Head Coach Rich Ellerson Press Conference Quotes

Rich Ellerson

Rich Ellerson

Sept. 30, 2013

The following quotes have been excerpted from Army head football coach Rich Ellerson’s press conference, held Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in the Randall Hall auditorium.

Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref,: opening statement)
“A very different challenge in Boston College then what we’ve seen the last two weeks. Offensively, they look like more of a Stanford team in terms of how they approach the game. In that week before the Stanford game, I had talked about how the personality of that program has evolved and developed into an offensive force over the past year, and I think that Steve (Addazio) has done the same thing at Boston College in a matter of months. They are a different football team. They are much more aggressive and much more physical, and really that’s an emphasis of his. The guys have embraced that. You are going to see I-backs, you are going to see power football, and you are going to see three, four-man surfaces, and two to three tight ends in the game. They still have a really established throwing game. It’s going to be somewhat of a challenge for us defensively. Defensively, they are very active on the second level. Again, they are a good defensive line like what we’ve been seeing every week. This bunch establishes themselves on the second row and are really active guys. We really don’t know what we are going to get because it’s a new coaching staff. Typically, we will have to prepare generically.”

(Ref.: on the Boston College offense matchup)
“We can’t get into a scoring race with them. We are going to have to compete against them from a defensive standpoint. We are going to have to get some stops, and clearly on offense, we are going to have to hold onto the ball. We are going to have to be productive with the football. Again, when you think about taking advantage of scoring opportunities, they were efficient in the red-zone area, which they’ve done all year. The style of play, those big tight-ends, the three, four and five men surfaces, putting in some unbalanced formations and making it tough to get lined up and then coming off the ball and assaulting you, not a lot of folks are doing that. Florida State hadn’t seen that, and if you don’t do that offensively it is hard to simulate that kind of football, just like it’s hard to simulate what we do sometimes. But that helps your defense because your defense has to share a practice environment with the offense that comes off the ball by striking you. It makes the defense bend its knees and push back. I think that the whole team has taken on a bit of an edge. It’s a lot of the same guys we faced a year ago but they’re playing with an absolute edge.”

(Ref.: using a lot of backs and still not turning the ball over)
“It’s hard to be a team that doesn’t turn the ball over, especially a team that has our style of play. I would argue that Terry (Baggett), Larry (Dixon) and Angel (Santiago) are our backs. We had a lot of other guys touching the ball, but if I didn’t trust them with the ball they wouldn’t be out there. It certainly validates what we are doing out there, and it helps us figure out what we need to work on. It is not surprising that the no turnovers is key to winning a football game.”

(Ref.: Angel Santiago playing the whole game at quarterback)
“He played very well and very efficiently.  There are of course a lot of things that he could do better, but he handled some tough stuff really well.”

(Ref.: on what a win does for the team)
“Well, winning is a lot of fun. It validates an awful lot of things that we have been working on. We have the mantra, the harder it gets the harder we play, and it was hard. The conditions were hard, the injuries have made it hard and we had guys that were lost in that game. Other guys have had to come in and step it up. Guys stepped up and made a lot of plays, and that is gratifying on a lot of levels. We have a wonderful football team. You’re in there cooling your heels, waiting for a play to resume and I had a chance to look around in the locker room. You can see how the guys relate to one another and how they feel about their football team and about the game. They look forward to the game. I said to the coaches, ‘This is a team that we all want to be a part of.’ Internally, it’s a cohesive group of guys who just love to play the game and care about each other. It was great to see them get the win and have all of their hard work validated.”

(Ref.: Colin Linkul’s two sacks)
“We needed a presence off the edge, and we had some matchups in the pass-rush situations that we just couldn’t quite find that edge and spread those guys out enough. Colin can certainly do that. It was a little bit of a trap for Louisiana Tech’s offensive line. They were seeing the game at one speed and then Colin can come in and change the speed off the edge. Now we just have to get him back into shape. You could see that after chasing the quarterback about 16 straight times that he was ready for a break.”

