Head Coach Rich Ellerson Press Conference Quotes

Rich Ellerson

Rich Ellerson

Oct. 14, 2013

The following quotes have been excerpted from Army head football coach Rich Ellerson’s press conference, held Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in the Randall Hall auditorium.

Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson

(Ref.: opening statement)
“Once again, I think we find ourselves playing an opponent who has struggled this year, but they are really a gifted group. I think they are finding themselves, and I think their personnel situation is similar to ours. They have played some really good people in the past few weeks but have struggled to get a win. They have been impressive and have competed so they are like what we talked about a week ago. They have struggled to win, but they have some confidence and play people very well. They have some confidence in their recent history with us. Conversely, we are battling the injury situation. We can obviously can turn on the tapes for the past couple of years and see some concerns as we match up with these guys. Again, it will come down to a test of wills.”

(Ref.: Saturday’s win as a springboard )
“I think what you witnessed is that this team and this group of guys love to play the game and are especially committed to one another. We have talked about all kinds of reasons and excuses to not play well, and they wanted no part of that. They were determined to play well. They were determined to stay together and to compete on the next snap. That is not something that we started last week. That is something that those guys have been working on for four-plus years. A couple of guys have only been working on it for a couple of years but they are all 100 percent committed to this team and its success. They know it’s hard. They love the game and at the same time, they respect the game and they will continue to prepare well.”

(Ref.: another week of no turnovers)
“It’s through a lot of hard work. There are some things on tape that we still do not like, as well as how some players react in certain situations. We are going to continue to focus on those things instead of patting ourselves on the back and saying how good we are. When you do something exactly right and continue to possess the ball like that, you are fortunate. We have to make sure we keep closing the gap on those fragilities that do exist.”

(Ref.: focusing on one running back)
“We run our offense. Obviously, you can see how productive the other guys were with the football as well. Angel (Santiago) probably had one of his lowest days in terms of production, and we know there is more there. We are going to run our offense, and we are not going to feature one running back.”

(Ref.: what makes Temple better than its record)
“When you turn on the tape, they clearly have some gifted guys. They have been playing some tough people and they, like us, have had some people come in and out of their lineup early on in the season. I think they are finding some things and doing things differently this year, and I am sure that they are growing within and becoming more comfortable within their system. They found some players along the way that they really like, and they do some things that drive us nuts. Their quarterback, D.J. Walker, is a freshman, and obviously it takes a while to find someone to be that guy. He throws it well and is relatively new to the game and their offense. When things break he can pull it down and break your heart. He has made better athletes then us look bad so we have to work it out for us.”

(Ref.: cleaning up tackling)
“Obviously, tackling is fundamental and you don’t start with tackling this week. We’ve never stopped it. What you have to do is find ways to manage the space because you are going to get some good players in space. We weren’t horrible in that respect. We’ve been worse, but again, that’s where a quarterback’s legs are a concern. When they start playing with all 11 guys and spread you out a little bit, getting a good athlete down in space is a challenge for anybody. It is hard to get those guys down.”

(Ref.: how Angel Santiago led the team on Saturday)
“As we talked throughout the week, we weren’t surprised that he was able to play. He is a product of so much hard work in the practice environment. He missed a couple days to make sure his ankle was alright, but with all the repetitions that he has had and all of the competence that he has gained over the years, those are hard won. Those don’t disappear in a week. Obviously we have to make sure that we don’t take it for granted. We have to get back into the practice environment and reinforce all that good stuff. It is consistent with what he expected, but more importantly, it was consistent with what he expected and how he envisioned himself. I was a little concerned with him coming off the field in some situations and I said ‘Are you okay doing it?’ and he looked at me like I had 10 heads. He said, ‘Of course I am okay. I am more than okay. I am perfect.’ So again, he is a very competent and confident competitor.”

(Ref.: coaching a player who has had a performance like Terry Baggett)
“We can think two weeks ago. A guy cut away from us pretty good at Boston College so we have been on the receiving end of some of that. Terry had a great day and did what was expected of him, but a lot of other people were doing things right to get that day going.”

(Ref.: possible overconfidence against Temple)
“No. We respect the game, and we respect our opponent. We’ve got a longer memory than last week.”

(Ref.: on getting focused for Temple after a decisive win)
“Last week is already ancient history. We accomplished some things and we reflected on that yesterday. Now, we’re not talking about Terry (Baggett’s) yardage, we’re talking about Temple. What do we have to get done this week? Who’s going to step up, because we still have some guys nicked up? Who’s going to manage the roles that are going to be crucial to any chance of success against these guys? We don’t get down on ourselves and stop believing in ourselves when something bad happens, and we’re not going to relax because something good happened.”

(Ref.: Trenton Turrentine’s performance and a possible return of Raymond Maples)
“Trenton doesn’t surprise us. I think he did step up his game this week. He was a more effective and efficient blocker. That’s the product of a lot of hard work. He’s been able to stay healthy, which early on in his career was problematic for him. Now he’s as physically mature as anyone on our football team and that’s given him a chance to play on the field. Ray is getting closer. I’m not exactly sure where he is, but we’re encouraged by his progress.”

(Ref.: preparing for Temple’s quarterback play)
“They’ve been in and out of a number of things offensively. With D.J. (Walker) in there, they’ve found a guy who can throw the ball. He didn’t have a great day throwing the ball (against Cincinnati), but he is so close on so many throws. He throws a very good deep ball and he can get it there in a hurry on those underneath routs. The dimension that he brings is that when things break down, he can use his legs. We expect them to have more quarterback runs. (Kenneth) Harper can’t wait to get on the field against us because he’s been very good in the past. They’ll get out there with a bunch of wide receivers and spread you out to throw the ball, but they’ll also run it. They run the counter and they run the zone and they have some very talented guys touching the ball.”

(Ref.: Ryan Powis’ challenge going up against another good defensive line)
“It doesn’t get any easier going forward. The offensive line is playing really hard. They’re undersized by anybody else’s standards, but they’re strong, they’re quick, they’re extraordinarily competent at what we do, and they play so hard. Week in and week out, people have been covering Ryan, and generally they cover him with their best defensive lineman. He’s had his work cut out for him and he’s done well. He hasn’t been perfect, but he’s done well.”

(Ref.: if the other backs are conscious of teams trying to stop Terry Baggett)
”They’re prepared to do that when the opportunity presents itself. That’s not an act of will, that’s preparedness. You don’t know when the opportunity comes, but when it does, you’re there to make the play.”

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