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, 2009

Jimmy Clausen

Eric Olsen

Q. Last year a situation where a lot of guys left; how much do you look at last year and think about how much more -- inaudible.
ERIC OLSEN: It's tough to go back and look at a tape from last year, even though they returned so many guys, whether it's different things that they do technique-wise or different things that they do scheme-wise. We kind of focus more on this year's stuff.
And the previous two games obviously there has not been that much football played so far this year, so we have to go back and use last year's game so see how they liked to defend us, in particular.
From a personnel standpoint, every college football player across the country is trying to get bigger, stronger, faster in the off-season, so it works better to our advantage looking at personnel from this year.

Q. Talk about Greg Jones.
ERIC OLSEN: It's no secret he's a great player. He shows up time and time again and makes a lot of great plays against us and against everybody. He's one of the best linebackers in the country, so it's a major responsibility for me and the offensive line to make sure we cover that guy up, especially in the run game and even in the pass.

Q. Obviously there's a little bit of a comfort level at home, playing at home?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I don't so. I think it's just going out each and every day and trying to prepare to win on Saturdays. And just playing at home, like you said, there's no crowd noise, so you can do a lot of different stuff to get you in tune to what the defense is doing.

Q. Jimmy, when you played Michigan State last year, it was kind of a transformation of your offense and going into the season, Coach Weis talks about smash mouth team and that all changed, Michigan State. Your recollections of going in at half-time and just said, throw the ball and from there took off. What are your recollections?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: In the first half the Michigan State game, we were trying to pound the ball, like coach said. They had seven, eight guys in the box and we just had to -- they were stopping the run, and we just had to just throw the ball if we were going to have a chance to win the game. And that's pretty much what we did coming out in the second half was just try to throw it around to give us a chance to win.

Q. How good did it feel to know that you guys were moving from that point on?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It was good. I was still a young player, my second year playing quarterback and, we had a lot of younger guys at receiver. We had Mike; Michael was a true freshman, in college, a true freshman playing. So Coach Weis was just trying to ease everyone's way into it and was trying to help us all.

Q. There was a feeling, the distinct feeling on Saturday and you guys overcame a double-digit deficit that no matter how big the deficit the guys are in, just what it feels like to now be in an offense where that can be the mind-set.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It feels great knowing that whenever we get the ball we can make plays and if we don't score at least get three points, and that's our goal to get down each and every time we get the ball, not have a three-and-out and go down and score every single time.
ERIC OLSEN: Our goal as an offense, as a unit is to outscore the other team's offense, you know what I mean. As an offense, you want to put the game in your hands and make it easy for the defense. As long as we score one more point than the other team, that's what we are going to try to do every game.

Q. We were talking to Armando yesterday and he said what he got the most kick out of were the running plays and how much fun the offensive line was having with some of the big runs and some of the third down runs. Can you just relate the feeling of really feeling and seeing your ground game take off?
ERIC OLSEN: Well, on a personal level, it was nice to see success in the running game for a change. Obviously it's been something that we have struggled with in the past.
But in the grand scheme of things, as an offensive lineman at any level of football on any team, running the ball is kind of a thing of pride. And when you're pushing defensive linemen back and getting up to linebackers and your running back is making great runs behind you; it's just a good feeling and something that gets everybody excited.

Q. And how -- again I don't want to jinx you here, but you've been so good as a pass blockers --
ERIC OLSEN: Don't say it. Don't say.

Q. How confident are you guys now? You made huge strides last year and looks like you are making even further strides this year. How confident are you guys as a unit as pass blockers?
ERIC OLSEN: As every game goes and every practice goes, we are getting more and more confident.
Obviously the experience we have has helped us with that confidence, and you know, playing against Coach Brown and his defense all camp long for the last two years has helped us you out as well going against every blitz in the book. It's just a matter of seeing those things in game speed setting. As we get more experience and we become older, it gets easier for us and enables us to grow more confidence.

Q. Jimmy, for a while you have talked about the playmakers you have, just getting them the ball, do you feel like you have the best weapons in the country?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Oh, for sure. You know, whether it's the running backs or receivers, tight end, I think we have the best guys in the country.

Q. How about Michael -- do you feel like you can just throw it to him any time one-on-one?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, whenever they are one-on-one, that's something I look forward to; and you know, they get ginked up whenever they get one-on-one because they know I'm coming to them. That's kind of the thing that we have in common is whenever they get one-on-one they know I'm going to throw it to them and they know they have got to get open and make a play.

Q. Can you guys just talk about you kind of touched on Armando a little bit, what obviously his breakout really means to the team, and keeping his confidence up? He looked as distraught as anyone after the game coming off the field; just what he means and making sure he realizes how important is he to this offense?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Armando is a real big part of this offense. Obviously he's the starting running back and he's the one that gets everything going. The offensive line is the biggest key in our offense, and making holes for the running backs, giving me time and protection to let me throw the ball down the field so the playmakers -- and Armando has done a great job being a leader on this team and helping all of the younger running backs get up to speed and just making plays out there.
ERIC OLSEN: Yeah, Armando is a guy that definitely leads by example and we have pretty much a stable of running backs with a lot of talent and a lot of depth.
When Armando has success, that means our offense is going to have success. So that's something that personally for him and for us as a whole is something we want to do is get Armando the ball and let him make plays.