(Ref.: the impact of the weather delay)
“If you had been in the locker room, you would have said, ‘These guys are ready.’ As a coach, I feel like I have to go in there and make some of that stuff happen, but frankly, I got in there and started listening and observing and just stepped back and let it happen. My biggest concern was not using too much energy in the locker room waiting to go out there and play. I wanted to make sure we were excited, but we didn’t need to get any reps in while we were in the locker room. We needed to stay flexible and be ready to go.”

(Ref.: if Angel Santiago solidified his role as the starting quarterback)
“Angel is certainly going to be the first quarterback up, but he’s not the only quarterback.”

(Ref.: on the maturation of Josh Jenkins and Terry Baggett)
“Josh is playing out there at the field corner and that’s a lonely position. He gets in trouble at times, as a field corner will, but he plays it on the edge. He’s capable of not just catching the ball, but catching the ball and running for a while. Those plays are coming. He’s just on the front end of his career. Terry doesn’t surprise us, every time we’ve seen him touch the ball, he’s been productive. Where I think he’s grown the most this year is as a blocker. He’s become very effective on the front side, which is important because we’re trying to be balanced. All of our backs have to be able to touch the ball and they all have to be efficient with the ball, but they all have to block.”

(Ref.: having a more veteran team than the previous two seasons)
“Our maturity was one of the reasons we were optimistic going into this season. We’re a more mature football team. We’re physically more mature. That’s especially important at a service academy where the freshman and sophomore years are especially challenging. The physical maturity, the emotional maturity, and of course the number of opportunities they’ve had to play all play a role. Some of the juniors have played an awful lot of football for being just juniors. Many of those guys were starting and playing significant roles as freshmen, so that bodes well for us. The flipside of that is we have to stay healthy. We have too many guys with too much experience that aren’t available week in and week out. The good news is we’re healing. We’ve done some things internally about that physical maturity. I mentioned earlier that are giving us a chance to bounce back from some of those nicks that frankly, in years past, I’m not sure we would have bounced back from.”

(Ref.: the challenge playing against Boston College’s larger defensive tackles)
“It’s a challenge. They aren’t just big guys, they’re big guys who can play the game. That’s been a challenge and continues to be a challenge for us up front on offense. Some weeks we’ve been better than others, but we never know how that challenge will metastasize because we don’t know how they’re going to line up and how they’re going to try to use those guys.”

(Ref.: Steve Addazio’s impact on Boston College)
“I think his personality is on display. There’s an adage that says ‘a team will reflect the personality of its coach,’ and that has certainly happened with Steve. This is a rough, tough bunch. Their style of play on offense permeates the whole team. They all play with an edge, and they are a reflection of their coach.”

(Ref.: any similarity between Steve Addazio’s system at Temple and his system at Boston College)
“(Boston College) is different offensively. They do a number of things. They’re not one-dimensional by any means, but their ability to get into I-backs, their ability to play with three tight ends on the field, to run the power, to run the counter and come off the ball aggressively and put people on the back of their heads, that’s the difference. In terms of how they use the quarterback, that’s different, but you can see that there’s been a personality shift.”

(Ref.: the importance of win over Louisiana Tech)
“It’s great for our football team. Having said that, we have to get over it and get to work because the challenge in Boston College could not be more different in terms of style of play. We can’t be looking over our shoulder because not an awful lot from last week carries over to this week. Playing hard and taking care of the football and having the guys trying to execute the details of their assignments, those are the things that impact us more directly.”

(Ref.: the targeting rule)
“We’re going to attack the football, we’re not going to assault the man. If in the course of attacking the football, we find ourselves in a position where the official judges us to be on the wrong side of the fence, we’ll take it. College football said we are not going to do that. We are not going to target defenseless players above the shoulder. We as coaches have absolutely embraced that. I’m not sure that Josh is innocent of that intent. He was not doing what we asked him to do, and that’s attacking the football. You can say it was shoulder to shoulder, but that’s a court of higher opinion. Over the course of the season, there are going to be some calls that you don’t like or you disagree with, but we’re not going to target defenseless players above the shoulder. We’re not going to tolerate it and we’re not going to excuse it. I don’t think it was especially dangerous or vicious, but it had the potential and the officials judged it that way.”

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