Butch Jones press conference, transcript

From the UC Media Relations team;

Butch Jones Press Conference 9/11/12
Opening Statement:
“On a serious note before we get started, I would really like to take a step back to September 11, 2001.  We started the morning off and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and everyone associated with that tragic day in our great country’s history.  Not to get sentimental but it does mean a lot to us.” 
Looking Back At Pittsburgh:
“Now recapping our Pittsburgh game, obviously anytime you get the first win of the season under your belt is a great thing, especially when it is a BIG EAST Conference game.  You learn in coaching that it’s never as good as it seems, and it’s never as bad as it seems it’s always kind of in between and we have a lot of work to do.  It’s just one game and I think that’s the thing that we have to keep in perspective.  Now everything is about how we progress, individually and collectively as a football team and how we constantly strive to improve each and every day.  It’s an overall maturity, those 65 first and second year players are still 65 first and second year players and I think we need to keep that in perspective as we go forward.  As the season progresses it’s an overall consistency in performance, an overall consistency in how we manage our business day to day.  How we go to class, how we get our study table hours in, how we represent this university and how we represent it on the field.  I was encouraged by a lot of things but again we have a lot of work to do. Offensively, I didn’t see a very high level of consistency play in and play out.  I thought we left way too many yards out there in the easy what we call pitch and catch. Defensively, we need to improve tackling, that’s one of your fears as you go into the first game is your overall tackling, which we need to continue to improve.  I think our overall communication.  We gave up too many big plays and we will continue to work on that.  On special teams, the same thing, I think it’s everyone understanding and embracing their role, so we have to take great strides this week.”
Previewing Delaware State:
“Delaware State comes in and they’re going to present us with numerous challenges.  Offensively it starts with Ilko, their quarterback, they get rid of the ball fast, they are going to present us with a number of different formations, personnel groupings, and great speed at the wide receiver position.  They are going to challenge us in terms of the screen game, so their schemes present a lot of challenges along with capable and talented football players.  Defensively: a great challenge for us in terms of we are going to see odd stack, three-down fronts, and four-down fronts all while maintaining the same personnel on the field.  This is a football team that can hurt you if you are not mentally ready to play, if you’re not mentally sharp with your mental intensity and effort and how you prepare.  It’s going to be a great test of our maturity as we move forward.”
On mental state after beating Pitt and then playing an FCS team:
“It’s always a concern and I think you know me, and I worry about anything and everything.  They are a capable and very good football team.  They are very well coached and you can see that on film and I think when our players started watching their film they could see the areas that they could hurt us in.  It’s an overall maturity as a football team. There are five football teams in the country that wish they could have last week’s preparation all over again.  That’s the great thing you know is that there is no reset button.  My son Adam likes to play Playstation and if it doesn’t start well he pushes the reset button and starts the game over.  There is no reset button Saturday night, so the thing we have to do is control what we can control and that’s us.  That’s our focus, that’s how we prepare.  This is going to be a test of our leadership and maturity, and they will present us with a lot of different things that will challenge us.  Ilko does a great job of getting rid of the football and he does not stay back in the pocket and pat the football.  Everything is quick, they do a great job in their screen game, so they are going to challenge us.”
On Ilko Compared To BIG EAST Quarterbacks:
“He is a little bit like Teddy Bridgewater in terms of a great release, he is extremely accurate and can catch the ball and deal it right away.  They can run the football, but I think it’s a quarterback oriented offense and it starts with him.  They have extremely talented playmakers on the perimeter, it starts with Tarpley they are going to try to get him the football every imaginable way.  They do a great job schematically and I think where they do a great job is creating one on one match-ups with their best players to go in space.  This is going to be about playing in space and tackling.”
On playmakers in the Pitt game:
“That was great to see, but we need even more.  You know Kenbrell Thompkins did a lot of the dirty work. We expect our receivers to be some of the best blocking wideouts in the country that’s part of our standard and I thought he did a good job.  Anthony McClung did a good job at times and Travis Kelce.  But with Travis, it’s an overall consistency from play one to play 50 and playing at a high level on every snap.  Obviously Ralph David Abernathy IV did some good things and I thought George Winn did some good things.  Jameel Poteat continues to progress, but I think we need to take a big step in our offensive line from a physicality mentality standpoint. I thought Greg Blair did some good things at the linebacker spot, but I go back to that word of consistency and consistency in your performance.  There would be times where he would make some great plays but then we’ve talked about his body position and his overall demeanor.  Arryn Chenault made his first career start as safety, same thing developing a level of consistency play in and play out and that develops over time.”
