Players Week 5 Press Conference

Sept. 23, 2013

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(On continuing to increase offensive tempo)
"The next step is just working. We've got to keep working at it. We've been in the system since this spring, so we've got to put a lot of work into it. Right now our offense isn't doing a great job. We're not doing a good job at all. That starts with leaders. As a senior, I've got to make sure that I direct guys in the right direction and lead as I can, so that we can help the defense out."

(On the offensive line matching up against Florida)
"I think that was probably the best D-line in the country. I feel like we battled. It was a battle, one of those SEC battles. In certain areas, they got us, and in certain areas, we got them, so I think it went back and forth throughout the day."

(On play where line didn't move)
"We're taught that if the guy jumps offside, you've got to snap it, and as an offensive line, you don't move at all. That's what Coach (Mike) Bajakian teaches us because they don't want any confusion between the refs on who caused the neutral zone infraction. We're taught to not move until the quarterback gets done and tells us `Chill, chill, chill."

(On Justin Worley's response to playing after being benched)
"I feel like he did well. He remained the same as he always has been even at the start of the game. When we were huddled on the sideline, he was encouraging us by saying let's go. In pre game, when he knew he wasn't starting, he was coming up to the line saying protect them. When he got in the game, he took control of his opportunity, and I feel like he played very well."

(On playing at Coach Jones' tempo)
"As an offensive line, our job is to protect whoever is behind us and play to the best of our abilities. We have to block, and we have to move just as fast."

(On recapping the Rajion Neal fumble)
"That was miscommunication. Guys were getting wrong signals from the sidelines, but things like that can be fixed. It was a bad mistake to have, especially in the red zone. It can definitely be fixed."

(On missing the block that led to the fumble)
"It was two different calls. The receivers had one call, the running backs had another call, and they gave the offensive line a different call. Everyone was doing different things."

(On noticing Nathan Peterman's injury)
"I didn't know he was hurt at first. I know he told me after the game that he was feeling kind of hurt after losing the ball, and the defensive lineman caught it. He didn't show any signs of it."

(On Nathan Peterman being able to bounce back)
"I talked to him on the bus ride, and I let him know that you are going to make mistakes. You can't let one game define your whole career. He is only a freshman, and I had to play as a freshman too. I let him know that you will get a lot of criticism, especially from guys in the media and stuff like that. I told him to put your head down and keep working, and when the opportunity comes again just be ready."

(On safeties blitzing more)
"It is tough. We don't have guys yet who have proven they can be playmakers. Everyone is watching our film and saying how can we defend them. If they don't see any playmakers, they feel like they can play man to man across the board at each position, and they bring those safeties up to make it harder for us to run. We need someone to definitely step up as a playmaker so people will respect our passing game."


(On Devaun Swafford interception and Jeff Driskel Injury)
"It was a play where I was just trying to get to the quarterback and affect him anyway I can. Unfortunately, I landed on his leg, and I didn't even notice it until he went down and started screaming. Really, it was just a bang-bang play. I was just out there playing football, and I didn't intend to hurt anybody. It was just a football play, and I've already reached out to him (Driskel) to let him know `get better.' It was just a football play, trying to make a play for my defense."

(On reaching out to Driskel)
"I sent him a message on Twitter just saying `I know what kind of competitor you are. I know you'll compete and come back even better.'"

(On Corey Vereen Saturday)
"he is explosive. We kind of questioned how explosive he would be after the knee injury, but he got it back. It is exciting to see because we could always use another pass rusher. i am looking forward to watching him this week. He has been progressing really well. He got his speed back, and that is something we could use on the defensive line."

(On his improved play)
"Coach Strip (Stripling) does a great job of teaching us that as a defensive line, we control the line of scrimmage by penetrating. I think we're finally starting to get it. We can really impact the defense by getting up the field and causing havoc in the backfield. We're really starting to take heed of what he's telling us to do and we're just trying to get more penetration."

(On if Florida game being one of the best of his career)
"I think so. It's kind of a bittersweet deal because we still got the loss and all of that doesn't even matter any more. I think Coach Strip is doing a great job of teaching. I think I'm getting better just by listening to what he's telling me to do, and I fell like I'm starting to progress a little bit just by listening to him."

(On troubles with third-down defense)
"I know for me, I saw the film yesterday, and I feel like on third down, we were really close to getting to the quarterback or even just getting in his way, so I think that as a defensive line, we need to learn how to finish the play as opposed to getting there and slowing down a little bit. I think we've just got to learn how to finish. Those little plays, we can really impact them by getting in his way, throwing our hands up in front of his face. As a D-line, that's something we need to get better at on 3rd down, just penetrating the quarterback."


(On improvements on defense)
"We have definitely seen improvements. We had a bad loss at Oregon. We came out last week and fought like we will always do. We came back to work that week and kept grinding. We kept communicating and emphasizing the things that we needed to do, and we got it done. I saw no quit in the defense. We kept going till the last play. I definitely saw improvement."

(On creating turnovers by getting penetration)
"Of course, it was Florida week, and you want that game. We knew it was our job to get a little penetration and help this defense out, so we really took heed to that. Before the game, we emphasized that, get off the field."

(On troubles with third-down defense)
"When the play presents itself, we've got to make it. Keep communicating well, and pretty much we've just got to make the play when the time comes."





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