Head Coach Butch Jones Press Conference Quotes - Oct. 11, 2011

Oct. 11, 2011

Head Coach Butch Jones
Tuesday Press Conference
October 11, 2011

Opening Statement:
“It’s good to everyone again. We are excited to get back into game week preparation for Louisville. Going into the bye week, the office week, there was a number of things, goals that we wanted to accomplish. One of the many goals that we wanted to accomplish was improving on our inconsistencies that we have had throughout the first five games. You know from special teams to offense, defense to a number of little things, the small details. To be able to go back, it was almost like spring training football camp, practice a lot of the situational football that maybe our team hasn’t been exposed to since training camp. You know the bye weeks are an interesting thing because so much in football is based on rhythm, consistency and continuity and sometimes a bye week can disrupt that a little bit. The big thing is game speed reps and we are going to be challenged this week with a very good Louisville football team. When you look at them, you think defense right away. You know, 2.3 yards per rush, number 1 in the BIG EAST in total defense, 16th in the country, second in scoring defense with 16.2 points per game; very aggressive, very physical football team, very athletic. Obviously, offensively a ton of speed, a ton of skill, again very athletic and very tough and physical on special teams, we are going to be challenge this week.”

On Louisville being 2-3:
When you look at it, they have hurt themselves. A lot of it has been self inflicted things. When you look at them on film, they are extremely capable, and they are very talented with great speed. When you have to prepare for two quarterbacks in (Will) Stein and (Teddy) Bridgewater, I think that presents challenges to your defense. I think there offense continues to evolve. Teddy Bridgewater has tremendous poise, something he is doing a true freshman; he has high vision in the pocket, he can scramble, he can hurt your run in the football. Then, Stein has played a lot of football for them, a lot of leadership capabilities. You look at their receivers, they can take the ball and they catch a five yard play and turn it into a 35 yard play. We have to do a great job at tackling. You look at the three running backs that they have, you know, I have knew Victor Anderson, it’s like he’s been in the league for a number of years. I helped recruit him when I was at West Virginia, so I know a lot about Victor. You look at Wright and obviously Brown, so they have great depth there. Again their skill positions and then the center is a very good player. So again, I think they have hurt themselves more than teams have beaten them. It is just of a matter them putting it all together and they will because they are a very talented football team.”



On the defense facing Louisville’s quarterbacks:
It’s all about discipline. Its discipline on your points on the quarterback and it’s something we stress from day one. It’s just the discipline of the rush; it’s the secondary with their eye discipline and not coming out of coverage. So it’s the same things we stress on a daily and weekly basis.”

On comparing Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to South Florida quarterback BJ Daniels:
Yes, similar in that they can hurt you both running the football but they can also hurt you in the throwing the football. That’s where you have to be disciplined on defense; you got to be able to recognize the different formations they are going to give us, the different things they are going to do with the wildcat, with different things. Again, we have to be all on the same page and we are going to be challenged and everyone has to do their job and be accountable to that.”

On playing at Paul Brown Stadium:
“Obviously we are looking forward to it and you know I have said make no bones about it, we love Nippert Stadium. It’s the fourth oldest football stadium in America and we take great pride in that. It’s very special to have two home venues. Now we venture down two miles down the road to Paul Brown Stadium, we need everyone to come out and support this football team. We need to make Paul Brown a home field advantage. Like I said, we have a distinct home field advantage when we play at Nippert, now we need to make that same home field advantage come true when we play at Paul Brown Stadium. Our players are looking forward to it; we have practiced there a number of times, so we are familiar with the surroundings. But the football field is the same length, the goal posts are the same, so we have to go in there and control, we can control and that’s our effort, that’s our energy, that our discipline, and that’s our execution.”

On practicing at Paul Brown this week:
“We will practice, we practiced there a little bit last week and then we will practice a couple of times this week as well. We are looking on getting in there Thursday and Friday and then last week we practiced in there on Saturday. The Bengals have been extremely accommodating to us and you know we held the spring ball practice there this past year as well.”

On difference of game day preparations at Paul Brown:
“It is a little different. One of the things that has become a big tradition here is our catwalk. We’re going to look to do that again at Paul Brown Stadium, so there will be some information on our website. Our players have really grown to look forward to that. It’s a little different, but we stay in the same hotel and we try to make things as similar to Nippert as possible. It’s a home game and our fans and student body coming out have been outstanding in supporting our football team. The energy level is going to be big for us.”

On how much playing against Oklahoma at Paul Brown Stadium helps with preparation:
“It helps a lot. You’ve already played one game in that venue. They understand the expectations and a lot of things that went into the football game and preparation. So much is familiarity. They have that familiarity with Paul Brown Stadium now so I think playing there before will help.”

