OC Locksley expects Don Brown defense to be “headache” for Terps Saturday

September 12, 2012 | WNST Staff

Quotes from Maryland Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley and Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On Don Brown’s Connecticut defense:

“It’s definitely a headache. They play great, solid defense, statistically and on film you can see why they’re ranked where they are defensively. He outnumbers the box, he disguises well. It’s been a trying week for us offensively just to come up with a scheme for ourselves to have some success. As we get through the week we’re feeling better and better about playing, and we feel we can go out and execute.”

On if he’s talked to the veteran defensive players about Don Brown’s former schemes:

“You know some of the guys like Kenny Tate and Joe [Vellano] have come in and given their two cents as to the background of the defense and what it entails. But you can watch the tape and what you see is pretty consistent with what we’ve heard when you do your research on it. We did a preliminary game plan in the summer so we’ve had some time to evaluate it. As we get into it this week after we’ve seen the two games they’ve played really well.”

On the importance of last week’s tempo for Perry Hills:

“It’s good to see he made the strides that you like to see all of our guys making from week one to week two. I thought Perry improved, and that’s the goal for us. He’s still a guy that got off the yellow school bus last year, and our goal is for each week to give him a plan that he can go out and be comfortable with. It’s not what we want to do, it’s what he can get accomplished and what he’s comfortable with. I think he took some steps, but we have to consistently do it.”

On Hills’ ability to throw the deep ball:

“I thought all camp long he did some nice things, and that’s how he earned the right to be the guy when we had the injuries. So, when you recruit a guy you recruit him to have the skill-set to do what you want to do on offense. I’m very pleased with his skill set and how it fits in to what we do.”

On Tyler Cierski’s injury status and how the depth at tight end allowed that to not be a major limitation:

“Well any time you don’t have Tyler it’s a blow to us offensively. He brings toughness, and his ability to get us to run downhill. As you said, the luxury of having four tight ends going into the season would give us strength at that position. Having that personnel grouping allowed us to have some flexibility to continue to be able to get under center and run some of our downhill, power pro-style run plays. A guy like Devonte Campbell coming in, or a guy like Matt Furstenburg being able to fill those roles.”

On ball security and Wes Brown bouncing back this week:

“Well I think when you look at the turnovers that’s the one thorn in my side from an offensive standpoint. You can’t turn the ball over and be a good team. That’s the one thing we’ve stressed from day one, is not beating ourselves. We’ve been very fortunate here the past couple of weeks to come away with wins when you turn the ball over seven times as an offense. I think the young guys understand the importance of it. We’ve done some things to try and reemphasize ball security. I have no doubt in my mind that a guy like Wes will bounce back, those guys understand he’s been playing that position a long time. He understands the importance of it and I expect him to bounce back and as an offense the goal is to come out of this thing without turning it over and beating ourselves.”

On if he’d be satisfied with a 3-0 start:

“There’s no satisfaction because we have a long season and we’re playing a bunch of young players. It’s been my experience having done this quite a bit in my career that you like to see the consistency out of a young team where you’re able to do it. But every week is a new week with a young ball club and young players. For us, there will be some satisfaction if we can find a way to come away with the win. But it all starts back up on Sunday, when we go out and practice it’s a brand new week.”

On Kevin Dorsey and his status as a mentor to the younger receivers:

“Well I’ve seen the unselfishness, and I know our receivers would love to see the ball a little bit more. With a young quarterback I think they realize and understand it’s more about what our quarterback can execute. I think each week you’ll see us continue to be able to add or improve on what we take in based on how fast Perry [Hills] continues to develop. I’ve been really pleased with Kevin [Dorsey] and Kerry Boykins as senior receivers who’ve sacrificed for the sake of getting wins and helping the development of a young quarterback and offense. Those guys have been just tremendous from a leadership standpoint.”

On if the selflessness is something he pressed upon them or they brought on their own:

“I think communication is the key, and those guys understood when C.J. [Brown] went down, there were maybe going to be some things that would take some time with a young quarterback like Perry. It’s not anything that we had to go and talk about, but I think they understood being around the game as fifth year seniors what it takes.”

On what Brandon Ross brings to the table:

“I think because of his skill set he’s a homerun threat. I’ve been pleased with the running backs in general, minus the turnovers obviously. It gives you another weapon in your arsenal, and gives you a guy that has the ability to make some things happen. Maybe at the second level he can make a guy miss, and take it the distance. He has those types of abilities.”

