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 17, 2010

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER: Very happy to be with you. Looking forward to a great challenge this week up in Maryland as Maryland has done an outstanding job with their team. They have a fabulous football coach, and they've done a terrific job this year.
We're coming off a very hard physical football game against Clemson that we feel was a very good football team and our kids battled. We're very happy with the way they competed in the game.
We're still trying to get better as a football team. But we're continually growing and competing well in football games and we're very happy with that. Looking forward to how we handle this big challenge, and this road challenge this weekend.

Q. The emotion after the Clemson win both by you and the rest of the team, how exhilarating was it to get that kind of a close win after the last two had slipped away?
COACH FISHER: It was very good. It was a very good feeling. Like I said, it reinforced some of the things that we've been telling our young men. That you have to stay true to the process and believe and have faith in what we're doing and how things go. If you keep doing things right, good things will happen to you.
It happened two weeks in a row. And for kids you worry do they doubt, but they didn't. I've said that all week. They've practiced well, they keep believing. Their attitude has been good.
To get that success off the same situation and now you can have that thing you had a lot of faith in, you now can believe in that it does come true. You just have to make it come true. You have to fight for those extra inches. It was a great feeling for our team and our players.

Q. And if Ponder is showing any signs of injury to his elbow at all this weekend? Will you sit him at all and put E.J. back in there?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, if Ponder was injured, there is no doubt E.J. would play. He could play anyway. There is a chance that could happen too. You never know. I feel very confident putting E.J. in the game. I said that last week and that's why we stuck with him through the whole football game when we had a tough first half.
I think E.J.'s going to be a phenomenal quarterback here and a terrific player, and we love his leadership. Christian has had a very good week of practice, but so has E.J. So we feel confident going into the game and have two guys that are very capable.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Maryland. They've made the biggest turn around in the league this year. They were a really tough team. They had a tough season last year and obviously in the fight for the title. You all saw them at their best last year and you had to pull it out at the end. Can you talk about what's made them so much more competitive this year than last year?
COACH FISHER: I think the first thing they've done a super job in turnover ratio. They're plus 13 in turnover margin which we know affects the outcome of games more than anything. They take care of it and they get them on defense.
They have a great punt returner, great kick returner, very sound in all three phases of their game. Ralph does a super job, and the offensive coordinator does a great job on offense mixing up option looks and throwing looks.
The quarterback game with O'Brien has really made a big difference, I think, getting the ball down the field, two outstanding receivers, Big and physical upfront. Defense multiple looks, a lot of blitzing. Allow you different coverages than a lot of people do with the trap looks and all those thing.
On special teams they're very sound and they play hard and do a great job in the turnover margin. They've done a terrific job of getting turnovers and not turning the ball over. They're playing very, very good football.

Q. Can you talk more about O'Brien and what he brings to them? Obviously that is a factor they didn't have last year.
COACH FISHER: Yeah, I mean, he's got a big time arm. He's accurate. He can get the ball down the field to play makers and that loosens things up. People have to get out of the box. They have two very fast wideouts that have the ability to hit home runs. When you have that, if you single cover them at times, you get burnt you have to get out. Now you can run the ball.
Just his leadership and toughness, he has a very good presence about him, in my opinion, the way he moves around the pocket and carries himself.

Q. I was curious a little bit. Now that you're ten games into a season, if the head coaching experience has been any different than you thought it might be or about what you thought it might be? It's always when you move from an assistant job, and I just wondered what you've learned from it?
COACH FISHER: I think the big thing is you have to stay on an even keel and understand where your issues are from. But it has been what I thought it would be. I mean it really has.
But I think the big thing is when you're the head coach, you can't get caught up on offense. You have to look at the whole big picture of why things are happening. Are you developing your players? Are you developing your organization? All the support systems around you going well?
And to see how it affects your players throughout year from rest to practice habits to the things you're doing and the way you go about your business. You have to keep a much wider eye on all those different things and deal with a lot more issues. There is no doubt about that.
But I kind of expected a lot of those things would happen. Feel very good about at least our kids have done a great job and it's gone pretty smoothly because I think we've got such really good kids.
A lot of issues that I've been with head coaches that had during seasons, I haven't had to deal with, and I think that has to do with the character of our kids. I've been very blessed in that regard that our kids have done everything we've asked them to do.
But it's constantly motivating them. Bringing different things to the table and keeping things in perspective. Reminding them how to keep their goals in front of them how to play and all those kinds of things, the motivational issues are always very challenging.
Because we have such a young football team, that I think as the season grows on, a lot of these guys haven't played as much football. We haven't played as many games that really to me since I've been here have had a lot of impact on the conference in November. So this is all a different experience for them. It's very challenging, but I think our kids and I look forward to it, and I think it's gone pretty well.

Q. In the off-season you really challenged Shawn Powell to step up from being a good punter to being a dominant kind of punter. I was just hoping to get your impressions on how he has embraced that challenge this year so far?
COACH FISHER: He's been super. He has worked his tail off. He's had a great attitude. The very few kicks -- what used to bother Shawn at times I thought in the past, if he had a bad kick or warmed up poorly or something wasn't right, sometimes it affected him for long periods of time.
What Shawn has done a great job of in my opinion is if something has went wrong, which has been very, very few times, he's forgotten it and moved on. I see it in practice every day. When he has a bad kick, hey, he goes right back and takes the next one. He's taken that challenge.
You're starting to see the consistency in him. We've always known he's had talent and a super leg, but now he's being a consistent talent. It's really, to me, made a huge impact on our football team.

Q. I've been working on a national story about what happened. Lot of controversy over the weekend in the Cal-Oregon game about faking injuries and maybe coaches coaching players to fake injuries.
COACH FISHER: Oh, really? From no-huddle or something?

Q. Yeah, to slow their offense down that are trying to go real fast. Again, without getting into specifics because I'm not saying whether that happened or not. But have you ever run into that as a coach? And as a coach, what would your reaction to that be?
COACH FISHER: I've never ran into it personally that I know of. If we would have thought of it, we would have done it in Oklahoma (laughing) when they were getting lined up and we couldn't get lined up.
But, no, I have no opinion on it. I've never known that to happen or anything that's ever happened to me. You hope it doesn't. But guys try to find ways to slow people down to win games, I know that. But you try to stay within the rules of the game and try to abide by them. I don't know if anyone tries to do it intentionally.

Q. We had a situation a few years ago where they had to put in the rule that if the offense substitutes, the defense has got to have time to substitute?
COACH FISHER: Yes, which I think is a great rule.

Q. Is that being enforced correctly do you think though?
COACH FISHER: I can't say that because I haven't -- it hasn't happened. All the instances we've dealt with have been pretty good that I could tell. Like I said, we haven't faced anybody except really Oklahoma who went fast, fast, fast.
I mean, I don't remember issues there as far as that goes. I think we had one time a helmet came off and they wouldn't give us a timeout, but a little thing like that.
But I don't know of any. I would assume so. They're doing a good job of it. Our league so far that I've know of it I haven't had any complaints, put it that way.

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