Media Monday with Coach Caldwell
Nov. 22, 2010
Game Notes & Depth Charts
Vanderbilt Head Coach Robbie Caldwell
Weekly Press Conference, November 22, 2010
Coach Caldwell's opening statement:
"I'm a `glass half full guy' so I try to find the positives. We did some good things defensively. Everybody played hard but we missed some tackles. All in all, I think we held them to 360 yards. They've been scoring about 50 points per game since [Tyler] Bray took over so that was a positive.
"Offensively, we had 81 plays, (that's) over 80 plays for the second week in a row. That was very positive. The offensive line is playing better and in that regard, are we happy? Heck no. We much rather have more victories, obviously, but you have to crawl before you can walk.
"We are trying to get better every outing and we are about to face a club in the same situation. They may have as many, or more, injuries. I've felt for coach [Jim] Grobe. I think they are down to their third quarterback. Two teams facing off, both are two and nine. It's going to be quite a battle. We both want victories to capitalize on the end of our season and we want to send the seniors out on a winning note and we want t build for the future. We are excited for one more opportunity and we all have things to be thankful for."
On the quarterback situation and Larry Smith's health:
"Well, Larry got his arm hit and came in this morning with a knee issue. He didn't know how sore it was. He's a tough individual and I saw him dipping under the hurdles in the weight room today. He's kind of slow still; it looked like me dipping. He's working at it and trying. Jared [Funk] got hurt as well so it will be interesting to see who is the survivor of the fittest out there at practice. I think they will both be all right and give us some service.
"Larry [Smith] is our quarterback. He's done a good job getting beat on and hit on. Jared [Funk] did a good job coming in for relief so it will be a toss up. After planning today, we will see how much we are going to do with what we have."
On Funk's injury:
"I think it was his knee as well. I don't know how severe it was. He came in Sunday and it puffed up on him overnight. When we were here checking him out it felt a little tender and may be his MCL. They'll check it out more thoroughly today."
On his future with the team and if Wake Forest will be his last game:
"I sure don't know. I have no idea, but I'm just going to keep working, going to work on things I can control. If it is my last game I would be sad because I've enjoyed my time here at Vanderbilt. Hopefully it won't be but if it is I understand. This is the life of a football coach, unfortunately. We coach from one season to the next and we'll see where we go from there."
On finding out his status soon so he can focus on recruiting:
"I'm sure we will because we have some guys committed. What I try to tell people is that you have to choose the school for the school first and then go from there. Never base it on the coach. Obviously you want to be around people you enjoy and it is important. I know the guys we are recruiting understand that and I hope that they are coming for the right reasons."
On having to practice during thanksgiving week and avoiding distractions:
"We won't have any of our players missing practice for class or study sessions or seminars or mandatory this or that, so that will be a plus. I know they will be disappointed because the rest of the students are gone and I'm sure they would have enjoyed some free time. Those who love football are enjoying every minute of it because they are looking at tape and can do some things that they don't normally get to do in our situation."
On what the players will do on Thanksgiving:
"We'll have practice on Thanksgiving morning and then have a big feast right here at 12:30. Their families are invited and some of them will get to come. It will be a special time for us."
On the seniors:
"It's a good group of guys and some of them have not gotten the playing time that they would have wanted but my philosophy is this, `if a man works hard and does his best he is always a valuable part of your program.' They are just as important as a starter or a captain or whoever. If they don't, then they are not and that's the only fair way to do it. Most of these guys are. We are going to dearly miss them. They may not be the football player they had hoped to become or we hoped they would become, but that's not their fault. If they're working hard, that's our fault. We chose them and we are proud of all of them.
"It's a small group of guys. We could possibly have a few guys who have a fifth year and can get in to graduate school. Some of them have school or jobs. Some of them have a job, which is advisable to take. When you have a job in hand, in this day and time, that's the beauty of coming to Vanderbilt. Most of our graduates have a job in hand."
On running back Kennard Reeves taking advantage of his opportunities:
"I've been really impressed with him. As I said before, he's one of those who had some very talented players ahead of him and he didn't get the playing time he had hoped he would but he got special teams play and he is dedicated. He waited his time and when it came, he took advantage of it. He's really done extremely well."
On Des Kitchings as offensive coordinator:
"Offensively, we've improved. Sometimes we don't score the points we hope we would score but we can't always control that. It's demoralizing when you drive the ball and you don't get anything. We had two 15-plus-play drives. Most people have playmakers and they can get 50 or 60 [yards] for you right away. Right now, we don't have that so we have to work and have perfect execution to score touchdowns. It's something we keep working at."
On differences of coaching in the ACC and SEC:
"I don't want to give them any bulletin board material, but I've been in both leagues and it is amazing the difference. (The ACC) is a great league, particularly now that they have added to it. They have some nationally ranked teams on their side and they have some teams with great tradition and history. The media, Sports Illustrated, the gurus talk about the SEC and the crowds you play in front of and the speed of the game and how many go to the NFL so it is a pretty rigorous league. I've enjoyed my time with both leagues. I just like to compete."