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Rutgers Head Coach Kyle Flood Media Day News Conference Transcript
  • Posted on August 11, 2012 5:09:38 PM
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  • PISCATAWAY, N.J. (August 11, 2012) – Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood met the media at Saturday’s annual media day. Here are some quotes from Flood’s news conference. To view the entire news conference, visit http://scarletknights.com/rvision.asp?bctid=1781440675001

    Opening Comments:

    “Welcome to media day. It’s an exciting time for our program. It comes at a nice time during training camp. We’re at about 25 percent of the way through what is a four-week preseason. I feel like our team and our program is off to a good start. I’m pleased with our effort level. I’m not as pleased with our execution as I hope to be a couple weeks from now, but I don’t know that that’s unique to anybody in the country at this point. I hope today was an enjoyable experience for the media and for our fans. It certainly was an enjoyable experience for our program to have an open practice, to see the fans out there lining the one side, filling the stands. I know it certainly brought a little bit of a different energy to our team. In speaking to some of the fans and some of the families of our players, I think they really enjoyed it. We look forward to doing it in the future next year and something that we can hopefully carry on as a tradition here in the Rutgers football program.”

    Roster update:

    “Daryl Stephenson, who we thought had a minor injury to his lower body, turns out he has a broken bone in his foot that is going to keep him out for the year and that’s disappointing for us but you’re not going to see Daryl on the field this year. I’ll give you a little bit of an update on the Max Issaka situation. Max has not been with us. We knew he wasn’t going to be with us. There has been a death in his family. It is one of the traditions in their family that the services be done in their homeland, which is Ghana. So, Max is going to be with us this year but probably not for another week unfortunately and he’s certainly somebody we see in our plans this year. We wish his family nothing but the best. They have our condolences and we’re praying for his safe travel there and back. Max is about another week from being with us, unfortunately.”

    On when Daryl Stephenson got injured:

    “It was a couple days ago. I want to say three practices ago. I’d have to check the injury report to see exactly which day it was. We thought it was a minor thing but it turns out it’s not.”

    On thoughts about today’s scrimmage:

    “You probably get sick of hearing head coaches say this after first scrimmages but it was sloppy. I wrote down before I came up here just to see what it was, seven penalties in the scrimmage today and I didn’t write each one down to show you the breakdown, but it’s hard to win football games with seven penalties. It’s just sloppy and it’s the sloppy ones that get you: the false starts, the offsides on defense. We had a couple penalties of aggression that I don’t think they’re necessarily negative. We want the players to be aggressive. They’ve just got to be a little bit smarter and I don’t think they’ll get the penalty. I thought the effort was good. I thought the execution of the offense and defense needs to be better, but is about where I thought it would be after the first week. The only thing I would add was I thought there was a lot of back and forth today, I really did. I thought it was one of those practices that really took some momentum swings, which I think is good. That means we’ve got a competitive football team.”

    On having three different coordinators in three years contributing to the execution on offense:

    “No, I don’t think so. I think one of the reasons that our execution, even though we made some sloppy mistakes, our execution is at a level that I think is a little bit further along than we’ve been, even though it’s not where we need to be. But, I think that having Dave Brock be our offensive coordinator, having worked in this system and keeping this system intact, has relieved some of that. I think if you had three coordinators, three different systems, three years, I would agree, that’s hard on the players. When I got the head coaching job here, that’s something I didn’t want to be the case.”

    On the quarterback play today:

    “I haven’t had a chance to watch the film yet, so I’ll probably have a little bit more of a comment on it on Monday. I think just watching on the field, I think Gary (Nova) probably had a little bit better day than Chas did. What I would stress to everybody is when we ultimately make this decision; it won’t be based on one day. It’s going to be based on a body of work.”

    On the redshirt freshmen so far and how to limit their “shock factor” in their first week of college football:

    “I don’t know that you can limit the shock factor of their first week of college football. I think having a five-week summer program certainly helps that. Five weeks to train with Jeremy Cole and his staff, that helps a little bit. As I’ve said before, when you’re out their running around with 21 and 22-year-old men, there is going to be a little bit of a bright-eyed look in a lot of rookies’ faces. The one thing I would say about this freshmen class that has really excited me and pleased me is their willingness to play physical football and their willingness to compete.”

    On the defensive line play today:

    “The only reason I’d say it’s too early to tell is because I haven’t watched the film yet. I don’t know if that’s the case. When you’re in this type of scrimmage and you have a different colored jersey on the quarterback, there are times where a defensive lineman may get in there and he peals away which is the right thing to do, because we don’t hit our quarterbacks in practice. If it was a live situation, he may have gotten to him, he may have affected the throw; he may have created a quarterback pressure of some kind. I don’t know that I would agree with that until I’ve watched the film.”

    On early thoughts on Jamil Pollard:

    “I think Jamil is exactly what we thought he would be; a big, strong, athletic defensive lineman who is aggressive. He’s an aggressive guy. He even became a little bit vocal today which was nice to see.”

    On Pollard contributing this year:

    “I don’t know that. I think we’re probably another week away from being able to tell that.”

