Pelini Transcript from Tuesday’s Press Conference

Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini

On Taylor Martinez and Lavonte David earning Big 12 honors today
“We had a number of guys honored today when the Big 12 came out. I’m proud of all those guys. It’s a team game and there are a lot of people who put a lot of effort in, guys that weren’t honored who I thought were deserving also. It’s a team game and it just goes to show you we made some improvement. We did some good things as a football team this year.”

On what the defense can take from last year’s game
“Nothing really, it’s a different time, different place, different offense, new challenges.”

On what the team did well in that game last year
“Like I said, it’s a different time, different place, so the furthest thing from my mind is what happened in that game last year.”

On how he has seen Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones improve from last season
“Landry is a good football player. He makes good decisions. He’s decisive. He’s a good football player.”

On if there are any similarities between the hurry-up offense Oklahoma and Oklahoma State runs
“Different offenses. I mean the tempo is fast. There are some similarities, but different offenses. The tempo can be similar.”

On what they must do in the pass defense against Oklahoma
“It’s a good match up. They are pretty balanced. I think they run the ball fairly well at times and they have a lot of talent, a lot of good skill people on that side. They have a trigger man who can get the ball to everybody. They stretch the field on you. It’s a good challenge for us.”

On what they have to do well against Oklahoma
“Execute, not make mistakes, tackle well in space, and cover people. Obviously, on top of that, you have to get pressure up front. You want to make the quarterback uncomfortable.”

On Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles
“He’s a good football player. They get him the ball in a lot of different ways. They try to get him the ball in space and he makes plays. He’s a heck of a playmaker, a good football player.”

On at which point over the past couple years he saw the defensive backs really gel as a unit
“I think it’s a process. It’s a development. I think they’ve steadily got better and they developed an understanding of what we are trying to do defensively. They’ve bought in. They’ve worked hard and they’ve improved. That’s all part of it. It’s about development.”

On how his and Bob Stoops’ relationship has improved after coaching in the same league
“We’ve always had a good relationship and we always will. We’ve known each other for a long time. I wouldn’t say that being a head coach in the league has changed anything.”

On if they talk more or less now that he is a head coach
“It really hasn’t changed at all from when I was an assistant to a head coach to back when I was in the NFL.”

On if he would take any extra satisfaction in beating him on Saturday
“It’s not about Bob and me. It’s about two football teams, two football programs. There are a lot of other people involved in this thing. No, I guess is the answer. It’s about the kids. It’s not about us.”

On what a Big 12 title would mean in Nebraska’s final year in the conference
“We worked really hard this year. The kids have put a lot of effort in, so it would mean a lot. It’s what we set out to do when the season started was winning the Big 12.”

On when he thinks they need to make a decision on the starting quarterback
“What time’s the game start Saturday?”

On if he thinks the players need to know who their starting quarterback will be
“No.”

On if he has seen Cody Green’s confidence grow
“I would assume he’s confident from how he played the other day, but he’s a confident kid and very capable. We have a lot of confidence in Cody. I think he’s ready to play. I always know he’s ready to play.”

On where Cody has shown the most improvement this season
“In all areas he’s developed. He hasn’t got a lot of playing time, but practice and all of that is all part of the development. You just see him getting better and better every time he gets an opportunity. Hopefully, he’ll continue to improve like any other guy on our football team.”

On Cody’s attitude throughout the season
“All those guys, I think it represents the type of attitude on our football team. It’s a team game and they are all team players, and they want to do whatever it takes to win. They have confidence in the coaches and they have confidence in themselves and their teammates and everybody plays for the guy next to him. It’s not about one individual guy. It’s about the football team.”

On if he feels slighted the Big 12 didn’t present a Big 12 trophy to them
“No. I understand there are some other circumstances that played into that, but it’s not an issue.”

On if he will gladly accept one on Saturday if they win
“That’s obvious, right?”

On if he thinks his team is playing their best football of the year right now
“I think there is still more out there for this football team. We have to keep getting better. Saturday night gives us that opportunity. We haven’t reached our potential yet and there is still a lot for us. It would be nice if it would all come together on Saturday night. That’s what you strive for, to keep getting better each and every week. That’s the challenge ahead of us this week.”

On Prince Amukamara being named an All-American without recording a interception
“It says that the people voting know what they’re talking about. It’s not about statistics; it’s about how you play. I think he leads the country in pass breakups. He’s had a tremendous year. He’s a tremendous football player. I think that honor was well deserved.”

On if they call a defensive game plan different because they have somebody like Amukamara on at corner
“No, not really. I mean, obviously, everything you do on all areas you always take into account what your talent is, and what your strengths are weaknesses are, all those things. Not only having Prince, but having Alfonzo (Dennard) and (Eric) Hagg, and the guys that are pretty good cover guys. That always plays a part in what you do.

