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December 28, 2010

John Moffitt


Q. How would you describe your head coach in terms of the five years that you've been around him and stuff like that? Has he changed much?
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, I think obviously when he came on, and I was a freshman, so I have went through a progression. I have changed. I think everybody changes. I think everybody grows in their position. I've grown as an offensive lineman, and I think Coach Bielema has grown as a head coach, in a good way, in that he wants to get better at his job.
I think he learns from things, and he's a guy that is a motivator and really has a good kind of bead on what the team morale is at all times, and I think he's just kind of grown and kind of learned what it's like to be a head coach and to deal with not just football, because I think you look, Coach Chryst is strictly, his job is football, but Coach Bielema has to deal with off-the-field issues and school and, you know, a lot of things that I don't know if he really realized -- I'm sure he did, but maybe not the extent of it, when he first took the job. That's a dangerous question, so --

Q. Do you see more maturity in him? I mean has he become more of a --
JOHN MOFFITT: (Laughs). I'm like the most immature person in the world. How are you asking me that?

Q. That's why.
JOHN MOFFITT: Do you ask your kindergartner if you're a good parent?

Q. Sometimes you're the most honest. You get the most honest answer.
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, Coach B is a grownup, and I came here when I was 19 years old and I'm still not a grownup. All that I would say that I see with him is, just like all of us, you know, we all push to improve, and I think he evaluates himself a lot, year in and year out and says, what could have went better last year and how can I do it better this year. And that's the way I see, you know, him develop, and that's how I develop.

Q. Thanks.
JOHN MOFFITT: Thank you.

Q. What's the toughest part of preparing for an offense like this?
JOHN MOFFITT: Well, you know, it's a basic formula. You know, we're going to watch film. We're going to get to know their defense; we're going to get to know what they do, and then you move forward.
I mean, but you know, they are different in what they do, but they're not, you know, like an unseen phenomenon. I mean football is football, and defensive football is defensive football. And same goes for offense. You're only going to see so many looks. I've seen a 3 technique, I've seen a 2 "I" technique. I've seen the way they move their linebackers. You see certain things and you piece it together, and you move forward. But I think it all comes down to film study and practice and preparation.

Q. How much better is it that you had three weeks to prepare for these guys instead of the one week that you had in the middle?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. I mean that helps. You know, you get -- you really get to know what they do, but you can't be rigid. I mean they have three weeks, too. They could throw something out there different.
You know, they're winning a lot of games by a lot of points, so their defense isn't going to be throwing a lot of curve balls at a lot of other defenses that we see on film. So we try to prepare for a lot of different looks. Then once you know it, it's just playing football, and that's that.

Q. Is it as simple -- we're all painting it as your power against their speed. Is it as simple as that?
JOHN MOFFITT: That's an original story. I've never heard that one before, so I think you guys really got an angle. (Laughs).

Q. Don't tell anybody.
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah, I won't. You know, is it as simple as that? I don't know about that. I think we have a little bit more than just power. You know, I think Scott, I think he throws the ball all right, you know, and I think we've got some good wide receivers. And you know, James White's a fast guy. You know, we just got him. So that's nice.
So I don't think it's that simple, and you know, obviously people want to do the size match-up. You know, we're a lot bigger than they are, but we don't look at it like that. I mean I think a talented defensive lineman is a talented defensive lineman. And if he knows what he's doing and he has good technique, he's just as hard to block as a guy that's 6' 5, 300 pounds.

Q. From once you've seen him, they clearly know what they're doing.
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. Definitely. Definitely. They're the No. 1 defense in the country for a reason is because they know what they're doing and they do it well. And to me -- well, take it from me personally, you can get away with a lot of -- not saying with them. If you know what you're doing and you have a good technique, you can get away with a lot more in football because I'm barely an athlete. But sometimes I know what I'm doing, so it works out.

Q. Coach Chryst said that the players get all the credit and the coaches (indiscernible).
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, I've learned a lot. I think his personality really plays hand in hand with how good of a coach he is.
You know, he lets the coaches coach. He lets Coach Bo my line coach, do his job and so on and so forth. You know, he's really -- he constantly tries to put us in the best position to win, and I think he knows what he has here. I think he knows our strengths, and you know, he plays to those strengths, and I think that really makes a difference.

Q. Sounds like he's already kind of like a head coach because he was already ready to delegate and he's good at that. Would he make a really good head coach?
JOHN MOFFITT: I don't know. I mean I think he would make a good head coach. I don't know if that's what he wants to do. I think he kind of likes to see his family, so I know that would just be gone once he becomes a head coach.
But we'll see. And you know, offensive coordinator, that is his job, to kind of just, you know, oversee the offense and delegate, and he does a good job at it. Some days we don't talk for weeks because he's just busy delegating and going through all my coaches.

