Bobby Petrino 10/1/18 Press Conference Full Transcript

Louisville vs FSU (43 of 64)

(Opening Statement)

“Well, like I said after the game, that’s a tough loss. To be in a position to win the game, be right there, turn the ball over. If I had to do it over again, obviously I’d call a run play, make it easy. We had seen that pressure throughout the game. What they do is they blitz two guys through the A gap, Sam linebacker and the Mike linebacker and play what we call magic coverage, which is three deep, two under, so they only have two underneath guys. Call it magic because number 32 was Magic Johnson, so that’s where the coverage got its name. You’ve got to know what the guys dropping and throw the hitch on the outside. He made some good plays earlier against it, and when that Jaylen (Smith) caught, we were in a different formation.

So Jaylen (Smith) was the guy that caught the ball and ran. Kemari (Averett) caught one on it. He got one on it. So I felt like we were executing well against it, but obviously didn’t work out. It’s a bad call, no question about that. But I do really feel like we made some huge strides in the game and leading up to the game. The way we practiced, the way our scout teams helped us in practice that was the best looks and the hardest effort that our scout team gave us throughout the entire week. Something that we asked them to do and they went out and did it. We did get a lot better in practice and I really feel like we came out and executed our game plan. Offensively, we needed to mix it up between running the ball and taking some deep shots and getting some easy completions. And we were able to get it in the end zone three times in the first half. Get a good lead. We had some opportunities in the second half. We still drove the ball. We still converted third downs, we just didn’t get the ball in the end zone like you need to. A bad penalty that backed us up and we had to settle for a field goal. We missed a couple, but I was proud of our defense. Number one thing going in, the number one concern was stopping their run. That running back is a real special guy. And we did a good job of stopping there around. I thought we controlled the front and our linebackers hit the hit the gaps and we tackled well. But we did give up the three big plays in the second half. Two of them were perfect throws and good catches. We knew that going in that he could really throw the ball and that they had good players. But what we have to do is come back and have the same effort in practice. We came back last night, met and moved forward to Georgia Tech. We had a walk through. Guys were in good spirits and focused and worked hard at it. We have changed our schedule obviously because of the week so we could meet longer today with staff meetings and get game plans ready. We practice tonight at 7:00 and then probably go again tomorrow night so we can get the work done in the day again. Obviously,  I never thought we would be in this situation. But, it’s something that goes along with athletics and you’ve got to work at it, fight through it, improve, have a good attitude and get better.”

 (If the play works, you look like a genius. If it doesn’t it’s a bad call. Do you believe it was the wrong call or do you think it was just the way it worked out? It makes them look bad in retrospective.)

“That’s a great question. That’s a good way to put it. That’s for sure. I’ve always felt that way that when you have to make a call and when it does work out, it’s a good call, when it doesn’t, it’s a bad call and that throughout the game you have those situations. This one became a big turnover, so it ended up being a real bad call.”

(Do you believe it was the wrong call? And you know, if you take the result out of it.)

“I don’t know. Like I said, we had executed that all throughout the game, put us in a position to win and it didn’t work.”

(Second guessing plays is also be part of sports. How do you, I guess protect from second guessing amongst the players on the team and keep that kind of stuff out of the locker room?)

“I think the players understand it and they get to watch the video. They get to understand what the game plan is and watched the video and see the plays that led up to moving the ball and the execution that we had on Jaylen (Smith)’s third down conversion, the execution we had on the third and two right there on the sideline. So you get to have an understanding of what we’re trying to do.”

(Do you worry about yelling, everything on that play, like you see Jaylen (Smith) throwing  his arms up like it’s supposed to come with me. Do you worry about players worrying or having losing confidence in your other teammates?)

“No, that’s part of the game. That’s part of the game. That’s always a part of the game. The one thing that that’s really important in sports and in athletics and in competition when you go in to win is your attitude under pressure. It’s something that you always coach really hard and try to show examples of it. That’s, you always see like basketball, it comes up a lot, and sometimes you’ll see it in NFL games when the quarterback turns to the sideline and gives it one of these. Those are the things that can affect you and your team. So we have to be able to keep a good attitude under pressure and understand it. They’re very competitive. They want to win. They have an idea of what the philosophy is of the play and what should happen, but only one guy makes that decision.”

(You said the guys were in pretty good spirits yesterday. Is a game like that more difficult to bounce back from then say the previous week against Virginia?)

“They’re all hard to bounce back from. I think the thing that was so telling in the locker room after the game was that we felt like we went out there and left it all on the field and put out great effort and executed and didn’t get the result that was sitting out there for us. So it was very quiet, very solemn in locker room after the game and you have to  get over that. It takes a little bit to get over it. But one of the things that you have to do in athletics is put things behind you. Some guys like John L. (Smith) used to always say, ‘tear off the rear-view mirror and look ahead and move forward, as you do in life.’ So it’s always a life lesson, too.”

