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August 8, 2010Larry Fedora Media Day Quotes
"Obviously, we're very excited about getting the season kicked off. We talked about it on opening night when the guys reported. It's been about 227 days since we put the pads on and hit somebody else. So it's been a long time. Obviously, there was a pretty poor taste left in our mouth the last time we did it. From the first day of camp, we're 31 days out from opening up the season and getting to hit somebody else and quite a few days away from the conference championships game. But, those are the things that we highlighted. Those are the things that we're thinking about. The guys had a long, hard summer and we're going to have a long, hard camp. But they understand what it takes. They all know that to be successful, who have to do the things that failures don't like doing. Those are the things we're focusing on right now."
On defensive depth...
"It's critical because it's created a lot of competition at a lot of spots. If a guy is feeling sorry for himself that day or he just isn't going hard, he knows that there will be someone to step in a take his job. So that's been great. Another aspect of it is that we know we've got guys who can play. So we can keep guys out or keep guys fresh. We got beat down as the season went (last year). There were a lot of times where we didn't make the plays that we were making early in the year. So it'll be critical for us this year."
On the wide receivers...
"We've got guys who are getting better. I've seen quite an improvement from them even in these first five days of camp. There are some guys who have made an impression on me. DeAndre (Brown) still has a ways to go. He hasn't by any means reached his peak. There are so many more levels that he can go to. We have to keep pushing him beyond what he thinks he can go. But we can reach those levels."
On the offensive line...
"We've got a little bit of depth, just not a lot of experience at the position. But I was pleased with those guys in the spring and I think they've grown a lot over the summer. That was the big challenge for them; to gel as a unit and be closer in everything that they do. I think they've done a good job of that. Now we'll see how it goes through camp."
On what freshman has been impressive...
"Alex Walters has impressed me. He's a guy who can run, who is really athletic and he's done some nice things out there. The way they've been rolling, it doesn't matter who's out there with the one's or the two's, they just roll through. So I've seen him out there and he's done some things. He's gotten beat on some plays, but that's understandable. But he's shown that he'll be physical, he can really run and he's athletic. So he's a guy who has impressed me.
On Jamie Collins...
"First of all he's a tremendous athlete. He's 6'3" and a half, 240 pounds now. He's got a 40-inch vertical. He can run. He's a smart kid and is just a tremendous athlete. So that's what enabled him to get on the field and play last year. Now moving him down inside to give us more depth in there and more athleticism just makes us better defensively. He's still learning the position. He's going to make some mistakes. But he can make a mistake and make up for it with his athleticism."
On the linebackers...
"One, I have three of those guys-Ronnie Thornton, Korey Williams and Martez Smith all have a lot of reps. So experience is not a question. They understand the defense. It's their responsibility to make sure that the defense plays the way they should play. Now they don't have to conserve anything because there are guys who can come in fill in and play behind them; guys that understand what needs to be done. I really think we've upgraded our talent with Justin Penn, Cortez Bowen and Allen House. They are three good looking kids who are anxious to get on the field and fly around. When you look at them, they don't look like freshman bodies. As soon as they learn it I anticipate them fighting for those jobs also."
On special teams...
"The biggest improvement we needed to make was in our kicking game. There's been a huge emphasis on it in the spring and what we expected those guys to do in the summer. Right now, you've got (Danny) Hrapmann, (Justin) Estes and (Corey) Acosta working on those spots. There's been some really good competition. They're doing a good job. So we'll have to see. You can do it in practice as many times as you want but someone has to do it at game time."
On Austin Davis...
"First of all, Austin Davis is the kind of kid where it doesn't matter if you're older than him or younger than him, you respect him. And those guys are drawn to him. He's a leader on our football team. He's a great guy to have at that position. Just knowing that he's back, he's healthy, he's 100 percent and he's competing again is a big deal. There's almost a comfort level with the team knowing that he's back."
On Martevious Young...
"I don't know how to measure it, but he has a comfort level with the offense now. When you talk to him and he answers your questions, you know that he knows what he's saying. When something happens on the football field and you wonder why he did what he did, he tells you and then when you look at it on film, that's why he did it. He sees te same things that we're seeing and that's a big deal with the quarterback."
On the South Carolina game...
"There's a lot of excitement with the football players. They're excited to know that there are 70 million college football fans and they are going to be watching them on September 2. We all know that everybody will be itching to watch college football at that time and our guys are excited to be able to go out and compete against South Carolina."
On the running backs...
"I'm please that we have those guys, but it's not my job to make them happy. It's their job to make me happy. I really don't worry about where the carries go. It's all about who produces. They all know on this team that it doesn't matter if you're a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. If you show that we're better when you're on the field then you will play. It's that simple. If you produce, you'll play. It's just like the real world. People ask me, `do you play your favorites?' You bet I do, because my favorites are the one's who make plays."