Terps DC Stewart says CB Likely “special player”

September 11, 2013 | WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On the offensive balance so far this season:

“That’s the one thing we strive for offensively is to be able to, not necessarily be 50-50 run pass, but to be able to execute both well.  During the course of the games, what we do is predicated on what the defense gives us. The first game, they did some things to take away our running backs so our quarterback had some big plays. Our play-action stuff has been good. In the second game, they forced the running backs to make plays and we were fortunate that our rushing attack got going.”

 

On his advice to running back Brandon Ross going into the Old Dominion game:

“We’re a zone team and what we call our power type runs, where there’s one cut and you have to get downhill, we thought that in the first game Brandon was taking too long to get to the hole. We just stressed, make a read, stick a foot in the ground and attack the line of scrimmage. I thought he did a better job of that in week two.”

 

On running back Albert Reid:

“As we’ve said before, we’ve got two guys that we know for sure have the ability. We look at Albert as a starter from the standpoint of 1A and 1B. He’s a kid that works hard and has great vision. I was glad to see him get in the end zone for his first Terp touchdown. He did a great job of making a guy miss in space and that’s what you see out of Albert. That’s what you get day in and day out. That’s how he put himself in position to help us offensively.”

 

On the differences between running backs Albert Reid and Brandon Ross:

“Albert’s probably a little more powerful. Brandon has the ability to hit the home run. He has the long speed you like. But they are a lot more similar than they are different.”

 

On how the team blocking has improved:

“It’s definitely something we’ve talked about. With what we do on offense, perimeter blocking is as important as our offensive line protecting our quarterback because when you’re working to get the ball out in space to your playmakers, it entails guys out on the perimeter making blocks at the point of attack. Last week, we got better with our perimeter blocking. Our backs did a good job in protection and our receivers were covering up a lot better than they did in the first game.”

 

On Connecticut’s defense:

“We’ve got one game to evaluate them off of and we used last year’s game even though they’ve got a new coordinator. What we saw against Towson was a pressure defense that played a lot of man coverage. It’s similar to what they did last year against us. They play a lot of man, disguise their coverages, and like to get the eighth guy in the box. The eighth guy in the box means our zone read game has got to be on point with our reads to eliminate the extra guy and then we’ve also got to when out on the perimeter in man-to-man coverage.”

 

On the offensive line’s motivation after surrendering six sacks to Connecticut last season:

“I don’t think they are necessarily motivated by what happened last year. I think they are motivated at getting better like each and every position on our team needs to do. I thought they made strides from week one to week two. Their landmarks were a lot better. They played with a lot more leverage up front. They were executing and not making a lot of mistakes. From that standpoint, we got a lot better. With that being said, a lot of positions on our offense need to continue to get better and we still have so much more room for improvement from a fundamental and technical standpoint.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On the thought process that went into the game plan against Old Dominion:

“Against spread teams, I think you’ve got to have the fastest guys on the field. That was my thought process and Randy’s [Edsall] thought process the whole time. We were going to put the fastest guys on the field.”

 

On the depth of the defense allowing him to run the dime:

“That was the key actually; the depth. We had the depth to stay in dime and substitute. That was the problem we had last year. If we were going to run a package like that, we couldn’t stay in it throughout the game because we had to fluctuate in and out because of the depth.”

 

On the players that were removed from the lineup because of the scheme:

“That’s a testament to those guys, to the big guys and Cole Farrand. If you’re a true team player, and you understand our package and what we’re trying to do and you see where you fit and where you don’t fit. They understood and did a good job of practicing hard and helping and noticing things on the sidelines that were happening during the game.”

 

On defensive back Jeremiah Johnson’s role:

“He still does the same things that he did when he was out there. He’s at all the meetings. He conducts voluntary meetings with some of the young guys to make sure they’re on point and know what’s going on. He’s done a great job. He’s just a great kid. We miss his play, but we want him out there helping.”

 

On defensive backs William Likely and Isaac Goins stepping in for Jeremiah Johnson:

“Jeremiah got hurt early in the first game so Isaac played most of the game and so did Will. The way coach Edsall structures practices, it’s hard for us not to see what guys can do. It’s an easy evaluation process, so when those guys get out there, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what those guys can do.”

 

On what he expects from Connecticut’s offense:

“It looks like a mix of both Cincinnati as well as last year’s UConn. I’m expecting some downhill runs as well as some perimeter runs. They ran some perimeter runs against Towson. Some spread with passes to the tight end, not like the spread we faced against ODU.”

 

On defensive back William Likely:

“I always thought he was a special player. It’s like when you’ve got Stefon Diggs. Did you expect him to do the things he did? You kind of did. With Will, he’s doing a great job and I think he’s a special player.”

 

On linebacker Alex Twine:

“Alex is doing a great job. The depth that we have at the linebacker position is tremendous and that being the case, he’s a guy that can play outside for us and inside. He’s started outside for us before. He’s doing a great job. The guy in front of him, Matt Robinson, is doing a great job. He just had to make sure he’s always ready.”

 

On linebacker Matt Robinson:

“I’m excited to have him. From him playing in the back end and now in the front, he knows what’s going on in our meeting room and he can relay that to the other guys in his meeting room. It makes it exciting because then our communication is real clean on the field.”

 

On how Robinson helped in the dime package:

“That’s what really made it work. You’ve got a guy that is a hybrid type guy; a DB/linebacker. He has size enough to help us in the run, but has enough quickness and speed to be back there in the pass [coverage] and do some things. It helped us tremendously.”

 

On defensive lineman Darius Kilgo:

“He’s doing a good job putting his hands on people and playing blocks and understanding the defense. The maturation of everyone understanding the defense is what’s helping them play better on defense.”

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