Q. Thank you.
JOHN MOFFITT: Thank you.

Q. How does playing next to Gabe make your job easier?
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, sometimes I can slack off and he'll just pick up all the slack. So it's really -- you know, when you're playing next to, you know, the best tackle in college football. But you know, in all honesty, he's a great player, and when you play next to a great player, it makes you look better.
How good was Scottie Pippen, you know, who knows, but Jordan was pretty good. That was a ridiculous reference. I was just watching a thing on Jordan the other day, and I was like, I don't know about Pippen, man. (Laughs).
But no, in all honesty, it does. It elevates your play, and our communication and the way we talk and the way we've gotten into a groove together has really worked for us.

Q. What makes him unique as a left tackle?
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, I think he's a very athletic guy, and you know, he's get away, get away. And he's a big guy and athletic, and I mean look at him, he's a physical freak. I mean his arms are like as long as any legs. So I think that helps. And then obviously I think Gabe's work ethic is very admirable and his discipline, and I think that all kind of goes together to make him a very good left tackle.

Q. How much of an improvement from last year, because he was injured a lot last year, do you think he's playing his best football that you've seen him play?

Q. Yes.
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. I do. I do think he's playing his best football. You know, he did have to work through injuries -- we all had to work through injuries last year. I think that was kind of the name of the game, and now that he's been healthy, I mean he's playing at a high level, and there's no doubt about it. So I think, you know, healthy, being healthy makes a difference.

Q. Thank you.
JOHN MOFFITT: Thank you.

Q. (Indiscernible).

Q. Do you guys know about that?
JOHN MOFFITT: Oh, yeah. Yeah. We do know about that. It's something we're definitely conscious of. We know the '93 team had a very good offensive line as well.
You know, I think there's a tradition of offensive line -- and even just offensive and defensive line play within the Big Ten. And you know, that's something that we take pride in and we want to continually play well on the line of scrimmage.

Q. Do you think that's probably just the way it's going to be at Wisconsin as long as Barry Alvarez is in charge?
JOHN MOFFITT: As long as there's enormous people in Wisconsin, I think that's the way it's going to be.

Q. They got a big pool to pick from?
JOHN MOFFITT: Exactly. Yeah.

Q. John, how was this weekend, balancing fun and practice? Have you had some of both?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. I think practice has been good. We had a really good practice Sunday, and yesterday was really good. And then we have fun, and we've been -- I think that's the whole battle with a bowl game is you gotta balance it. And I think we've done a good job. I think guys have done a good job. I mean who knows about the freshman, but who cares? So, but other than that, it's been really good.

Q. Were you at the club last night?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. It was great.

Q. How was that?
JOHN MOFFITT: Very funny.

Q. Did he get up on stage?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. He got up on stage.

Q. Did he do anything?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. He told some jokes, and it was funny. I enjoyed it.

Q. Does he have a future?
JOHN MOFFITT: No. No. They're all stuff I've heard on TV. But I guess you can do that. He was just ripping off everything. But I guess you can do that and no one will know. But he's very funny. It's not easy to do. It's not easy to get up in front of people and be a funny person or try to come up with it on the spot. So he was very funny. I laughed. It was good.

Q. How about hearing from him, what do you guys take out of things like that?
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, he had a good message and he was a great speaker, and you know, it's just kind of -- it's a nice experience to talk to someone like him. He told some really good stories, and it's just I guess it's a nice perk of going to the Rose Bowl. But obviously -- and then on top, you take the message and then you move forward.

Q. What was the message?
JOHN MOFFITT: Win. Win the game.

Q. You know, he's 3 and 0.
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. Win the game or you're useless. That was basically it. Old guys can get away with saying that stuff.

Q. I mean there's some truth to that, right, how this thing is going to be remembered; right?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. I mean you have to win. That's why we're out here. And you gotta say does it mean as much, and he made this point, too. Are the wins -- they're good wins, but is it that significant if you don't win the last one, the big one. You know, how much does the Ohio State win mean, how much does Iowa mean, because it was all for this.

Q. Right.
JOHN MOFFITT: So losing this would not be -- you know, I think it would kind of damper the season.

Q. Are guys reminded of that coming out here or do you think guys knew that?
JOHN MOFFITT: No. I think our team has a good grip on things. I think we understand. And you know, we know what's at stake, which has been, you know, the whole year guys have understood how we do things the entire year, which is why I think we've had success.

Q. Do you think of where this team could rank in history of wins and school history?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. I mean you're a big picture guy, you know. I'm not. I got like block this guy on this play, and coach will say good job. And so, you know, I'm very small-minded.

Q. You talked about you had some unbelievable (indiscernible). What can you say about your abilities to pile up points?
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, I think the end goal is to score one more point than them, and if we do that, everything will be all right.
I don't know. They're a great defense, and I expect a four-quarter or more football game. You know, and our goal is to score points. And however we can do that, so I mean that's kind of how I see it, you know.

Q. They've all talked about how big you guys are.
JOHN MOFFITT: Uh-huh. Our offense? I think it's, I mean throughout the season I think it's been tough. I think the great thing that we've done this year has kind of added to our perimeter running game, our outside running game with James, and I think that's added a lot of depth to our offense.
And then on top of that, I think Scott's just, you know, Johnny-on-the-spot with his throwing ability and what he's been able to do with his accuracy and his efficiency. So I think that all kind of complements our offense very well.

