Nov. 5, 2002
Below are selected quotes from head coach Jeff Tedford from his press conference heading into the Bears' game vs. Arizona State. The Bears face the Sun Devils at 6:00 p.m. (MST) on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Do you see any similarities between your team and Arizona State?:
Yes, there's no question about it ... there is a lot of similarities there. It's not exactly the same, but there are quite a few similarities - protection schemes, formations and personnel groupings. Dirk Koetter does a nice job of changing things up and motioning and shifting to try and put a little window dressing on some of the things. It's very difficult to know that something is coming. I am sure that they are not going to run the same concepts out of the same formation that they've been running out of all year long.
How do you think the team has handled the weekend off?:
Our guys came in very enthusiastic yesterday. They had some bounce in their step and I think some of the guys that were banged up last week at least have a chance to practice now. Guys that probably wouldn't have played last week, now have a chance to play this week. In particular, it looks like the rest really helped the receivers.
On ASU's Terrell Suggs:
There is no question that you have to keep an eye on Terrell Suggs. He's a tremendous player ... very fast and very physical. He plays hard every snap. He runs very well ... not only does he get after the quarterback, he can chase plays down from behind. He's a very good player. It is going to be key that we try to limit his production. It's very hard to shut him out completely, but he has games where he sometimes has four sacks, and we can't allow that to happen. Very seldom are you going to be able to block him one-on-one. You have to put some schemes in to where you have to have a couple guys blocking him. It's very rare that you see anyone on tape being able to handle him one-on-one. The schemes are going to be critical to where we give our guys some help from time to time, and mix it up to where it's not the same look all the time for him.
Terrell Suggs is known as a "talker" on the field. Do you have to tell your players not to get involved in that?:
Our players have heard that quite a bit ... not to ever get involved in that type of thing no matter who we are playing. They just need to execute to their ability and do their talking with their actions. They've done a pretty good job of not getting involved in that. There is going to be a certain amount of talking that happens on the field, but I don't ever want it to get into verbal confrontations where their mind is on something else besides playing. Earlier in the year it started and we put a stop to it right away.
On Arizona State's explosive offense:
They are a big play team. To be successful, we are going to have to limit the big plays that they have. They will throw the ball deep. Shaun MacDonald is a great receiver ... he's very fast and quick. He can get behind people and he's got great concentration on the ball - makes acrobatic catches. If they give Andrew Walter time, he does a nice job of throwing the ball deep. We have to limit the big plays, and that normally for them comes through the air.
On ASU's wide receiver, Shaun MacDonald:
He's very durable. He's a tough guy, because you don't go that many consecutive games without having some kind of injury. He's probably played through a lot of injuries from time to time, and there's no question that his ability says they are going to try and get him the ball in some fashion. The main thing is that he is durable.
On how the Washington State defense was able to disrupt ASU's offense last week:
Washington State has a very good defense. They were able to pressure the passer a little bit. The main thing, though, is that Washington State has very good corners and they are very fast at the linebacker position. If you can disrupt Andrew Walter, make him pull it down and run, then you have a better chance on defense rather than just letting him sit in the pocket. If you give him time, he will make some big plays against you. I think pressure is the thing you need to look at the most. We need to get after the quarterback.
What about the run game on defense?:
Every week is different. One week, USC ran the ball well against us, and the week after against UCLA we didn't really change anything and shut them down. It's not so much what we have to do differently, we just have to tackle better. OSU's Steven Jackson has the ability to make you look like you're not very good tacklers. Our defense plays hard all the time and they will continue to do so this weekend. We just need to do a better job of wrapping up. It's not an issue of playing harder and effort ... our guys play hard.
On playing at Sun Devil Stadium:
It's a very nice stadium. All the times that I've been there it has been very enjoyable. Normally the climate is very good for the players ... this time of the year it won't be too hot or too cold. It's a great atmosphere to play football.
Coming off a loss last week, is there anything that you have to do to instill confidence in your team?:
No. We pretty much prepare the same way every week. I have faith in our players and our leadership that no matter how the game goes the week before, our guys are very resilient. They bounce back very fast and are focused on the job at hand the next week ... whether we win the big game or lose the big game. Our team and our coaching staff have the same mentality no matter what happens the week before. I know we had a tough loss last week, but now we move on. There is nothing different that we have to do. We know that there is three games left and we had a chance to maybe recoup a little bit. We have to practice hard and play hard to be successful. No, we haven't done anything different.
On Kyle Boller's season:
Kyle has worked very hard mentally and physically. He has worked very hard at practice and he is very coachable. He prepares hard for the games. Kyle has done a great job. I am very impressed and proud of what he has done. It is not easy to take this offense over in a short period of time and he's done a nice job of it.
On the Cal running game:
You'll probably see Terrell (Williams) play a little bit more. We probably need to be a little bit more patient with the run game. Last week against Oregon State, we had too much stuff in the playbook. We had a couple of plays that were totally wrong, whether they were called wrong in the huddle or the guy went the wrong direction. When you don't give yourself a chance like that, you've got to go back and find out why we are making those mistakes. Is there too much in the game plan? Are we not getting the right signals? I think we need to watch over that and understand that this is the guys' first year of this offense. We, as a coaching staff, have to watch what we do as far as putting too much on them.