Oct. 1, 2002
Jeff Tedford Press Conference Quotes Tuesday, October 1, 2002
Regarding tackle eligible play...When you run a lateral play, do you let the officials know?
"Yes. It was very close. It was within half a yard, but I told them exactly where we were going to run it and when we were going to run it, so they would be able to watch for it."
What is the rule in college football...Can you throw a pass to the tackle without reporting it?
"No. You can't. It has to be a lateral, a backward pass. There are an ineligible numbers; they have to have an eligible number. As long as it's a lateral you can throw it to anyone."
Cal has not beaten Washington since 1976...Have the players put any weight into that at this point?
"No. I just found that out today. But no, I'm not going to spend any time talking about that to our team. That has nothing to do with anything. This is this year and we have to prepare our best to win this year's game. Previous years mean nothing to this team."
What do you think the challenges will be this week?
"They're very explosive on offense, they have a great quarterback, they have two great receivers, and they can run the ball at you. They have a diverse offense where they can sprinkle some option in there...they're very explosive. Defensively they're very sound, they fly to the ball, they have good cover guys, they're physical; they're a great team. They're very athletic, so you really have to be disciplined in what you're doing and pay extreme attention to details to be able to execute."
How do you gauge studying film of a traditional powerhouse versus studying a team of significantly lower caliber?
"When you watch film, there's a certain part of it that you look at for personnel purposes to find out how good this person or that person is. Sometimes you can't really tell that if the competition isn't what they're used to playing, but you can look at schemes. They're (Washington) very talented. They're fast, they're good tacklers, they'll hit you. Offensively, you get a guy like Reggie Williams who weighs 220 pounds and can run like he runs. He's so good after the catch because he's so physical, he can break tackles, and he's got great speed. He can make the small reception into a huge play. Then with their huge offensive line, they can batter you and run the ball at you. They had a very good chance to be undefeated. They could've won that game at Michigan easily if it wasn't for the twelve men on the field."
After playing one team that was unbalanced in favor of the run (Air Force) followed by Washington State, which was unbalanced in favor of the pass, is this going to be the most balanced team you've faced this year?
"I think so. As far as when you look at conventional offenses, I would say this is the most conventional that we've faced so far. A two-back type of scheme. They also have multiple formations. I'd have to say so far that this is the most conventional team we'll have played.
Regarding why the team starts off well, but has difficulties in the third quarter
"The only thing I can say is I felt like last week we didn't do a good enough job of paying attention to detail. That is going to be a major point of emphasis this week. We made too many mistakes. There are things that have been talked about, and they're fundamental mistakes. Not just schemes, but maybe techniques and it's those types of things that we really need to focus on.
As far as the second half is concerned, I felt like, coming out of the locker room, we were ready to play. I didn't see any letdown in the locker room at all. Michigan State was just the opposite. We started off slow on offense, fast on defense and then came out the second half and got an interception.... Maybe I'm naive, I don't know. I think they're ready to play when they come out of the locker room. So I can't put my finger on one thing or a reason.
(Jason) Gesser caught fire a little bit, threw some balls. But we had some mental lapses too. We had guys running around wide open. If they make a play on you and they happen to be better on that down physically, you can live with that. Like (Mike) Bush's catch. I mean, what are you going to do about that-you're running with him and he makes a diving one-handed catch. That's a great player, making a great play. But when you have guys running wide open because somebody blew their coverage, then that's an issue that we need to address and make sure that it doesn't happen. And that's on both sides of the ball."
Was that the type of situation because of freshmen in the lineup, or were those experienced players?
"No. Those are experienced players. They had a lack of communication. They didn't really read their keys on what they were supposed to look at. One guy was doing what he was supposed to do and the other guy was not. That turns into somebody wide open."
You're used to playing in a pretty intense atmosphere, while at Autzen Stadium. What does home field advantage mean to Washington?
"It's always very loud there. We practice on Wednesdays with noise, especially for this type of situation. So you can communicate with hand signals and those type of things in case you can't hear."
Can you talk a little bit about how Donnie McCleskey is playing?
