OC Locksley thinks freshman Madaras ready for test against Wake

October 03, 2012 | WNST Staff

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

 

On the changes on the offensive line:

“Well obviously all the personnel stuff comes from Coach. But, I would agree that we want to put the best five out on the field. These guys with the changes that have been made obviously have done some things to earn the right to start for us.”

 

On what the new offensive linemen bring to the table:

“I think they both add athleticism up front. Obviously with Mike [Madaras] he’s one of the most athletic guys for a freshman that I’ve had the chance to see play. I think with every game he’s getting better. With [Andrew] Zeller he gives us a little more athleticism, a little more strength on the inside. I’m not saying those other guys worked or haven’t, but right now we feel those guys will give us the best chance to have some success. It’s creating competition we like to see throughout the offensive positions.”

 

If it’s unusual for a true freshman to come in and start at that posiiton:

“I would venture to say you don’t want to make a living out of starting a bunch of true freshmen on the offensive line. That’s the one position that maturity, strength, and all those things come as you develop with them in the system. Fortunately for us, Mike comes out of a program at Good Counsel where they’ve done a pretty good job obviously of bringing along their players. Whether it be from a strength standpoint or a technical standpoint, I would definitely say that’s not something you want to do a lot where you have too many true freshmen playing up front. You can get away with it at the perimeter positions, but inside there is where strength comes with age and maturity. We’re fortunate he’s come in with some pretty good skill set.”

 

On the most productive thing they got done in the bye week

“I think it just basically confirmed some things that we knew. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we’ve done well on the offensive side of the ball, which there’s a lot of things that we’ve got to continue to improve upon. One of the big things is that we wanted to come out, was to say who we were, what we did well. We feel like coming out of the bye week we were able to get some guys healthy, we were able to clean up some fundamental things that for us the execution part on the offensive side is really important and a lot of it stems from the fundamentals. When you play young players as we’ve had to do or inexperienced as even some of our older players haven’t played a lot of football, it’s important to make sure that you’re very technical and fundamental and the attention to detail is where it needs to be.”

 

On if it’s an advantage playing so many running backs:

“It’s an advantage from the standpoint that they each bring something different to the table. They each have, when you look at how we like to use them, we’re basically doing the things that they do well as opposed to having a guy out there that’s doing all the different things we ask that position to do. They all have warranted playing time, they all have done some good things in that they’ve each had their times where they’ve made plays for us. What we’d like to see is a  guy kind of take that position by the rein and do some things, but we also want to put the best player on the field that gives us the best chance to be successful in particular areas of what we do on offense. If one guy’s a better pass protector, we like to have that guy on the field. If one guy’s a better short yardage runner, you like to have that luxury to do that. In a perfect world would you like a guy that does all four, no doubt. But when you have four guys that are sophomore or younger, I don’t think any of them have mastered all the different skills that are necessary to play every down.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

 

On what the most productive thing the defense got done during the bye week:

“Basically self scout, taking a look at what I call first down, second down, third down, and what I call against different formations. I feel like we need to get better on third down, so that was a big thing of concentration for us this bye.”

 

On what things they worked on to facilitate getting better:

“Well you look at what you call during different downs and distances. Third and short what were you calling, third and long what were you calling, what would you do over again, is it the call or is it the execution of the call. And then put all of those things down on paper, as a staff we look at it and kind of come to a conclusion after that.”

 

On what he saw out of Kenneth Tate in his first game back:

“I thought first of all there’s a calmness when he’s out there. The players like him and they know he’s a good player. Second of all, I think it was exciting to go out there in that atmosphere in that game in particular, as well as him getting a chance to play. That’s the first time he played in about 12-13 months so it had to be pretty exciting for him. I think he did a good job for us.”

 

On Tate’s his role this season:

“Yeah he just has to – the main thing we have to do is get him full strength. Get him to feel good about himself and his injuries and we’ll go from there.”

 

On A.J. Hendy’s injury status:

“The main thing is that we got two safeties that we’re pretty comfortable with – Matt Robinson and Erik Franklin. Those are our starting safeties so it’s going to be hard to play other guys that fit in behind those guys because we’re going to stick with our starters.”

 

On how far the defense is from being their best:

“I still think we’re a work in progress. We’re giving up way too many big plays, we got to be better on third down, and we got to tackle the catch. I just think that fortunately that’s a plus that we’re ranked and that we’re playing well. But there’s a lot of work and I think as long as we respect the process as a staff and as our players do, we can continue to get better and grow as a defense.”

 

On if he addressed rankings with the players:

“I discuss trying to get a win for the most part. You’re doing what it takes to win the football game. I don’t really address where we’re ranked.”

 

On if he’s surprised how quickly the players have adjusted to the defense:

“I think if you look traditionally at 3-4 defenses, usually the second year is their best year. You look at Coach [Wade] Phillips over with the Houston Texans, we run the exact same defense. You look at Dom Capers in his second year with the Green Bay Packers, they went to the Super Bowl. They give you an idea that the second-year guys just click, guys understand how they’re going to get blocked, the coverage aspect of everything. So, in the second year I think these guys have done a good job as well as the coaches. The coaches selling what we’re doing, and the players buying in and going forward with everything.”

 

If there is a reason why it takes to the second year:

“It’s just different, different principles. I think on the outside you got guys who are having their hand on the ground in the 4-3 scheme versus these guys are standing up taking on blocks without their hand in the ground. Also, the coverage aspects of it, the guy who is helping you in the flat instead of backed off in space, now he’s at the line of scrimmage, showing like he’s coming. So the coverages change, so I just think for guys to really understand, who’s going to help him where, how to play blocks, it just takes a while.”

 

On the biggest challenges Wake Forest’s offense presents:

“First of all I think they do a good job mixing up what they do. They do a good job running the ball, they’re a run-first team, and they have some great play-action passes off the same runs. For us to be successful, we have to make sure that we don’t make any mental errors, don’t give away any big plays, win on third down, and then contain [quarterback Tanner] Price when he has a chance to move around in the pocket. I think we’ll be alright.”

 

On what he’s learned from Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips:

“A lot of things I’ve learned from Coach Phillips. One of the main things is keep your guys playing fast, keep it simple, and when it’s simple it doesn’t mean anybody can do it. It means speaking their language and they understand what their responsibilities are. And those are the two main things I learned from Coach Phillips.”

 

On if he still talks to Phillips:

“Yes I talk to him as much as I can and ask him different questions about something as simple as ‘We’re playing against Connecticut. They run two tight end sets – what do you guys do now versus two tight end sets?’ Even some game management questions. So I still talk to him as much as I can.”

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