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December 29, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. When you came to TCU, was your goal to be left tackle?
MARCUS CANNON: Well, at first I was supposed to be a right tackle. I didn't know if I was going to play right tackle, left tackle or guard. But I had a pretty good feeling I was going to be right tackle. That's what I played for the first three years, first four years, including my redshirt year. This year I moved to left tackle. I guess it's been great.
Q. When they decided to move you over there, were you excited about that prospect (indiscernible)?
MARCUS CANNON: Well, I understood about that in the NFL. I was kind of nervous about taking such a big weight on my shoulders. I didn't kind of know what to expect. But I worked at it pretty hard in the summer. I'd be in my room. I'd set by myself and get ready. I got pretty confident. I think it turned out pretty well.
At first I was pretty nervous, but just kind of grew on me.
Q. (No microphone.)
MARCUS CANNON: Probably footwork will be the most. The mental aspect of it, knowing how to swap the plays in your head, that's easy. Anybody can do that. But just from switching from putting your right foot forward to putting your left foot forward, so forth, that will probably be the hardest part.
Going against Wayne Daniels in practice, he probably helped me the most because he's the end when I play left side. He's faster than the other ones. That was the part I was trying to get over, understanding that I'm going to lose some at first because I'm not a hundred percent down, ready how to move around at left tackle yet. That's probably the hardest part.
Q. Who wins those battles?
MARCUS CANNON: We go back and forth. Daniels is a pretty good athlete, so...
Q. Are you comfortable in space?
MARCUS CANNON: In space? I am pretty comfortable. I think it's more fun. Some other positions, you know, you have two people on either side of you. I think it's a little more fun. I think it might be a little harder. You get them out there and you have to figure out a way not to let them back in, you know. I think it's all right. I'm not going to say it's easy.
Q. Who is the best defensive (indiscernible) you've seen?
MARCUS CANNON: Everybody said it before, Jerry Hughes is probably the best. This year, alongside Wayne Daniels on our side, I'd probably have to say and go with a big 6'6" guy at SMU. He was pretty good. Also San Diego State.
Q. In terms of the Wisconsin guys, what are your thoughts on the guys you'll be facing?
MARCUS CANNON: They're really good guys. I've been watching film on them. They're quick, know how to use the swim move, slap on the helmet, knows how to get through you. Flip-flops on your side. I think 99, Watt, he's probably their best player on defense. I think it's going to be a nice little challenge. He's a late-first, early second-round pick. It's going to be pretty nice going against him.
Q. (Question regarding chipping.)
MARCUS CANNON: Well, no, we haven't had any help with chipping. I didn't understand what chipping was till probably like maybe two or three games ago when coach was joking with some of the offensive linemen.
Q. This is a game where Gabe carries a lot of attention. Do you like being in a situation where people are looking at how you perform?
MARCUS CANNON: This is an awesome position. This is what everybody lives for. They want to be in the spotlight. You want somebody looking at you all the time. I guess if everybody is looking at me, that's a good thing. I guess I finally arrived or made it.
Q. (No microphone.)
MARCUS CANNON: There's a lot at stake. We work so hard. All year we came undefeated. It's kind of to prove to everybody else that we know how to play in BCS games. Coach P was saying it took them awhile to learn how to play in regular Bowl games when he first got here. They had a rough season. After last year, it was a big learning part that now we know how to practice. We know when to go to sleep. We know when enough of going out is enough.
I think there's a lot at stake. We're moving to the Big East in a couple years, trying to be a force down there.
Q. (Question regarding playing Boise State last year.)
MARCUS CANNON: Yeah, we were really disappointed how we executed. I think a lot of us had a really bad game. We just don't want that to happen again.
Q. You went into that game running the ball so well, then it seemed like your whole game plan changed in the first quarter. Didn't look like you were ever yourself in that game.
MARCUS CANNON: We didn't get ready last year. There was a lot of stuff that happened. It wasn't on the coaches. It was on us, the way we were practicing, how we were looking at it.
Last year was our first BCS Bowl game. We didn't know how to act. We're at the Fiesta Bowl, we're at a nice little resort. We went up there thinking, Yeah, we're at the Fiesta Bowl.
The difference between last year and now, last year we were thinking, We're at the Fiesta Bowl. This year we're at the Rose Bowl, we're ready to try to go win. Last year I don't think we had much focus on winning. I think we were mostly kind of disappointed that we played Boise last year. It's a BCS Bowl game, you should be happy whoever you play.
This year is a whole lot different, the attitude of the players, how we're playing.
Q. Was it after the fact you looked back?
MARCUS CANNON: It was when we got there. Probably the most I ever heard Coach Patterson talk about how down we were. We have a lot of up-tempo practices. Last year everybody was pretty much down. Weren't running as fast as we should be, doing the right stuff, complaining. This year is totally different.
Q. You talked about Watt. Is this guy more than just a power guy?
MARCUS CANNON: I've seen more finesse out of him than anything. He has some really nice moves. He's real quick, real fast.
