Butch Jones Weekly Press Conference Quotes: 11/13/12

Nov. 13, 2012

Butch Jones Press Conference • 11/13/12

Video: http://www.gobearcats.com/allaccess/?media=323309

Opening Statement

“Good afternoon. Thanks for coming. A recap on Temple, then moving onto Rutgers. Obviously you can go on the road and come away with a victory is a great win for us. The thing I like probably the most is we had one penalty the entire day. I thought we played disciplined football. Did not turn the football over. I thought it was a relatively clean game. And that’s what we talk about in our football program, about being disciplined. Our time of possession in the second half was much better. We kept our defense of the field. I though defensively, we said last week this time that our eye discipline and our overall discipline would be challenged. And it was, but I thought our kids did an outstanding job in terms of communication. Their overall eye discipline was very good. The first half we didn’t get off the field on third down. And we work so hard on getting ahead of the sticks, getting ahead of the down and distance game. Then when we give up third and 12, third and 15 first downs we can’t do that. I think you also saw a number of individuals, the volume of players playing more than we ever had especially on defense. I think that’s just because of where we are out with the health of our football team in the season.  We’re on the journey of playing ten straight weeks without a bye week. I think we’re really starting to see the lingering effects of not having any bye weeks in that particular time frame.

“In terms of the quarterback, I thought Brendon did a great job in terms of managing our offense. That’s what we ask of the quarterback, you have play spontaneously. You have to have great discipline. You can be reckless with the football or careless. I thought he played writing the confines, constraints of the offense. I thought he did a great job, made plays with his legs. He left a lot of throws out there, when you go back and watch the film. I think that’s just the maturation process. I will tell you this. I know how people talk. I think in society everyone is concerned with the end results: who’s going to be the BIG EAST champion, who’s going to play in the national championship game, what if Brendon Kay would have been playing the whole season. Well I’ll tell you this: no body felt that way after week three when Munchie Legaux stood in the pocket with the fierce pass rush from Virginia Tech and threw the ball deep to win the football game. I don’t believe in should of, would of, could of’s. Munchie Legaux was 8-3 as a starting quarterback. He helped us win seven footballs games and so I’m very encouraged by that position. But I want to make sure people don’t get ahead of themselves. Munchie has helped us win football games down here. People forget the 77-yard big run in first game of the season that changed the momentum of the game versus Pittsburgh. Going back to Brendon, I though he managed the game and gave us an opportunity to win. That’s what we expect from our quarterbacks.



“Moving forward to this week, a Top-25 football team coming into Nippert and very deserving of being ranked in the Top 25. They are the most, the most complete football team we have played to date. We talk about having synergy of all individual parts coming together and working as one. They have great team synergy, offense, defense and special teams. When you look at their defense, it is good as of a defense as we’ve ever faced. I mean that. That’s no coach speak. They’re giving up 13 points per game. They have 25 takeaways already this season. They have some great, great football players, a lot of senior players that have played a lot of football in their scheme. They’re very, very physical. They don’t let you run the football. Then obviously when you think of a Rutgers football team you think of special teams, blocked kicks. They have an inordinate amount of blocked kicks this year. They apply pressure to your punt team, your extra point/field goal team.

“Then offensively it all starts with the mentality, a mentality to run the football with [Jawan] Jamison. Great running back. Great, great player. He’s an NFL player. [Savon] Huggins is very good as well. Then I think the quarterback is having a very good year. Again what [Gary Nova] is doing right now is managing their offense. They have a big, physical offensive line. Again, when you think of Rutgers offense you think of their wide outs. The length out on the perimeter: 6’7”, ‘6’5”, 6’3. We know we’re going to get play action deep balls. They’re going to throw the balls up. They put you in a hard situation because if you play off, they just throw the smoke screen out there and let them get four or five yards. If you press then all of a sudden, they are going to throw the deep ball on you. So we have to do a great job of mixing up our coverages. So it’s a tremendous challenge, but also a great opportunity. We talk about playing meaningful games in November. I think people around here should be ecstatic. We’ve played football here for 125 years and with the victory over Temple we just clinched 14th, our 14th bowl game. You can never take that for granted. We’re in contention for a BIG EAST conference championship. Again I’m looking forward to being back home for the next couple of weeks. I know our players are as well. We have some great challenges ahead of us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

On Kay leaving throws on the field:

“There was one time when he held onto the ball too long and he took a sack. Other times it’s just going through his progression. I think it’s part of being antsy. A live rush, everyone coming at you, the game speed reps. Everything is accelerated. The spontaneous throwing with your feet. The functional intelligence, however you want to term it, but I did thing that at the end of the first half he did a great job in terms of not forcing the action. Drew Frey does a great job, puts us in position to come away with points. Were thinking seven, but in the worst-case scenario we come away with three. That was a great teach moment for him when he threw the football I wanted to see what type of decision-making process he had. He took care of the football. There were a couple times where instead of trusting your reads, getting back on the third step and pulling the trigger at times he was a little hesitant. I think that just comes with game experience.”

