home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 4, 2014

Sam Ficken

Anthony Zettel

Q.  Anthony, Tevin Coleman has I believe the third most rushing yards in the nation.  What have you seen from him from film and what are you going to try to do to stop him on Saturday?
ANTHONY ZETTEL:  I just looked at film and defense on Sunday.  What I can see from him so far is he's a really explosive back.  One cut kind of a guy that makes some big impact on the field that makes big yards a carry.  It's a big challenge for our defense, and we're excited for it.

Q.  What is it like preparing for a team that's only thrown for 35 yards on offense in the last two weeks, but obviously have a runner that might be the best one in the country?  Do you have to sort of focus differently to prepare for an offense that may be more one dimensional than normal?
ANTHONY ZETTEL:  Oh, yeah, there is a lot of stuff that goes into it.  But when you stop the run is the biggest key.  If you stop the run, then it makes them pass.  So I think the past teams have had difficulties stopping the runs.  That's our biggest challenge, and that's what we're going to do.

Q.  Do you feel it's more run heavy and pass heavy, or do you feel if they're better at one than the other, does it matter?
ANTHONY ZETTEL:  Yeah, I think each thing has its own problems, but generally a team's going to try to run on you is going to until you stop it.  They're going to make some play actions and stuff, but this team's more of a run team.

Q.  What has it been like playing next to Austin Johnson this season?  Talk about the one play he made in the game when he was in the back field and cover all the way to the sideline to make the tackle?  How have you guys made each other better, and how have you been better playing next to him?
ANTHONY ZETTEL:  I think me and Austin both have bigger, a lot more space guy, and also just as athletic, I believe, as me.  So we each have our different pass‑rush moves and stuff, but I think we're a lot alike, but he's a lot bigger.  Just the ability for him to move his body as big as he is is very impressive.  Works hard, great hands, hips, everything, so just playing next to him makes me better and makes the whole defense better.

Q.  Moving inside you've had a lot of success this year.  Being undersized three technique is there anyone you've modeled your game after or anyone you've emulated on the inside?
ANTHONY ZETTEL:  Yeah, I found in the past years I've always found it interesting to watch Karl Klug from Iowa.  He was undersized, like around 275 from Iowa a few years ago and made a huge impact when he was there.  He's also doing well with the Tennessee Titans.  So I think just watching him gave me a little confidence so I could do some stuff too.

Q.  If you addressed this after the game, I'm sorry, I didn't hear it.  Could you take us through that sequence inside the 15 or so?  Got the ball, did you think the play was dead in the second quarter?
ANTHONY ZETTEL:  Yeah, just didn't happen to have it straight.  Obviously it was a fumble, and I thought it was an incomplete pass because I just saw the ball coming at me and hit the ground.  So I thought it was an incomplete pass, and I kept going with the play.  Probably the worst decision I've made in sports.  It was not a good feeling, so I wish I could have it back, but can't.

Q.  (No microphone)?
ANTHONY ZETTEL:  Yeah, I'm pleased, but I also know I have a lot of stuff to improve.  I've left a lot of plays out on the field that if I could have done something simple or technique‑wise, I could have made more of a play.  So I know I have a lot to improve to be a great player.  I'm just going to keep striving to be that.

Q.  Sam, can you punt?
SAM FICKEN:  I did a little bit of that in the spring.  But right now that's something that I'm not focused on.  We have faith in our guys right now, so I don't think you'll see me punting.

Q.  (No microphone)?
SAM FICKEN:  Not good.

Q.  (No microphone)?
SAM FICKEN:  I did.  Not at a college level though, of course.

Q.  How good were you in high school?
SAM FICKEN:  Average.  I think like 39, but the hang time wasn't good.  Like I said again, we have complete faith in our two guys.  They're working to get better.  They're right there.  They're on the precipice of being really good.  We've seen it in practice.  It just needs to translate over to games.

