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Greg Schiano Weekly News Conference Transcript (October 2, 2011)
  • Posted on October 03, 2011 12:41:15 PM
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  • COACH SCHIANO:  Okay, Big East game number two.  Pittsburgh, good football team Thursday night knocks off South Florida who was -- I don't know what they were ranked -- 14th or 15th, and you can see Pitts's becoming very comfortable with what they're doing offensively, defensively, and the kicking game.  We've got a great challenge ahead of us, a lot of work to do to prepare, and looking forward to doing it.

     

                Q.  How did you come out injury-wise?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Pretty good.  It was a physical game, so you have your bumps.  From the game Saturday, I think from coming out of it, we'll be okay.

     

                Q.  What is the biggest challenge of their fast-paced offense?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  That's going to be hard.  We're going to have to be on top of it.  They're the fastest team we've played.  Even Cincinnati, when they were humming and Brian was there, this is a different pace now.  It's going to be hard to practice.  It's going to be hard to simulate in practice.  It's going to be awfully hard to do.

     

                Q.  In your estimation, how much has Ray Graham helped them develop and been a crutch for them in developing with that offense?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Well, Ray Graham’s is a great football player, so he's going to help no matter what offense he's in.  He's elusive, he's quick, he's got great vision, balance, strength, and he's really good.  This is really going to be a huge challenge for our defense.

     

                Q.  Will Chas be a starter?  On the depth chart there's no "or" or anything?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  I haven't made a decision about that.  I didn't change it because I haven't made a decision.  I'll make a decision when I'm ready to make it.  I don't know when that's going to be.

     

                Q.  Between the teleconference yesterday morning and now, what more have you seen when you keep watching the tape of Chas and Gary?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Same things.  I've got to make a decision.

     

                Q.  Is there always a decision to be made or are there sometimes where you say X player had a bad game?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  We're constantly evaluating both game and practice.  It's just at the quarterback position that is the one that gets the most attention, so...

     

                Q.  Without making a decision are you concerned you may be fostering a situation where they'll be looking over their shoulder with you not totally committing to one or the other?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  No, I'm not worried about that.

     

                Q.  Why not?  Wouldn't that be human nature to think that, hey, if I throw this interception, the coach is going to yank me?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  I don't think they're going to feel that.  It's a decision who will start the game.  We've played both in three of the four games.  We'll make a decision.  I probably won't go public with the decision, either way, till kickoff.

                    Two kids that are really good football players, that are great team guys, that are fully committed to this family, to this program.  I just want to make sure I do what's right by them and by the team, and that's what I'll do.

     

                Q.  Is Jeremy Deering healthy?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Yes.

     

                Q.  Just not any opportunities at Syracuse?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Yeah, looking back, we need to get him more opportunities.  He's too good a player not to have opportunities.

     

                Q.  Usually when you associate time of possession, it's with the running team.  With a running game that's struggling, how are you third in the country in time of possession?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  We run a lot of plays.  We ran a hundred plays the other day.  Because probably we haven't hit a lot of big plays, so our drives, if they're our drives and if we've had drives, they've been in and out.  Whether its runs or short passes, we've dropped I probably can count six, half a dozen big plays.  We've dropped them where they've been defended.  But I think we've dropped half.  We've dropped six plays.

                    Those big plays, now you're off the field so, you're not going to have that time of possession.  I'm not sure that's a great thing.  I like being where it's a good number, but I don't know if I like being that high.  That means we're not hitting many big plays.

     

                Q.  Do you think any of it is the by-product of the fact that you're leading the country in turnovers forced too and getting the ball back?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  I think it has something to do with it.  Yeah, I think it probably all adds up.

     

                Q.  Is keeping Lowery at right guard is the key?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  We're going to mess around with the O-line a little bit.  I'm not sure that depth chart even what it says.  When Jay got me Sunday morning, we studied more tape, made some more decisions we didn't run the ball effectively, and we need to be able to do that.  We had some protection issues.  We need to be able to protect better.

     

                Q.  Obviously Mohamed Sanu had a big game and people are going to cover him.  But can you talk about the depth that you had where you had eight different players able to catch a pass like it was the other day?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Yeah, I thought Joe played very well.  As far as the receiving goes.  I thought spreading the ball around, Quron Pratt, Mark Harrison coming alive.

                    I think what happened is there are certain plays where they were doubling Mo, true double.  There are a lot of ways to double a guy.  You can double a guy with the half safety who is playing the whole half of the field and have a corner in his face, or do what Syracuse did at times and have a guy under and a guy over.  And that is a committed double team that leaves other people that are going to be open.

                    So I thought it was critical that other guys did show up and they did.  And I hope that's the beginning of something big for that wide receiver corps and for the running backs, tight ends as well.  We need to get the tight ends.  Just didn't happen that way.  It's not like we didn't throw them the ball, but they can make plays as well.

     

                Q.  We're talking about the offensive line going back to that.  Are you talking about the right side of it or the whole thing?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  We're looking at the whole thing, yeah.

     

                Q.  Did it take a step back last week?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  I wouldn't say a step back.  I think the competition took a step back.  That might be more.  Not only competition, but schematically.  We kind of knew where they were going to be in the Ohio game, and to a young player, that's a lot easier.  He's lining up there.  He's either going to be there or he may go one.

                    This week there were linebackers jumping up and out of backs, stemming from a four down to a three down.  They were doing a lot of things that test the mental as well as the physical for those guys.  I think it might have gotten a little big for the younger guys, a little too much for the younger guys.

