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ROSE BOWL GAME: MICHIGAN STATE v STANFORD


December 27, 2013


Mike Bloomgren


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Q.テつ Is the Google Glass this for ESPN or is this for‑‑
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ It's for Stanford's website.テつ And I think they're going to put some good stuff out on social media just kind of continue the nerd based‑theme.

Q.テつ Tell me about the Michigan State's defense, what's it like, what do you see in them?テつ How is it so strong?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ They are a very well‑coached, very hard‑playing group of kids in stopping the run and having corners out on an island.テつ And they can do it.テつ Not many people in college football or any level football could do that.

Q.テつ Denard obviously is capable‑‑
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Very good player.

Q.テつ What do you see in him?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ A very willing tackler, willing to come up, force the run.テつ But in addition to that a guy that just locks people down.テつ All year on film he's done a great job.テつ Not allowing people to even catch the ball.テつ Playing at an unbelievably high level.
Very similar to‑‑ I don't want to get into comparisons.テつ But he's a guy that does for their defense what a guy like Jerel Rivas did for ours in New York.テつ That's got a ton of value.テつ Ton of value.

Q.テつ Is this one of the best college defenses you've seen?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ It is.テつ Without question it's one of the best I've seen.テつ There's reasons why they're ranked so high in every defensive category.
They are dominant from first to second down, and then they get you in the third down.テつ All kinds of craziness.テつ Creates pressures good at any level.

Q.テつ I think particular facts (indiscernible) hallmark of this defense or is it something else?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ It's how hard they play, how well they tackle.テつ I really do.テつ They're exceptional for this day and age for college football.テつ Where a lot of people miss tackles, they don't.

Q.テつ Would you be surprised if this game isn't in the 30s?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I don't know about surprise, because I'm never going to let it be about the opponent.テつ I'm going to let it be about our performance and how we do.テつ So much confidence in our guys.
When they talk about No. 31 on their team, because he's really good.テつ He's really good on film.テつ I have so much confidence in our receivers and what we can do.
I have so much confidence on our offense line being able to deliver the ball.テつ I'm not going to cap ourselves or say I'd be surprised if we score points.テつ I certainly expect us to.

Q.テつ Denard, does he stay on one side or does he go‑‑
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Typically boundary corner.

Q.テつ I'm sorry?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Typically the boundary corner.テつ If the ball is on the left side, he'll be on the left.

Q.テつ Who else on your defense really impresses you; they're all good?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ All good.テつ Obviously middle linebacker who is out, All‑Conference kid.テつ Great player.テつ And certainly their leader.テつ Watch it on film.テつ He's making check after check.テつ Like an assistant coach out there.
Obviously he won't be playing.テつ No. 89 does an unbelievable job as a defensive end.テつ But, again, the way they play together, the way they fit that nine‑man slot together is really, really impressive.
Something you don't see a lot in 4‑3 defense and I've never really heard it talked about is building a wall.テつ And that's what you see them do.テつ From their defensive line, they stay in the gap.テつ They get offensive linemen and get extensions so there's going to be no movement and they're basically building a wall at the line of scrimmage.
Now where you used to hear that all the time was Belichick.テつ Used to talk about 3‑4 bit, bit, bit, perfect.テつ In the run game, build a wall and basically give the runner no place to go.

Q.テつ They're playing four?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ They are.テつ It's really rare for a 4‑3.

Q.テつ How many 4‑3s have you seen this year?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ You know, in this day and age‑‑

Q.テつ (Indiscernible)?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ No, they were 3‑4.テつ Oregon State is a true 4‑3 like these guys.テつ Closest team we've played in terms of a true 4‑3, quote, unquote 4‑3 team.テつ Now everybody has a lot of variation.
And we'll have some four‑man components, whether it's an under and over structure front that we've played with the exception of Oregon.テつ And they are pretty much three, four people.
This is a team that will line up at 4‑3.テつ They're going to do it on first and second down 99percent of the time.テつ Going to look the same.テつ And then after the snap is when everything gets exciting.テつ The 9 technique is going to dig, do a great job of gap exchanges, run cross dogs.
And the problem again is everything looks identical.テつ They do an unbelievable job holding things.テつ We'll have to adjust on the fly.