(Bobby, with that in mind, with the rear-view mirror. How difficult does that make this week? Even more so with it being a Friday night game and being Georgia Tech and that offense?)

“It’s not any more difficult. We knew it was going to be a Friday night game a long time ago, so we spent some time working hard at it in spring ball. We spent some time- and I’m talking about the defense- because the challenge with Georgia Tech is that’s the only offense that you face that in five years would  be the only offense we faced like that. So you have to do that. And Coach VanGorder went against it, a lot of us coaches have coached against Army, Navy, Air force. So you keep files, you keep video. Try to figure out who’s done well against this type of- just, when you do get the plan that you have a background and philosophy for it. So we spent time on it in the winter, so you already had pretty much the game plan in place in what you want to do and then you just have to tweak it for the new things that they’re doing.”

(Bobby, no Colin Wilson on Saturday. Is there a change in his status?)

“No, Colin (Wilson) didn’t have a good week of practice, so he didn’t dress for the game. He was in the weight room today and he’ll be at practice tonight. He has to come out and have a good week of practice.”

(And Malik Staples?)

“Yeah. Malik (Staples) is working with the backup group and he hasn’t been able to dress lately. Seth Dawkins, I’m sure you were going to ask about him next. He actually tweaked his hamstring in practice. He worked hard to try to get ready for the game. Came out in pregame, he didn’t look good in pregame and the trainers made the decision he wasn’t ready to go. I’m hoping that we’ll have him back this week. But, sometimes those things take time.”

(I was actually going to say Chandler Jones next.)

“Chandler (Jones) is doing good. He had an upper body injury during the game. He’d go through the protocol and he should be out there tonight in no contact.”

(There was so much discussion with the other teams last week about the new redshirt rule and how, like for example, at Clemson, it caused quarterback to be able to transfer. Did you expect anything like that with your team and how have you felt the effects of that at all?)

“We’ve had a little discussion on it. A guy like Jatavious Harris we’ve decided to redshirt. We have another couple of guys that were still discussing right now, and we’ll have to make a decision on as the week goes on before Saturday’s game. The rest of them look like they’re just going to play. We’ve got a number of guys that have already played in five games and just a few that have only four, so we still have a couple decisions to make.”

(Is there a position or position group that Georgia Tech’s offense puts the most pressure on? Defensively?)

“I mean everybody, because it’s a lot about your eyes and your assignment and your discipline and still playing fast. You have to be careful about coaching too much because you still have to have instincts and play fast. But you do have to do your responsibility. Somebody’s got to have that dive. Somebody’s got to have the quarterback, someone’s got to have the pitch and then you need a guy running the alley inside out. And then that guy needs to be able to recognize, play action pass because I think they threw the ball six or seven times the other day, but when they’re throwing it, they’re trying to hit big plays on you because you get used to the run, the run, the run. It’s always about the discipline and recognition.”

(Where do you see within your offense or maybe in spite of everything? What kind of bright spots do you see within your offense?)

“We did a much better job on third down. I thought we did a good job executing there. We did a better job of getting more guys involved. It’s good to see both tight ends in the offense, get Jaylen (Smith) some extra touches, get Dez (Fitzpatrick) going. Tutu (Atwell) made couple of big plays for us. I’ve liked what we got out of Devante Peete. He made a big play right before half to get us in position to score. We’re still working hard on the running game. I’m still not happy. We did make some improvements. I think Hassan Hall has shown his burst. His speed can really help us get the ball on the edge and make some big plays for us. And again, on kickoff return, he was really close to breaking one off on the kickoff return. It makes you think about bringing it out more, out of the end zone. But we’ll see about that. But it does make you think about it because he’s so close. Every time he’s touched the kickoff return to go the distance. He breaks tackles, he breaks his tackles.”

(Human nature being what it is, sometimes players don’t bounce back from a loss like this as quickly as you’d like. Is there anything you do as a coach to try to change the practice or preparation to maybe loosen things up?)

“I always change some things up. And that’s one of the deals about coming back last night and doing the walk through, getting them back in quick and getting around them and being with them and coaching and getting them moving. It helps, I think changing the energy and the focus. Players always do get over a game a little quicker than coaches do. I remember we were on a bus trip back from Long Beach State. They don’t even play football anymore. I was a coach at Weber State and we had to bus all the way back from Long Beach State and the assistant head coach- I was a little upset because I thought there was too much noise on the bus on the way back. And he said to me, ‘hey, players always get over it easier than the coaches do. Just got to relax a little bit.’  So it was a good lesson for me. I haven’t relaxed yet, but I’m trying.”

(It seemed like there was so much energy before the game when the guys came out. Was there anything different leading up? I mean, I know you said the practice was good, but game day had it been any different than the week before?)