I think power would be probably second to his speed. I think his speed and quickness of getting around tackles, when he plays technique guards, that's probably the best. I haven't seen him use power because his speed is so good.
Q. What do you think about his motor?
MARCUS CANNON: Every time we watch film on him, he's batting down a pass, throwing a right tackle, left tackle down, he's getting in for a tackle for a loss, hitting the quarterback after the throw. Pretty good guy.
Q. Do you have to kind of spot him on every play?
MARCUS CANNON: Well, you know, our line is pretty strong. We got on my side Kyle Dooley helping me out if something happens. Jake Kirkpatrick is All-American. Josh Vernon. We have the other tackle, Zach Roth. I trust him as much as he trusts me. We've only given up single-digit sacks this year. I'd say we'd all be okay going against him.
Q. Is the offensive overshadowed by all the attention your defense gets?
MARCUS CANNON: It's been like that for five years. It's always been a defensive team. We never feel overshadowed because Coach Patterson gives us the props we deserve whenever we do something good. Coach Patterson, the coaches, all of us, we know it takes the offense and defense to win a game. We don't feel overshadowed at all.
We're probably more proud of our defense than they're proud of themselves. We're happy they're number one. We go against them every day. If you go against the number one defense in the nation every day, you're bound to get better, you know.
Q. What is one thing about their defense that has your attention?
MARCUS CANNON: If I had to pick one thing, I'd probably say maybe the quickness of their D-line, maybe the quickness of their defensive ends also.
Q. Does it compare to any other defenses you've seen?
MARCUS CANNON: I think it compares a lot to I want to say Utah. I don't think most people understand how Utah was. They're still big guys. After them, I'd probably say probably UNLV, a lot of big guys, strong guys. I mean San Diego State, sorry.
Q. You talked about the Fiesta Bowl last year. Is that motivating you this year?
MARCUS CANNON: You know, last year, after something bad happens, you never want it to happen again. Last year's memories are lingering in our head still. That's what helps push us forward and persevere this time. This Rose Bowl we're at, the hard practices we're going through, we're thinking about last year, how practice was. We don't want that to happen again. That helps a lot.
Also knowing how good of a team Wisconsin is, the players they have, what it can mean for next year's team if we win, you know, that also pushes us, too. I'm a senior, but I still care about the program.
Q. How do you respond to what people are saying about this game, it's a big game for your program?
MARCUS CANNON: It's a huge game for our program. I guess we respond to that the same way as any other big game we've played. It's just time to get ready, you know. You can't be scared. It's always good to have your back up against the wall. There's only one way you can go, and that's forward.
Q. Have you carried a chip on your shoulder because of last year's Bowl game?
MARCUS CANNON: I think probably the most motivating factor is our pyramid of success we have in our team meeting room. We have goals. We have goals that says national championship. That's what helps us. Before national championship it says, Go to a BCS Bowl game and win. I think that's what we're looking for.
Last year has a little effect, but not as much as our pyramid of goals does.
Q. If you win this game, do you think that sets you up for next year to make a run at that?
MARCUS CANNON: Of course, you know. It would help a lot. If we win this, there's a possibility we could be second. I don't know about first. Coming into pre-season, that puts us in the top five. They go and play next year, I have faith in the team under me that they're going to do really good. Of course, that would put them on top. I think that would set next year up pretty good for them.
Q. Take me from your original perception once you found out you were playing Wisconsin till now. Anything that surprises you about Wisconsin?
MARCUS CANNON: The first thing I thought when I seen Wisconsin is how many games have I watched Wisconsin. I think I watched one game. I think it was against Michigan probably, is that right? I think so. But that was one game. I was trying to remember. This is all before we started watching film. This is the day we found out who we were going to play. All these things were going through my mind.
I thought, It couldn't be too hard to play against them. Then I started watching film. I started seeing J.J. Watt, is that his name, some of the other big guys they have playing. They're fast, they move really good. I'm like, Well, looks like we're going to have to get ready. Keep watching this film, trying to anticipate what they're going to do with each play.
Q. What made you think it wouldn't be that difficult originally?
MARCUS CANNON: I never seen anything on them. I didn't study before. But after I found out who they were, seen them on film, I know it's not going to be that easy. They're a really good team.
Q. What are three or four things the offensive line has to do to be successful against Wisconsin?
MARCUS CANNON: Well, number one, we got to say in single digits on sacks. If we don't give up a sack, it's going to be pretty good. We got to control the line. There's big guys on the other side. We got to get them back, move them a couple yards off the line every time. We got to be quick, keep our tempo, pretty much keep our heads.
Q. Do they move around any?
MARCUS CANNON: They don't move around a lot. Like they don't have a lot of stunts. In the gaps they keep, they swim real fast. They spin. I've seen them spin before contact. Their linebackers are always coming downhill. They use their size more than they use twists and stunts, so... They don't move that much, but they're really quick and really fast.
Q. Who does that remind you of?
MARCUS CANNON: Well, their size reminds me of Virginia. Their speed reminds me of a good Utah.
End of FastScripts