Q.テつ In terms of Stanford football, different coach there years ago, used to win every four years.テつ Hard place to be.テつ What has changed, what has allowed you guys to win year after year?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I'm not sure I'm the right person to ask that question to, because I wasn't here when this thing got (indiscernible).テつ I walked in three years ago, Fiesta Bowl, two Rose Bowls later, I'm still smiling.
If you want to know the truth, you should talk to Pete Alamar and Dave (indiscernible) because they came in last year, so they're two Rose Bowls in a row.テつ So maybe they were the secret formula for us getting to back‑to‑back Rose Bowls.
But in all seriousness, the guys that have been there for a while, the Lance Andersons, the Dave Shaws and even Derek Mason (indiscernible), they could probably speak better what's turned this around and made it consistent.
I see no reason why it should stop.テつ I don't know how it got to this point, but I believe we're recruiting at a high level.テつ We have a product people want to get involved with.テつ We have unbelievable kids in our locker room, and I think we're doing a good job giving these guys schemes, allowing them to be successful.テつ And obviously they're executing.

Q.テつ The players don't take too much (indiscernible) something that's filtered through the team.テつ Is that something that's coached as well?テつ And what were the dynamics among the players that you see that allows for continued‑‑
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I think right now we've got a bunch of fifth years that came in when they recruited Stanford.テつ It wasn't winning every game or‑‑ they weren't winning double‑digit games.テつ They won six, seven, eight.テつ They lived through some tough times.
So these guys are our grandfathers right now telling their stories by the fireside about Stanford back in the day.
And they're not letting that bar drop.テつ (Indiscernible) younger guys, to make sure that this thing will continue.テつ They a lot of pride.

Q.テつ When you look at next year, is there a little bit of intrigue in that class that's been through that sweat equity as we go through difficult times, what will emerge?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Yeah, I guess so, I guess because you won't have those true lessons, those life lessons.テつ We still have stories and we'll still talk about them as coaches, and I think our strength coach, Turley, in the summer does a great job making these guys pay a price, understanding you're not entitled.テつ We have to earn it every year, every game, every play.
That's a big deal, understanding we have to earn it.テつ Nobody's going to give us anything.

Q.テつ In terms of the system matchup (indiscernible) like a phone booth?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Yes, absolutely.

Q.テつ Do you enjoy that sort of thing?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Yes, sir, absolutely.

Q.テつ Are you wearing Google Glass?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ That's Google Glass.

Q.テつ Are you always outfitted in that or just for the press conference?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ This is my first time.テつ And I think the thing I said to the guys in there, it's my way of paying homage to Nerd Nation.テつ Our kids have beenon it, our students been on it all year.
Also for all the recruits, we talk about, hey, come here.テつ We'll get you an internship at Google this year, venture capital firm.テつ And our relationship with Google is obviously very strong.テつ And I'm the tech member of our staff.テつ I'm the guy that wants to unwrap toys like this on Christmas.テつ I'm flipping it around.
Guys, now the camera's on you, so if you misspeak or go on a 30‑second rant, we'll put you on SportsCenter tonight.

Q.テつ What are the applications‑‑ what are the applications for that kind of technology for coaches?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ So obviously I think everything we do on our smartphone or iPad right now can come into play on this, but beyond that I think the field use.テつ I remember in training camp, St. Louis Rams, I saw a couple things online, they put it on quarterbacks and receivers.
It's a little too bobbly to maybe have a practical application right now, but you could see getting to what the receiver sees, knowing exactly where his eyes are on the route, knowing what the quarterback sees, especially, okay, I'm with this safety, now my (indiscernible) is there, boom, boom.
I think you check their eyes.テつ That's what we try to do with the camera behind the queue right now, and luckily at Stanford we have a stripe down the middle.テつ They can't lie to us.テつ They can't say I was looking over there.テつ The stripe would tell the story.テつ This would obviously be very definitive.

Q.テつ How are you handling it like today?テつ Is it comfortable for you?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ It's comfortable.テつ I can go between looking you in the eyes and looking in your eyes on this thing.テつ It's kind of a wonderful thing here.テつ It's like there's a big TV over your head, to be quite honest with you.

Q.テつ In terms of the game itself, I know you were talking about playing NFL or whatever, but you guys do have some playmakers and guys not just running the ball obviously 45 times, do you feel like you are ever going to be to be able to go outside the realm of just running the ball against these guys?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Yeah, absolutely.テつ I think I love, we as a staff, where we've gotten to at this point in the season.テつ We've gotten to the point we'll be committed to running the football.テつ We're going to come downhill and be us and worry about evaluating us and not worrying about the opponent, I guess is the best way to say it.
But at the same time, somebody's going to load the box, you're going to put those safeties down there at six yards, we've proven we'll throw it over your head.テつ We like our chances.

