough on everyone involved including our players. It was a tough week last week, we were hoping to get a lot more done, but obviously the situation that happened, I had the understanding of players and their thoughts in other places and rightly so. That situation gone through a week and now another half a week and now the only thing we are waiting on is Mark Barr and he is in serious condition in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Now we have to get back to work, we had a good practice on Sunday had yesterday off and today we will go back to the practice field and have our second practice for our first conference game. I know South Florida has gotten off to a slow start, they have a new coaching staff but they play hard, they have one of the best running backs in the country they have settled on one quarterback which what they didn’t do for the first few game, they play much better at times against a very good opponent in Miami (Fl) last week and were going on the road. Their offense is a concern and their defense is probably the best we have seen all year with the schedule we have played, they have a lot of guys that can run they recruit a lot of guys with speed from Florida and they have a great scheme and it is similar to what we do and so it’s been interesting to watch them and I know they haven’t had success but they have had some success in certain areas and at times in terms of moving the ball and stopping their opponent. Defensively just watching what they do have given us the opportunity for our football team practicing against us and giving us a good picture because they some of the things the same. There is going to be a lot of carry over in this game and what we wanted to get done in the open date and get ready for this game is go back and self scouted everything that we got done we looked at every player, every back up everything on special teams, trying to get everybody in the right position because we will play this game and turn around and play in a short period of time. We think that we have gotten a lot done we think that we made some progress going back to our last game that we played, it was obvious that we played very good defensively and very poor on the offensive side so there is a lot of urgency on the offensive side of the ball figuring out what we need to do are we doing things right, are we coaching right, are we playing right, are we calling the plays right and all of those things. So evaluating all of that and going in the preparation there will be a lot of changes on both side of the ball in comparison to our first four games, it won’t be serious changes but it will be changes in terms of trying to make this a better football team going into these eight games coming up. So our guys are looking forward to it, it’s something in college football that you get excited about when playing conference games and they all count the same and this is one out of eight and we will play the best we can and see if we can cut back from the mistakes we have made in the first four games, and become a more consistent football team.”
Q: You mentioned making some changes, are those personnel changes, or schematic changes?
A: Both. We’ve changed some things on both sides, on offense and defense. We’ve dropped some things that we ran in the first four games; we’ve added some things that we might have worked on a little bit that looked good in the first four games. We’ve had some position changes that we won’t talk about until after the game, on both sides. The main thing is just to go back and study the success that you had, and why did it work? Did it work because of what you did right or because of whom you were playing, and then you can get a pretty good read on your team. There will be some definite changes that youll be able to tell once we start the game and then some subtle changes that we’ll probably talk about after the game that you didn’t even notice. That’s what coaching is about. Tweaking your team as the year goes on. Get your players in the right position; we’ve had a lot of changes. We’ve had nine surgeries since we started two-a-days, and that’s probably double the amount that you’d have during a normal year, and we’ve got eight games left. It was good that we had an open date. Anthony McClung did not play for three weeks, after we played Illinois, he did not play and he’s back 100%. He is a guy that we have dearly missed. Shaq Washington had a very good game against Miami (OH). But having two of those type of guys that can make plays, keep them fresh. It’s going to be a little humid, a little warmer down in South Florida, so we are going to need both of them. But we’ve still got some guys that have not gotten back to the field that we were counting on, going into the season that are still lingering injuries, not in terms of surgery but just injury issues that have kept them out of practice. If you can’t practice, I’m not going to play you. I’m not going to put you out there just because you’re a good player, we’re going to play the guys that goes through practice consistently, that make us a better football team.
Q: How much have you paid attention to what the rest of the league has done this season?
A: I look a little bit at it, because again, I’m trying to learn, and I’ve watched film on the other teams, especially last week when we were off. We get all of the films; I kind of study that, as we all need to. I try to figure out what the other teams do, you have to prepare not just for the game coming up but the games down the road, the games in the future. We need to make changes because we are going to see more of this offense or more of this defense. So it’s been good, last week was a very good week for several reasons in terms of practice and recruiting. But that was the main thing, trying to look at everybody and get more of an idea of what we need to do for the big picture, not for the short term.
Q: What do you think about the performance of the other teams in the league?
A: You know there have been a lot of losses, a lot of teams struggling. I just look and try to figure out personnel, and look at how they are playing; I don’t worry about wins and losses. We are playing a team that hasn’t won a game that is probably as good as any team we have played so far. It’s a thing that you have to put out of your minds because you can’t control what other teams records are, the only thing we can control is when we play for four quarters; are we going to play well enough to win the game? So it’s been an interesting year, not just in our conference but across the country.
Q: You had hoped to get Benny Coney in the game last week and that obviously didn’t happen, any plan for him this week?
A: Well, we are down now to conference play, and we are going to play the best players in order to win the game. The ball is in Brendan Kay’s hand, if we have to go with him for the rest of the year, that’s what we’ll do. I would obviously love to get Benny some game time, but it just didn’t work out. We were very inconsistent in the Miami (OH) game to get him in the game. Sometimes good things happen to you after a game like that. It might have been a good wake-up call for us on the offensive side of the ball. We’ve had pretty good practices for the past couple of days.
Q: Do you feel like there is a more normal mood back to practice now, or is it still a process of feeling like it did in practice before the incident?
A: There wasn’t anything normal for the first four or five days after the car wrecked, and rightfully so. It’s devastating for all of us, and for many of the kids, they’ve never been around anything like that, they don’t handle it near as well as anybody else. But, it’s a learning experience for all of us, those things happen in life, and you have to be able to learn from situations and make yourself a better person in terms of how you handle things, and how they work out. There was a lot of grieving, and still is a lot of grieving going on with our team. It’s pretty somber, we haven’t had a lot of “rah rah” practices, from coaching or playing. It probably won’t happen for a while because, there’s still not a closure to the situation we’ve had. There’s still a situation going on in the intensive care unit over at UC. So it’s in the back of these kids minds, and we’ve had a couple of players who have lost friends over the last week in car-wrecks, not football players, but friends of theirs from high school. I don’t know what’s going on with wrecks and why there are more and more of them. I’ve spent a lot of time in the ICU over at UC for the past week and a half, and just the people that come in, the car-wrecks, the devastation, the gun shots and the things that you see, you know I’m glad I’m a football coach. I’m glad I don’t work in those places, I wouldn’t be very good at handling that day-in and day-out like those people do, it takes an incredible person to do that day-in and day-out, the situation was handled unbelievably by the people over there, in our case, and we do appreciate that.
Q: How much do you think this game, and just playing the game in general will help?
A: I think getting back to playing and competing will help, some people say that you need to play as soon as possible, and if we had a game last week it probably would have helped. I don’t think that it would have helped in our situation when you had the tragedy and then someone else is just holding on. It’s a different situation than I’ve ever been in; I have not known how to handle it. There is no right or wrong way, it’s just that you hear the old adage, time heals all. So we’ll just have to keep working at it and try to keep them as focused as we can, and remind them that this is a more serious situation than just a football game, what’s going on over at that hospital.