|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 18, 2008
THE MODERATOR: We have David Bruton and Maurice Crum, Jr.
Q. When you look at film of an opponent, how much do you really study the style of the runningback that you're facing?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: That's like imperative. You have to because week in and week out, every guy has something that he does extremely well. You try to get a beat on that so you don't make a mistake on him, so you can come to balance with his tackling, know if he's a guy that likes to the run to the corner with power or whatever he is, so you know how to approach him when it comes time to tackle.
Q. So if a guy runs to the corner, you can overplay him a little bit more?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: You just know if he has the ball he'll try to beat you to the corner. You don't necessarily want to come at him slow, you want to come at him fast, because he'll try to beat you to the corner.
Q. David, any other variables you take into consideration?
DAVID BRUTON: You just have to know if he's a cut-back guy or if he's going to lower his shoulder on you. That kind of dictates how you'll tackle the guy. And to expand further on what Mo said, if he's a guy who likes to go to the corner, you got to also be patient because he'll be the same guy who cuts back on you if you overpursue.
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: The things that I've seen, he has it all. I've seen him show speed. I've seen him show power, patience. Does a great job of staying behind his line, finding that hole. When it opens up, he has that burst to get through. He's been doing an excellent job in their scheme. We definitely got to be ready because, again, he does it all. It's not like a change-up guy that comes in. It's just him because he can do it all.
Q. You got to play him straight up?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: You got to play him honest, yeah, just one hundred percent honest.
Q. David, anything else?
DAVID BRUTON: Yeah, he's a jump-cutter, as well. He's patient. But he'll take it to the corner any time if he has a chance. We all got to be prepared and ready for a stiff arm or a jump cut, you know, just so we're not out of whack and out of balance.
Q. Do you like going on the road? Everybody likes to play in front of their home crowd. A different dynamic. You enjoy that?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: At times. I mean, again, it just kind of -- I guess it brings the team closer because you don't have to worry about all the other things and the crowd and stuff. It's more so just you and your guys against, you know, that stadium, that opponent, whatever else that may come. It's just you and your guys versus whatever challenge.
Q. Is that kind of a prerequisite, Us against the World mentality, when you go on the road?
DAVID BRUTON: Yeah, you know, we're all we got when we go out on the road. I personally love playing on the road. Everybody is rooting against you. People don't like you. You just go in there and play, you know, and earn people's respect.
Q. Coach Weis has talked about how he has promoted more emotion. He said that he didn't really do that early on when he got here. Of course, you were around. In tangible terms, how has that benefited you guys?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: Personally I think it just allows us to -- I think when you play with more emotion, it allows -- in a way, it just drives you to play harder, play with a little more passion. That passion is contagious toward the team and at times can be intimidating to an opponent. When they see 11 guys celebrating after a defense makes a play or there's a big run, the offensive linemen are still down the field picking the backs up, everybody is celebrating, high-fiving. I think at times that intimidates the opponent. It can kind of break their spirit.
DAVID BRUTON: Yeah, just this emotion that Coach Weis has driven into our head and into our heart, it's very beneficial to the team. It could, you know, hurt the spirit of the other team. Like what Mo just said, it can be intimidating. We're just feeding off Coach Weis' emotion, his energy, because he's shown that a lot. Especially Michigan, because we constantly talked about how he was before the game, how he was at halftime, how he was a soldier still out there coaching even on crutches. That just shows our team mentality, just how emotionally we are, how strong we feel about this game.
Q. Did you in any way feel a little bit inhibited prior to him kind of loosening the strings?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: Not me personally. I think with him adding that, for me it allowed me to try to show more emotion or play with even more passion than what I play with, make sure it's noticeable to guys to try to be an example so that they get the message of what coach is trying to say.
DAVID BRUTON: Yeah, it didn't really inhibit me from playing how I play or playing with emotion that I've played with. I go out every time, just try to do my best and give it all I got.
I think him expressing that allowed the younger guys and some older guys who may have doubts to feed off his energy, you know, just go with it and know that we're here.
Q. Is he more emotional, as well?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: Well, yeah, I think so. Like he's an emotional guy. His heart is really, really in football. But I think it's just more so expressing it and showing it so that guys can see that emotion. Because, again, unless you know him, you wouldn't know that, because he's just kind of a matter-of-fact guy.
The fact that now he's showing it, like I've seen it, I know his passion about the game, but it's different when you show that emotion.
DAVID BRUTON: I have to agree. You know, it's different when you showcase that emotion, not just keep it bottled in, just handle things businesslike. But when you go out there and just let it loose, you know, it could be like a domino effect, just go ahead and hit every guy on the team in the heart. Next thing you know, you have 105 guys going crazy, extra hype.
Q. The rah-rah speech before the game, is that important? Does that affect how you play, the coach wiring you the right way before you hit the field?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: I think depending on the time or the situation. Naturally guys are thrilled, you know, to play the game and happy to go out. But I think when it comes from the coach, that adds even more. That's that extra emotion we talk about that, letting it show, putting that emotion on your sleeve, just letting it show for everyone.
Q. Mo, you mentioned there were times when you get emotional out there, that can intimidate an opponent. In the past have you been on the wrong side of that, where a team was emotional and you didn't match that?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: Nothing comes like to mind. But, I mean, like just being around, watching so much football, you can see it. They make so many plays. They make more plays than you. Those guys are still celebrating, still celebrating. For that opponent, it can just kind of, you know, get down and down.
