Terps OC Locksley says Brown return brings “calmness and normalcy”

October 16, 2013 | WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On quarterback C.J. Brown’s return and the impact on the offense:

“He’s definitely eager. When you get a starter back into the system it’s good. We’re very grateful Caleb Rowe was able to come in and manage a way to get us a win, but C.J. is the leader of our offense and having him back brings a sense of calmness and normalcy back. So we’re excited to have him back and he’s definitely excited to have the opportunity to get back out there and try to get us back on track offensively.”

 

On the identity of the offense:

“I’ve said before our offense is very flexible. You can identify it as very multiple, so we can shape it to fit whoever is back there. So it’s not necessarily the ‘it factor,’ but I think for us having him back is consistency. Obviously, we need to be more efficient to sustain more drives, which we didn’t do last week even though we were able to get back on track and get a few big plays in there, but for us to be the offense we want to be we need to be more consistent.”

 

On utilizing the athletic ability of the team’s wide receivers in one-on-one situations:

“That’s something we’ve talked about in practice and try to get accomplished. When you have guys like Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, and even Nigel King and Levern Jacobs out on the perimeter, when you get one-on-one opportunities to go up and make plays in the air, we’ve missed some big throws where I don’t think the quarterbacks necessarily gave us the greatest opportunity to go up and make a play when we’ve had man coverage. I thought last week we were able to make a few of those plays and obviously anytime we get one-on-one coverage with the skill set that we have on the outside if you put the ball in a place where they can go up and make a play those guys have tendency to come down with the ball.”

 

On the quarterbacks gaining confidence to challenge defenses in one-on-one situations with the wide receivers:

“I don’t think that it necessarily gives them confidence because I think they definitely have had confidence in those guys. I think for us it’s a matter of putting the right kind of ball up in the air, and understanding that because of what they’ve done and the speed that they have that throwing it down the field you’ll see a lot more of what we call over the top coverage and for that they’ve got to adjust what kind of ball to throw. Instead of throwing it down the field they need to throw it behind the receiver so that they can come back to where he has an advantage. I think what we’ve been doing is putting too much air under the ball and throwing and leading the receiver down the field that the off coverage is running on top of it. I thought that we made a few underthrows last week. Stefon Diggs’ catch was an underthrow. Deon Long’s catch on the sideline was an underthrow and I think they are starting to understand that the leverage of the defender dictates what kind of ball that they have to throw.”

 

On the challenges Wake Forest presents:

“I think number one, they are a better squad [compared to last season]. When you look across the board, you see all the redshirt seniors, redshirt juniors, and guys that have 30 starts, 28 starts. They’re a very veteran squad. And it just seems like when Wake has veteran guys they play smart, they play hard and they very rarely make mistakes. So we have to be consistent offensively and execute at a higher level, at a way higher level. As I showed the offense this past week, we still are leaving so many plays on the field because we aren’t executing, not being in the right place, not reading the gaps correctly, misreading pass routes. Everybody is playing a role, so when you play veteran teams and smart teams like Wake they are not going to make a lot of mistakes where guys are just going to be wide open. We’re going to have to make our own chances, and you do that by executing at a high level.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On the injury to linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil:

“Any time you have a guy who has been very productive, and has been a good, solid player for you, when he goes down there’s always going to be the question of who is going to be the next one up. I think the guys behind him, as well as Coach [Lyndon] Johnson, have done a good job just keeping everybody prepared during practice, doing what they are supposed to be doing, so when they have to go in the game they are able to go in the game and contribute. That way we won’t have the same player, but we should still have the same production.”

 

On the younger players stepping up: 

“All of them have to step up now. You’ve got Cavon Walker. You’ve got Yannick Ngakoue, and both of those guys came in with a good football IQ and now we are putting that football IQ to the test. They came in prepared and they were well coached at Friendship [Collegiate] and it showed, so now it is about seeing that stuff on tape, for us.”

 

On what he saw from linebackers Cavon Walker and Yannick Ngakoue in the Virginia game:

“I saw great effort. I saw guys feeling their way and get getting better each play.”

 

On creating more turnovers:

“That’s a big attitude thing. You go to practice every day and try to tell the defensive backs and the linebackers to try to attack the ball in the air as well as the ball carrier, and tell the defensive line to try to strip the ball. It comes in spurts. Sometimes you get a lot of sacks and a lot of interceptions. The score of the game is also a big dictator of that. If you get a team that is one-dimensional and they have to throw the ball because they are behind, now you have a chance for everybody to chase the quarterback and that’s where you get the sacks and the fumbles and the interceptions. We are still doing the same thing we have been doing, but just the past few weeks we haven’t been in a position where the score dictates a situation where that can happen.”

 

On fixing mistakes from the Virginia game:

“All of those things are fixable. We have not played the way we want to play for the past two weeks. That’s obvious. The main thing we are doing now is making sure we are better on third downs, better against the run, and I think everything else will take care of itself after we do those things. I think we did a tremendous job being able to hold people to field goals on the 13-yard line, which is a great testament to those kids.”

 

On Wake Forest wide receiver Mike Campanaro:

“That is there go-to guy, and we know they are going to go to him. We have somebody at practice who is mimicking him and we have to make sure we know where he is and understand what he is going to do out of different formations and then play football. He is one of their best players, as well as their quarterback Tanner Price. Both of those guys are playing well, so we have to make sure we do what we can to make sure we can match what they are doing with what we are doing.”

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