Media Monday with Coach Caldwell
Nov. 1, 2010
Player interviews on Florida game | Game Notes & Depth Charts
Robbie Caldwell - 11/01/10 Press Conference
"Last week, after looking at the tape, we did some good things early. Obviously Arkansas is a great football team. We started off with a bang but for whatever reason, offensively we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We had a third down and didn't snap the ball. We had a tipped ball that could have been caught possibly but it bounced in the air and they got it. It's kind of like the Keystone Kops; we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We managed to make some progress in some areas. Defensively, we battled long and hard and had a few injuries and ran out of personnel in our pass package. We played some young guys, which was the only bonus to it. Their receiving core and quarterbacks were outstanding and the running backs and offensive line were tremendous. I think they are the second largest line in the SEC and they proved their worth by doing a good job protecting their quarterback. We got to them a few times, but we couldn't sustain things on offense ourselves and we couldn't get into a scoring match with them. That's the way that game ended.
"As far as this week's game, everyone seems to playing at their best when we are ready to take them on. They [Florida] had a big victory over Georgia it appeared on tape. Not a typical Florida team in the sense that offensively they haven't been racking up the points, until Saturday. It looks like they have it on track and their offensive line is solid. They have three running backs that are very good. I know one has been out some. The quarterback is working his way in there and making progress. Looks like they have athletes but it looks like they are young in some areas. They had their struggles as well but they seem to be alright now after that big win on Saturday, beating Georgia in overtime."
On losing Warren Norman:
"It's going to hurt. You know, he's been a good playmaker for us and he made a big play for us Saturday night that gave us a chance to score on that first drive. He broke a tackle in the backfield. His kickoff returns were special. I think he averaged 25 yards an attempt. It will be a loss. Warren's presence is pretty special. But, now Wesley Tate has had some time to heal up and it's his time to show us his value to our offense. I think he can and I think he will. Kennard Reeves has played some so it's time for him to take on a bigger load.
"He dislocated his wrist and is going to have to have pins and screws and everything. Matter of fact, we can't fix his knee because he's on crutches. We thought we were going to be able to fix his knee at the same time and it could be a blessing but now we have to wait seven more weeks before we can clean his knee up.
"His knee is hurting from the previous injury and needs to be stimulated to get growth back in the bone. He wanted to wait till after the season, that's how tough Warren is."
On playing two quarterbacks against Arkansas:
"We're going to stick to it. The offensive coaches decided when to put him [Jared Funk] in. We wanted him to know that he was going in the game. We wanted him to know when he was going in the game. We wanted him to prepare to go in the game. All I told Jared is, `if you prepare and earn the right, you will play Saturday.' If he doesn't prepare well, which he hasn't always done in the past, he will not play. As you see, in this league, people are going to get nicked up and you have to have somebody ready and we wanted him to be ready to go in the game in the middle of a crisis instead of a mop up situation so he's going to learn to play. It wasn't all his fault. The first snap was at his feet. The ball was not caught and bounced in the air so it was a little discouraging I'm sure. He's got to be ready. I think it helped Larry [Smith] and made him play a little better in the beginning. The competition is back and we are trying to create that at every position because we are playing some players who don't have much experience and they have to compete to get in there. I like the approach the offensive staff took."
On Jared Funk playing against Florida:
"You'll see him. I'm not certain when, we haven't laid the plan out. Today is the big planning day for us. We haven't quite laid it out yet. Whatever our plan will be, we'll stick to it. Like I said, I didn't stipulate third series, fourth series, I just said I wanted him in the game if he prepares well. If he doesn't prepare well, he can stand over there with me. That's been our policy all along. As a backup quarterback, some of our coaches have played that role and it's difficult for a guy to stand over there all the time preparing mentally when you have doubts and think you're not going to play. That's why I told him he was going to play if he prepared well. Coach [Jimmy] Kiser and coach [Des] Kitchings put him in."
On changing offensive coordinators:
"First of all, coach [Jimmy] Kiser is working his butt off. He's been handcuffed some the past couple of years calling plays. You know, it's a break. Des Kitchings is an up and coming coach and has a great eye for it. I've been around a lot of good coaches who have a knack for seeing things and he has that. Of course, everybody on the staff is on board with it. I think the players see the effort. The thing is, they have to step up too. It's not always the play calling, it's the playmakers. As you've seen some of the other programs around have difficulties as well. We have to put them in position to make a play and I think we are working hard at it which stimulated a little energy."
