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PURDUE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 23, 2012
Q.Â Coach, why don't you just start with general thoughts on Minnesota?
COACH HOPE:Â A tough, tough football team, much improved from where they were at this time last year, particularly on the defensive side of the football.Â They're not giving up a whole lot of points.Â They do very well in regards to points scored against.Â They have been through three quarterbacks already this season.
They had MarQueis Gray at quarterback, and he sustained an injury, then they had Max Shortell as their quarterback, then they went with the Nelson kid, the freshman last week, and all three quarterbacks are different in some ways.Â They have employed three different styles of offense in some ways, so a lot for our defense to prepare against from a presentation standpoint.Â Some unknowns about their offense just based on having three quarterbacks already this season.
Then, again defensively they can bring a lot of pressure.Â They pressured us a lot last year, very physical across the front.Â A good defensive end, good defensive ends, they have good quickness, and good size, and a team that can hit, and a team that has a lot of pride.Â So very impressed with their team and particularly the improvements that they've made from a year ago.
Q.Â Akeem Hunt had a long return last week, and then in the previous weekends with Wisconsin he had the long run for the touchdown.Â Just what is it about him that can lead to those big plays?
COACH HOPE:Â He's very, very fast.Â When he gets out in the open, he's hard to catch.Â He's one of the fastest guys on our football team.Â He's had long runs throughout the course of the season.Â You mentioned one, his kickoff return, but he's had some other really long runs this season.
But he's a fantastic speed athlete.Â He runs on our track team, ran track in high school, was on a track team in the state of Georgia that was a two‑time 4 by 100 champion.Â They have a lot of fast guys in the state of Georgia.Â He placed in a lot of different events his senior year in high school.Â The more events he placed in and more points scored by him than most other BCS bound football/track athletes.
He's a fantastic speed guy, a high motor guy, high energy guy, and he's wiry tough.Â He's a good football player, a good receiver, running back, kickoff return man.Â Plays a lot for us on special teams.Â He's a very good football player that has outstanding speed.
Q.Â Any thoughts of working Rob Henry even a little bit more now?Â Obviously not just necessarily at quarterback, but in fact it looks like his immediate future may not be at quarterback.Â Any thoughts of working him in even more this week?
COACH HOPE:Â Absolutely.Â I think his future is at quarterback, but as you said, his immediate future, some at the quarterback spot, but we could put him at any position on the field offensively and believe that he could be a good play maker for us.
He really has just gotten back to full speed the last couple of weeks.Â He was cleared several weeks ago, but, again, there was a lot of swelling early and often throughout the course of camp, and he had very few reps in camp.Â We were very leery about playing him in the Notre Dame game.Â He had a lot of swelling prior to that Notre Dame game.Â We thought that was going to be a game that we could utilize him in more.
The last couple weeks we've been trickling him into the packages some.Â We haven't performed as well offensively versus Michigan and Wisconsin.Â We were struggling ways to manufacture offense, and we weren't on the field as much, and that negated some opportunities for Rob Henry.Â He has to be a bigger part of our plan on Saturdays, and you can expect to see him at any one of the skill spots as well as the quarterback position.
Q.Â You said before last week that you kind of were committed to giving Caleb a longer shot and letting him really try to find a rhythm.Â It seems for the most part that strategy paid off and stuff.Â Is that kind of your plan against Minnesota?Â Unless there is just a reason to take him out for poor performance or injuries, are you just going to go with him?
COACH HOPE:Â Probably so.Â I think we have struggled to have the continuity at the quarterback position early in the season, even though we had two senior quarterbacks coming back, two very good players.Â That was one of the reasons we wanted to have the opportunity to have both of those guys on the field.
Caleb wasn't available for the first game and wasn't healthy to play his best in the third game.Â Then Robert tore his ACL out again in the second game.Â So that's changed some things.Â It's made it tough for us to create some continuity at the quarterback position early in the season.
That was the position we felt like we had on our football team that we'd be way ahead at when the season started.Â So our commitment to leave Caleb in the game last weekend was a good decision.Â I think he played well.Â He's getting better, gaining some momentum.Â It's also allowed us to create continuity, which obviously, we were behind at.
Q.Â What's up with your kicking game right now?Â Obviously, you struggle with that.Â Are you going to stay with the freshmen that you used last week?Â I know it looked like both kicks from sitting upstairs and looking at the replay were pretty low, so it wasn't all on the line or anything like that.Â Where does your place kicking game kind of stand right now?
