It’s back! Regular season Dooleyisms. They’ve been gone too long. This week’s agenda includes, Herman Lathers, Zach Fulton, Zach Rogers, the Mollygrubs and First Down Production.
On Keys to the Game:
When you look at the three big factors of winning and losing that I always emphasize are big plays, turnovers and fourth quarter. On the big play front, the appearance is that we won it, but we really netted out zero because we gave up some big plays, too – more than we needed to, and ours were really huge plays. It was a net zero on the big plays, turnovers were the huge difference. We had four, but we also had that safety, so we were kind of plus four in the turnover ratio. Fourth quarter I was very proud of the team. We had a fourth down stop, we had two turnovers, the offense took the ball with five minutes left and grinded it down to a minute and kicked a field goal, so when you look at those critical factors, we got it done in those areas, so that was a good step for the team.
I always find it interesting to see how coaches process things. It seems like big plays, turnovers and the fourth quarter are obvious, but I really enjoy hearing how coaches look at those kind of things.
This week, looking at Georgia State, there are two real focuses for our football team. One is how much improvement we can make from week 1 to week 2, because this is always a big week of improvement for a team, cleaning up a ton of mistakes from the game and seeing if we can make a big jump. The second thing is trying to define a standard of how we compete every week regardless of the opponent, regardless of the environment, the venue. We need to learn to come out there and perform with the same intangibles, the same level of execution and intensity every week, and that’s what good teams do.
This is the biggest thing for Georgia State. Also I am pretty sure Nick Saban said the exact same things about Western Kentucky and The Process.
On Tyler Bray:
He’s gotten better because of his experience. He has a lot of trust in the players around him. You look at guys like Vincent Dallas and Jacob Carter making a catch, even Ben Bartholemew had a couple of real big catches on third down. Tyler’s confidence in the other players shows up and when you feel like you have a quarterback who believes in you, you tend to perform better.
Personally I think Tyler Bray’s best play of the day was when he tossed a ball into the stands when he couldn’t make a play. It’s a sign of maturity, and nobody wants an immature quarterback.
On Zach Fulton:
We nominated him because he graded out the highest for us and he got a lot of yards. They have to give it to somebody, but I don’t know how you get [SEC offensive lineman of the week]. It’s deserving, he’s played well and he had success.”
Personally I also find this intriguing. I would have a very difficult time judging O-line play. Who is even on this committee?
On Eric Gordon:
Well he played about 65-70 snaps. I don’t know how much more involved you can get him. I don’t know how much more involved you can get him. He played about 70 snaps on defense. He played on punt, rand down on kickoff. He was asking to come out of the game. I don’t know what more he could do. Are we not playing him enough? Is that what you’re implying? I think three guys on the whole football team played more than him. The guy made a great play on the 7 route. He really did. It was a great play. And an awesome blowup on the punt. He’s doing good. I would argue the reason he’s playing well is because we’re locking him in at that position. Let’s go teach him another position so he can screw them all up.
I think Steve would agree with Dooley here. The media (and fans) get so caught up in who is starting. No technically, Eric Gordon doesn’t start, but he certainly plays a lot. If he is going to be the best nickleback in the conference, and he can play a slot guy really well, then let him.
On AJ Johnson, and Curt Maggitt:
Maggitt on the edge, just like that safety he made, there’s not many guys out there who would’ve made that play. He whipped the guy, leveraged the quarterback, swallowed him up and knocked the ball out. We’re hoping that puts him in a position where he can impact the game…We decided to put AJ at mike, he’s shown a lot of progress in that area.
Sal Sunseri said that these two are like a young Courtney Upshaw, and Donte Hightower. I have no idea if that’s true. But I have a lot of confidence in these two young linebackers. They have a lot fight in them.
On the Mulligrubs:
I was proud of Marlin Lane; he struggled a little bit at camp, the other guys played well at camp so it could have been easy for him to say, `I’m getting screwed,’ to get the mollygrubs, but he’s got a real good attitude and that’s how it is in sports, you just keep sawing wood and when you get your opportunity, you take advantage of it… he was hurt this summer so that set him back, with the hand, and he came in and the other guys were more energized, and hungrier. It wasn’t so much Marlin, but the other two had a real focus about them. Marlin was the only returner rushing and it’s natural to come in and say I’m that guy, but then the other two guys came in with a way about them.
I know what he means, for sure. But mulligrubs? What are those? This is what Google images returned:
On People underestimating Zach Rogers’ speed:
Probably, he’s fast. He’s fast. I think that’s probably fair. He was just squatting. I don’t know if it was a miscommunication on that play or not. Zach has shown that ability and he’s done well. His biggest thing is playing with the kind of physicality when they get their hands on him. Making the strong catch and not getting disrupted in the route.
What he wanted to say: You remember that movie “White Men Can’t Jump?” Kinda the same thing. (Somebody has probably written books on this).
On First Down Production:
I’d say I’m pretty pleased with our first down production.
Um, the Vols had plays of 42, 67, and 72 yards on first down Friday. That’s pretty good.