Players Press Conference (Nov. 4)

Nov. 4, 2013

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(On full-contact practices)
"I just feel like you have to be smart about it, but at the same time, you have to realize that it is the only way to go out there and play as physical as you want to play. You have to practice it at full speed and contact. I feel like Coach Jones is going to be smart with it, and he will get us going with full physicality."

(On Joshua Dobbs' first start)
"I have been talking to him and letting him know that the offensive line has his back. He showed incredible poise and overall had great communication between him and us. I saw a lot from him on Saturday night."

(On watching tape from Saturday)
"The entire offensive line got together and watched the film. It was tough and disappointing to see our performance like that. We need to be leaders for our team, but we didn't perform to our abilities or what our team expected from us."

(On why performance was so low)
"I just feel like guys weren't ready from the emotional stand point, but I don't think the focus was completely there either. We had uncharacteristic penalties. Those are in excusable from the offensive line stand point."

(On what caused penalties)
"It was a combination of things. I can't give you an exact reason why we had those penalties. That is uncharacteristic of us, and it is something that we really try to focus on being disciplined in practice. When it doesn't show up on Saturdays, you know it will be addressed and fixed with the coaches that we have."

(On being back home)
"I think the team has a great atmosphere when we are at home. When we play at Neyland, it gets the team going. That is where our big performances have come this season. I think the team is really looking forward to play at home again in front of our crowd. It helps us too by playing these meaningful games in front of our crowd."

(On Coach Jones' message yesterday)
"He basically told us that we didn't play our brand of football out there, and we're not going to represent Tennessee like that. We're not going to go out there and continue to represent Tennessee that way like we did Saturday night, especially on the line of scrimmage. That's another one of the reasons for getting back to the practices, getting more physical, and everybody recommitting and focusing on this process, and finishing these last three games strong.'

(On why Tennessee plays better at home)
"When you're playing in front of that crowd, it's a lot easier to get your energy going, your emotions going, something for us to work on as a football team and as a mentality this year. Guys are more comfortable playing at home."


(On needing to be more physical)
"Playing in this conference is playing out of the trenches, running the ball, or the inside drill. This will definitely be something to help us prepare for our next opponent."

(On being back home)
"I think every SEC team has an advantage while playing at home. It is something that we need to continue to learn especially when playing on the road. As we push forward to the Auburn game, playing at home is definitely going to be an advantage to us."

(On containing Maty Mauk)
"He is a read-pass quarterback. If he doesn't see anything open, he will run the ball. The majority of the time we thought he was trying to throw the ball, but he was just looking for gaps and holes in our defense to run the ball."

(On Auburn's rushing attack)
"I watched their game against Arkansas at 3 a.m. when I got home. Auburn is pretty sound at running the football and that's something that we're definitely pertaining to this week in practice. That's exactly why we're going back to full pads. We've got to get more physicality in our defensive line play, and we definitely have to stop the run this weekend."

(On what makes Auburn's run game so good)
"They have a very talented offensive line from what I've seen. They're a type of offensive line that strains really hard, and they won't allow you to get off the block. As a defensive line, that's something we have to do better with is fundamentals and getting off our blocks, staying in our gaps and setting our points and having gap integrity like Coach Jones said before."

(On Tre Mason)
"He's a very good running back. I think he's one of the leaders in the SEC. He's had a few good games that I've seen. He's a good back, but we're not worried about Tre. We're more worried about what we can do as a defensive line to get ready to attack Auburn."

(On why Tennessee plays better at home)
"It's the support of our fan base. To play at home in a place like Neyland, it's always special. Neyland Stadium to me is one of the most special places that you could ever play the game of football in. I love playing here with our fans and the excitement we have on the Vol Walk. It just pumps me up to go out there and give my all for Tennessee."

(On the difference in Jeremy Johnson and Nick Marshall)
"From that aspect, he's (Johnson) more of a pocket presence, and the Marshall kid, he can definitely beat you with his feet from what I've seen. Almost an exact replica of what we've been seeing the last few weeks. A guy that, if nothing's there to throw at, he's going to take it and run, so with our defense, we've got to have gap integrity, we've got to have all of our points on the quarterback as a defensive line, and we've got to get better at shedding blocks. That's something that we must get better at and that's something that we will [get better at] coming this week."





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