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December 28, 2014

Tony Washington


Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Yeah, they are confident in themselves.  When the chips are down, I think they rise together, and they truly believe they can get it done.  It's never failed.  They've been in a bunch of games people said they shouldn't have won.  People kind of like put like a negative connotation on that.
But at the end of the day they're still on the field and they haven't lost a game yet in the past few years, that's something that's hard to do in college football, and especially at the D‑I level and the conferences we play in.  I think they're a great team.  They believe in their coaching system, and they believe in their scheme and they get it done.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I just think of all the teams that don't finish, they always do.  They always keep coming.  They always keep bringing it, no matter what the score is.  They always do it, no matter if they're three touchdowns or not.
I think when they were playing University of Miami they were down 17 or something like that, and I think Miami let their foot off the gas and gave them a shot to take advantage of it.
But I think defensively we as a team have to keep pushing.  We have to finish throughout the whole entire game.  If we do that we have a good shot to win.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Yeah.  You can kind of see it sometimes, but that doesn't mean we can let off.  If we want to be the team we preach about being the best we can be, each and every snap, each and every game, we have to keep pushing forward.  Doesn't matter who is in the game, the ones, the twos, the threes, whoever, they have to understand what our philosophy is, and it's to keep playing hard regardless.  Hopefully we can come out and compete the full entirety of the game.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I guess when the score kind of gets out of hand, we've got to keep pushing.  Guys still have to keep playing hard.  It doesn't matter the play call is on defense or offense.  Me personally, I don't want to give up any touchdowns just for lack of effort and not understanding what's going on, just being lazy out there.
Like, for example, UCLA game we gave up like touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the past Championship against Arizona, we played so well throughout the whole game and to give up two silly touchdowns, it bothered me.  I think it bothered a lot of guys on the team.
We don't have to be in a game where it's 50‑45 or whatever, if it's going to be 50‑0, we can make it that all the way through.  And that's the mentality we have to have if we want to be elite at this level.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  He's not afraid to hit the holes, accelerates really quickly.  Can make people miss out in space.  We have a tough time ahead of us.  We have to control the gaps, and field and make tackles.  These guys are really good.  The fact they have a great offensive scheme, great players all around, a lot of weapons.  We have to be solid on our technique.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  No, I don't think so.  A lot of those times those guys are responsible for two gaps.  That's our defensive scheme works.
I think those guys, they can do it.  They just can't get lazy about it.  If they're supposed to be responsible for this guy, they can't be in another place.  Every position on the defense guys have to do their job and not anyone else's.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I think it's just mentality, honestly.  I don't think it's anything personal or something, I think sometimes guys can get complacent.  I'm not saying it happens to us every time.  I'm saying it's possible it happened.
But we just have to realize that we're playing the Rose Bowl, this is the semifinal playoff.  We're playing the team that won the National Championship last year, it's not going to be a walk through the park.
There's times it's not going to go our way.  But we have to keep picking ourselves up, playing hard, and keep competing.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I guess the newness of it, guys aren't used to the blocking schemes.  Fullbacks coming at you from all over the place, different design runs, they get stuff we're not used to.  We're used to a lot of teams spreading you out.  Quarterback read type plays.
But these guys are more traditional NFL pro style offense.  It's a little bit different.  But I think with the amount we've been practicing, we can get acclimated to it, used to it.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Similar to stuff like Michigan State.  But I think they run it differently.  Stanford has a lot of power downhill runs, three tight end, seven offensive linemen type deals.  And I don't think Florida State runs that as much.  A little different formations and stuff like that.
But just keep working we'll be in good shape.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I'm thinking it helps a lot.  Because when teams bring in extra offensive linemen, we're outnumbered, we have three to their seven or eight.  It put us in a bad position.  We get to our goal line front defense or whatever you guys want to call it, it puts us in a better position to handle what they're going to be doing.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Yeah, I'd say so.  I think he leads us differently and expects things different out of Coach Kelly or whoever was there before.  So I think we're definitely Coach Helfrich's team.
I think we play and we act on and off the field as Coach Helfrich would want us to, as he expects us to.  And the way he talks to us and tells us what we need to be doing, I feel like we kind of play that out through our lives, if that makes sense.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I think to be respectful to everyone, and doesn't matter if you're walking down the street or playing against an opponent you're playing against before.  You've got to be respectful, and you can't do all the extra stuff, talking negatively.  Some teams feel they can talk trash.  That's not what we're about.
I think it boils down to be good people overall.  I think that's what coach preaches.  It's really important.  Life is more than football.  If we can grow as men and understand how to act, that's going to be great for all of us.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I won't say a whole lot of difference.  I just think they just have different coaching styles.  I feel like Coach Kelly and Coach Helfrich kind of preach the same thing; they just go about it in a different manner.  I think they harped pretty much the same thing.  I think the coaching at Oregon has been the same throughout all the years I've been here.