On the loss of playmakers on Defense, and then the success of the Defense in the Pitt game:
“We do have an identity of having an aggressive defense that is going to rush the passer and you know that is in our DNA and the makeup of our defense.  When a team throws for a lot of yards everyone wants to point fingers to the secondary and the back end, but make no mistake about it playing great pass defense starts up front with being able to impact the quarterback.  If a quarterback has all day to sit back there and throw the football, you are going to be hard pressed to get off the field.  I thought we had some guys, especially in the interior of our defensive front really step up and make some plays for us, which is great to see.  We played nine players consistently which was great to see and we are going to have to be a defensive line by committee.  I thought each one of those individuals gave us great reps.  I think if an individual knows “I am going to have 20 to 30 snaps a game and I have to make every snap count”.  Every snap is like a nugget of gold and they have to give everything that they have and I thought that they did that.  I thought Walter Stewart was able to apply the pressure up front along with Dan Giordano.  It was great to get Silverberry Mouhon some valuable reps.  You know a lot of times we talk about opportunity sacks where all of a sudden the interior defensive front does a great job of pushing the pocket, the quarterback has to use an escape mechanic and there is our edge presence and they get the sack, and everyone says they had the sack but really that was a by-product of the interior defensive front or a guy fending off a double team and doing his job and that’s why we always talk about our role understanding in our football program.”
On Walter Stewart:
“I believe he was in for about 37 plays and that was great to see. With our defensive front, each guy played about thirty-some plays and that’s what we have to do to keep them fresh.  Walter’s reps will be a little bit more because of what he brings.  It’s a mentality. Third down is where you get paid. You have to rush the passer. You have to get off the field on defense.  I thought Walter Stewart made his presence felt on the field.  He just brings an overall level of effort, energy, and passion not just to our defense but to our entire football team.  That’s why I say he’s a dynamic leader he’s fully invested in the program, it means everything to him.  He definitely is a leader on our football team and that is the next step of progressing to being what I call a “guy guy.” You have to perform each and every week when other opposing teams are preparing for you.”
On George Winn’s TD on first play setting the tone for the rest of the game:
“I thought it was big. It got our fans into the game. I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Brad Wurthman and the job he did, our entire marketing department, our administration, but above all else our student body.  The great thing about being a head football coach is you get to paint the vision for what you want in your football program.  That environment we had Thursday night, that’s the norm, that’s what I expect at Nippert each and every gameday.  That’s a great home field advantage and for our student body to come out was a great lift and I am going to challenge everyone to show up again Saturday.  To have that play get the fans involved right away and get our players really energized and we talked about having to start fast in that football game so obviously I thought that was one of the big four to six plays that really help determine that football game.”
On what kind of statement Thursday night’s game proved for the national audience:
“I think our body of work will speak for itself, but again I go back to my opening remarks, it’s just game one, that game is over with.  The challenges are going to become greater as the season progresses.  We can’t be the same football that we were Thursday night this Saturday night right down game in and game out.  So, it’s game one and this week of preparation is going to be critical as we continue to develop and progress.”
On the eight walk-ons on the depth chart:
“It shows you the value of your walk-on program and I think we have proven over a number of years that we want to reward our walk-ons with scholarships, that’s part of the enticement to come here and we are going to win with our walk-on program.  You look at all of those individuals that are playing at a very high level right now and helping us win and I am indebted to them.  We are going to continue to push them but the walk-on program is a big part of our football family.”
On the 59 plays on offense being low:
“Absolutely. I didn’t think we played with great tempo and we have to take tremendous strides with that.  We would like to be in the 70 to 80 play range and keep our defense off the field.  I think there is a misnomer when they talk about a spread offense. What is the definition of a spread offense? I haven’t figured it out yet. We are a pro-style, no huddle, up-tempo offense.  We have an I-back mentality for our run game.  When you think of a spread offense, you think of finesse. Were are not going to do anything finesse here. We need to up our tempo in the volume of plays and that comes on first down efficiency and with third down efficiency and maintaining the ball.”