On Rutgers’ linebacker Khaseem Greene:

“Greene is a huge part of their defense. Co-Defensive Player of the Year. I know a lot about him. I had the opportunity to coach his brothers when I was a Rutgers. Comes with the family. Very passionate young man. Physical. Can run to the football downhill. He’s an NFL player. I think their defense really sets the temperament of their program. Their physicality. They have a number of players that have played a lot of football. They play within their scheme. They execute their scheme exceptionally well. Kyle Flood has done a tremendous job with that football team. They play hard. Like I said, most complete team we’ve played to date. Physical. They’re a top-25 football team and deservingly so.”

On Rutgers’ running back Jawan Jamison:

“He’s a competitor. Just like us, they’re in the hunt for a BIG EAST title. We fully anticipate him playing. Huggins too. He was a top recruit coming out of high school. He’s a very, very good, very good running back as well. Whoever is back, their offense isn’t going to change.”

On how much a boost he got seeing Louisville’s loss to Syracuse”

“I think it’s a great illustration for our younger players, for everyone, for even our fans is that the football season is a very long season. Everyone wants concentrate on the end result. That’s why we don’t worry about that. All we worry about is our body of work day-to-day. Coming to work and becoming a better football player. It may sound coach speak, but it really is. You can never waver from that. Anything and everything can happen. So, was it a surprise? No. Louisville is a great football team as well. That’s why you keep playing. To be sitting here, our expectations are far greater than just going to bowl games. It is contending for BIG EAST conference championships, winning bowl games and getting to the point where we can content for a national championship.  That’s what we’re here for. But I think to have seven wins and to have clenched our 14th bowl berth in our program’s history is big. It’s big for our seniors. Now we continue to grow. Before you get goal two, you have to accomplish goal one. I think this is a great illustration. That’s why you play the games. It’s a long season and you don’t get caught up with the outside noise and distractions. You just keep working.”

On if he thinks this will energize people outside the program:

“Absolutely. It’s all about winning championships. Make no mistake about it. To say you’re number one, to say you’re the best. We’re all competitors. We talk about being great competitors with great competitive spirits and drives. That’s what it’s all about. Again these last three games are playoff games. We said it two weeks prior to today. We’re starting a five game playoff. Well now we’re down to four, now we’re down to three. That’s why we need everyone’s support. Come out at noon. Not just at the game, but at the Catwalk. Be there. I think our players have earned the right to play in front of a solid out stadium. What more could you want for? It’s gon’ be a great day against a great, great team and a great challenge.”

On how UC’s threat of the deep ball opens up the running game:

“Well it does. We have great confidence in the game ball. The deep ball breeds confidence in our players as well. Chris Moore right now is playing with a ton of confidence and he starting to play; like the young man we recruited out of Tampa, Tampa Jefferson. He plays a deep ball exceptionally well, he has good speed and he is just really maturing as a redshirt freshman. Now that there is more competition to that unit, our players have great confidence in that and those two deep balls that we competed on Saturday were big momentum plays. Chris’ in particular because we in a rut and out of rhythm and scored to make it 24-10; they have all the momentum going and their energy could be felt and then all of the suddenly like a veteran team should when we are on the road pulled out a big momentum play and I thought that was really one of those four-six plays that we talk about that mean the difference between winning and losing.”

On the health of UC’s defensive backs:

“They all came back. Trenier Orr is still out and will be out for an indefinite period of time. Aaron came away and is actually getting healthier. I thought Drew Fry played his best game to date; was very consistent. Injuries are a part of football and there are three weeks to go and that is just the way it is, that’s football; it’s a physical game, mentally and physically challenging and that is the way it’s going to be from here on out until after the bowl game.”

On the matchup challenge Rutgers' wideouts present:

“Tremendous of matchup challenge and like I stated earlier, they do a great job of playing their strengths. If you play off they get a little smoke screen with one on one, run you over. It’s like a run play, four or five yards. If you press you are getting a deep ball so we have to do a great job mixing up our coverage’s and its going to be a challenge and they’ve had success against every team they have played., They are very talented and skilled and its going to be great challenge.”