On the future of the offense:
"I'm taking notes for the future. When we went to this we thought it would be something we could recruit to and we could speed the game up. We are not as big as some of the people we play but we are in better condition. Speeding the tempo of the game up is what we need to do. We did that Saturday night but people don't see that. They see the end result but they don't see when things were going good. We upped the tempo on them and had them in disarray. We are not quite a no-huddle, up-tempo team. We are on the bubble of it and going back and forth. Right now we need to manage the clock better and control the game some. That's what we tried to do and we are working back toward that. We need to win now. We don't have time to institute the new plan. We don't have spring practice and those types of things so we have to take what we've gone this far with and tweak it and improve it, and manage it to get better. We believe we can do that and win Saturday night. We just have to keep finding the right position to put them in and find success. That will unfold more and more as we go along. We are all debating that right now, what our plan for the future is. We have something in place but I'm just not prepared to present it at this time."
On who will be returning kicks other than Eric Samuels:
"We have a couple of people. Jonathan Krause gives us some speed and some hands. Not everybody can catch it. Zac Stacy can go back there. We have three or four guys who we think can go. John Cole can go back there. Eric [Samuels] was a good offensive player and with some of these injuries, we may have to move him around and he might become a two-way player. Utilize the best players we have."
On Eric Samuels playing offense as a running back or receiver:
"It could be both. He's got pretty good hands and speed and we are trying to get some athletes in there. We have to find a playmaker because one of them is nicked up now and won't be out there. Eric has been playing good on defense and we have injuries over there. Steven Clarke went out and Jamie Graham is out. Steven may be back but Eric has to play in the secondary. We've moved it around to compensate. We'll play some more linebackers in there than we have.
On Ryan Mallett:
"I think he's the best I've seen. As far as a pure drop-back passer. One of the reasons is he's six-foot whatever. He's tall. He's a handy football player and does not throw into a crowd, and throws balls away and doesn't takes sacks. He'll scramble and throw. On one, I was wondering if he was over the line when he threw it. Maybe he's just long and can reach over and throw it like that. He's a talented guy and has a good grasp of what he's trying to do. He does all the little things that you've seen some great quartbacks in this league not do. He appears to do that."
On facing Florida without Tim Tebow:
"Well, Tim Tebow ran things and there was no doubt who was in command. I think maybe they lost one of the Pouncey brothers and it took them a little while to figure it out and get situated. I think they moved the one brother from guard over to center because he directs the traffic. Defensively, they still have athletes but some of them appear to be younger. Most of the time when you play them they are a junior and senior team. The only reason they weren't seniors is they left early for the NFL. They are a pretty talented team, and don't get me wrong, they are still pretty good. They progress quickly and it gave them confidence Saturday and put them back in the race."
On how Florida and Vanderbilt match up:
"They have moved people around and competed. The fact that some of them were able to get out there and play, they found out what they can do without Tebow. They are running the ball really well. They'll find a different way and coach [Urban] Meyer is a great coach and knows how to get it done. He's got some athletes and it's just a matter of getting them in the right place.
"For our team, we have to find someone who can strike a match and get a fire started. When we do we can usually have a good series. The problem is we aren't consistently making a play to ignite everybody. That's part of the growing pains."
On Tim Fugger and the health of the team:
"Fugger's neck is a little better today. I tried to do it like the Little Rascals, just grab it and twist it to straighten it out, but they wouldn't let me do that. There's no significant damage on the MRI so he's ready to go. I told him that old people have that all the time when they sleep on it wrong and they wake up stiff. Hopefully a little Bengay might help him.
"Johnell [Thomas] sprained his ankle. He's better today. We got nicked around pretty good and a lot of people got dings. Joey Bailey is better today. He might be able to push off tomorrow. He may move over to guard if he's able to go. We'll probably have about seven ready if he's healthy."
On taking Larry Smith out of the game in the future:
"If he's thrown ten in a row complete, I'll tell him to stay right there with me. People are going to jump on it. We weren't playing perfectly when we scored on those first two drives, nobody does. It's very difficult to do. I do know one thing, it stimulated a little excitement with our team and that's what we want. We have a fragile bunch and we are trying to make sure they have every opportunity and every asset we can use. It might be that we put Jared [Funk] in there just to run because he runs pretty good. It might be that we tell him that we have him running the option. We are going to figure out something."