COACH HOPE:Â Well, the kicks were very low.Â We're doing some good things in special teams, and we have a great commitment with special teams.Â We go into each game each season believing that special teams will be our edge, and we're committed to that.Â But right now two of the three specialists that are performing on Saturdays are true freshmen with Thomas Meadows and Paul Griggs.Â So obviously there are some growing pain when's you're playing with true freshmen.
Again, Thomas Meadows has handled our kickoff duties.Â He's a true freshman, and Paul Griggs has handled our place kicking duties and he's a true freshman.Â Our specialist that handles our punting duties, Cody Webster, has been outstanding all season long.
I think there are some growing pains.Â Obviously, we like Sam McCartney.Â He's a good kicker and has worked hard and did some good things early in the season.Â But Griggs had outperformed him in practice and in the games up until this past weekend.
So we'll continue working with our specialists and making a decision as the week goes on based on their performance in practice, and take into consideration their performances in the games.
Q.Â Are you at a point with this team that you're just kind of‑‑ I think the thing that befuddled people that watch you a lot this year is the inconsistency.Â You played great against two Top 10 teams on the road and just get, really, just struggle at home against two good teams, but teams that it looks like you should at least be competitive with.Â Is the inconsistency kind of maddening to you a little bit, especially with a veteran team?
COACH HOPE:Â I think it's part of football.Â You strive to be consistent, and that's why we practice and we practice well.Â Sometimes it's a mystery to me why we don't execute some of the things in the games as well as we do in practice.Â Obviously, the competition picks up when you go into the ballgames.Â I recognize that.Â But we do very well in practice, and this football team practices as well as any that I've been around.
In the game that's we didn't play as well in, we were doing things in practice that may have been new or things that were designed to stop or plays that were designed to call against our opponent.Â Some of those were some new things.Â The fact that we're trying some new things and things for the first time against top of the line competition can negate your execution and your level of play.
I think as the season progresses, I think we'll perform better than we did in our two lopsided losses and play on a more consistent bases just based on repetition.
We had some guys banged up.Â We were healthier this past weekend than we have been in the two weekends prior to the season.Â We started rather healthy except in the quarterback spot and a few other situations.Â We've been banged up some in the last couple of weeks.Â We were more healthy this past weekend and more ready to play.Â But, again, it's a consistency issue.Â We have to be more consistent.Â There is no question about that.Â I think every football team has to take that approach.
Q.Â Any update on Ricardo today?
COACH HOPE:Â We sent him to get an MRI yesterday, and the results came back yesterday.Â So he has some issues, but nothing that has to be repaired or that's serious.Â He's had a couple of difficult ankle sprains and practicing and hobbling and limping on them has created some shin issues and soreness in his shins and calcium deposits.Â So we're hoping that as the week goes on, that things will cool off and he'll be ready to play.
We warmed him up in pregame, and he struggled last week.Â Didn't do anything in the game.Â He had Sunday off and Monday off, and probably won't ask him to do a whole lot today.Â Maybe as the week progresses, he'll feel better and be good enough to play this Saturday, but right now it's a wait‑and‑see thing.
Q.Â I would imagine he's been around long enough that he could do little this week except for studying, and he could go out there and if he's healthy enough play on; isn't that right?
COACH HOPE:Â We've had a plan for our injured guys.Â We've had a lot of guys that have been banged up the last couple weeks that didn't get many reps in practice, but they've had to play in the games.Â That's been a factor some in our performance.Â We try to do a good job of making sure the guys that were injured are standing right next to their coaches and that they had a presnap visual of the play, and kind of echoed out their assignment, and after the play was over, echoed out what they should have done or what the guy in their spot could have done better.Â Try to keep them involved in the game.Â That's helped us from an assignment standpoint, but it's not the same thing as playing.
So we'll use that same scenario with Ricardo, and maybe guys that are out but probable for this upcoming game.
Q.Â I would imagine that Kitchens and Ross fall somewhere in that spectrum.Â Can you bring us up to date on those two and what their availability might be?
COACH HOPE:Â I'm more optimistic about Kitchens than I am O.J.Â A turf toe is a very difficult thing to deal with, particularly on a skill player, a receiver.Â I appreciated his courage last game.Â He did what he had to do to get ready to play and tried to go.Â But wasn't as effective as we needed him to be.Â We didn't play him in the second half.Â Then that toe's got to cool back off again, and right now it's a ways away.
