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August 31, 2011

Frank Spaziani

FRANK SPAZIANI: First of all, I'm excited to get started. Our team is excited to get started. We've had a productive preseason, and we've got our team ready to go. We certainly know we have to be very proficient early on, and we have a very formidable opponent coming from in the Big Ten in Northwestern. They're well coached and they've got a lot of good players.
With that, I will start it off to you with some questions.

Q. With Montel, how great a challenge is that for your offense that you have this great running back not available for you this week?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, certainly the absence of Montel is a big loss to us for all the obvious reasons. But once again, it's not like it's a big surprise. We've had time to prepare ourselves. We have an adequate backup, and we have some other options. We've made the adjustments, and we're going forward.

Q. Do you turn into "Air Frank" this week?
FRANK SPAZIANI: That ball is going to be flying around (laughing). Well, once again, our offense is a little bit different right now, in a lot of ways, and just the fact that we're a little bit more experienced and we have a little bigger playbook, our quarterback is settled in, he's played, he's had a spring, an off-season and a preseason. So we have different options.

Q. Have you been following kind of all the drama with the Northwestern quarterback situation?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Yeah, I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't. But following it with a distant eye.

Q. Do you plan defenses differently or do you look at Kain Colter and think he's got a lot of the same skills as Persa? Do you know what I'm saying? Are there big different plans based on who's in there?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, you know, in opening games, the first thing you understand is that you expect the unexpected. There will be a lot of different things. So we'll have to take care of our own business first. And certainly Dan Persa is a Heisman Trophy candidate. He is a tremendous football player, and we wish him all the best. You know, whether he plays or not, there are some subtle adjustments, but certainly they have a very good offense. They've played without him for four or five games, I believe, last year, and they've made that adjustment, also.
It's going to be a game of get adjusted fast and see where you're going. But we don't have two different game plans, no.

Q. I was just wondering, you keep hearing and reading so much trouble up in your neck of the woods because of Irene. Did you have any disruption or any problem because of the storm coming through last week?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, the population did. There's a lot of people without power and flooded, and we're certainly very cognizant of that. But as far as our football I believe we lost a little bit of practice on Saturday because of the monsoon came through, and that was all. That was a little blip in our practice schedule.

Q. Did you target Kevin Rogers early? What's your relationship there, and what do you think so far? What impact is he having? If you could talk about Kevin.
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, Kevin, first of all, is an experienced football coach with a lot of knowledge under his cranium there. He's been around college football, he's coached a lot of football, he's been in the NFL. You have sort of a list of people in case anything ever happens, and certainly Kevin was on that list, and high on that list.
Timing is always right, and the timing was correct for Kevin to come on board with us, and we're extremely happy because of all that experience he brings collegiately and NFL wise and the people that he's coached. And as of -- since he got here, I guess in March, and hit the ground running, it's been nothing but positive reinforcement. The kids love him, the system is what it is, and we're looking forward to moving forward and seeing what we can put on the field.

Q. Has he made any major changes to the offense, or did you even ask him to do anything like that?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, you know, once again, there are some changes, make no mistake about it. It's his offense, and it needs to be that way. He has to take ownership of it, and he has. But a lot of it is similar. There's not very much new in football these days. You'll notice the difference, but a lot of the fundamentals are all the same.

Q. When did Montel have his second surgery, and what's the best-case scenario for getting him back?
FRANK SPAZIANI: I believe Montel had it in -- I don't have the date in front of me, but I think it was two and a half weeks ago or maybe three. You know, he could have been back this week, and once again, I don't want to throw that out there because I don't think he'll be back this week. But once again, this type of injury they have a little window of what you can get back, and sometimes it's shorter, sometimes it's longer. It's an individual thing.
I think realistically the way he's running around this week that we'll take a look at him and find out where we go with him next week.

Q. So he is able to work out and run at this point?

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