Monday Press Conference

October 7, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football 

Helmet_CameraHead coach Joey Jones, sophomore defensive back Roman Buchanan and offensive lineman Chris May met with the media on Monday to recap the Jaguars win over Appalachian State and to discuss their open date this weekend.

Coach Jones

“I think (the open date) comes at a good time,” Jones said about the open date on Saturday. “We do have some guys banged up — I think there are 17 or 18 in the training rooms with a variety of injuries — and although most of them would be okay it’s good that we have a little time to rest. It’s good for the coaches too to be able to stop and reflect a little bit and see how we need to get better fundamentally. We get caught up in schemes so much during the season that sometimes you forget about fundamentals.”

“We’re a better football team, there is no doubt about that,” Jones said about his teams progress through five games. “Can we be a lot better than this? Yes. When you have games like that [Saturday at Appalachian State] you tend to look at it through rose colored glasses but I don’t. I know there are some areas we can improve on. If we continue to work on those and take those lessons to heart, and learn from our mistakes, we can become a great football team. We’re playing better, but by no means are we playing as good as we can play.”

“We’re going to start working on the game plan for Georgia State,” Jones said bout what the team will work on during their off week. “But more of our practice will be focused on fundamentals as opposed to team periods — today was almost a fully fundamental day, and we worked on a couple of special teams to try and improve there.”

“I bet they are going to sleep in because we get them up 5:30-6 a.m. every morning,” Jones said about what the players will do with the open weekend. “They have a couple days to do that [with the school on Fall Break] and enjoy that time while letting their bodies recuperate. As coaches we push and push, we always want to drive them to be the best, and sometimes we probably work them too hard. A good time to rest is a good thing for their bodies and their minds. I know when I played it was nice to have an off week, to sit back and watch other games on a Saturday and enjoy being a real fan.”

“I have greater expectations than the way we are playing right now to be honest with you, I think we can play even better,” Jones commented on the offense’s performance over the last two games and what he has expected out of them. “There are some things we could’ve done better the other night. Have we improved from the first of the year? Yes, that’s obvious.

“I think consistency is the key to execution on offense. When you look at those first couple of games — and granted, we played some really good football teams in Mississippi State and Georgia Southern — we struggled with some little things, but I knew they were things we could fix. A great offense is about execution, you have to execute the plays; if you throw a five-yard pass you have to block, throw it and catch it — it’s fairly simple. But if one of those three things breaks down then the play is no good.

“It just comes down to what we do, so during that time focused on us, and I think that made us better. And guys took ownership at each position after I challenged them, they have stepped up their play and are playing to the level I think they can play at. Therefore, the offense is playing much better.”

Offensive lineman Chris May:

“Our defense has been playing phenomenal, especially the last two weeks,” he said in his opening statement. “I felt like the defense really stepped up after we lost our leader [linebacker] Maleki [Harris] for a half. That was awesome to see.

“Offensively, we have done a pretty good job of running the ball the past two weeks. Once you start running the ball and get downhill, it opens up some passing lanes. When you have an athletic quarterback like Brandon [Bridge] who can pull it and get on the outside as well, that always helps. We just have to keep getting better during this bye week; just keep improving and working on fundamentals. We have scored a decent amount of points as an offense the last two weeks, and we just have to keep that going to help out our defense on the other side of the ball.”

“Traveling all the way up to Idaho and doing what we did there was awesome, but the camaraderie of the guys on the sideline has really helped us,” he said concerning the team’s confidence. “That has transitioned over into practice as well. The camaraderie that we have established on road trips has helped us in achieving that confidence.”

“It’s exciting to see our defense step up when we [offense] have not,” May said about the offensive unit. “We struggled in our first two home games as an offense. We didn’t put up many points against Georgia Southern, and put our defense in some bad spots that hurt them. We have the potential at each position to put up a lot of points, it’s just getting that to jell together.”

“I like the timing of the bye week,” May said. “The travel the last two weeks plus a cold game Saturday night does wear on your body, but we’re able to back off a little on a bye week while still getting things done.”

Defensive back Roman Buchanan:

“Defensively, we did a really good job of stopping the pass,” Buchanan said in his opening statement. “We need to do better at eliminating big plays and rushing the quarterback. We have been getting plenty of sacks, but sometimes he escapes the pocket and we are allowing a lot of big plays off of that. We fixed a lot of the big things over the spring and in fall camp; we just have to fix some of the little things. We’re focusing on a lot of the small things, and trying to remain consistent to win our remaining games and pursue the ring we are chasing.”

“We believe that what an offense gets on us, we allowed it they didn’t earn it — most of the time that is true,” Buchanan said speaking about the team’s confidence. “If we can just eliminate the mental errors, we’ll be fine. We feel like we are the best defense in the conference, as far as confidence goes. We are going to believe that no matter what happens.”

“This bye week is perfectly timed, but I really don’t have a preference,” he said about the open date this weekend. “As a defense, it doesn’t matter to us. We are going to come prepared every week.”

The Jags will play their next game on Saturday, October 18 against Georgia State for homecoming at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game is set to kickoff at 6:30PM and will be televised on ESPN3.

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