Aug 27, 2013
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES IN PDF FORMAT
SDSU Football Press Conference Quotes
Fowler Athletics Center
Aug. 27, 2013
Head coach Rocky Long
"First off I'd like to say I think our team is really excited about playing (on Saturday), they're really tired of practicing. I hope they understand how good Eastern Illinois is. We've watched a lot of film. In fact, we've watched every game from last year. They try to run a play every 13 seconds, they move the ball up and down the field and they score points. I just hope our team realizes how good they are so we come prepared."
On if he gets nervous before the first game of the season:
"I do get nervous, because when you go into the first game, you don't know what you have. You can guess on what you have, but you don't have any idea how your team is going to perform until they go against somebody else."
On what he's most nervous about:
"No specific position, just about how the team reacts. We've got some experienced players and guys that have played well in the past, but a team has to gel. The offense has to match the defense and the special teams have to be good. It has to be a team effort to win games."
On if he has conversations with his players about the NCAA rules and regulations:
"We meet with our players every year before the season starts and go over NCAA rules, as well as team rules and team expectations. We do that at the beginning of every fall camp."
On if he knows Eastern Illinois head coach Dino Babers personally:
"We're not real close, but we've met each other a few times. I know he played at Morse High School and I know he played at the University of Hawai'i and coached at several places. He's a really good coach and has moved up in the coaching ranks. He did a great job last year. As a first-time head coach, he takes a team that was last in their conference and wins the conference. That's a pretty good job of coaching if you ask me."
On how similar Eastern Illinois' offense is to Baylor's:
"It's almost exactly the same. Everybody got to see Baylor in the Holiday Bowl (last season). UCLA didn't slow them down a bit."
On Eastern Illinois' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo:
"He's very efficient, completes 60 percent of his passes, throws very few interceptions and a lot of touchdown passes."
On the athleticism of the offensive line this season compared to previous years:
"I think it's a combination of the last four years of recruiting. We want size on both sides of the ball, but we try to go with athletes before size. The difference is on the defensive line, they have to run fast. Offensive linemen don't have to run fast, but they have to be able to move their feet and work in a three- or four-yard square. So they have to be really athletic in what they do. But on both lines, we look for athletes first, and size is secondary."
On the impact of Eastern Illinois losing four of its top five wide receivers from last season:
"I don't think it makes a bit of difference because of the guys starting, I know one was a backup last year and is probably the fastest guy on their team, and his average was 22.5-yards per catch. He's now starting. One of the guys is a transfer from Baylor, who is now starting. In fact, their receivers might be better than they were last year."
OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
Senior wide receiver Colin Lockett
On the fall camp:
"I think it went good for me, for the offense and for (Adam) Dingwell's progression from spring to the fall. A lot of guys got better. A lot of guys showed that they can step up in a clutch situation and deliver when demanded to. I thought everyone made progress and learned the offense more. Everybody is in tune. We're ready to go."
On personal and team expectations heading into the season:
"Personal expectations come last in this program. That is just something that comes with the game. If I'm wide open and I catch the ball, that's good for our offense first rather than good for me. How I got better through the offseason was linking up with (Adam Dingwell) and running routes. Even working out with other receivers on Saturday's, getting my feet under me, making sure I'm catching as many balls as possible either from a jug machine or from a live arm. The little things are going to make me excel in my last season and get us more victories and hopefully get to a BCS bowl game."
On if the incoming non-football freshmen know a lot about the team:
"A lot of freshmen that come here don't know we won a championship last year. They come here to come and go to school, get an education and have fun. With the interaction we did last week, they might have a better understanding of what the football program is like, what we want to achieve and what we already have achieved. With them coming out to the first game on Saturday, they'll get a great look on how much work we've done, how important Aztec legacy is and how important it is to win with both the football program and other programs here. Saturday is the coming out party for us and to let them know we're here for business."
On being a captain:
"The senior class runs this whole team. The captain role kind of signifies the respect and trust that the underclassmen see that you do and vote you for it. I was real thankful that my teammates thought of me as highly as they did, but I feel like the whole senior class is captains. We all have say. We all make plays and it will trickle on down."
On freshman running back Donnel Pumphrey:
"He's one of those guys who is one missed tackle or one catch away from breaking a long one. The kid's fast. We came in the summer and were just doing stretch lines, watching guys run and seeing which guys looked they would be able to at least step up and play this year. He's one of those guys that we first saw and were like, `Man, he's fast.' Even jogging he looks fast. He's going to be a big player for us this season in terms of putting him in the backfield, line him up out wide or in the return game. (Strength & conditioning) coach Adam Hall put him with me as my lifting partner. I'm taking that as a big opportunity to pass on some of my personal experiences. I try to talk to the guys while they are lifting so they're not just lifting weights and putting them down. I want to make sure they know why they are lifting this much weight or why they are doing neck's or why I'm going this hard on DJ Pumphrey when we are doing biceps. I try to tie things in with him so he can see the bigger picture rather than the little picture like maybe he was just doing this because they want you to gain weight. No, it's because you're going to be a player and you've got to have the size, strength and more quickness so can he can success. I'm taking him under my wing to help him success. It's hard for a true freshman to understand it. He's only been here like a month. It's easier for a redshirt freshman to understand it, but not for a true freshman. He's going to have to understand it now. It's going to be excited to watch him run."
Junior quarterback Adam Dingwell
On Eastern Illinois' defense:
"They've got a talented defense. They did lose some guys up front, so hopefully we'll be able to run the ball, which is what we always want to do. You can never overlook a defense. They have some talent at every spot and it's going to be my job as a quarterback to get us in the right play to execute our assignments and go down the field and score touchdowns."
On if this is his team:
"I wouldn't necessarily say that it's my team. The seniors lead this team, we have captains that lead this team. But in a way I feel like I have a lot more control than I did last year just as far as knowing the offense, knowing the guys I'm playing with. Maybe I have a little bit more of a leadership role, having played some games now and being able to coach some guys up how we do things around here. Whether it's talking to Colin (Lockett) or any of the receivers, tight ends or backs, what I think they should do on a certain play or what they tell me they think they should do on a certain play. It helps having played some games and being here for quite some time now."
On freshman running back Donnel Pumphrey:
"I kind have been around, watching him on film a lot with the running backs. I think he's come a long way. He's extremely fast, extremely quick and he picked up the offense pretty fast as well. Being a true freshman, there's still some things he needs to learn. That's why we have coaches and (running back) coach Horton will coach him up on that and I'll help him if I can. I think he's come a long way and he's going to be a heck of a player for us."
DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
Senior defensive lineman Jordan Thomas
On the progress of the defensive line given the returning experience:
"I would say about last year, there was a learning curve with all of the (defensive assignments), and now it's just our technique that we need to work on. That already puts you ahead of the curve, not worrying about what you need to do, but what you need to get better at. So compared to last year, I would say we are light years ahead of where we (were)."
On what concerns him most about Eastern Illinois:
"They like just like to throw the ball a lot, really. As a defensive line, we just have to get pressure on them and get to the quarterback as much we can."
Senior linebacker Nick Tenhaeff
On Eastern Illinois:
"They're definitely good. You can't underestimate these guys; they scored a lot of points all season last year. The speed of their play will be an issue and that's something we've been training for. But they provide solid competition and we're happy for the opportunity to play them."
On his anticipation of the season opener on Saturday:
"I'm really excited. I'm a senior and have been around here for five years. I've put in a lot of time in the weight room, a lot of time on field, and it's all kind of culminating with this game and the whole season. This is like my Christmas. During the season, every Saturday is a great day for me, so I'm looking forward to it."