On why the Bearcats have not had as many takeaways:

“It’s a combination of a lot of things. First of all it’s what we call blind tackles; blind pursuit. [Nick] Temple did an outstanding job last week with their blind pursuit and blind tackle coming in and trying to pry the ball open in what we call the lawnmower. Our players showed tremendous discipline in taking care of the football because it was challenging last week; A number of things likes winning one on one matchup up front, having blind side tackles, blind pursuit. Its overall an awareness of first guy make the tackle, second third and fourth guy work in the strip which is something we work at every day. The velocity of hits the way we use the term called ‘stick your face in the fan’, making the most of your opportunities. I thought we had a chance probably three more interceptions on Saturday may have been difficult catches but to win a championship we need to make those plays. Its mot one particular things, it’s a combination of a lot of little things. As we know, the little things add up to big things.”

On impacting the quarterback:

“Every week, we have to find a way to impact the quarterback because it all starts with him. They do a great job at protecting Gary. He can sit back and they haven’t given up very many sacs. We are one and two in the big east conference for the least amount of sacs and I believe they are number one now. They do a great job with it. A throw game is based off of rhythms, basing and timing and they do a great job with their throw game in terms of being rhythm oriented but we do; if we let him sit back and relax in the pocket and have all day to throw with the talent that they have on the perimeter, its going to be a long day. We have to win the line of scrimmage and I know Kyle is telling his football team the same things. Football at the end of the day is about fundamentals, winning one of those matchups and it’s a line of scrimmage football game and this game is going to be one of those games.”

On what UC students bring to Nippert:

“Our students and our fan base bring in energy. I believe Nippert is one of the best venues in all of college football and its right here and we need to take advantage of it. Our student body has been amazing and our fans have been outstanding but going back to really supporting this football team is having an opportunity to win and our fans dictate a lot and help us win and provide momentum, energy, spark, great home foiled advantage and when we are playing a team as talented at Rutgers, you need every advantage you can get.”

On if he feels a burden or responsibility to get people into the stands:

“First and foremost I am the caretaker of Cincinnati football and in my opinion I am responsible for everything including getting fans in the seats and you are exactly right because its starts with the product who they wants to be proud of what they represent and I will tell you this, our players represent this institution, this city, this football program in a first class manner in all that we do and so I am proud of them that way but yes, I’ll do anything and everything to get fans out the Nippert. It’s a pride again with everything that we have and we have a great menu. But again they have been tremendous and you know me by now, I’ll do whatever it takes. The great thing about being the head football coach is you get to paint the vision of everything. Playing in front of sold out crowds as we continue to grow and elevate this program that is one of my vision and e will get it done. Every game at one point of stage in our football program will be sold out. Right now, we are embarking on the greatest era of Cincinnati football and that is what people need to realize. Ten to fifteen years ago we may not have been having this conversation but looking at the era we are in, surrounding Cincinnati football; we are on the national stage. Here’s the other thing that [people don’t realize, when we show up at 12 o’clock noon on Saturday we have an inordinate amount of bowl representatives there, making judgments about our crowds, fans support, how they interact with our team, how we play. It is a great opportunity for this community and then looking at not getting ahead of myself but ESPN comes in and we are on primetime ESPN at 7 p.m. next Friday night versus South Florida. Again, talking about our Chamber of Commerce and selling our city and institution, our fans, we couldn’t ask for anything better and that is where our football program is right now. We are in the greatest era of Cincinnati football.”

On sophomore linebacker Nick Temple:

“Perseverance. Especially with younger players, the grind of a football season; these individuals yeah we started training camp in august but you forget we started the bowl victory over Vanderbilt, they had literally two days off and Boom, we are right into our winter strength and conditioning program to strengthen our football players. Then we have two weeks off in the summer, then august and then a grind of a football season playing ten straight weeks of football without a bi-week. The resiliency and resolve that I continue to talk about this football team and Nick Temple is one of those individuals in terms of our special teams, defense. He has really benefited from that experience last year and learning from individuals like JK Schaffer. He is explosive. He plays behind his pads, very intelligent, has a work ethic and again has a great championship character, competitive character and comes from a great high school football program and warrant central out of Indianapolis are used to winning so he had that pedigree and had that in his DNA walking in here. I am excited to have him back from a few more years and I’m glad he is on our football team.”