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August 28, 2013

Jimbo Fisher

JIMBO FISHER:  Great to see y'all again and talk to y'all again.  Excited to come out of camp.  Glad that we are in game preparation.  I think our guys are tired of beating on each other.  But we had a very successful camp, physical camp.  Liked our work ethic and liked the attitude of this team.  I thought it developed a great personality as far as how it went about its business and how professional it was and committed to details, which is one of our big things we are trying to really make sure that we become very detail‑oriented like all coaches say.
But very excited for that.  Have a tremendous challenge ahead of us going to the University of Pittsburgh on opening night and I think we are going to have a great atmosphere, sold out house.  That's why you play, get that national attention, national game, and be a great challenge for a lot of our younger players and older players who are taking up new leadership roles and things that they are grasping.
Very excited for the challenge.  Going to have to definitely play our AGame.  It is a very great defensive football team, 17th in the country last year on defense, and have eight or nine starters coming back from that group.
Offensively Paul does a tremendous job, got experienced quarterback, got a big offensive line, going to being able to run, multiples things and creates a lot of one‑on‑ones when he has to.  Very sound on the kicking game, good returners.  Kick the ball well, punter punts very well, kicker has great average.
So very sound football team.  Will be a tremendous challenge and we are going to have to really be on our AGame like I say, in the opening game, which is always a concern for you as a coach, because until you get that first game under your belt; but looking forward to it and glad we are in game preparation and ready for Monday night.

Q.  Talk about the preparation against Pitt, what have you seen on film in your months getting ready for them.
JIMBO FISHER:  From the offensive side, looking at their defense, tremendous D, 17th in the country in defense.  Give up very few big runs, big plays, do a great job of mixing, blitzing, keeping packages mixed up.  They are in three‑down fronts, four‑down fronts.  They do a lot of variety of things.  Excellent corners, run very well.  Hendricks at safety is a great ball hawk, linebackers to get to the football.  97 up front is a very good player, very athletic.  Other guys are good, physical players.
Offensively they are going to run that football, mix in formations and going to pound you.  But still at the same time, had a 3,000‑yard passer last year that had at 21 touchdowns and three interceptions.  I know they are bringing in a new quarterback in, but Savage, Tom, has played a lot of football, been a starter before, was a high‑profile guy.  Matter of fact, we looked to recruit him a little bit when he was coming out of high school.  Punter is very good.  They have a very dynamic team and Paul does a great job.

Q.  Talk about the freshman quarterback, redshirt freshman, a lot of pressure on opening night?
JIMBO FISHER:  I think any time you're a starting quarterback at a major university you have to deal with pressure and situations.  But we can't worry about the situation or the outcome.
What you have to worry about is your preparation, prepare for what's going to happen.  Will do some things he hasn't seen, got to stay within his concepts and stay within his teaching and play through those things.  That was the thing, any time you break in a new quarterback, whether a freshman, sophomore, junior, any of those situations.  But that's something that he'll have to go through and definitely, it will be his first start, so he will be very anxious, I'm sure.

Q.  The story lines with your defense, you're replacing a lot of stars and you have the new coordinator, do you think either the new personal or scheme, carries a steeper learning curve, or does one concern you more than the other?
JIMBO FISHER:  I think it does.  We are not totally changing our whole perspective on defense.  We are keeping the same things in which we have done.  We have had a very good base and a very good foundation on defense, so a lot of those same principles and things we have done will stay right intact.
We may add a few new wrinkles, but we are not overhauling our defense.  As I say, we have new starters, but at the same time, you're talking like, for instance, Timmy Jernigan, Demonte McAllister, some of those guys, Nile and Eddie (ph) and all those guys all played lots of ball last year.  Timmy especially; Timmy was our leading sack guy, of the interior guys, leading tackle guy.  Dan Hicks has played, he got hurt last year but he was splitting time with Brandon Jenkins before that and they split reps in every game.
So I mean, from that standpoint, you still have Kelvin, who wasn't a starter or was the starter‑‑ he was our second leading tackler, I believe last year, or leading tackler; I can't remember which off the top of my head; Christian Jones.  We have a ton of guys still that necessarily weren't starters but played lots and lots of football and were like co eye starters with our group.
From that standpoint I don't worry, but you always worry about new guys and new transition, but we are not overhauling the defense like everyone thinks.  We are staying very similar and we then we will add a few little wrinkles to it.

Q.  To follow up on your freshman quarterback, how much of a playmaker do you really need him to be or want him to be in this opener, or do you just kind of look and say, let's say0, depending on our veteran offensive line.
JIMBO FISHER:  Well, I think that you have to depend on your veterans, there's no doubt.  That's where the brunt of the responsibility has got to fall and that's just the way it is, and when there's opportunities for him to make the play, he's got to be able to do it.
But he's got to manage the game, he's got to take care of the ball, and he do a lot of those things; and if he gets those opportunities, he has to take advantage; and if not, he has to be smart with the football, there's no doubt.  The brunt of the responsibility will be on those other guys, there's no doubt.

Q.  When you look at your defensive backs, and specifically a guy like Lamarcus Joyner, do you like when they play that position with a little bit of an attitude?
JIMBO FISHER:  Oh, yeah, I don't think there's any doubt.  DBs, you're out there on an island or you're back in the backbone island, you have to have a short memory and you have to be a tremendous competitor and you have to have that attitude and that chip on your shoulder to be able to keep making play after play.
And hey, if somebody gets you; hey, you're getting me once, you're not getting me again.  There's no doubt‑‑ I think any player, I really do.  But those guys out in space are by themselves, and there's no doubt, they are a different breed of cat and have to have a short memory and have to have a little chip on their shoulder, there's no doubt.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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