On if Alfonzo Dennard has been overlooked because of Amukamara
“I think so, but I think in the end his opportunity will come next year. I think he recognizes that. Believe me, Alfonzo is very happy for Prince, but I think you’ll see him in this very similar situation next year.”

On if he is confident Alfonzo Dennard will come back instead of going to the NFL
“Yeah, I think his mindset is to come back.”

On if he ever had any discussions with Prince about the NFL
“Oh yeah, we talk about it, but his mindset was to come back. He felt there was a lot more out there for him. I think he made the right choice.”

On if he treats this game any different because it is a championship game
“No, same approach.”

On if it helps that they were there last season
“No, not really. Whatever happened last year doesn’t help you now. You live in the present. It’s a different opponent, different time, different football teams. It will be won or lost on the field.”

On if they will have a walk-through on Friday like they did last year
“No. We’ve been in there already and we’re not doing a walk through.”

On if he thinks this is a better team than a year ago
“I don’t know. I don’t compare them. I just worry about where we are right now as a football team. I think we haven’t reached our potential yet, and we need to keep working to do that.”

On how he thinks offensive coordinator Shawn Watson has managed the offense after some tough injuries and young players seeing action
“I think we’ve done a really good job offensively. You can’t control injuries. You make adjustments and you move on. I think we’ve made good adjustments. I thought at times we were hitting on all cylinders. I thought at times we weren’t. A lot of that has to do with injuries, but injuries are part of the game. I have a lot of confidence in Wats (Watson) and the offensive staff. I think they’ve done a good job.”

On how he would feel if the game was in Alex Henery’s hands at the end
“I’d feel good about it.”

On Alex Henery never earning first-team All-Big 12 honors in his career
“I think it’s crazy. I also thought it was crazy that he wasn’t a finalist for the Groza award. I think when it’s all said and done, when the guys who know, the guys who really watch, and it comes draft time, I think it will be obvious where he is in the pecking order.”

On what people in the NFL are saying about Henery
“They love him. He’s done it for a long period of time. I think he only missed one this year and it was blocked, it was about a 56 (51)yarder that was blocked. You can’t do any better than that. Plus, the punting and the clutch situations and the amount of time he has done it. I’m not taking anything away from, I don’t even know who got first team, but I’m not taking anything away from him, I just wouldn’t trade Alex for any kicker in the country.”

On Alex’s impact on his team
“He’s just done it over and over. He’s been consistent. He’s done a great job. Like I said, I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the country.”

On the development of Rex Burkhead and what he gives you out of the Wildcat
“He’s a good football player. He does a lot of things well. He’s a competitor. He has great character. He’s a leader and he’s continuing to get better. He has an impact on the game in a lot of different ways. Everyone focuses on the Wildcat, but he runs the ball hard, he’s efficient, he can run inside or outside. He’s just a tremendous football player who’s continuing to develop and get better.”

On if limiting the player’s access to the media this week is an effort to cut back speculation on who will be the starting quarterback
“No, the players were available yesterday and I thought that was the right way to go about it. That’s not going to limit any speculation at quarterback or anything else.”

On how the players have handled the uncertainty at quarterback
“They don’t bat an eye. They have confidence in all the guys. It’s not an issue within our building.”

On if he followed the NU vs. OU rivalry growing up
“Yeah, I remember watching the Oklahoma-Nebraska game. The game was mainly played after Thanksgiving, right? I remember watching that game on Friday. It was a tremendous rivalry, two great programs with a lot of tradition. It’s fitting that we’re playing on Saturday.”

On if this game means more to him than most
“No. It’s not about me. It never has been, never will be. It’s about the kids. I’ve been in a lot of big games and it’s most important to me because it’s the next one. That’s about it.”

On if he will remember this game more than Iowa State or Kansas State
“I don’t know. Depends on what happens.”

On if he draws any experiences from when he coached at LSU in the 2007 SEC Title game when they played a backup quarterback
“No, not really. Like I said, that was a different time and place, different football team. I didn’t know anything about any distractions that day. I didn’t even know any of that went on until afterwards. Apparently, when all of those distractions happened I was sitting in the locker room reading a book. You control what you can control and you go try and do the best job you possibly can. That’s how I approach it no matter what.”

On how excited he would be for the players to win this game
“It’s obvious. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of this group of kids, how far they’ve come.  I just want the best for them. That’s why I’m in this profession.”

On how much the offense changes depending who is at quarterback
“It changes a little bit, because everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Things change a little bit, but it’s not dramatic.”

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Posted on November 30, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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