So I'm not sure where it will be at with O.J. Ross.Â We'll know as the week goes on.Â I'm not real optimistic.Â But I wasn't optimistic he'd be able to go last week, but he tried to.Â He wasn't able to get it done.Â So I don't know where it will be at with O.J. until the week progresses some.
Justin Kitchens I feel better about.Â I think he's gotten some of the swelling out of his knee and he's been better.Â I think he's going to be important to us, because I think he can service us both at the left tackle and right tackle position.Â He's a good player.Â We could use help at both of those spots right now.
I've got my fingers crossed that we'll get both of them back.Â I'm more optimistic about Justin Kitchens than I am O.J. Ross.
Q.Â Do you seem pretty happy with who you have as the 5 on the offensive line as far as the starters go?
COACH HOPE:Â I like the way it worked out the other day.Â I thought Kevin Pamphile played better than he has and made real progress.Â You see guys sometimes in their development could be plateaued out in some ways.Â I felt like Kevin was plateaued out there for a while, kind of stayed the same for two or three weeks.
I think the last couple of weeks he's shown some signs of progress.Â I really felt like last week the light came on for him in a lot of ways.Â He did a lot more things correctly from a technical standpoint.Â I think as a result, he played better in the games this past Saturday.Â But there is still a consistency issue.Â A lot of times with a lineman, it's getting in and out of your stance just right.Â Usually if you can get in and out of your stance right, you have a great chance to be successful on that play.Â He has to get in and out of his stance every time from a technical standpoint.Â He still lacks some consistency in that area, but he played his best game this past Saturday.
And Kugler played excellent.Â He was our high grader.Â I was really impressed with how he played.Â I did not see the grades.Â I watched the film, and I could tell he was a high grader.Â When I checked with Coach Clark, he did grade higher than all the offensive linemen.
He's a tough guy.Â He's gotten bigger and stronger.Â He's up around 280‑something.Â He has great football IQ, and he can see what's happening in front of him, and decipher plays, and process the information and make adjustments.Â I was really pleased with him.
Foy didn't play as well at the right tackle position, but I like where he's at in his development.Â I think he's really improved.Â I think he has practiced really hard and played really hard, and maybe gotten worn down a little bit.Â He might need to cut back on his reps some.Â He's banged up and beat up a little bit.Â But I think he can play better than he did this past Saturday.Â I know he'll work at it, and he's a guy that can identify his errors and earmark them and go out and practice hard and focus on them and do better.
So I think we have the right guys in the lineup.Â But I know that Justin Kitchens can help us in the ballgames right now at both of the tackle spots.Â I feel like Devin Smith some at the right guard spot because he brings great size to the offensive line.
Q.Â Johnson for whatever reason had a couple of problems catching punts.Â Do you anticipate him being back out there on Saturdays ready to go with that?Â Or could you make a change more permanently there?
COACH HOPE:Â We could make a change.Â We have some concerns.Â I have concerns throughout the course of the week because he has some thumb issues.Â He has one of them taped and a splint on the other thumb.Â He caught the punts very well in practice all week long.Â We do a lot of catching throughout the course of the week.Â We have coaches assigned to that, and they were very comfortable with how he performed throughout the course of the week.
Maybe the injuries to his thumbs may or may not have had something to do with him up in the punts this past Saturday.Â We knew going into the ballgame we were probably going to be fair catching almost all of their punts.Â Their punter didn't get a lot of distance on the ball, but he had outstanding hang time, so the ball was up high in the air for a while.Â Sometimes those are the harder ones to field.
So I think the height of the punts was a challenge in some ways, and maybe the thumb became an issue.Â We'll work some other guys obviously.Â If you don't have a good feel about Josh, we'll play the other guys this Saturday.
Q.Â After having a chance to review the tape, how did you feel like Sean Robinson did in his first start?
COACH HOPE:Â He did pretty good.Â He's playing a lot of football for us.Â We utilize Sean a lot on special teams.Â We keep track of special team points, production points, guys that make plays and play winning football and make tackles.Â Guys that score.
I think Sean right now is probably in our top three or four special teams performers production‑wise.Â He played probably 75% of the ballgame this past weekend and played very well.Â He still has a lot of room for improvement.Â But I think the game is slowing down for him a little bit.Â He gives you great effort.Â He's smart, and you can trust him.Â He's reliable, and he has excellent leadership abilities about him, and the other guys on the team have a lot of respect for.Â He has some presence about him on the football field whether it's special teams or defense.Â He has really improved.
