Media Monday with Caldwell, Smotherman
Oct. 18, 2010
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Robbie Caldwell Press Conference Quotes
"I'm dressed in black because I'm in mourning, obviously. When you get your tail whipped like that... It was not a good day for the Commodores. Hopefully we'll get the ship steered in the right direction and get back this week. That's our objective. We started on it yesterday and had a good day of practice. We are trying to get everyone's wounds healed and ready to go. We went into the game with a great frame of mind; very confident but didn't make some plays. Things went haywire. I wish I had gone for it if I knew it was fourth-and-two instead of fourth-and-three early in the game. I probably would have went for it. Would it have made a difference? I don't know. I'm using that as my fault, it's all one me."
On Chris Marve:
"He's got a little bit of swelling in his knee. He probably won't practice Tuesday but hopefully he'll be ready for the game. It means the world to us defensively to have him in with our confidence level and the leadership. We are very limited in that position. We have some young guys who aren't ready yet. The only good thing about Saturday was we got to play some of them. It's good for them down the road. I'm the kind of guy who tries to find the silver lining in everything and that was the only good part about that."
On Joey Bailey:
"He's probably not playing. I have him listed as probable, but he's got a high ankle sprain and looks like he'll be out."
On Logan Stewart starting at center this weekend:
"Logan or possibly James Kittredge. He's been working in the wings there. Hopefully one of those two will be ready. We'll also use Jabo Burrow there. He had practiced it a few times but not in preparation that he will play center. If Caleb Welchans can move in at guard he would give us a little more experience. Hopefully we'll be up for the challenge. It's going to be quite a challenge for us up front."
On playing a freshman at center:
"We'll he directs a lot of traffic and when your rear end puckers in front of that big of a crowd ... it's hard to think that there is a direct correlation between that and your brain. Obviously, that's the book I'm going to write when I'm finished coaching, how those two things go together -- just the nerves of it all. Logan [Stewart], James [Kittredge], whoever it may be are very intelligent young people. Intelligence has nothing to do with it when you go into that kind of venue with people screaming and hollering."
On T.J. Greenstone:
"He's still listed as probable. I think we'll get more out of Adam Smotherman on Saturday. Obviously he's rusty, a little sore today. It's the first physical contact he's had in a little while. He's just sore from the banging around. I think he'll be more at full strength. I think there is a possibility of seeing T.J. [Greenstone] in a little live contact on Tuesday or Wednesday. We just have to see how he holds up. He's itching, good Lord, being from Georgia he wanted to be in last week's game. It was disappointing for him."
On Marcus Lattimore:
"He's been tremendous. He's a big, powerful guy who has the speed to take it the distance. He can run over you and make you miss. I can't begin to tell you what it would mean not to have him because we're going to prepare as if he's playing. You have to be ready in case he's playing. Our mindset is that he's going to be in there and at his best. Just as we planned to do against Georgia, (with Caleb King out), and you saw the outcome. If you're not ready and miss a tackle and miss him in the backfield and he goes for 60 something yards, it's very demoralizing. They've got some other people I'm sure they'll put in and are ready to go. We're going to prepare as if he's going to be there."
On how the defense can stop an opposing offense from gaining momentum:
"First of all, we have to help them offensively. Leaving them on the field, we have to give them a spark and a hope. This is a team thing. You haven't once heard since we've been at Vanderbilt that it's offense vs. defense. That's the way it will always be. But - I can say it now that I coached on the offensive side - we never gave the defense a spark, a hope, or sustained a drive. We started the game that way. We had a great opening drive, started at the 17-yard line and drove down. We bobbled the pass, obviously, and got the correct call. Everyone said you got a great break but they got the correct call. It was an incomplete pass and didn't get a touchdown out of it and that's where I wish I had gone for it. The information came to me that it was fourth-and-four so I decided to punt it and try to pin them down inside the five, but we didn't. That was the biggest regret and I know I'm getting away from your question, but yes, defensively that's the first thing that has to happen. Second thing is that we have to carry out our assignments. Whether we over-pursued or were too hyped up or over-confident, we didn't do what we were supposed to do. We over-pursued and they cut back and went down the sideline. Bad things started happening from there."
On the offense during the Georgia game:
"Physically up front, we got manhandled. We could not run the ball in the middle and we need to be able to do that to set up perimeter runs. We ran the option well. We got a little out-physicalled at wide receiver having to make blocks. We got some positive yards and made a few things happen. They can take away our two tailbacks if we can't establish something in the middle and we never got that done and that was disappointing. The play-action pass was there and sometimes we capitalized and sometimes we didn't. When we have to drop back and start throwing it we get behind because that's not our forte. We're not ready to block one-on-one yet. Defensively, we had several one-on-one opportunities and they blocked us and that was the difference in the game. (Georgia) had a great plan and were ready to play against us. We talked about the week before they had a confidence builder and I told you all they shot themselves in the foot. I saw them in South Carolina and they had the ball at the four and fumbled it. They've had some very tough luck and they are a great football team. I wish them the best of luck but hate how they got it together for us."
On Stephen Garcia:
"He's a lot like Jay Cutler used to be for us. He's got a strong arm and can scramble around and get himself out of trouble. He's been able to make things happen. He almost pulled it off again the other night. I can't say enough good things about him. They have a great receiver in (Alshon) Jeffery. They have a plethora of receivers, but (Alshon) Jeffery is the one that stands out with his size and ability. He's been able to find him and seems to have a grasp of what they are trying to do. You see what he did against Alabama and Georgia. He's done it against quality people and that concerns us. We have to keep him in the pocket and pressure him and make him throw before he's ready. Our defensive linemen are going to have to get a pass rush this week."
On the SEC East:
"Everyone says the East is not very good, but there is more talent there that meets the eye. There's a great deal. Sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way and I think that's the case with Georgia. They are very talented and that number 42 (Justin Houston) is as good as you'll see. They have tremendous speed. They have the ability to make plays. On the sideline on third-and-ten we had three guys around their receiver and I'm hollering for offense because I know we're going to intercept it and have great field position. Then, he comes down with it and it's first down. We did everything right except didn't get the ball. It's hard to explain sometimes and you want to crawl under a rock, but you can't. You have to keep battling. I felt for the players more than anybody. I wish there was something I could do. It's like when your child is hurt and you want to take the pain away but there was nothing we could do. We have to weather the storm and come back. Today is a new day."