Lafayette vs. Marist Football Media Luncheon
Sept. 2, 2008
Marist Head Coach Jim Parady:
Opening Statement: "They (San Diego) scored first then we responded with two scores. We left some opportunities on the field in the first half. We ended up being down 20-9 at halftime and had a chance to get them off the field defensively but they converted on third down, and offensively we were poor at third down conversions in the first half. Second half was much of the same. We had a couple opportunities inside the five but had a procedure penalty and didn't score and then they converted on third downs. We also had a punt blocked which bothered us a bit. Overall though we did a lot of good things and hopefully from week one to two we'll show some improvement in the areas we lacked."
On the play of QB Chris Debowski: "Chris had a very solid first game. Some of the things I think we'll look to improve on is our overall timing in our pass game. I think we're off in some occasions because we haven't had a lot of reps together coming out of preseason and the game speed being different. He has a real live arm and I thought he handled the offense extremely well with it being his first game in for him. He didn't really have many communication problems which you always worry about with a new quarterback. Overall, I was real pleased with his effort."
On RB Bo Ehikioya: "He's feeling pretty good and he had 17 carries for 70, 75 yards. Would have liked to have gotten him a few more carries during the course of the game but when we got behind we threw the ball more but he was really solid, broke some tackles, was good in his protection so he's the guy we will continue to lean on throughout the course of the season."
On RB O'Neil Anderson's health: "He is completely healthy. He had no issues during preseason and he did not have any issues in the first week. His legs are feeling really good, best they've felt in a year, actually."
On San Diego and its standing in the Pioneer League: "Traditionally in the last four years, they have been No. 1 or 2 in the league and so they are at the top of the league. They have a 25-game home winning streak and they are right up there at the top. Dayton was the Pioneer League champion last year and beat out San Diego, but San Diego was 9-2 last year."
Head Coach Frank Tavani:
On his student-athletes: "First off, it's refreshing to be here at Lafayette and the Patriot League where that (academics) is the emphasis. A lot of people don't understand the commitment of the student-athletes that makes them so special. These guys are here because they love the game and they get a great education and experience. It's great to be able to coach these student-athletes."
On the status of the team after one month of practice: "I'm happy where we are. I'm excited to get started. I've been watching that countdown clock in our locker room to Marist now for three months and suddenly you're down to within days. This year's preparation was somewhat different in that we had two weeks of preseason camp prior to class and then two weeks of classes along with practice which definitely has impacted our recovery. I think we're fresh and ready to go. I don't think we're as worn down. Did I run camp cupcake? I hope not. I don't think so. I think we were as hard as we had to be but smart enough to do what's necessary to get all the players to the dance. It's always fun as a head coach to watch each team develop its own personality. This team truly is focused and really has a true team concept. We've had that in the past but it's usually developed during the season.
This team has come together and is more serious at the task at hand. I think it's a credit to our seniors and particularly to our two captains who are very strong leaders both by example on the field and off the field. I know both Joe (Russo) and Andy (Romans) have been very demanding of our players, particularly about off the field behavior. We're certainly concerned about the perception of our football team and how we carry ourselves off the field as well as what we do on the field and we're pretty pumped up and ready to go and we're chomping at the bit to get started on Saturday night."
On preparing for Marist: "No live scouting in Division I. You go off of last year's tape as best you can. Maybe you gather some more of their last year's games. My son informed me that he has seen the Marist games of past and has told me they are much more athletic, that they look like a team that has been giving out athletic scholarships over the last three years. He said this is a much more talented team. Jim Parady does a great job with that program. They have a new stadium up and I know they're excited. They have a countdown on their website to our game. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We had some problems up there some years back. They've got a game under their belt and are more game-ready than we are so we're going to have to be very focused on our general operations. I'm going to have to be very patient because it will be those first-game things that'll happen. We have to overcome that early surge of excitement and play four quarters of football. A lot of teams fizzle in the second half. I've told our team `don't believe what you read and think, you better show up to play the football game'."
On injury situation: "We're in pretty good shape. There are some question marks. Marvin Clecidor is a question mark. He has a slight MCL issue from three weeks ago but he looked real good yesterday and it's more of a matter of playing him or waiting a week. Matt Ferber will be out. He's got a shoulder issue that just needs more time but we fully expect him back (this season). Other than that, things are where we thought they would. We have some things guys arrived with at camp."
On return of D.J. Brown: "That's been a real pleasant surprise and a huge help on our offensive line. It's no secret we took a huge hit on the o-line last year; we lost 10 guys. Fortunately we had built up the depth but the only issue now is that we have the numbers but there's not experience. His return is a huge factor and a big help to us having him back with his experience and giving us more depth where we need it."
On K Davis Rodriguez: "He turned his ankle right before camp at a charity basketball camp. He spent a week in a boot but he's back now kicking and seems to be his old self. We're going to let Chris Cosgrove do the kick-offs. Chris had a stronger leg but he has a bit of a hook. If he could straighten that out he could kick from 50 yards. He's great on kick-offs because he gets the height and the distance and that takes some of the pressure off Davis in that situation."
QB Rob Curley:
On major, course schedule: "I am a History major with a minor in Anthropology and Sociology. My concentration is Latin America and the period between Colonialism and modern times. I'm taking a class right now called Extraordinary Women in Latin America and it focuses on the 1500s-1900s and it's a small, seminar class. I'm also taking some religion classes that focus on the African part of the colonial Latin America experience."
On playing preseason camp: "I think one of the best aspects to this camp as opposed to years prior is we really took the things we did in the spring and carried it over into fall camp. Normally, we go back to square one but this year we really picked up where we left off in spring ball and I think that really helped out a lot of guys. Young guys got a chance to catch up earlier than in the past."
On his situation on the team last year compared to this year: "I actually think both years are very comparable because as the No. 2 guy you still have to be ready that next snap if something happens so I really haven't changed my preparation much in terms of how I get ready. I think the good thing about the No. 1 guy is added confidence that comes with the job. Other than that, there isn't much difference."
LB Mark Leggiero:
On major, course schedule: "I am an Engineering major and I'm minoring in Architecture. This semester I'm starting my classes that refer to my Architecture minor. One of those classes is taught by an architect that works out of Bethlehem and he comes here one night a week and he gives us an interesting perspective on what it's like to be in the business. He talks about real-life experiences he has and what happens in the field and in the design process. Another class I'm taking is a surveying class where we go around to get the lay of the campus. We take elevations, work with GPS and survey the land where engineers or architects come in to build projects or buildings."
On preseason preparation: "I don't believe in that. We've worked hard. I think the difference between this year and last year is we had a ton of guys stay here over the summer. We had 40 some odd guys here and we could concentrate on the conditioning and physical aspect during the summer and not have to worry about getting into shape as much during camp and focus on the fundamentals of football and getting ready play-wise. We definitely did conditioning during preseason but it was lighter than last year."
On the defensive goals: "We just try to stay focused every day. We know that we have talent on defense and we know that we can be great but if we don't play together as a team it's never going to happen. Our coaches, Coach Loose and all our defensive coaches, talk to us all the time about focusing on the next snap. We can't look toward the future, we have to think about the very next snap we're going to play and focus on that. I know the defense has been focused but we try not to get all caught up in the hype and just play our style of ball."
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