So I expect him to continue to compete to be a starter and perform well on Saturdays and get better and better.Â A good move, and Sean has done a fantastic job.
Q.Â In terms of what Ralph has done the last two weeks, I'm assuming you thought he looked better this past weekend than did he the first week.Â What are you envisioning for him going forward now?
COACH HOPE:Â We'll keep utilizing him and rotating him with the other running backs.Â It's a position that we are thin at from a personnel standpoint numbers‑wise.Â So we re‑rotate and spread the wealth around.Â That process is probably good for Ralph right now.Â He can't go out and carry the ball an inordinate amount of times from a stamina standpoint.Â But I thought this past Saturday he made good plays and showed great quickness against top competition.
When we played him in the Wisconsin game, he looked really good in practice that week, but no one was tackling him.Â Obviously, he was going against the scout team guys, and that's a lot different from Wisconsin's defense, obviously.Â I didn't think he looked all that fast in the game against Wisconsin.Â I thought he looked faster in the game against Ohio State and a little more sure.
Shows some plays that look like the old Ralph in some ways.Â So if he can stay healthy and fresh, his role can increase because he's a heck of a football player.
Q.Â Did he play about 20 snaps in both of those, do you know?Â I tried to count it up?
COACH HOPE:Â I'm not sure if it's 20 snaps.Â I have to check with Coach Jackson.Â You can ask him.Â But he played more than he did the week before.Â He looked a lot better.Â Made plays.Â Enjoyed it a lot more.Â Was more confident going into the Ohio State game than he was going into the Wisconsin game and not playing football for almost a year.
Q.Â You've played better on the road this year, and you obviously have some big road games coming up now.Â What is the mentality?Â Do you think there is a reason for that?Â Is it us against the world kind of thing?Â What is the mentality the last five games with three of them on the road?
COACH HOPE:Â We lost both games on the road so, it's hard to say we played better on the road.Â If you looked at the scoreboard and looked at the film, you might think that we played better on the road.Â The competition and where you're at at the time has a lot to do with it.
We were a good football team, and Notre Dame was a good football team when we played them.Â But it's early in the season.Â Where we're at at that point in time allowed us to compete well against Notre Dame on the road.Â Where we were at against Michigan and Wisconsin, and a quality opponent and our performance as well didn't allow us to play as well as we wanted to at home.
I don't know that it's necessarily that we play better on the road than at home.Â It might have been where we were at as a football team, and where our opponents were at as a football team.Â There is an old saying in the big at the point, it's not who you play, but when you play them.Â There is some truth to that.
I'm glad we have played well on the road because we're at the focal point of our season and we have a lot of road games ahead of us and teams we match‑up well against.Â So I'm glad we have some confidence as a football team in regards to being road warriors because that's going to be important to our football team right now.
Q.Â Kind of a follow‑up to what you said about not who you play but when you play them.Â You played probably the three best teams in the Big Ten these last three games.Â Can that work to your advantage these last five as far as the type of competition you have faced?
COACH HOPE:Â Every team we play every Saturday we're going to get their A game.Â Everybody's fighting to win or stay alive for postseason play and Big Ten competition.Â But as we look at it as a football team, and we look at it, the four games that we've lost to, they have a collective four losses.Â So if we can take and draw a little confidence, that even though we didn't win those games we played against the best teams in the country, and two of those games we raised our level of play.
So I hope the quality of competition early in the season has helped develop our football team to allow us to play well against the quality of competition that's left on our schedule.Â I would hope it works that way.Â But it has been competitive, very competitive.
Q.Â With Antavian Edison, has he fulfilled his expectations of him for his career when you recruited him to the point he is now where he's got just a few games left in his career?
COACH HOPE:Â Even more so in a lot of ways.Â We thought he was a great player in high school, but he was underdeveloped.Â He wasn't very big.Â He needed to grow and develop a lot as a student as well, particularly in regards to his commitment to academics.Â I remember when he first came here, he and I sitting down.Â He told me school wasn't his thing, and we had to get on the same page with that.Â Right now he does very well in school and takes a lot of pride in the fact that he's going to be a graduate from Purdue in four and a half years.Â That's a heck of a statement.