Q.テつ The fact they're not going to have their starting middle linebacker, all the prep you may have done up to Wednesday night, in terms of film, is that going to be a huge issue, do you think, for them and for you guys in terms of what you're going to do?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Honestly, no, because I believe this:テつ I believe they're an outstanding coaching staff.テつ I know if we lost somebody that was that important to our team, we'd do less, not more.テつ So I would certainly envision that there's not going to be more things coming.テつ I think there will be less and they'll be worried about fitting the run perfectly and having people in the right places.
But that's really who they are.テつ So, again, it's not going to affect their game plan a lot, I don't believe.

Q.テつ For you (indiscernible) offensive coordinator, Gaffney came back, how did you kind of see that?テつ Did you see that coming or was it?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I did not see it coming.テつ I probably should have.テつ Because he came to the Rose Bowl last year.テつ Came to games all over the place.テつ He was always around and you could tell he was missing it.
So my reaction was when I heard it it was like great.テつ I knew the caliber of backup he could be.テつ I'm not sure I believed we could give him this many touches, but the fact is he just earned it.テつ He had an unbelievable year.テつ Couldn't afford not to give him the ball.
And the thing about Gaf is why he came back‑‑ I don't know if you had a chance to ask him why he came back.テつ But he spoke to our team before the fourth game, and he talked about the things he missed (indiscernible) baseball, was the locker room, and these caliber guys and going to fight for your brothers and with your brothers.テつ It was unbelievable.

Q.テつ Interesting, as a true sophomore, where is he at in the (indiscernible) compared to some of the other dominant offensive linemen that have come through the program in the years?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I think he's probably ahead of everybody in terms of being just two years into the program.テつ None of those guys started as late as a true freshman as he did.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible)?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I can't answer that.テつ Nor do I want to.テつ Because I just want to keep seeing him continue to fight and get better every day.テつ And when he keeps making the progress, I just don't know where that is.テつ Great question.

Q.テつ How can he get better at it?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ He can get better at playing lower.テつ He'll get better in the off‑season program.テつ He'll continue to get stronger.テつ The switch that turned from last year to this year, he truly wants to dominate every opponent, every play.
That mindset has been such a jump for him and the tenacity he's playing with and the fact that he's been beside a guy like David Yankee two years now.

Q.テつ What do you expect from the matchup against Calhoun?テつ When he was in here earlier, you could (indiscernible) the athlete he is?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I think it's going to be an awesome matchup.テつ Can't wait to watch it play out.

Q.テつ Looking back (indiscernible) how fragile this sport is compared to the NFL in terms of (indiscernible)?テつ When you're following a game, do you recognize how precious every decision, game in October is relative to the season (indiscernible) you go, wow, we're two yards‑‑
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I think you're exactly right.テつ I think we all know with Coach Shaw and myself having spent a significant time in the NFL, that's how you live week‑to‑week in the NFL.テつ We haven't had a huge margin for error here.テつ We've had an outstanding defense that's played incredibly well.
As long as we protected the ball and find a way to put a few points on the board, we've survived a lot of games around here.テつ If you look back at the ones we've lost the last two years, I'm not sure we've one lost by a touchdown.

Q.テつ That's what I'm saying.
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Three‑, four‑point games, one‑point games.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible) you get there and there's the margin where you (indiscernible)?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Absolutely.テつ So true.テつ But, again, I think it goes back to our NFL background and Coach Shaw having a great plan for how he wants this team built and what he wants to see them do.テつ He wants to play great defense, run the ball.テつ And we're not going to‑‑ we're going to protect the football.テつ We're trained that way.テつ We trained our players to basically play this game a certain way, and they do a great job of it.

Q.テつ When you look back at what happened at Utah in retrospect, (indiscernible) game obviously anybody's game.テつ When you go back, you have time to look back, go back and (indiscernible)?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ You definitely‑‑ we watched the game together with the staff together the day after.テつ We had those conversations.テつ We'll have more of them as we get into the off‑season.テつ When we get off the road recruiting, we spend a lot of time with self‑analysis.テつ We'll have those conversations as a staff.
But at the same time, if one of them had worked‑‑ that's the thing you know about this business.テつ If one of them works, then we're talking about what a great call it was.