“It’s Florida State. They’ve got a lot of guys that know him, guys that grew up playing against each other in high school. There was a lot of energy on the sideline, a lot of excitement to play that game. I liked the way our team came out and I liked the aggressiveness that we played with and the effort. It’s a young defense that we have out there, and they’ve been really playing hard. We’ve got to limit the big plays. But we did improve on third downs and we stopped the run. That was huge.”

(Jawon (Pass) said he was frustrated by the cramping. Is that something he’s prone to or is that a preventable thing? What do you think going forward for him that he needs to monitor that?)

“You always work on, throughout the week, on the hydration and the different things that we do with it. It was, I think, frustrating for him in the second half. I was checking with the trainer the whole time. You always look back on that. Is that a reason a couple of throws didn’t get where they normally would have got, or we thought they would get? But you’ve got to trust the trainers. They tell you when a guy can’t play, they tell you when a guy can play. I had a kind of a question on that last year with Dae Williams. I’m thinking, man, this guy is really going to come back and play this quick after a knee injury? But I don’t have a degree. The trainers and the doctors are the ones that make that decision. You’ve just got to trust what they say.”

(For you going forward, what have you looked at personally in terms of doing? What are you focused on on doing a better job of coaching?)

“We’re working on everything. First and foremost on our game planning. We criticize ourselves and self-scout ourselves and see what we’re doing and what we’re getting good at, what we’re not. We work hard on our individual in practice because I think as the year goes on, you have to continue to improve on technique and fundamentals and that’s how you get better. We keep those individual drills. I thought last week the drills with the o-line and d-line helped us. Certainly helped our defense in stopping the run and I thought it helped our running backs, hitting the holes. But you work on everything. Our staff has a good attitude and they’ve got a good work ethic. We’re in here bright and early this morning and getting after it. So we’re going to keep working. We’re going to keep improving and keep being positive and find ways to win.”

(On the long past play, was there anything in common between the three of them and also PJ Mbanasor, he seemed to be playing a little less on Saturday. Have you rotated your cornerbacks any differently?)

“No, actually PJ (Mbanasor) was in there quite a bit and had a couple of really nice knock down passes for us. They threw one go route and again it was a perfect throw. A guy ran the ball down, did a really nice job of that. They threw a wheel route into the boundary out of the backfield. PJ Blue recognized it, had perfect coverage on it and it was as good a throw and catch as you can make. Sometimes, they make plays too. But PJ (Mbanasor) knew what the route was. He covered it really well and they made a great throw. On the last play, we just needed to make a couple tackles.”

(How do you keep the players focused on the big picture, meaning the rest of the season that, you know, this is just October, that there’s still time to turn it around?)

“Really what you do is get ready for one game. What we need to focus on is Georgia Tech and one practice. Get better tonight at practice and then evaluate that when we watched the video tomorrow and then get better at tomorrow’s practice. I think that’s the biggest thing is to play one game at a time and work on improvement.”

(How different or what is the difference? Kind of take us through playing defense against Georgia Tech and I’m trying to think back of when you maybe have played against, as a head coach, against an offense like that.)

“The last time that we played against Army and Air Force, that was when I was at Western (Kentucky). l think we were one of the few people that beat him twice in the same year, those two schools. But it’s difficult, you’ve got to be good with your eyes and run full speed to the ball, get the tackle, try to force turnovers. I think that’s one of the keys. In the games that they’ve lost, they’ve turned the ball over. So we have to be able to force some turnovers and get the ball back. What you don’t want is to be standing there on the sideline and then eating the clock. So I think that’s the thing that you’re going to have to try to get ahead to. In both of those games, they were fourth quarter wins.”

(The starting five on the offensive ladder. Is that a set thing or is it still week to week?)

“I mean every week you work hard at getting better. Somebody is trying to keep their job and somebody else is trying to take it.”

(When it comes to protecting the quarterback, you lead in sacks allowed. How do you improve that? Do you feel like you’re making progress week to week?)

“It’s everything. The quarterback getting the ball out of his hands. We’ve had a couple where we’ve been outside the pocket and not thrown it away, so we’ve got to make sure that we do that. That helps right there. We had some good pass rushers coming at us the other night. We were in good position a number of times and we got beat a few times, so just the timing of the entire offense.”

 (How long does it take a coach to get over a loss?)

“Usually until you get home and practice. That’s the best thing, is you get back in the meeting and practice. But the longest bus trip that I’ve been on was from Carroll College, which is in Helena, Montana, to go play Sonoma State, which is in northern California. We left on Wednesday, stayed in Winnemucca I think the first night, Reno the next night, and then bused all the way to Sonoma. On the way back, we got to stop and watch the 49ers play.”

(Did you win?)

“No, we got beat. We got beat. They had the big guy, Larry Allen. Sonoma doesn’t play football anymore, either.”

 

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