Sept. 19, 2016
BOCA RATON, Fla. - After taking a look at the film coming out of Saturday afternoon, all three phases obviously have a lot to work and improve on this week. We have to get better at protecting the football. That responsibility really falls on all of us here in the organization to get all of those things fixed. We lost as a team. We will get better as a team. No changes in the depth chart to report. The depth chart will remain as it is, but right now we need to move on. We need to get better in practice. It is as simple as that. Ball State is our current focus.
To give you a little bit about them. They are multiple in offense. They have a 6-6 quarterback [Riley Neal] with a strong arm and multiple weapons to distribute the ball to. On Saturday, three guys had six catches. They play multiple running backs [who] can run the ball and make people miss. On defense, [they have] an extremely aggressive style with a blitzing package. They had 14 TFLs, on Saturday, 12 different players and eight sacks. That is our focus. That is our challenge. They also attack on special teams. They come after kicks to block them. They blocked one against Indiana. They blocked a punt against them. Again, this week’s mission is about two things: Our improvement and getting ready for Ball State. It is really that simple.
After a win or loss, you guys like to move on quickly. Is that tougher to do after a game like Saturday?
It is tougher for us as coaches. That is the beauty of youth. They have a shorter term memory. Yesterday, we had a great practice, not a good practice, a great practice. They came out with a purpose and with passion. That is exciting to see. Because after a tough loss on Saturday afternoon, that is a test of where you are with your kids and they came out yesterday and really got after it. We got better yesterday. We just need to get better today and tomorrow.
What did you like about Saturday?
Not a lot. It was a tough day. The defense came out in the third quarter and got some stops. That was good to see. Once we got past all the things that happened in the first half, we got in and settled the guys down at halftime. Came out and did a better job of doing our jobs as an organization on the field and that led to some stops. There in the fourth quarter, [there was] a disappointing punt return because we have been good on punt around here. That was disappointing to see. We were playing a lot of young guys on defense so the good news is that they got experience but we gave up a score too there late that we will improve on.
Is [Kelly] Parfitt on track to play Saturday…Roman [Fernandez]?
I hope so, we will get more updates throughout the course of the week. So, we will see. Same. We will see throughout the course of the week.
If they are able to play, how does that affect all the shuffles along the offensive line? I assume there is going to be more.
We get back to some of our original alignments. If those guys are available. So, I think we will know more about that during the course of the week.
Did Dillon [DeBoer] do a better job at center than left tackle? Or is just so hard to tell in that game?
He did some good things at center. He really controlled that part of the equation.
Does it make sense if Roman [Fernandez] is ready to keep Dillon where his strength is?
Potentially, we will work on that decision through the course of the week depending on who is available and how much practice time they get. It will all tie together.
How much of the offensive line shuffling the issue of the struggling offense?
It is a challenge. A phrase that we use around here is no matter how hard it is to climb a mountain, the mountain does not care. Nobody cares, as far as those kind of challenges. With all due respect, to even respond to that is kinda going against what we preach around here: We have to put our best five on the field. We will put them in the best possible position we can, to lead the challenges of course.
To get the cohesion you want, is that the first step to get the offense going?
It is certainly a piece of it.
How did you evaluate the left tackles after looking at the film?
All three of them did some good things. All three have things to improve. I’m not going to rank them for you. No disrespect. All three showed signs of being very good football players as they grow and get experience. They just need to keep doing it.