Q.テつ And I guess that's the question, how much of it is just (indiscernible) Auburn had two plays that should probably never happen and that gets them the second game?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Good for them.テつ You need a little luck in this day and age.テつ It's hard to go undefeated in college football.テつ One team did it out of a hundred and however many this year.
And Auburn, like you said, got those two plays.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible)?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ We some got plays in other games that made a big deal.テつ Whether they happened at the end of the game or not, they happened during the course of it.テつ Our players found ways to make plays.

Q. テつ(Indiscernible) can you talk a little bit more about that, what it's from and what means to you also your program?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Yeah, I think the big thing that I would say about it is how smart and how we tried to program our guys, like I talked about in there.
But the other part I didn't mention in there is the brutality.テつ That's what we want.テつ We want to be brutes.テつ We want to be physical.テつ We want to impose that will.
And that's exactly who we think we are as an offensive football team.テつ And, again, we do have dynamic players.テつ When you talk about Ty Montgomery or Rector, those guys can go down the field get the ball.
The thing about those guys, before we let them go in a game, go down field and make a play.テつ They've also got to go block for our runner, do it for this offense.
So everybody right down the line is a physical, physical football player.テつ That's what everything starts with.

Q.テつ You're making decisions for the critical thinking part, and then kind of following it up with‑‑
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ And not just the critical thinking, not just split‑second decisions, that's what this game will be all about for us, with how things change after that, but the volume of offense that we carry is astounding.テつ We carry more than we did with the New York Jets, to be honest with you.テつ We have half the time to teach it.テつ Luckily these guys are so friggin' intelligent.

Q.テつ I was going to ask you, is it easier to (indiscernible) Stanford?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Easier to carry volume, without question. テつThese guys are unbelievable with recall.テつ I'm going to come back here with three and a half days off, and our retention‑‑ really four and a half days, Disneyland yesterday.テつ Our retention is going to be incredible.テつ I'll be shocked if it was anything less from understanding what our game plan is, how we're going to execute it, and what they expect out of this defense.

Q.テつ Did you know that coming in or did you make that assumption or did you just figure it out as soon as you got there?
MIKE BLOOMGREN: テつI certainly made the assumption.テつ But it's like anything else, we're always going to teach in such a way to get the least common denominator.テつ I just didn't know if there really wasn't a least common denominator.
Everybody's friggin' throwing it.テつ And you could say something and we could say you said this, and, you're right, we're changing it to this.テつ Mid‑week game plans like nobody I've ever been around.

Q.テつ Safe to say gives you the advantage (indiscernible)テつ at this level?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Without question.

Q.テつ Short of noise (indiscernible)?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Absolutely.テつ Absolutely.

Q.テつ Here it's different.
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ It's on both sides of the ball.テつ Our defense‑‑ you look at Stanford's football team.テつ We play Sunday football on both sides, we're 3‑4, attacking defense.テつ It's going to be great gaps, two gaps, going to pressure like an NFL football team.
And offensively you know we're going to have that same mentality, grinding it out, smart situational football, great in the third down, great in the red zone is our goal.
And the other thing we're going to do is our guys are going to be smart not do anything to give away the game, and as coaches we'll make decisions that make sense.

Q.テつ Just when it starts to cycle you start improving towards that end?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Without question.テつ And (indiscernible) with a lot of that.テつ Make sure we bring Stanford‑type players in‑‑ Stanford‑type students, I should say ‑‑ student‑athlete (indiscernible).

Q.テつ The surroundings, right?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Absolutely.テつ Absolutely.

Q.テつ What's the best part of the Google Glass?テつ What do you like most about it?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ You know what, there's really cool things to it right now that I can't(indiscernible) say this product to answer that question.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible)?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ I did.テつ I just turned it on.テつ I'm excited to see how the GPS function works.テつ I'm interested to see how the voice function works in terms of searching because I think I can do everything I can do on my smartphone on this device.

Q.テつ In the press box during a game will you wear it?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ The NCAA does not allow‑‑ they do not play nice with technology like this.テつ Maybe someday they will.テつ I was telling these guys, in the preseason the St. Louis Rams put them on their quarterback and receivers.テつ I'd love to see us go down that road sometime.テつ Because you talk about eye progression and what you guys are seeing‑‑

Q.テつ You couldn't do that even in practice (indiscernible) put that on a quarterback's helmet?
MIKE BLOOMGREN:テつ Could in practice, absolutely could in practice.テつ Just could not in a game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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