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


September 16, 2019

Tom Allen

Bloomington, Indiana

TOM ALLEN: All right. Good afternoon. Just follow-up from Saturday, after watching the film and taking a look at everything it's just very, very disappointing in the way that we played and so as I stated pretty clearly a week ago at this time on this day that what the expectations were for us and where we are and what we want to be able to do on game day. So did not match those and a lot of respect for Ohio State and a very good football team, but really it was about us and our lack of execution and just doing things we got to do to win football games. So pretty clearly very disappointed in that. So but you have to, as we talked to our players today, it's about evaluating where you're at, what you're doing, the film, learn from it, and pressing forward. And that's what we're going to do. So, because of our poor play, no players of the game were selected in all three phases, but I did want to recognize our young guys I thought did a great job working hard, getting us ready. Offensive scout team player of the week, Christian Harris, really a guy that I think is a guy that has a chance to help us in the future. Defensive scout team player of the week, Beau Robbins, had an excellent week, really appreciate his effort, a lot of D-linemen worked really hard. Kind of were down a few guys there, they had to give a ton of reps, it was really hot last week and really appreciate their effort, but Beau was by far the leader of that group and helping our O-line get a good look. And then special teams scout teams players of the week, we had two, Joseph Daniels and Justin Berry so really proud of those guys and what they're doing for us. Also we have Hall of Fame for the IU Athletics being inducted this week, so Chris Gardner kicker and Donnie Thomas, linebacker. So recognize those guys and Chris will be with us as honorary captain on game day. So just the game is what it was and we have to learn from it and move forward. So questions.

Q. Couple guys that were here said your message to them was don't let this loss become two losses, don't let it kind of fester and linger. You can say that to them, how important is it though for guys like Nick and Coy Cronk and Allen Stallings and your seniors to get that message across to the younger guys?
TOM ALLEN: I think it's truly important. I think that that's what you have leaders for and that's why you stress how critical a role that they play in our program in the good and the bad. You have something like this happen and not allowing it to linger and one loss affecting how you perform the next week. It just cannot happen. So that's where your leaders have to rise up and these guys have been here and have experience. And the coaching staff and what we, the message that we send to our guys -- and we have to live that out ourselves, I have to flush it as well. But to me the difference is is that you can, when things happen a certain way, and I was really, I was pretty ticked off as I came in on Sunday and just the way things, watched the film Saturday night and just not happy at all. And so that the edge that that creates in you, to me, I don't want that to ever go away because those things, they bother you, when you invest so much and you work so hard and you have an expectation. So that's why I want our guys and that's I want the older guys to lead with that angle about us and the way we approach it and just let it make us into a better football team. And that's my goal is that this makes us into a better football team and, hey, regardless of what happens on game day you got to go play again next week. But the bottom line is our leaders have to step up and lead and I expect them to.

Q. After the Ball State game you were able to give us specific numbers for missed tackles and yards that accounted. Do you have a number for that for this weekend?
TOM ALLEN: I do. Unfortunately I don't want that to be a consistent update. But we had to -- there was 11 plays where missed tackles occurred on, but within those 11 plays there were 16 individuals that actually missed a tackle and for 166 yards, which is a lot. And there was a couple, there was, one was a 65 yard after contact. And that's basically after we have a chance to tackle the ball carrier or the receiver that becomes the runner. But most of them were out of the back field. So that's really -- and then I go through and once again it's about -- so I have created a summary of it, just, okay, I want to know exactly the play that it occurred on, who was involved, and why. And then the final phase, okay, what are we doing to correct it. So 11 of those, which is -- excuse me -- of those, nine of those were due to not driving your legs through contact or leaving your feet. So nine of those were related to the leg drive of the tackle which is just fundamental. And I'm not going to -- that all goes into the angles and positioning and when you're out of position you lunge. So I get that, that's not just the fact that the guy just doesn't run his legs every time, but there's reasons what leads up to that as well. But just go through. And then four of those were because of not wrapping up. So a high number was the leg drive and just run your feet through contact. So obviously we got to continue to work on that. You're playing against a bigger back, big strong guys, you got to run through them. Now just, for example, I thought Micah McFadden tackled well. He had missed several in the Ball State game and did not in this one. So several times had chances to run through ball carriers and did that.

So you're seeing some progress, but it's too many. It's just kind of, that just can't happen. There were more in the second half and so -- and it's big, they created big plays and noticeable plays, so it kind of seemed worse, but it's just still too many, too many for sure and got to keep working on it and you just, it goes along with what we keep saying, you know what you want and you don't get what you want and you just keep fixing it and keep working on it and you finally get to the point where you get it the way it's supposed to look and right now we're not there yet.