    On the plans for continuing recruiting success:

    “We want to build a wall around the state of Rutgers. That’s what we want to do. What that really entails is having our same recruiting areas year after year, building relationships with the high school coaches, so that we get the best information, so that we can make the best decision. On the high end, you can only take 25 and there certainly will be a lot more than 25 Division I football players in the state of Rutgers every year. We need to have the relationships built with the coaches, have the relationships built with the prospective student-athletes that will allow us to choose the right ones for our program. When you choose the right player for your program, regardless of what the media or the rankings or whatever they may be, you generally get a really good player in your program. Devin and Jason McCourty were not very highly touted coming out of high school. They were the right players for our program and now they both play in the NFL and are key contributors. We do want to build a wall around the state of Rutgers, we absolutely do. But, the most important part of that is the second part where because we build that wall, we can find the right people to come to our program every year.”

    On where you try to figure out who is going to play this season among the freshmen receivers:

    “Every day we are evaluating that. So, every day they have an opportunity to show us that they could be somebody who could be a contributor in games the first year. Part of that is going to be with their receiver play, part of that is going to be what kind of contribution they could make on special teams. So, there are really two areas that we’re trying to evaluate it. We certainly evaluated it today, but we evaluate it every day. I really think the freshmen need another week to see how much of the system they can master, because as the installs continue and as the formations get tweaked and ultimately the game plan goes in, you’ve got to make sure it’s not just the ability to lineup and run a particular route really well. He’s got to be able to function within the scope of the offense, or to go back to Pollard, he’s got to be able to function within the scope of the defense.”

    On the development of Savon Huggins, Isaac Holmes, Betim Bujari and Keith Lumpkin:

    “I would say Savon Huggins is having an excellent training camp so far. I am very pleased with where he is at. Betim Bujari is going to be one of the leaders on our team for the next three years. I believe he will be an excellent center for us and I think his ability to communicate and the tempo with which he practices with is really going to help our team become better. Keith Lumpkin has made excellent strides. We played him at right tackle in the spring. Last fall we moved him to left tackle, because ultimately when you have offensive tackles, you don’t just have offensive tackles. You’re trying to figure out who the left tackles are in that group, because you need to have some of them too, more than one for sure. Keith has done a nice job so far, a really nice job. He needs to still get stronger but he’s doing that. Ike is my guy, now. I recruited Ike. I’ve had an opportunity to watch Ike; I actually recruited all of those guys. Ike is going to be somebody that’s going to allow us, because of his high level of play, to play Scott Vallone at the three-technique position. That nose guard position has potential to be a very disruptive focal point in our defense. A guy like Ramel Meekins, a guy like Peter Tverdov, a guy like Scott Vallone. That position produces tackles for loss and Ike has shown us the ability to do that.”

    On the timeline for which group of players who will rotate in on the defensive line:

    “If we’re going to play eight, probably game week is when we will know exactly. I think before that, we will know, ‘OK, these four are going to play a certain amount. Then, these next two guys are going to play in these situations. And then we’ve got maybe two other guys; OK they have a specific role on this football team. What is it? Maybe it’s first down. Maybe it’s third down. Maybe it’s a sub-package.’ So, I think ultimately the whole thing will last until game week, but I think as we get through the second week you’ll start to see it unfold with a little bit more definition.”

    On the confidence in the offense to run the ball effectively:

    “Really the last quarter of the season last year. That’s what it is. I think we got back to being a pro-style offense, which is what we were built for. It’s what we recruited to. We drifted away from that the two prior years and I think what you saw the last four games last season and then you saw in the spring and I think we’re seeing a little bit of it now in training camp is the repetitions, because the more they do it the better they’re going to get at it, the better the running backs are going to see it, the better the fullback is going to fit it and that’s really what gives me the optimism. Now they’ve got to go out and prove they can do it.”

    On the running game in the scrimmage:

    “I only saw with the naked eye, and I certainly could have missed one, but I only saw one negative run. When you’re trying to evaluate a run game, one of the things you try to minimize is negative runs. Those are the ones that get you off schedule. They put your quarterback in undue pressure. They put your protections in undue pressure. That to me was a major positive. I also quite a few 4-yard plus runs. I thought (Desmon) Peoples today showed that he had the ability to make somebody miss. What he also showed today was he put the ball on the ground. If you put the ball on the ground at running back, you don’t get to play running back.”

    On position changes and how they players are handling them:

    “There are certain players on our team right now, and I’ll give you two examples, that are performing at a level where they’re telling the coaching staff, ‘Hey, find a place for me to play. I can help this football team win.’ I’ll give you an example, Quentin Gause. Quentin Gause did an excellent job in the spring playing one of our linebacker positions. So, now we’ve tried him in a pass-rushing role on third down, just to see how he would adapt. We liked the way he did that. So now what we’re trying to decide is there maybe more of a role for him because if you’re fortunate to have some good players at a particular position, which we are, we’ve got Jamal Merrell, we’ve got Kevin Snyder and we’ve got Quentin Gause who are kind of all on the same part of the depth chart. You’ve got to find a way to get those people on the field because of their performance. So that would be one on defense. The guy on offense that is doing that is Andre Civil. Andre Civil, I said a couple days ago, was probably the one guy in that second group right now who has the best opportunity to move up because of his performance. He’s performing at a level that’s saying, ‘Hey, Coach, I can help this team win football games.’ So now we’ve got to figure out where that’s going to be. Does that mean maybe he plays a little bit of guard? It may to see if he can get on the field to help us win because his performance on the practice field is telling us he can.”

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