Q.  I've had the opportunity to talk to them with the struggles you've had in your careers.  You've had the opportunity, but how helpful do you think that could be for a young player?
SAM FICKEN:  They've kind of seen storyline through their time here.  Especially Chris Gulla, he's kind of seen that.  But through my experiences, I've kind of been able to relate to where they're at right now.  I told them the only way to get through it is to keep a positive attitude and work your butt off.  That is something they're doing.  They're going over so much film.  They're going over their drop.  They're going over what changes between practice and games.  So I think you'll see throughout the rest of the year that they're going to do better and they expect to do better.

Q.  When you look at the overall talent of the team, do you wish you could be here longer?
SAM FICKEN:  Yeah, obviously, I wish I could be here as long as I could.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to red‑shirt my freshman year.  Would love another opportunity to come back, but obviously, that's not going to happen.

Q.  Looking back on your career, this is a little bit of a different question.  Just the way that your career is, do you feel like looking back at it, your sophomore year, do you wonder if you hadn't started getting as much playing time as you had, maybe until last year and this year, that your progression would have continued the same way?  Do you know what I mean?  As opposed to getting on as a sophomore and maybe having some more time before getting on the field would it change the course of your progression or do you feel that was more a necessary part?
SAM FICKEN:  I can't say it would be the same, but I would say that my big stroke came my second start of my career.  To kind of see that, go through that experience it made me work extremely hard to get where I wanted to be.  Also, that experience enabled me to work with some really great people, Robbie Gold, especially.  Had I not done that, I don't know if he would have personally reached out to me to the point where I feel so comfortable with my fundamentals now.  Obviously, it's translating well on to the field.  But I can't really say that my progression would be the same whether or not.

Q.  You said that you guys are confident in the punters that you have.  But do you get the sense whether a practice game, special teams meetings, are they confident in themselves right now?
SAM FICKEN:  Yeah.  They've seen it firsthand in practice.  Obviously, it's not translating over in games.  They're frustrated, yes, but they know that they have all the ability in the world to do the job that they're expected to do.  To say they're not confident in themselves, I wouldn't agree with that, because they've seen it on a daily basis that they can do it.  It's just a matter of getting the timing down, getting their drop right in games where it needs to be like I said, I think they'll show that the rest of the year.

Q.  How much did making the first one this year against UCF, was that a springboard for your whole confidence?
SAM FICKEN:  Yeah, obviously every kick you see goes in builds confidence in your ability.  So obviously having a really good game to start the year is really important.  You want to get off on the right foot.  But like I said multiple times, every time I'm called upon, I'm expected to do my job, and that is make the kick.

Q.  James said you're either running for mayor or you could run for mayor.  I'm not sure which he said.  But who is handling your campaign?
SAM FICKEN:  I don't know about politics too much.  I'll stick to what I know and that's football and finance.  So maybe down the road some day, but right now we'll stick to the two things that I know.

Q.  How are things going for you when you're older, and what are some of the challenges when you lose Ryan?
SAM FICKEN:  Yeah, a lot of my struggles last year came when Ryan went down with the hand injury.  I don't think I handled that well, and that's my own fault.  I didn't prepare as if I was going to lose Keiser, so I was kind of thrown into a situation where I was uncomfortable.  Where this year I told the coaching staff kind of the process of my season.  They said, okay, we want to work two holders.  They've done a really good job of pulling Keiser out occasionally, putting Gulla in.  And obviously during practice where he's playing safety, when I need a guy to hold, because Gulla's always there, and he's done a tremendous job in his first two games holding.  I haven't noticed a difference to be honest.

Q.  James talked about an internship you did over the summer.  Can you tell us about that?  Were there any crossovers between football and finance, and finance and football?  Things you could take from one to the other?
SAM FICKEN:  Yeah, so I worked at Merrill Lynch in town here.  I worked through the Manhattan office.  I would remote in through the FA office.  I worked for the Market Link Investments Team, doing a lot of spread sheet analysis, turn sheet analysis.  Really cool experience.  Met a lot of cool people.
As far as relating it to football?  That might be a little far‑fetched, but football is a game where you kind of have to react to the situation in front of you, and that's very similar to anything in finance.  The market can change so much on a daily basis.  But that might be a little far‑fetched to be honest.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297