It's just a matter of when you make your plays, you celebrate with your guys, create that emotion, try to get the momentum to swing your way.
Q. David, what is your first memory of McCarthy when you met him?
DAVID BRUTON: My first time meeting him, he seemed like a cool guy. He was actually gonna play corner here. We hit it off. We were all cool. We all lived on the same floor. We became pretty good friends.
It's been strong for four years now. I don't see it being anything different.
Q. You've been asked about the chemistry between the two of you. How big of a deal is it now that you have had that experience now?
DAVID BRUTON: I think it's huge, you know. We both know how we play. We both know that the other guy knows what's going on. We have confidence in each other that we'll have the right call or some form of call at least to get us all on the same page.
We just have that camaraderie, that bond between two safeties that's kind of necessary, you know, in order for a defensive backfield to be successful.
Q. Any example in the first couple weeks when that chemistry or that non-verbal communication took place?
DAVID BRUTON: Let's see. There's been a couple times during the game that we're on a different page, but we look at each other, make a hand signal or something. Next thing you know, we're on the same page, making a big play on defense.
You seen it in the play against San Diego State. I've always had faith that he's been able to come up and make a big hit. I've always been kind of the second guy in playing the free safety. So it just shows what we always do in practice, as well.
Q. What was coach's halftime talk like?
DAVID BRUTON: Halftime talk, he came in on the crutches, started off very calm, but just got real excited again, showed that emotion like twofold. It was just strong, you know. I know his knee had to be hurting, especially after what happened. Still to come up there and talk to us like grown men, C'mon, just lay it all out there, showed his emotion on his sleeve, got us all riled up again to put the game away.
Q. He told us he wanted you more emotional this year. Can you give me an example of how he's shown you he wants you to be more emotional?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: I think the biggest thing was during camp, we did a lot of goal line stuff, put the ball on the one yard line, offense versus defense, best versus the best. We can't let 'em get in, they're trying to get in. Sometimes the offense would get in. It's like half the side erupts. Then sometimes we'll make a stop, then the other side erupts. That became just kind of like the start of, you know, playing with that emotion.
Those are huge plays, especially depending on at what point in the game it is. Making a goal line stop or punching the ball in can just break a team's spirit.
Q. He also talked about how he thought maybe some of the guys on the field, younger guys, were intimidated by him. Did you experience that when you first got here? Did you find him unapproachable, the Jersey attitude? Did that make you think he was unapproachable? Especially with the defensive players, how has he shown he wants to be approachable?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: Initially, when I was a younger player, just more so like I don't really want to mess up because I know he's gonna say something. But there was meaning to that. And I think unless you get an understanding of how Coach Weis is wired that you don't necessarily get it. For a young guy, you just think it's the coach coming down on you. But there's also like a method to his madness, so to speak.
I think just him opening up and telling us about himself, inviting us over to his house just to enjoy a good time and stuff, I think it's not necessarily him being the head coach, but him being the head coach as a part of this team.
Q. Can both of you talk about the whole 'crank me up'. Do you like it? How does it help a team?
DAVID BRUTON: I personally like it. Adds our own flavor to the cheer. It shows how the team has gotten involved with the crowd. It just shows that connection between us and the student body. You know, we say it in practice all the time. It's just like some type of motivation. We don't know, it just triggers something. We crank it up, we play hard. It gets the crowd involved. That just helps us play harder, as well.
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: Yeah, it definitely just allows us to try to -- to play at a higher level. That's basically what it is. When you say 'crank me up,' it's trying to get us to the next level. We got to go, we got to go harder, we got to raise the bar. Having the students involved and the fans involved, again, it just adds that extra energy.
Q. You talked about Ringer. What else from Michigan State's offense have you seen on tape?
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: For me, I think one of the things that I noticed was their quarterback throws a really, really good, deep ball. Their offensive line are big and physical guys. You got to be ready to come with it. If they get hold of you, it's over.
So, I mean, that's where we've got to be on our A game and ready to come with it, because they're going to come hard and come at us all day.
DAVID BRUTON: With the receivers, you know, have 2 Dell and 3 Cunningham. They're both real good receivers. They go after the ball. They catch it at the high points. To go on what Mo said, Hoyer, the quarterback, he throws a real good deep ball. He also throws a real good intermediate ball as well. They show they've got timing and chemistry between the quarterback and the receiver. That makes us have to step up our A game in the defensive backfield to be aware of what we're getting.
Q. Mo, you got banged up in the last game. Tell us what happened and how you feel now.
MAURICE CRUM, JR.: I'm fine. I think it was one or two of the guys on their offensive line fell on my leg. It's just a small bruise. But it healed and stuff. It was just in a weird spot. So that's what it all was. But I'm fine now.
Q. David, with all the tackles that you and Kyle have over the first few games, is it just more the style of defense you are playing now with more blitzes, and that leaves you more open to make tackling on short routes, or is it something else?
DAVID BRUTON: You know, I think it's a mixture of just want to. Also me and Kyle both play on special teams. We get our share from that realm of the game.
But Kyle's rolled up in the box or I'm rolled up in the box. Just being alert and aware of how the ball will spill at times helps to make more tackles.
Q. Is it something that maybe you sense more this season, that this type of production might happen from the two of you defensively, not even just on special teams?
DAVID BRUTON: Yeah, you know, it seems like it could happen. All the blitzes just allows everybody to make plays, you know, whether it's in the backfield. Sometimes you're left on an island. You have to make an open-field tackle. It just comes down to that.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everyone.
End of FastScripts