Video: Caldwell addresses the media
Sept. 27, 2010
Vanderbilt Head Coach Robbie Caldwell
Press Conference, Sept. 27, 2010
Caldwell's opening statement:
"We're excited to play UConn. We have to go up to that neck of the woods, so it's going to be a quick turnaround for us. It's going to be an even earlier start than last week, so we're working on that and trying to get prepared.
"Connecticut is a very good team, a very sound and disciplined team, much like Northwestern. Maybe not quite the same at the quarterback position but they have a very strong power running game and that concerns us. They have a big offensive line. I don't know (the status) of their running back (Jordan Todman), but we're preparing that he is going to be there. He's very very good.
"Defensively, they have a big front that's going to be quite a challenge. We're looking for a physical contest and hopefully we have made a little progress over the open week and are up to the challenge. It's going to be quite a task."
On Todman's main strengths as a running back:
"He's as good as any. I'll tell you that I've watched him last year and this year, and they are going to line up and come at you with the power offense. They're going to run the counter and they are going to slam it at you. They did it against everybody, from Notre Dame right on down. It looks like you'd better bring your lunch pale."
On the Commodores having an off week:
"I'm sure it helped us. I'm a glass half full type of man, not half empty. We got a few nicks healed up, we didn't get them all like we hoped we would. Brandon Barden practiced yesterday and looked pretty good running around. T.J. [Greenstone] says he's going to be ready but I don't know. I'm telling you all of the secrets; I'm sure UConn ain't telling us all of their stuff, so you all need to find that out for me.
"A bye is more important for us than other people because the numbers. We don't have the numbers, meaning total number of people on the team. Our guys have to practice against each other, so there's like a pro aspect of it. It results in a lot of wear and tear."
On building momentum among the squad after the Ole Miss win:
"Well, you feed `em good and they stay pretty happy. Really, it's a task. We go about it the same way every day. We're going to be upbeat, positive, excited whether we win, lose, or draw. This is a hard game and (the players) have to be hard themselves, that's what we try and preach to them. Do the right thing, do your schoolwork, work hard. You know, they are pretty upbeat. The captains and council stay in touch with me about the mood and they seem pretty upbeat.
"We're excited and have no reason not to be. We just had a conference win on the road and that's hard to do in this league. I saw where Ole Miss beat Fresno State, so maybe we did something pretty good down there."
On if the team thrives in road environments:
"I don't know about that. We just like to play, whether it's home or it's away. The schedule says we have to go up there. I would rather play here myself, but it says we have to go up there, so we are loading up and going."
On (redshirt freshman running back) Wesley Tate:
"He's healthier, not 100 percent, but he's getting better. The rest also helped Warren Norman and Zac Stacy. All three of those guys feel better and look better. They went home and ate some of momma's cooking, that always does them good. It does me a lot of good."
On veteran Connecticut coach Randy Edsall:
"Randy Edsall has done a heck of a job there. I don't know how many years he's been there but I think he's taken them from I-AA to Division I. I think they are projected to win the [Big] East this year. They are a good football team so it's going to be a lot of fun going to that neck of the woods. It's going to be cool too I understand."
On what he focuses on at practice during the off week:
"Everyday we took a little something different. We worked on the option one day, screens one day, throwing the ball and protection one day. Defensively, we worked on our fronts and keeping the pads down. They did a great job of that at Ole Miss. We were outsized, as you would say. Their offensive line was larger than our defensive front, but we were able to play with our pads down and jam it up in there and stop them on short yardage."
On the Vanderbilt defensive performance through three games:
"It's hard. We're always outmanned as far as size goes, but it's more about the fight in the man. They have played pretty well every time they've had to. My goal as an offensive coach was to make our defense No. 1 on the country. I figured if we do that, then we are keeping the ball and keeping (the opponent) off."
On how he spent his bye week:
"I took my daughter to a horse show, ate some good hamburgers and cut the grass. I did a lot of honey-do's and I have a lot more so if you all could come help I'd appreciate it.
"I watched a little football. I got to spend the day with my daughter and it's important. She finished second in the polls (competition), so it was encouraging to see. Daddy's not so cool anymore, so when I get a chance to hang out with her I enjoy doing that."
On the taste of victory:
"I love it, it tastes good. Sometimes they [the team] are such caring young men that they are more concerned about me. It's not about me; it's about us.
"I've been very fortunate in this game over the years. I would like to hang some bowl rings on their fingers. I have mine, but my goal is to let them experience it."