But he's gotten bigger and stronger, and even put on weight throughout the course of the season.Â He's gotten bigger and stronger throughout the course of the season.Â And he has good quickness, and good toughness.Â I've been very, very pleased with Antavian throughout his entire career here.Â He's a guy I've always counted on and relied on and felt like we could trust.
So I think he's certainly met our expectations, and he's a great team guy.Â He has a lot of good leadership abilities about him.Â We always thought he was a special guy, but a lot of those inner qualities have surfaced in the last six months or so of his football life.
Q.Â Talk about Minnesota's MarQueis Gray.Â What are the challenges faces him as a receiver rather than a natural quarterback?
COACH HOPE:Â Wherever he is, he's very, very good.Â He's got great size, athleticism, speed.Â There's no telling where they'll line him up at.Â Watching him at the wide receiver position, can you tell he's not full speed.Â Hats off to him, he's out there playing hard and trying hard.Â He's got some length to him.Â You can tell he's not full speed.Â So who knows where he'll be at this week.Â I'm assuming he's going to continue getting healthier as time goes on and be a great player regardless where they put him at, but he is a marquis athlete, no pun intended, and just a very special prospect.Â So he's a challenge wherever he's at.
Q.Â That's a pretty good pun.
COACH HOPE:Â Every once in a while I screw up and make one, okay.
Q.Â When you went back and looked at the film, what did you see on that last drive?Â What could have or needed to be done better?
COACH HOPE:Â Which drive?
Q.Â The one at the end of regulation.
COACH HOPE:Â On offense or defense?
Q.Â On defense.
COACH HOPE:Â Well, I would like to have sacked their quarterback and ended it.Â That would have been huge for us.Â I felt like that would happen.Â We had some tough decisions to make when we had the ball on offense.Â All we needed was a first down.Â We didn't come through.Â We didn't get it done, and that's unfortunate.
We went out there and tried to hard‑count their defense.Â Hoping they would jump off sides and we could snap the ball and we'd be 1st and 5, and all we needed was a first down to end the ballgame.
They jumped, but they didn't jump offsides.Â When they did, our quarterback thought the center was going to snap it.Â He started to pull out of there, and the back saw everybody move.Â So they leaned a little forward, and next thing you know we had a false start and it was 1st and 15.Â So that made it a challenge, and we were reluctant to throw it.Â Even though we had passed the ball okay throughout the course of the ballgame, we couldn't give up a big play there.Â We couldn't give up a sack or a pick based on where we were at on the field from the field position standpoint.
We opted to run the ball and eat up as much of the clock as we could and punt it away and give them the ball with 38 seconds and no timeouts left.
I didn't feel like we manufactured the pass rush out of our four down linemen that we needed at that point in time.Â We got a little thick and heavy on their offensive linemen and that negated our effectiveness as pass rushers.
Then credit to Ohio State.Â They came out and made plays and played well.Â But it was a third and long, if and we had executed our assignments from a coverage standpoint or pressured the quarterback and gotten a sack, then the ballgame potentially could have been over.Â But we had a coverage bust and allowed them to throw a big pass, an explosive play that gave them the ball down in the red zone.Â Then they nudged it around some, and we played football for a little bit, and they were able to manufacture a touchdown with their big back.Â He's a good player.
Then we got into a situation where they go for two, and we didn't take care of business from a coverage standpoint with man coverage on their tight end.Â Their tight end did a really good job of blocking and hiding in the line, and nudged around the line blocking for a long time, and we lost vision of him and he slipped out and they made the play.
So we didn't execute a couple times from a coverage standpoint defensively, and we didn't manufacture the pass rush to tackle their quarterback that would have put the game out of reach:Â It never would have gotten to that if we had gotten the first down, and all we needed was a first down to end the ballgame.
Q.Â What do you tell your team at this point?Â You're 0‑3.Â You had big expectations coming into the season with five games left.Â What do you tell these guys at this point?
COACH HOPE:Â We came out of the ballgame this past Saturday, and I believe we improved as a football team.Â We went into the ballgame against Ohio State with the idea that we had everything in the world to gain and nothing to lose.Â We said that should be reflected in our level of play.Â So even though we didn't win, we took the game right down to the very last play of the ballgame.
But we came out of the game with a little more confidence as a football team, and maybe a little more self-respect and regained some pride in the football team to take a Top 10 football team right down to the wire in an environment like that I thought was a big step for our team and our program.