Q. With Mike I think you said Saturday it's just continues to be sort of day-to-day. Is there a world where you can envision that sort of changing by the end of the week or do you think that for the foreseeable future it's just let's see where he's at on a day-by-day basis?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, I think probably to be fair I'll probably know some more by even the end of today of kind of how that will look. There's no question that I think it's going to be a day-to-day thing this week. I don't foresee it hopefully not being a day-to-day thing the rest of the season. But at the same time, for this Saturday's game we definitely aren't going to know for several more days, probably will eventually be a game-time decision with him as well to figure out if he can go or not. But I don't expect that to keep being the case every single week, hopefully get to the point where we'll feel good about it and be able to put it behind us. So that's my update on that.

Q. As far as the run game goes, when you watch the offensive line, is it physicality or is it just technically just not quite there?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, I just think first of all in this game, in this particular game we, it's always been a challenge to run te football against these guys. I think that they -- I know I felt like this on film -- the last couple years especially they have not been as good as they had used to be in the past and I thought they really cleaned some things up in the first two games and thought they were playing the run better this year by making some changes and doing things that they were doing. So I knew it was going to be challenging for sure.

Still to me I think it's physicality at the point of attack for the whole group, not necessarily every single person but as a whole group. And then being able to stay in there -- and sometimes it's just about a matter of just being able to schematically and decision making wise just to be able to run the football more. Stevie had six carries. And so just to be able to get him more opportunities and stuff. So, but bottom line is that, yeah, I think physicality, execution of our assignments has got to continue and we just still need to find creative ways to take the pressure off. And they get guys -- I think we had nine third and longs, which make it's really, really difficult to convert. So run the football on first and second down and even having the threat of it on third does make a difference. So but to me it's a combination of a lot of things, but it's something that we know is a huge issue and a huge focus and something that we will work tirelessly on to get fixed.

Q. The tackling issues that you talked about, the reasons why they're doing it, but this far into the season, I know it's not something you expected, but what did you attribute that problem that it's there, why it's there?
TOM ALLEN: Well to me I just think that the bottom line is that I still feel like that we have to do a better job of getting, structurally getting more guys to the football. And that's being able to, the way that we want to structure things as a defense, I want to see us do that and we spend a lot of time meeting about that and kind of make some of those adjustments here this week to be able to get more hats around the football sooner structurally and just allow us to be able to take away some of that space that's created when you play a team that we just played and their ability to, if you come at an angle against a 220 pound guy that's got elite speed it makes it really challenging.

So to me, to answer your question, I just feel like we got to get more hats to the ball and take the pressure off of one guy making that one miss that's going to create a bigger play. So that's what's going to be a major objective for us.

Q. Without getting into team specifics, you talk about getting into position with the lack of tackling and is that where you get into this week in practice and try to set up as many situations as possible working in with your defense or is it more just working on tackling circuits?
TOM ALLEN: Well it's definitely working on tackling circuits and we will continue to do that, that doesn't change. But to me and I think for us too is that as you go through and you work against your scout teams to be able to increase the intensity of some of those reps in regards to not full tackling but the thud tempo and hitting through the ball carrier and finishing those plays out. I think that that's where sometimes you can get, especially as the season starts rolling along, that you can not get the finishes that you really, really want and that affects leg drive and wrap to me as much as anything. So creating as many of those as we possibly can without still keeping guys off the ground is what we want to be able to do.

So, yeah, I see more of that and also see working run fits, run fits, run fits. To get guys to the football, fitting everything up right nice and tight and not allowing -- because there's always going to be where not everybody's going to have the perfect tackle each time. And if a guy happens to miss, then there's a guy right there to finish off the ball carrier. And that to me is we got to get more there to finish off the ball carrier is really the way I see it.

Q. Aside from that 75 yard pass against Ball State seems like Nick hasn't really had too many breakout moments in the passing game. Is there any kind of a concern that you may be under-utilizing him or he's not getting enough touches of the ball?
TOM ALLEN: No, he's just like the rest of them, when he gets his opportunities he's got to make post plays. So he will continue to be targeted and we took some shots and obviously those are contested balls, even this past game, and sometimes you're going to have to make some great catches -- I know he made a great catch against them a year ago on our sideline that they had to review. And so those are the kind of catches you got to make against teams like this. So obviously sometimes you get loose and sometimes you don't, but to me it goes for all of our receivers, they got to be able to go up against the tight coverage and man coverage and guys playing in proper position, because they were a disciplined defense that was where they were supposed to be and contested a lot of those throws. So he just needs to rise up and make those big plays and he know that is.

Q. I know you take a lot of pride in takeaways. Only two in three games. Anything that you identified or put your fingers on?
TOM ALLEN: It's not good enough, it's not our standard. Takeaways, tackling and efforts. So two of those three things to me aren't getting done. Not happy at all and we got to get it fixed. But that goes back to just tackling the football and playing with that swarming confidence mentality. And I agree, I'm with you, I'm just as frustrated. So you just keep fighting and you just keep working and you just keep focusing on technique and doing things the right way -- and I do think they come in bunches and they will, but two's not enough, not to our standard.