Q. They're undefeated. Only three teams are undefeated. Does that also come into your thought coming into the game?
JOHN MOFFITT: I think it's -- you know, I look at it as it's an exciting opportunity. And I think outside the National Championship game, I think that makes our game the best game, because you know, technically we could be -- we're facing what could have been a potential National Championship contender, so we're excited about that, and that's a great opportunity.

Q. Around the country and around the Big Ten coaches are always moving around. What's it been like to have Paul here throughout your time and the continuity that's provided?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. It's been great. It really has. You know, he's a great coach. And more than just Xs and Os, I think he gets it. I think he gets players, and you know, how we are and our attitudes.
I think the other day we were back in Madison and I was just miserable, and he was like, "how are you feeling?" And I'm like, "miserable." I just said it to him honestly. And he just laughs. And that's fine. And I think he's got a good connection with us, and you know, knows what it's like to be a player.

Q. Is he kind of a player's coach in that way. I know he's kind of soft.
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, I never understood the player's coach term because no one is a player's coach. If you're a player's coach, then if I say I don't want to practice, then I don't have to practice and I've never met anybody who's done that, so I've never met a player's coach. But I think he's a coach's coach, and that's as far as it goes. Whatever that means.

Q. When you look at TCU, I hate to bring up Michigan.
JOHN MOFFITT: I saw more Ohio State. Not to out lance, but I saw in their defensive line front, I saw more Ohio State just the way they kind of moved out, with that tackle kind of pushing out more towards the defensive end. Like in the four "I" and just the way they kind of give a lot of looks in their D line. They can stunt down to two tight techniques over the center, like a dog front we call it. It's a double G. It's an inside "I" to the guard.
Their linebackers is a two-linebacker set, and their linebackers are talented and they come down hell hard, which reminds me of Ohio State. I know Ohio State wasn't always in a two-linebacker set like these guys are. But they're talented, and like Coach Chryst said, I think they've mastered their craft. They do what they do, and they do it well.
And you know, we do the same thing. We don't run a thousand plays on offense. You know, we do a lot of variations in our initial alignments and everything like that. But as far as that, we're not running a lot of plays. We're not reinventing the wheel.

Q. Are they pretty exotic? Do they blitz a lot?
JOHN MOFFITT: You know, with the blitzing thing they're beating a lot of teams by enough points where they don't have to show that hand. You know, you watch games and they're up 20 points, so why blitz?
They do run -- their blitzes are not -- they're not anything exotic, as you will say here in LA. (Laughs). They're the regular things, but I haven't seen enough or a lot of blitzes just because they don't need to.

Q. Can you compare their speed? Is there somebody -- we talked about comparison of Michigan linemen and Ohio State linemen. Speed wise, they claim they're fast. Will it be the fastest that you play?
JOHN MOFFITT: I think you can tell that when you're on the field, but I guarantee their defensive linemen will be faster than our offensive linemen, and that's pretty much every game.
I have yet to play a D lineman that I am faster than. You know, everyone wants to do size-to-speed, but to me, I don't look at our size. I think that's great and everything, but if you're a good D lineman and you have good technique, doesn't really matter what size you are.
We had a guy who played for us, Mike Newkirk played for us two years ago, and he might have weighed 270. Patricus knows. He's weird like that. But just a great technician, great defensive lineman. So I don't look at it like that. I never go into the, oh, this guy's 6' 2, 260, this guy's no problem. You can't do that.

Q. Are there things with the offensive line going into this game (Indiscernible). Are there things you say to yourself that we can't do this in this game, we have to do this?
JOHN MOFFITT: I mean that's not really my -- you know, he'll probably if he thinks a play is not going to work, he won't use it.

Q. Is there a position, though, where you have to be better at this this week?
JOHN MOFFITT: Oh, yeah. I see -- okay. Yeah. I mean obviously they rock their front a lot. They move really well. So we need to be on -- and this is, you know, week in and week out. You need to be on your aiming points. You need to know what you're doing. You need to be able to see the defense and anticipate things.
And that's the same this week, with a lot of other weeks. And you know, they're a very talented group. So we need to -- we can't get away with just sloughing off or relying on our size and that'll, you know, save the day, because that's clearly not the case with them on film.

Q. After Scott leaves (inaudible). Size?
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. If it's Budmayr, I think it might be just seeing over the line. If you can get that kid a stepladder three feet behind the center, you can climb up on him and throw the football.
No. I think the thing that -- and I hope the younger guys learn first and foremost from Scott is just his poise in the huddle and the way that he can -- he will, you know, take command in the huddle. And I'd say that's the first thing. And then after that, I'd hope they pick up on his preparation and the way that he just knows exactly what he's doing and is always prepared and really takes the game seriously. And I think they will. I mean Budmayr and Phillips are great guys, and I think they get it, too, and I think having -- being an under study to Tolzien is a benefit.

Q. Shared a room together and they couldn't get Tolzien out of the room because they were writing down plays.
JOHN MOFFITT: Yeah. He's wasted so much time in his early year. I mean seriously. Like you just started two years ago. You wasted three years of your life studying plays and probably plays that we threw away.

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