Q. You obviously talked about after the game, you were disappointed with how practice went the previous week. What did you see on Tuesday from the guys, was it going in the right direction this week?
ERIC OLSEN: Yeah, I mean, definitely, I think last week, it starts with me, it starts with the other captains and the leadership on down.
I think Jimmy did a great job yesterday coming out and not hanging his head and coming out with fire and emotion and ready to take on this week of work; and I tried to do the same thing, along with Scott Smith and Kyle. And all of the guys picked up to that and gravitated to that because we know there's a whole lot of football left to be played and we can't hang our heads after one loss.

Q. Your thoughts on kind of bouncing back?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, just like Eric said, it's just one loss, and now there's ten more games to be played in the season. As much as we don't want to lose a game, that's in the past. That happened Saturday, and we are getting ready to play Michigan State this Saturday.
We went out yesterday and everyone was happy to get back on the field is and just get ready to practice and just get ready for Michigan State.

Q. Eric, Coach Weis had mentioned about -- inaudible -- how did that work from your perspective? How did the run look yesterday?
ERIC OLSEN: Our defense? Oh, they did a tremendous job. Any time that Coach Weis wants our offense to go full speed against the defense, it's just to simulate a live situation, and those guys are able to make the plays that they need to make to stop running plays, it's a good thing for the whole team.

Q. In a situation like that, in a practice setting like yesterday, do you encourage them? Do you challenge them? How do you maybe try to help that along?
ERIC OLSEN: I think it's a little bit of both. Obviously we want to challenge them because we want to have success ourselves.
But with that, they know that we are trying to encourage them and trying to bring them along with us and make them better you know what I mean. Any time you're going against your own teammate, yeah, you want to win and you want to have a successful play as an individual, but you have to look at the grand scheme of things.

Q. For both you guys in terms of running the operation maybe a little better, a little bit cleaner, quicker, how much of that was just first road game, you are going to have some kinks, one play where the official spotted the ball on the wrong hash and the wrong yard line, that hurt you, as well. How do you guys try to get that cleaned up? And in some ways, when you come home, there's no crowd noise; do you not know if it got cleaned up just because of working under a different circumstance?
ERIC OLSEN: Well, I have to take some of the responsibility. I'm a new center, so a lot of the things are new to me.
So playing in a place like the Big House where there's a lot of noise and trying to look between my legs on the silent count to see when Jimmy is ready and then have to worry abut reading the defense and making all of the calls, that is something that's a little bit of a tough adjustment for me.
But playing at home obviously makes it a lot easier because the fans are not as loud when we are on offense. That's something I've talked to Jimmy and the coaches about and that's something I'm going to work to clean up.

Q. Learning experience?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, I think so. Going into a first road game, obviously for Eric, his first road game playing center, it's going to be different.
For me, I was just trying to make different calls here and there, especially running shotgun, calling out different Mikes, just to get us picked up and protection, a few of the times I lost sight of the play clock, and that's on me. That's not the coaches or that's not on Eric.
So I should just have taken more timeouts if that was the case, or just next time we play on the road, I've just got to be a little more quicker making all those adjustments.

Q. I guess when you're making those adjustments on the road with the noise and shotgun, that creates communication challenges that's inherent to that set; do you have do dial back some of the checks in some situations if you feel like you're in a situation where a play might get blown up but for right now, you can't get the change made, you just have to run it and see what happens?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, in it different situations you have to know how many time-outs you have, if the second half if we need to save time-outs.
Coach Weis is pretty good at telling me in different situations, we want to call a time-out or just run it. But most of the time if it's a big play, third down, the play could get blown up, I'm pretty much going to call a time-out and have Coach Weis get us in a better play and give us more time and different options.

Q. Curious about one play, the pass to Kyle that got called back. Two questions are: It seemed like you just happened to fine him and he was wide open. And also you stood above that flag for what seemed like about ten minutes, was that just coincidence or tell me about that?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: You know, it's just a play down the field. I got flushed out of the pocket a little bit, saw Kyle and I just got him the ball. He took it down to the five or whatever he did.
And then the flag, I was just -- I just stood right where I ended up flowing the ball, and I really didn't see the flag. Was it like under me? Was it? Yeah, I didn't see it. So I guess just a coincidence.

Q. Their team goal -- your numbers after two weeks, did you set numerical goals for yourself this season? And I would imagine you're satisfied at this point no matter what they were if you did.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Not really. Stats, I'm not really worried about those. The only stats I really worry about is the wins and loss columns. You know, I'm not happy obviously with being 1-1 right now but that's in the past and we are getting ready for Michigan State. It's day two in our preparation and we're ready to go on Saturday.

Q. The manner in which you lost, even though you lost, you gained a lot of respect nationally, this current crop. Did you hear from any former Notre Dame players or anyone who sent you a text message or e-mail in the last couple of days just to talk to you about that?
ERIC OLSEN: I talked to Reggie Brooks a little bit about it and he kind of let me know, hold your head up. Same thing I said before, keep going and make sure all of the guys are showing up for work every week, because all of past players and guys that are watching on TV are seeing glimpses of how special this team really is.
And it's just a matter of again, working hard and staying after it, and you know, he just let me know that Notre Dame Nation is behind us.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, there was some e-mails sent to the rest of the guys on the team and myself, as well, and other former players that texted me and said, just keep your head up, keep working hard, it's a tough loss, but you guys will bounce back. It's just real encouraging to see former players and just people out there that are cheering us on.

End of FastScripts

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