Not a whole lot of change.  But different personalities, different styles.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I think he's been a lot more comfortable this year, a lot more ready to experiment.  He feels like it's going to help us better.  And I think it has been good for us.  I think he really looks out for his players.  He respects us.  He trusts us.  And he believes we're going to make the right decision in all aspects of life.  I think he just understands his role better and how to better serve his team.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Yeah, I mean like for example in practices, we do these series every day, and the results are where we need to be.  And he'll adjust practice or make us hydrate more or give us tools for recovery and all kinds of stuff to help us perform better on the field.  So we're not dead out there.  They expect us to practice as hard as we do, our bodies have to feel ready to do that.  And I think him and the whole staff does a great job of placing us in those positions.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I wouldn't say that.  The fact that he's kind of a different guy.  He's a great player.  He makes some unbelievable plays.  And he's a great leader for them.  I kind of think he's his own guy.  I don't like to compare players, because I feel like everybody has their own style.
He definitely poses some challenges for us.  They have a lot of mismatches throughout all the teams they play, because not a lot of people can cover a guy as big as he is, and he has great hands.  It's going to be a great challenge for us.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Personally, it kind of depends on the play.  We've got to be aware of our surroundings.  They have a lot of great weapons out there.  We have to understand what kind of routes to expect or his playing style so I can better suit that.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  I never really thought of it like that.  I was more concerned about how he was doing mentally, like recovering from an injury, where his mind is at, that can be tough on anybody, going through that tough time.  I was more support for him emotionally, just understanding that we're going to move forward from this.  Football is not everything.
It's unfortunate he's not going to be able to finish his career here at Oregon.  But me and the rest of the team were more concerned about his well‑being.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Honestly I think that was coming out and competing.  Doesn't matter what the play call is.  If guys aren't doing the right job and they're not playing hard.  We have to come out with energy, be focused for all four quarters and play the best we can to compete with these guys.
We know it's going to be a dogfight.  They haven't lost a game in two years, they're the defending National Champions, and that's not for no reason.  They've got the Heisman Trophy quarterback.  They're a great team.  And we understand it's not going to be a walk in the park for us, and we have to go out and compete.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Well, I'm not really the type to blame our problems on us not being strong or big or whatever it may be.  I think it's just a different mindset.  I think that's something DP and the rest of the staff harped on this year.  We have to be tough guys out there.  It doesn't matter who you're going against because at the end of the day they're not going to be light on us because we're not the size people say we should be.  We still have to come out and play.
I think guys need to change how they're thinking and came out and played harder.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  It tells me that they should be confident in themselves and they believed in our system, even if things aren't going right with the score, I feel like they're still going to stick and do what their coaches are asking them to do.  And they believe it's going to work.  It's never failed them yet.  They're really tough guys, no matter what the score is, they never give up, they never quit.  A lot of teams fail to finish, and they never do.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  For me, personally, I don't.  It's really hard being in college football, especially in the division level and the conferences we play in.
I respect each and every one of those guys.  It's really hard to do.  We haven't been able to do it in like four years now.  I understand what it's like to be in those tough game situations.  And for them to always come out on top, it kind of shows what their team is about.
I can't speak on the rankings or I'm not involved in that.  But they don't have a loss on their record and we do.
I expect them to come out and play hard and it will be a fun game.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TONY WASHINGTON:  Definitely didn't come easy to me, just naturally I'm just a laid back, reserved guy.  I'm not like the rah‑rah guy, the guy giving the pregame speech and stuff like that.
But what I've learned is that when things don't go right or look right, look like they're supposed to, I can't just let it be known, because that's when things go wrong.  And it's something me and my coach have been working on for years, to try to develop that in me.
And I think as I became more comfortable in my role on the team I was more able to speak my mind.  I've been in this thing for a while.  If people are doing the wrong thing, I don't have a problem speaking up.  I'm not always drilling people or talking down to them, I'm just helping them understand how it's supposed to be.
If we want to be an elite team it's going to take us doing each and every little thing perfect.  And I know it's hard for a lot of guys coming in because they can be like loose in high school and have fun and be wild and still be successful.  But I feel like in this league it's a lot different.  Teams can crash and burn off little simple things.  So I keep everybody on their toes.

Q.  Is there a game or moment when you felt like you got to the point where you could be that kind of guy?
TONY WASHINGTON:  I think from the beginning of the season I felt comfortable, coming into fall camp, I got a pretty good feel for my teammates.  I think they understood me quite well.  I was able to communicate with them better and react to that in a better way.
I think this whole process of college is growing into the person I am today, helped me be where I am today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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