Video: Johnson's Monday press conference

Oct. 5, 2009

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Listen to Coach Johnson's Press Conference

Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson
Press Conference - Army Week

Opening statement:
"Obviously this past Saturday was tough loss for our football team. We didn't feel like we played a very good game and when you do that against a good team like Mississippi, you're not going to have much of a chance for success so it's back it work. We have another challenge this week as we are going up to play Army, who has a very unusual offense and unusual defense. Army has done a great job selling its players on its system, and they are playing hard. They are either winning games or are playing in close games so they are playing with a lot of confidence right now. We're going to have our work cut out for us and we don't have a lot of time to practice for those different kinds of schemes that they will show us."

On committing a season-high number of penalties against Ole Miss:
"We had so many procedure penalties that it was very disheartening to have your team do things like that because they are controllable, and we have controlled them over the years. I think sometimes we might ask our guys to think a little too much and they forget about the basics. We're going to try to get down the basics and make sure we have everyone covered. (Sunday) we went back to working on the snap count, handing it off and lining up right. I think we were taking the things you are supposed to do automatically for granted and that really hurt us this past week."

On if the offense will move away from the no-huddle attack:
"No. We feel good still with what we were doing. The first few weeks we didn't have those problems. I think we were trying to worry about certain people instead of letting them do their basic job and count on each other to do specific jobs. If you do those things and take care of your own business, you will be okay."

On if he is concerned about the offense:
"I am concerned, but we certainly think it can be fixed and we have done it before. There are just certain things that we were trying to accomplish against a team that had a pretty good defense. Sometimes when you try to go a little outside of your element and try to do things that will take advantage of some things you might see, you are asking some players to do too much. We complicated a few a things on Saturday and I think that is one of the reason we had so many penalties."

About Army's defense:
"Army gets in a double eagle-type defense, which is similar to the defense the old Chicago Bears defenses ran. They have people standing up instead of being in a traditional three-point stance and they have guys coming from everywhere. Not that they blitz a whole lot but the interior of their defense gives you problems because they are unconventional. They do a good bit of stunting and they play a lot of man coverage so we will have to be able to beat man coverage. Their defense seems to have a knack for giving everybody problems. Nobody has scored that many points against (Army) except Iowa State. Duke got 14 points off two interceptions for touchdowns in the last couple minutes of the game, so they have pretty much befuddled everyone they have played."

On how exciting it will be to play Army up in West Pont, N.Y.:
"I was looking at the media guide today and I came across their famous alumni page and it had pictures of Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur and Dwight Eisenhower and all I could say was, `wow.' You look at all those people that have been up there and what they have done for our country, it says a lot about that institution and what their graduates have done after attending West Point. When you look at the things they have to do and then still find time to play football on the side, it is really remarkable. In the end, you can say the guys on that team are working on more than football, but our guys are too."

On the missed field goals against Ole Miss:
"The first one was about a 47-yard field goal so it was a long kick to begin with, but he just missed it to the left by a couple of feet. I think he might have over kicked it a little bit, and he really didn't need to as it hit off the scoreboard so it had plenty of leg. He has a good leg so we won't put him in a situation where he will have to over kick. Our coaching staff still has confidence in him."

On Larry Smith through five games:
"All the things that you see happen when you think the quarterback is the culprit is not nearly what you think. Somebody misses a block, somebody runs the wrong route, somebody has the wrong blocking scheme and all those things make the quarterback look like he is messing up. Everybody on our team, including Larry, can play better than what we have so far. Larry has the tools and the ability that we need at our quarterback position."

On if he will encourage Larry Smith to run more:
"Only if it's there. I mean I'm not going to tell him to look to run when we have three open receivers down field. Basically, if your receivers aren't open, then run, but if they are open, then throw. We don't want our quarterbacks to force a ball down field and have it picked off."

On defending Army's 6'10" 283lb receiver (Ali Villanueva)
"Army will sometimes throw the ball straight up to him and I really feel sorry for the cornerbacks. It's probably better than a 50-50 chance that he will come down with it. Our coaches watched some film on how teams have defended it and against Iowa State, their corner made two really good defensive plays on him in the end zone to knock the ball down. After that they went back to Villanueva for the third time on a jump ball and he came down with it. It's very important for a defensive back to be in good position and really time your leap when guarding somebody that is nearly a foot taller than you. We're pretty fortunate that Myron is a tall corner. We might have to get some of our men's basketball players out to practice this week."



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