So we're excited about winning and hungry to win.Â We have to go out and practice well.Â We usually practice well.Â We did a much better job last week in our run fits and our thud tackling in practice, even though we didn't take the ball carriers to the ground.Â We came downhill in a hurry, thudded them up, wrapped them up and were much more detailed.
I believe we got some carry over in the game this past Saturday.Â We tackled much better this past Saturday than a week ago.Â So we have to go out and practice well, practice like we did last week with a great sense of urgency.Â And we have everything in the world to gain.Â We're in a one‑game season.Â It's a huge game for our football team this weekend, and all of our focus has to be directed towards playing our very best against a good Minnesota football team.
Even though we've slipped a little bit, we have a chance to win eight or nine ballgames and that will be the best we've done around here for a long time.Â So a lot to play for, not a lot of margin for error.Â Our football team has gotten better and regained some confidence.Â I feel like we'll do very well when it's all said and done.
Q.Â You talked about MarQueis Gray.Â But what about the freshman they have put in at quarterback?Â What are your impressions of him?
COACH HOPE:Â He's an awfully good prospect.Â He's tall, runs very, very well, a good runner with the football.Â He has passed the ball well some.Â They didn't ask him to throw it a whole lot from a drop back standpoint a week ago.Â He did more play‑action pass type plays.Â More raise‑up, pop‑pass type plays off some of their run game.Â But he's an excellent runner with the football, and managed the offense pretty good.
He's a very good prospect.Â He's big, he's fast, he looks like he throws the football pretty good, and he's going to be an outstanding runner with the ball.Â They have a good prospect there, just not a whole lot of experience at that position.Â But he's very impressive.
Q.Â I know you've been asked a lot about Landon Feichter.Â But first game of the season, I believe he had a defensive touchdown.Â But has he gotten better as the season is going on?Â If so, whether you see it from live or on tape or film, what is he doing if he is improving?
COACH HOPE:Â He's doing everything right.Â If he was a little bit bigger, if he was a couple inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, he would be a guy that when he tackles, getting off the back a bunch because he really throws his body in there.Â His only down side is he's not the biggest safety.Â But he's very tough and courageous and fearless in a lot of ways.Â He's very fast.Â One of our fastest football players.
When he was a younger player on the scout team he was a guy that really stood out.Â We'd come in and watch film and say who is this guy?Â This little guy running around making all kinds of plays, fighting for the ball, and batting balls out of the air, and ripping the ball out of receiver's hands, and fitting up, and thudding up.Â So he's always been an impressive football player.
He's really tough, wiry tough.Â Doesn't have any regard for his body whatsoever.Â He'll throw his body in there to the biggest ball carriers they have and do all he can to get them on the ground.Â So I like everything about him.Â He's a real football player.Â He shows up for practice.Â Gives you his best in practice.Â He shows up in games.Â He's fearless.Â Gives you all he has.Â Plays on special teams and he's an outstanding football player.Â I like everything about him, and he's getting better and better.
Q.Â I think you might have mentioned, but how coachable is he?
COACH HOPE:Â He's very coachable because he has a lot of want to.Â I think he's really progressed with his football IQ.Â Sometimes guys have certain things they hang their hat on, and it's hard to get them to add more to their arsenal, if you will.Â He's always been a guy that's going to be a wide open guy, and play real fast and tackle you really hard but didn't pay enough attention to the details of his assignments and alignments.Â I think he does a very good job with that right now.
So I think he's grown and developed in regards to his potential from a football IQ standpoint in the last season and a half.
Q.Â I hope I word this the right way.Â My final thing about Landon is that he obviously has, for a lack of a better phrase, limitations when you refer to his size.Â There are players who don't adapt to what they are limited and able to doing as far as games.Â How well does he adapt knowing what he can and can't do and applying it in game situations?
COACH HOPE:Â I think he uses good judgment at times against some of the bigger ball carriers, so he'll go down low rather than take them up high.Â But he is fearless, and he'll throw his body in the middle of the biggest and the strongest.Â I don't think he has to do a whole lot to adapt for limitations.Â I feel like his only limitation is he's not the biggest safety.Â But he plays the game the way it's supposed to be played, and he doesn't have to alter his game much.Â He runs in there and hits as hard as any of them.Â But at times it's probably in his best interest that he uses some discretion and doesn't take the biggest and the strongest up high every time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports