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2010 Coaches Quick Hits

Sunday March 21, 2010

Quoting Steve Spurrier (on his quarterbacks): "We will have two (quarterbacks) ready to play next year. That's the first time in my coaching career of about 28 years only had one guy that could play. We will play two if the first guy doesn't play the way the coaches ask him to play."

"You have got to demand your players play the way you coach them to play. We have not done a job of that around here. We're going to try to do a better job of that next year."

(Asked about the no-huddle): "It's not completely here to stay. We have some communication problems. We'll do a lot of it. We've been working on it this spring."

Northern Illinois assistant Pat Poore took pay-cut to keep new quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski: Jerry Kill says, "Pat never wants to upset the apple cart, so when P.J. [Fleck] left, our whole staff, they all knew about Jimmy. Pat was willing to give up a part of his salary to get Jimmy because Jimmy was offered a job at Central Michigan."

"Our staff wanted him. He's contagious. He's like the measles, in a good way. He doesn't have bad days. He's naturally polite. He's an off the sleeve guy and him and Pat are a perfect fit. They're like two peas in a pod. He's staying with Pat now when he's not staying in the office because a lot of times he works so darn late he just stays here. He's a ball coach."

"He's coached at Southern (Illinois) before I got there... Jimmy was the offensive coordinator of the year at Division III and everywhere he's been, they've been good on offense. He just brings stuff to the table, enough to where I've got enough confidence that I've stepped out of that room a bunch more than I have before. It was really not coach Kill's pick, it was the offensive staff's pick and that's important."

"Losing P.J., a guy that was a legend here and a great player, great enthusiasm, good person, good football coach, good recruiter, you have to replace him with that kind of guy or close to it. Jimmy even recruits the same area. You lose a very good football coach and a good person and really the face of the Northern Illinois program for a long time, you've got to go out and get another guy and we felt like we got the best fit for us after we lost P.J. without a doubt."

Quoting Washington DC Nick Holt: "We're very thin (at linebacker). And it's just due to the problems the program has had in the past recruiting. It's hard to make that up quickly in just a year's time, or two recruiting classes. We're just going to have to do a good job this spring of keeping healthy and doing some things to find the best guys to put on the field, whoever those guys are.''

Quoting Tulane head coach Bob Toledo: "We have finally got some quality depth, and now with the freshmen coming in that's even going to compound it for spring. So we're starting to develop better quality depth, is what I'm trying to say. There's going to be a lot of competition this spring and in the fall, too. The guys that don't show us anything in the spring, in the fall those freshmen will move in."

(On his linebackers): "That's the biggest (uncertainty). We obviously recruited six of them. They're probably all going to have to play because of special teams, but I would venture to say that a couple of them are going to come into (defense) and play. That's one position for sure that freshmen are going to play."

"We probably won't play as much two-back this year. One back with two tights or three wides - that kind of thing. You have got to do what your players do best, and we weren't expecting for (Duplessis) not to be here. We thought we'd have a bunch of fullbacks, plus we moved Stepheny to linebacker to look at him there because we're trying to see if he can help us there. So yeah, it kind of puts a bind on us. We weren't counting on that happening, we weren't planning on it. Duplessis is gone for good."

Quoting Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill: Defensively, we're still doing stuff. We had a guy in that's been in the National Football League. He had been tight with Dick LeBeau and Wade Phillips and so there are some things we looked at there. Our staff had the clinic that they shared ideas. Basically what we've done is we've taken a list of the defensive things. What did we not do well? How are we going to fix them? If we don't know how to fix them, where are we going to try and find out how to fix them? That's what we did. Have we got all of those answers yet? No, but we're working on it.

Offensively, same thing. All of us started talking. We want to get better at third down. We're going to go out in the spring and put the ball down at second-and-8 and hand the ball off, see where it goes. Then it could be third-and-2, could be third-and-5, could be third-and-8. Last year, we really concentrated in the red zone.