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 6, 2011

Brian Kelly

THE MODERATOR: We have Coach Kelly. We'll get started with questions.

Q. Brian, I was curious if you had an injury update on the half dozen guys that got banged up last night.
COACH KELLY: Yes. I would say that we'll look at Lynch, Manti, Braxston Cave, all ankle injuries. Manti probably the same ankle, but turned it again. Obviously he's back to where he was probably two, three weeks ago. Lynch has got a lateral sprain, so not a high ankle sprain. He'll be back.
Cave, we're still waiting for some more information. He has a mid foot sprain. But it was a lot better today than it looked sometimes last night.

Q. T.J. Jones, I know he came back in the game, but did you get clarification what happened with him?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it was a helmet-to-helmet kind of situation. I think our doctors wanted to make sure there were no concussion symptoms. They sat him down, he was evaluated, cleared to go back in the game.
We'll put him through a battery of tests again this week just to make sure he's good to go.

Q. Ethan Johnson, was he real close last night or was that a play in case of emergency?
COACH KELLY: I think he's better. Ethan, when he's ready, he's going to play. He's very in tune with his body. When he feels like he's ready to go, he's going to step on the field.
I know he felt a whole lot better. I know he's anxious to get back out there.

Q. On your freshmen defensive ends, talk about their performance last night.
COACH KELLY: The one thing that we were really pleased with was that they competed really hard for four quarters. There were no lows. These guys are playing hard, and they give us big-play capabilities. Their ability to push the passer, chase some things down.
Having said that, they make life a lot harder on Fox and Manti because sometimes you don't know where they're going to be. You got to take the good with the bad there. With Ethan on the field and Kap, our linebackers knew exactly where their fits were because those guys are so disciplined and understand our defense. The younger guys have a tendency to roam a little bit and it makes it a little bit harder for our backers.
All in all, very competitive.

Q. Last night in postgame I think you talked about identity, running out the clock. When the season started, that really wasn't one of the identity points that people figured with this team. When did you get the sense that could be an identity? Jonas Gray, power running, two things that maybe had not shown a lot the last couple years, could be an identity for you guys?
COACH KELLY: I think each year, as the season unfolds, as you continue to practice, as players mature and develop, you have to be ready to move towards where your strengths are. It's pretty clear that our offensive line and Tommy gets us in the right place. A great job of getting us into some real good looks again last night. He's very smart, very connected to the run game. The backs have continued to develop.
I think it's just been the process during the year that we have developed into that kind of football team that feels like we can close out the game on the road with five and a half minutes to go in the game.

Q. I know it's an identity that you probably wanted, but was that an identity that you thought you had before this season started?
COACH KELLY: Well, I thought we had a chance to run the ball effectively. Again, you look at how to win games. I'm hired to develop our players and win football games in any fashion necessary. That's on me, to find a way to win football games for this university.
That's how we developed this year.

Q. I know Hendrix didn't get in last night. With that situation, do you know before the game whether you're going to use him or not? Talk about that process.
COACH KELLY: No, I think we really work hard all week to have him prepared to go in the game and impact the game. It's not a dog and pony show. He's preparing, Dayne is preparing. It's a feel as to when he goes into the game.
We'll continue to prepare him. He's learning so much by being with us and being in tune with the game plan. Even if he doesn't get a rep in the game, they're so valuable, the reps he's getting in practice with our first team, that it's only going to help him.

Q. In the context of the 'count on me' stuff, coming together that everyone said happened before the Navy game, where do you put last night as a validator for that?
COACH KELLY: I don't know that I ever thought of it in those terms other than I know what our locker room's like. Nobody else does. So I don't think in the terms that other people do relative to what's it like in the locker room.
I'm trying to develop our football team. We are on a journey and a process, and in that process you have to gut out some wins. The only way to do that is if everybody's together and everybody's committed to the same thing, and that is getting better.
I look at it, knowing what I know, evaluating the way we play, based upon the process that we're in. And what I said last night was during this journey towards getting to a consistent performance, once in a while you got to gut one out. You really just got to dig down deep. That's what I saw. This team really, really dug down and they clearly stayed together no matter what to get the job done.