On Albert Reid’s role:

“That’s the thing we talk about, roles are something that change daily based on performance and situations. Going into last week, the competition at that position has been pretty good. I like that; it’s something I wish we had at every position. Depth wise, we just don’t have it at the offensive line position, even somewhat at the receiver position. The depth isn’t there to have that type of competition, but those roles will be determined by how they practice during the week. We thought Wes practiced well last week, Albert [Reid] didn’t do anything wrong per se, but his role will be determined by how we finish up this week. This is the second day of our two really tough practices, Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll see what his role will be when we get closer to game time.”

On percent of his job is spent recruiting vs. coaching:

“It’s 50-50, you’re doing both. I’m a big believer that to be a complete coach you have to be a guy that can go out and get the groceries and come home and cook dinner. That’s just been my philosophy, I never wanted to be pegged just as a recruiter or pegged as a guy that just knows X’s and O’s. To the young coaches that I’ve often time spoke with about the business, I think you develop leverage with the ability to do both really well. Right now I have some work to do as a coach.”

On Notre Dame joining the ACC:

“I just heard that maybe an hour ago… Any time you can bring in a product like Notre Dame to our conference it helps. For right now, all my energy and thoughts are on getting ready for UConn and trying to put an offensive plan together.”

On the feelings as a recruiter when someone signs with you:

“Well you move on to the next recruit. You don’t have a lot of time to celebrate small victories, whether it’s recruiting or a game on Saturday. It’s unfortunate, we just talked about it a little as an offensive staff. There’s very little time to enjoy the process because as soon as you get a Stefon Diggs come in, then you’re on to the next guy whether it be for next year or next week. So it’s a short-lived excitement, but I think in the end it’s what you do as a coach.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On the return of defensive backs Isaac Goins and Matt Robinson:

“It’s pretty exciting. It was unfortunate that Matt [Robinson] got hurt so early in training camp, but the experience he brings and the leadership he brings back there is pretty good. He’s tried to be a leader but it’s hard when you’re not on the field. Now with him getting the chance to be on the field and help out the young guys has been awesome. Isaac [Goins] had a great spring for us. We’re excited just to get him on the field to do some things with him.”

On if he thinks the secondary has been an issue:

“Obviously we’re a work in progress. I’d like to play better on the back end, you don’t like to give up touchdown passes or pass interferences. I think they’re getting better. As a group we play a lot of young guys, as we start to stabilize guys on the field the better we’ll get.”

On Sean Davis coming in and playing in his first year:

“I think he’s holding up ok. I think you guys had a chance to talk to him earlier in the week, and you see he’s a very personable kid. He’s going to do the best he can, and it’s just hard because things are a little different and faster than when you’re in high school. It’s a learning process for him, and I think it was a good process. I’d rather him get a chance to learn in a backup role rather than a starter role, but nonetheless it was a good learning process.”

On if he has seen Sean Davis grow rapidly over the past month:

“I think he did a great job. When you’re young as a whole, there’s not a lot of football experience you can go back on especially with the speed of the game at the college level. Those young guys just have to keep seeing it. The more playing time they get, the more motions they see, and the more things that happen to them the better they get.”

On what the offense can expect to see from Don Brown and how familiar he is with Brown:

“You know what, we have some guys like Keith Dudzinski who was on the staff with [Don Brown] for quite a while. He’s talked about his thought process and what he thinks Don does and likes to do. I pretty much focus on our guys and how I’m going to attack [Connecticut]. It should be fun, it sounds like there’s going to be two pretty aggressive, pressure defenses going on. It should be fun.”

On if there’s any frustration that the media is calling this game the “Randy Bowl”:

“This is the first time I’ve heard it called the “Randy Bowl”. The great thing about Coach Edsall is that we do everything the same. We practice the same, do meetings the same, recruit the same, so I haven’t noticed anything different. I just know that we have another football game against the University of Connecticut and we’re going to do everything we can to win that game.”

On why this unit has been able to come together and rank so highly in defensive statistics:

“I’m not a big numbers guy. I’m more about looking at what we need to do to win. I just think the basic foundation of our defense is if we can stop them running the ball, focus on third down, get them off the field, and not let them score, then we have an opportunity to win every game. Those are the things I focus and drive into our guys. I just really want to play our defense and get better at our defense. Winning each down one game at a time, down by down, that’s the main focus. That’s exactly what I want the players to think.”

On how Alex Twine has held up this season:

“I think Twine has played and done everything we’ve asked him to do with that position. A lot of times the coaches don’t get credit. I have to credit Lyndon Johnson, Keith Dudzinski, as well as Greg Gattuso with just coaching their guys and making sure they know the intricacies of each position.  They make sure when a guy is called to play, he can play and I can call a total menu of plays. When Twine got thrown in, he knew everything, not to mention he had the opportunity in the spring to be the starter. That helped tremendously. I think Twine, Sean Davis, and all those guys benefit from the way the coaches have taught and making sure everyone knows our scheme defensively.”

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