                    Now it's a great experience to win the game and get that experience under their belt.  They're both going to be better players for having gone through it.  But there are growing pains for sure.

     

                Q.  What was it like seeing Logan shutting guys down on Saturday?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  It was great.  It was great.  Logan played his best game of his career Saturday.  And he should build off that and should have confidence off that, because those kids can run.  They're good receivers.  I thought Logan played a great job in press coverage, in bail coverage.  He did every technique that we asked of him.

                    He had one DPI, but as much press as we were playing, that can happen on a three-step team like that.  So I thought it was good.

     

                Q.  After the spring and summer that Brandon Coleman had, are you surprised he only has three catches now?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Yes.

     

                Q.  What does he need to do better?  What's he been lacking?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Just keep doing what he's doing, it will come.  He's a very gifted guy.  He's just got to stay in the moment.  Don't get too concerned about the result.  Result-oriented thinking gets guys in trouble.  They need to just keep doing the process and it will pop for them.

     

                Q.  What have you seen out of the defense so far on film?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  They're good.  And it looks like they understand what their coaches want more each week, which doesn't bode well for us, right?  They move people around.  It's an unusual defense.  You don't see this very much.

                    They have some guys one player rushing the pass, and the next player playing linebacker, and the next player playing safety and they're talented.

                    Dave Wannstedt did a great job, and the guys we have here did a great job assembling talent out there.  They're talented players and they're understanding the scheme better and better each week.  It's a very good coaching staff they have out there.  It's going to be a challenge.

     

                Q.  Have you done anything different this year than in years past why you're forcing so many turnovers?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Same stuff.

     

                Q.  Any reason why it's happening this year?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Better players, guys are more seasoned, the same guys, a lot of them are the same guys playing.  They get more comfortable.

                    I always think as a defensive player, first thing is getting lined up right, and when you're a defender, you have to get lined up versus someone, so you don't know where that's going to be or how that's going to be until the offense shows their hand.

                    Lot of times, when you're a new player, it takes all of your thinking to get lined up properly.  Then as you get more experience you get lined up and you can start to anticipate.  Through your film study and all the things you do through your preparation, you start to anticipate what the offense is going to do.  After you do that, it puts you in a little better position and gives you more confidence so you can play.

                    You see (Indiscernible) who is playing with a lot of confidence, so he's going in there and ripping balls out as well as making the tackle.  When you're a young player, you're "I just don't want to miss this tackle," you know.  So I think it's a product of experience.  I think guys are physically better, stronger, more mature.

     

                Q.  You mentioned the former Pitt coaches on staff.  What kind of impact have they made on and off the field so far?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  It's been great.  All three of them, really all four of them with Andrew Janocko coming as a graduate student, have had a positive impact on our program.  Just really happy with them.

                    This week what they do is give you knowledge of personnel.  They're running totally different schemes in all three phases.  I don't think it makes any sense to talk about scheme, but as far as personnel goes, they recruited these kids so they know them well, they've coached them, all except the freshman class.  They've coached them, so that gives you a little insight.

     

                Q.  Any concern at all that a third of the way through the season, this is what the running game may be and it might not get any better?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  It's going to get better.  I'm confident it will get better.  I'm not saying we're going to be the pony express or anything, but it's going to get better.

     

                Q.  The number of penalties against Syracuse, is that un-Rutgers like?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  It is.  But some of them, I told you guys, you need to take your own look.  That saves me money there and allows you to write what you want.

                    I've often said this.  Officiating is the hardest job on the field.  It's harder than coaching, harder than playing.  There are seven of those guys.  The speed of the players is up teen times faster than it was ten years ago.

                    I think it's hard.  I think it's very hard.  So you see me in the game, I get after them and they get after me.  That's part of the fun.  But at the end of the day, I always side with them, because I think they have the hardest job.  Those officials have the hardest job.

                    I can't comment enough what a great job Terry McAulay has done for this league.  We have the best coordinator officials in America.  He does the best job of teaching and instructing continuously to our officials.  That's one thing that we are really doing right in this league.

                    I may be critical at times and I may get after them on the field.  But you show me a league, you show me a game where with the speed of these players that the officials can be perfect, there is no such thing.

     

                Q.  Did anyone time you on your 40-yard dash?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  You saw that.  Right now I'm very thankful I didn't pull a hamstring.  Some would say you have to have a hamstring to pull a hamstring.  That may be the issue.

     

                Q.  In the Carolina game, we asked you if it was weird that Butch wasn't there.  Now is it weird that Dave's not there?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Yep.  Yep.  It's been fun competing with guys that you know.  You wish you didn't have to play them right when you are, because you care about them and they care about you.  But you know what great competitors they are.

                    As I said before, I feel for Dave because he busted his hump, he and his staff, putting that team together.  Then all of a sudden, he's out.  That was a hard thing for both those guys that I care about.

                    But that's our business.  Like it or not, that's the business we're in.  So right now my focus has to be getting our team ready to go.  Play the best we can against Pitt.  It will be great to be back home.  Be home, have a great turnout, and our students have been awesome all year.  They're going to be off the -- sound like the kids now, off the chain Saturday.  3:30 start, that's always great too.  Give them some time to get in there.  Should be a good afternoon.

     

                Q.  Have you talked to Dave at all before you brought these guys on staff?

                    COACH SCHIANO:  Every guy, yeah.  To me that would be irresponsible not to talk to someone whose opinion you value like that when you're going to make such important hires.  Yeah, Dave spoke very highly of all of them, obviously, or I wouldn't have hired them.

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