Q. Spinning it forward a little bit. You look at the standings. Maryland and BC are two teams that are 4 and 14 combined. What is going to define consistency for you in terms of your approach with opponents that haven't had that great a season, getting ready for those teams?
COACH KELLY: Well, we'll prepare the same way and we'll do the things that we've done. We're here to win games and keep developing our football players. I mentioned even if you don't get in the game, guys are developing. Mike Golic goes into the game and plays three quarters of the game for us. If you go across the board, all the guys, Kona Schwenke has to go in there and play, Robby Toma. So we're still developing our players.
But at the end of the day this is just about winning football games. We put too much time and effort into it to think about anything else but a W and how do you win against Maryland. That's really all we'll talk about: how do we get a win against Maryland.

Q. You almost wore out the next-man-in philosophy. Can you talk about Golic and his evolution as a player since you've been there.
COACH KELLY: Yeah, sure. I think he's made great progress. I think one of the things that he has really helped himself out as a football player is his strength. In the weight room, it's really translated, his ability to control his body movements, stay on his feet, control a very good nose at times last night.
I think probably his biggest strives have been made in the weight room. And then just really understanding the center position as it relates to being in a shotgun offense. Those two areas for him were very, very much the needed areas for growth. The shotgun snapping, being a center in this spread offense, and then the physical development in the weight room. Those are probably the areas that he's obviously made great progress, from my perspective.

Q. Brian, you referenced last night, you've done it a little bit today, This is what we're trying to build. It goes to the heart of being able to finish games, toughness. As you move through that process, have that solidified, what is the next step for this program and this team?
COACH KELLY: Well, I want winning to become a habit. I don't want it to be something that comes and goes. We want to get to that level where we expect to win each and every week. That's something that we're not there yet, but we're on that journey. That's about playing consistently, as well, not having any games that you don't play your best.
So I would say, as we continue to check off a lot of the boxes, the next one is to make winning a habit.

Q. Maybe this ties into the question, but I know that you don't have a vote, you probably don't study it as much, but if you did, do you think this is a top-25 team yet?
COACH KELLY: I've always felt there's a bit of a separation from the top five, six teams, and then on any given day you could probably put another 20 teams and stack them up, pluses and minuses.
I think at this time, I'm not really interested in whether we're the 25th or the 24th ranked team in the country. I'm more interested in developing our program to where we're one of the elite teams.

Q. From up top, might be deceiving sometimes, but it looked like Tommy did a really good job of checking into some difficult plays at critical points of the game. Was that the case and can you talk about that if it was?
COACH KELLY: It was. He was outstanding in his management of the running game against a team that played a lot of one safety, a lot of similar pressure looks that we had to see against Pittsburgh and USC. They pretty much took the same game plan, and Tommy was tuned in to getting us in the right play. He did a great job.
A lot of that credit in terms of the running game is always placed on the offensive line first and foremost. But when the quarterback can get you in the right looks, it helps immensely.

Q. Talk a little bit about the defense last night. Wake Forest gets inside your 10 yard line twice and comes away with nothing. Talk about the adjustments you made in the second half that led to that.
COACH KELLY: Well, there was great communication. I thought our coaches did a great job, our players did. As you know, we went more nickel in the second half with Jamoris Slaughter going in for Prince. It wasn't that Prince didn't play well, but they put him in space against skill players.
People need to understand, it was during pregame, I looked at their DBs, I looked at their safeties, their wide receivers, and as a collection it might be the best unit that we've seen all year. So we knew we were in for a tough fight on the perimeter.
So I think the biggest adjustment was just the collaborative communication with our players, getting in some things to help out our linebackers because Manti was playing very, very hobbled, so we needed to help him out in the back end. I thought we did a great job there.
So our coaches, our players, next man in, guys coming in, it was just one of those great kind of team efforts that you look for.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everyone. We'll see you on Tuesday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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