"He played very well. He did a nice job. I think he had three pass break-ups in critical situations, covering very good receivers. He got our special teams player of the week, as he did a nice job on special teams. He did just a fine job, so you will probably see more of him."
How are (Jonathan) Giesel and (Matt) Nixon?
"I would have to say that if Giesel can't play, it would force us to use different rotations in the offensive line. It's not 100 percent that he won't be ready to go-he'll be day-to-day. Nixon, is getting better. He is progressing. They are questionable."
What would the rotations be on the offensive line if Giesel cannot play?
"We might have to rotate in Aaron Merz. Jonathan Murphy also comes into the mix.
That would be the focus this week, to try and move guys around back and forth and try to find the best five guys to play. Ryan (Jones) won't move."
Can you talk about (Mark) Wilson and how you think he is playing?
"He is playing well. He and (Scott) Tercero are playing well. They have done a nice job and I've been pleased with their performance. He (Wilson) is very powerful."
How are Terrell Williams and Jonathan Makonnen playing? "I think Terrell is pretty close to 100 percent. Makonnen has a bruised shoulder, but he'll play. It would take a lot for him not to play. He is tough. We just need to rest his shoulder. Because in practice, even when we put a yellow or red shirt on him-which means he is not supposed to have contact-you'll see him diving and trying to block people, so we can't trust him not to do anything. He is going to give 100 percent all of the time and so we have to just pull him out and say 'forget it, don't practice.' I have enough confidence and trust in him that he won't need to practice and that he'll be focused on the mental part of the game. Right now we just need to get his shoulder healthy."
With Terrell Williams healthy, do you expect to see more balance on what you dubbed in the preseason as a two-back attack?
"I think Joe (Igber) is playing very well. If he is on a roll and he's fresh, than there is not a lot of need to switch them off. But we feel good about Terrell that if Joe does get winded, we can get another quality back in there."
How do you feel the linebackers did last week?
"Wendell Hunter was actually our player of the game. He filled in nicely for Nixon and made some good plays. He runs very well. Our fastest linebacker is Ryan Estes who is not playing, but Wendell is our fastest linebacker playing."
Is there a point where you would take a kid who is on the red-shirt list, off it?
"It's getting to the point where you would have to really think about it. If something happened where we had major injuries in a certain spot-there are still seven games to play, which is the majority of the season. So we might do something like that."
How are the back-up quarterbacks? Is Reggie (Robertson) still No. 2?
"Reggie is still number two and Richard (Schwartz) is number three. Steve Levy is doing fine. He is a competitive young man. You could give him scout team player of the week, every week because of his attitude and his hustle. He is an awesome kid and great competitor and very tough. He's got a lot to work on fundamentally, but we don't really have time right now to coach the redshirt freshman. He'll get a lot of time in the spring."
What do you think about the trend of the larger receivers?
"It's kind of the mold of the receiver, the big, rangy, fast receivers, that you are seeing more and more. I don't know that they cause anymore problems than the obvious. The obvious, being guys that can run that are very physical and rangy. Those are the obvious problems. They can get off bump if you put corner on them that are small. You can throw fades to them and they can get up and get them and they can block. There are a lot of positives to a guy who is 6-4, 220 pounds that can run a 4.3 or 4.4. I don't know why all of a sudden these big receivers are popping up. Junior Brignac and David Gray fit those molds of the big, rangy receiver."
How are Brignac, Gray and Chase Lyman?
"Gray will probably medical redshirt this year. His shoulder has really bothered him and he won't be ready to play. Brignac is not 100 percent yet, and Chase is day-to-day. He looks good running at times, but he'll go do his workout and his hamstring will get sore again. His workout consists of running routes, with change of direction and that is what is making him a bit sore. So, he'll be sore, but two days later he'll be okay. So I guess that is part of the rehabilitation process."
Why isn't there more rotation among the receivers?
"To tell you the truth, there is just not a lot of depth there. Our top three guys are clear-cut. There are a few guys that are borderline redshirt guys, but if we don't need to use them than we won't use them. It would be different if we had a healthy receiving corps, if Junior (Brignac) Chase (Lyman) and David (Gray) were healthy, you'd see a lot more rotation."