Q. I know you always sort of are preparing for the moment at hand, but in regards to Michael's rehab and getting ready to play a game does it matter to you that you have non-conference game this week and a very important Big-Ten game next week in regard to the timeline for him?
TOM ALLEN: I think the thing that's the variable in all that -- and this is our challenge of all of our guys -- and like Cam Jones is a prime example. He worked his tail off to rehab and get back. And that's what we -- we just tell our guys, hey, you got to do everything you can, work as hard as you can to be back as soon as you can. But he is a young quarterback and so getting him reps is very important. So to me it's a matter of if he can, if he is able to go, then he needs to go. That's how I look at it.

Q. I know you're doing obviously a lot of look at yourself, but have you started to look at UConn and what have you seen from them on film on both sides of the ball?
TOM ALLEN: We surely have. You go through and break down the game and then you evaluate that and then you have to move forward. And we have done that with both the coaching staff and then we will do that officially with our guys in the morning. But and I played against them when I was at South Florida, so a little more familiar with them and their -- I just kind of, I would compare them body type wise to Virginia, that's who they remind me of in terms of they got a lot of good length, a lot of good looking players, and they're an improved football team. There's no doubt. They struggled last year I know but just watching the two games -- they didn't play last week so they only played twice -- and they played Illinois, so I got a chance to see them against a Big-Ten opponent and they went up 10-0 against Illinois right out of the gate and so, but, yeah, just a team that -- and they got a quarterback that played last week that didn't play the first week and I think he'll be the guy we're going to see, number 11. I know his first name's Jack, I can't pronounce his last name, but number 11 is the guy I expect to see, because I thought he played really well against Illinois. Two backs that run hard. And big offensive linemen that look a lot like the offenses we're used to seeing. They have big guys. When I was there, we played them when I was at South Florida and I was really, when we saw them in person, how big they were. So similar. Good length on defense, linebackers, in the secondary, had some NFL guys lately from their program. And Coach Edsall is a great football coach and he has a lot of pride in what he built there before he left and now that he's back.

So they will be a very well-coached football team that will play extremely hard. And they're, body type wise, that's kind of how I compare them is when we played Virginia.

Q. Based off your special teams performance on Saturday what's going to be your message, especially the punting unit, about getting better this week against UConn?
TOM ALLEN: Very, very disappointed in that. We spend so much time on special teams and especially our Crimson Watch, which is our punt team. So to get a punt blocked and the way that it happened and basically everything I said after the game was exactly what happened. So just worked on it this morning during our practice. So it's just, the message is we rely on them to help us provide a winning edge to our football team. When you get a punt blocked, you don't win many games when that happens. So we were fortunate only to be in two points instead of a touchdown, but still it really affected -- and that kind of whole sequence of plays that happened, it was really kind of a really turning point in the game in my opinion, momentum-wise. So just the message is that we rely on you, you have a job to do that -- we had an issue with the snap wasn't on point, the line alignment of the Haydon wasn't on point, the guy up front didn't do his job, or left tackle in that alignment, and then the left shield was put in a bad spot because he had to block his guy and then it left his guy open. So a series of things that led up to it. But got to fix it.

And take a lot of pride in special teams and being great in those units. Thought our House Call Unit had some positives for sure and David continues to do a good job back there and just a block or two away from freeing him up on some real big returns. And then our Hammer Team, our kickoff cover unit had some really good coverage against some dynamic players.

So just got to keep working and want to see us do a better job on our score team, which is our punt returns, being able to create some return yards off of those. We got Whop back there who is a dynamic guy that can do something with the ball in his hands. So got to have all three phases. And that's the thing, it was a complete team loss on Saturday, all three phases didn't play to our standards and so that really added to the disappointment was that it was everything.

Q. How concerned are you in regard to the leadership of this team talking about the players now and how they handle the adversity on Saturday and the disappointment that this game was for the entire program?
TOM ALLEN: I wouldn't use the word concerned, I would say I'm looking forward to seeing how we respond. I'm excited to see what this will make us into. Because when you have strong leadership, which I believe we do, then adversity only strengthens you. Because it can do one of two things, it can either make you or break you. So I'm looking forward to seeing this team respond, both the coaches and the players. And that to me is what I expect to happen. But it has to be the case. The leaders have to understand you take it personal -- and I said in the beginning, you work so hard, you invest so much into this that, yeah, it really, it's, yeah, you're ticked, because that's not how we want to play this game, the way that we did. And that's not how we want this team to be known. So and when you have that level of care factor with guys, then you see a positive response because the bottom line is that when you're a confident person and you don't do things or things don't go the way you want them to go you don't hang your head and sulk and start feeling sorry for yourself and start doubting yourself, no, you bow up and you fight and that's what I expect our leaders to do and address the things that didn't go well and figure out why and then give our guys the support and the resources and the energy that it takes to get them fixed. But them buying into that is a big part of that. So I'm looking forward to seeing us respond in the right way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
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