On how he feels about having homecoming at Paul Brown:
“It’s what you make of it. Let’s make Paul Brown Stadium the best college football stadium and atmosphere in America this Saturday. It’s homecoming. The great thing is more fans can come watch us play. More alumni can come back and watch us play – they’ll have the amenities of a professional NFL stadium, the private luxury box, great tailgating, easy parking, easy access. It’s what you make of it. It should be a source of pride and it should be exciting to go down there and play.”

On how much being able to play at an NFL stadium attracts prospective student-athletes:
“It does legitimize the program. Obviously we’ll have a number of recruits on hand. It’s critical. It’s all about first impressions. I said it day one. If we want to continue to elevate and grow this football program, we have to attract people to come out and watch us play. It’s critical, but for our perspective student-athletes to know that they’re going to be given the opportunity and luxury of playing in an NFL stadium and be on the same field as some of the great NFL players is a great selling point. We’re obviously very excited about it.”

On the BIG EAST:
“When you look at the BIG EAST this year, it’s everything we thought would happen when we were in Newport. Everyone is pretty much the same. It’s a week-to-week conference. There are no my-bads or off days. One bad day can take you from all your dreams and goals and aspirations and we found that throughout a very short period of time that anyone is capable of beating anyone. You have to bring you’re A-game. The conference race is going to go right down to the wire. The team that wins the conference this year will be the team that can persevere, handle adversity, manage their injury situation – you can’t have drop offs. The next individual that comes in has to be able to play winning football at that position and be able to do it on a consistent basis. What you see is the team that plays with the most consistency week-in and week-out is going to become BIG EAST Conference Champions.”

On who he feels is the toughest to beat in the BIG EAST:
“I haven’t had the luxury of being able to solely watch everyone in our conference. During the off week, I was a fan and it was great to be able to watch some games on TV. But I’ve been so focused on one game at a time that I haven’t been able to see each team play. You look at Louisville, they’re an extremely explosive football team with talent everywhere on the football field. They’re going to present a number of challenges for us. Our team has to do a great job of playing in space, tackling, playing with an intensity and a physicality to ourselves.”

On how he feels about the team going into BIG EAST Conference play now versus last year:
“I know much more about our football team. Being 4-1, we enter the BIG EAST Conference race with a  lot of confidence right now. This bye week, our players had to understand how we got to this point of being 4-1. We got here by playing with a hard edge and a mentality with a work ethic and leadership, team chemistry, not turning the ball over, taking the ball away on defense, not being a team that beats itself by untimely penalties. That’s been our formula of success. We talk about a gospel of Cincinnati football and how we’re going to win. Up until this point, when we’ve had success, we’ve followed that gospel. Our players have to understand how we got to that point. Now we can’t look in the rear view mirror. Everyone is 0-0. That’s the great thing about playing in a conference, everyone starts 0-0. Our non-conference is over. It’s going to be a great challenge. Our players understand the expectations, the accountability now, they’re holding each other accountable for each other’s action. So much of playing great team football – whether it’s offense, defense or special teams – it’s communication, the individual taking ownership and trusting in teammates. Right now, our players have done that. We will be challenged this week because of the amount of pressure we’ll see on defense. We’ll see a lot of man-to-man coverage and blitz looks. We’re going to see different things in their run game, wildcat package and their sprint-out and play-action. All that we’ve done to get to this point, we have to do more so this Saturday.”

On how this season is different from last season:
“This is the most humbling profession going. Two years ago, I said we’d go to BIG EAST media day and everyone loves you. Then you go 4-8 and nobody wants to have any part of you. What you find out when you struggle is who’s really in it with you. Our players can’t forget that. Even though we’re 4-1, it’s a long season. There’s a long way to go. It’s 0-0, but we’re in a humbling profession. Every week, half your profession loses. That’s why I say that the team that continues to manage their adversities and persevere will be the last one standing. That’s what we’re finding out in all of college football. That’s why when I stay focused at the task at hand and one day at a time, it’s not coach-speak. It’s really meant that way. All our energy and effort has to be on Louisville and when that’s over, it’s the next game. It’s taking it one game at a time. We have something to prove in our program. We have a lot of coaches and players that are very prideful, as does everyone. 4-8 didn’t mean our standards and expectations, but that was last year. Laying a foundation, and a lot of people don’t want to realize that there was as lot of foundation that had to be built, but we’re still continuing to lay that foundation. I love the workmen-like mentality of our players and when you have that, you enjoy coming to work every day. Our players enjoy coming to work every day as well.”

On how the team handled the bye week:
“I thought we handled our bye week with a very business-like approach. We challenged them. It was a very physical bye week, but also it was a time to heal up with some injuries and get caught up on academics. It’s improving on our inconsistencies that we had during the course of the first five games and improving on special teams and little things that we haven’t been exposed to, like our hands team, our onsides team, punting out of our own endzone, overtime. We practice in training camp and spring football, but when the season starts, you’re so busy preparing for your opponent. My biggest concern now is the game speed reps. We go play a Louisville team that has tremendous team speed and physicality. We have to start fast and it’s one of my biggest concerns this week.”