Monday Press Conference

November 27, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

Romelle Jones and Alex Page give chase to the FAU quarterback during the Jaguars win in 2012.

The University of South Alabama held their weekly press conference on Monday. As the Jags are very busy preparing for their trip to Hawaii, the offensive and defensive coordinators filled in for head coach Joey Jones. The coordinators were joined by quarterback Ross Metheny and defensive lineman Romelle Jones. Below are highlights from the press conference.

Defensive Coordinator Bill Clark began with an opening statement. “We’re going to lose a day in travel, so we have had to kind of tighten our belts coming straight off the last game and get the game plan in even earlier than we normally would. It’s a different feeling this week, you’re at the end of a long season; as a player, you just have to fight through that. From a preparation standpoint, it’s a time crunch trying to get ready, I think we have done a good job the last couple of days.”

Clark then spoke about going up against a program that is run by Norm Chow, a well known coach. “It’s like the trip, it’s a great experience. Of course, these are the things that keep coaches up at night, going against a guy who has been at Southern Cal and with the Titans. And that’s who they are; it’s a pro-style offense. That has been a point of interest for our players given his history and how well he has done as a coordinator.”

“They came into their own last week and scored a lot of points,” he continued. “They have played against a lot of great opponents their first year he has been running the program, so I hope they are not hitting their stride right now.”

Clark then spoke about what he has seen from his players the last few weeks. “The thing that we have talked about is fighting, and before last week I felt really good. You can sit here and talk about us being banged up, injuries and playing 13 games, but we can’t do that. I will promise you one thing, I know our guys are going to fight. We’re going over there to get a ‘W.’ We really want to see these guys finish strong, and finish on a good note for the seniors and next year’s team.”

“Our guys came out last night to practice just like it was week six or seven, and they did the same thing today. I think as a fan you have to like what you see on both sides of the ball and the kicking game, the effort that they have put in this year. Hopefully that can translate to a win.”

Finally Clark spoke about how important it is to finish the season strong in Hawaii. “We’re going to see their maturity level. Can you go do these things, have some down time and still be about your business? We have a lot of guys who have been through the wars, but they haven’t been through this though. It will be interesting to see how handle the long travel, the different time zone and one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

First year offensive coordinator Robert Matthews began with his opening statement before the press. “I think one of the things we have to make sure we are good at this week is monitoring the maturity level of the team with the travel, the long trip, the changing of the schedule and being in a place like Waikiki Beach. Certainly it’s a place where most of the guys on our team have not been before so they are going to see some sights and it will be a life-changing experience for them. While they are excited about being able to go and see a place like Hawai’i, they need to understand that we are going to play a football game. That’s our ultimate job, to go there, play the game and get a victory. Making sure our team is mature and that they handle it the right way, which I’m sure they will, is real important for us.”

Matthews then spoke about what Hawaii does defensively to create problems for opponents offenses. “They are a pressure defense, they try to create pressure situations on the quarterback and try to pressure your run game. It’s based out of a 3-5 [formation], and they are using multiple fronts and multiple coverages. They really just try to create confusion up front, give your quarterback different looks and wreck your run game with movement and blitzes.”

He then spoke about what he wants to see from the offense in the last game of the season. “I want them to finish strong. We have done some good things at times, and certainly there are things we would like to take back and work to correct. I want them to play with great energy, and I want them to enjoy playing the game of football. These guys don’t realize how lucky they are to be playing Division I football and to have the experiences they are having. I want them to embrace this opportunity, this is our final game of the 2012 season, and play with the passion that got them started in the game.”

“Obviously we want to execute, score points and move the football, but if they play with a high energy level and with that true passion that got them playing the game in the first place, then I think we will be successful.”

Quarterback Ross Metheny spoke about what he hopes to accomplish in the final game of the season for the Jags. “It’s a big trip, and we’re excited about it. We’re excited about playing a new opponent, but we have to keep in mind that it is a business trip and we are going there to win a football game and take care of business. We’re going to have fun with it, but again it is a business trip and we’re looking to play our best football.”

“It would be big for us to get a win going in to the offseason, just to have some momentum,” he continued. “The coaches and players always preach finishing strong, and I think a win at Hawaii would definitely be a good finish especially for our seniors who have put in so much hard work in building this program and getting this thing going. Finishing [the season] with a win would be great for them.”

Metheny then spoke about the importance of getting a win moving forward. “It just leaves a positive taste in your mouth going into all of the offseason work. This season has been up and down with a lot of close losses, and to be able to look back and say we finished strong with a win would be positive for our guys and a good motivator going forward.”

He also spoke about the Jaguars close losses this season. “Eventually, being so close isn’t enough. That’s kind of what has happened all season. We have been close in so many games, and haven’t been able to put a whole game together. Enough of that. We want to put one together, finish strong and take that into the offseason knowing that is what South Alabama football is going to be.”

Metheny then addressed where he thinks the program fits into the Sun Belt Conference. “If you look at the games we have played this year, we have been close in so many. It has kind of been a learning experience with everyone involved with this program. But one thing to take away from it is our competitiveness and our competitive spirit of this team and coaching staff. We have never quit in any game, and my hat’s off to my teammates and our coaching staff. You don’t want to take moral victories, but I think we have established ourselves and we can say that we can be competitive in this league especially going forward. There is a lot of respect for the teams in the Sun Belt, but we’re excited about the future going forward.”

Finally he spoke about going to Hawaii. “A lot of guys wouldn’t have this opportunity if they didn’t play Division-I football. It’s a neat experience. For me personally, I get to see my sister who lives out there. I’m excited about that. It’s going to be fun. It will be a new environment, but we will absorb it all then get down to business and go win a football game. We’re excited about it as a team. This is what Division-I football is – making big trips, travelling and going and playing football.”

Defensive lineman Romelle Jones began by talking about what he hopes to accomplish in the Jaguars final game of the 2012 season. “Our number-one goal is to definitely get a win. That is always the most important thing. It is a business trip. It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A lot of guys probably would have never had this opportunity without being a part of this great thing we have going at South Alabama.”

He continued by talking about the importance of getting a win for the program moving forward. “College football is built on momentum, and that would be great momentum going into the offseason. It would give guys something to look forward to. To have a win to finish the season and leave us with a great taste in our mouths going into the offseason would be great.”

Jones also spoke about the Jaguars close losses this season. “It’s not enough coming close every game. I feel like we shouldn’t look back at the past as much, but just look forward and use it as a building block as something great that we can build on this offseason. We can definitely have something to look forward to and build off of.”

He then spoke about where he feels the South Alabama program fits in the Sun Belt conference. “This season was a great building block. It wasn’t a great season, but I know it was a confidence-builder for a lot of guys. That let us know that we can compete with guys on any level and can pretty much go toe-to-toe with anybody in the Sun Belt.”

Finally, Jones also spoke about going to Hawaii. “It’s something that growing up I never thought I would be able to experience at such a young age. It just really warms my heart. It’s a great thing, but at the end of the day we still have to focus and realize that it is a business trip and we need to take care of our business and finish this season off in the proper way.”

South Alabama and Hawaii will kickoff at 10pm Central time.


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