Larry Fedora Wednesday Quotes
Larry Fedora answered questions on this morning's teleconference.
"We’re pleased to get our first win of the season this past week against Middle Tennessee in Kenan Stadium, and it was good to get that done at home in front of our crowd. We’re going into the open week this week working on the fundamentals, and eventually hopefully getting more practices as we prepare for the triple option of Georgia Tech."
On potential advantages of a bye week before facing the Yellow Jackets
"I don’t know if it’s an advantage, but it’s something that we definitely look forward to. Obviously, everybody knows that their offense is very unique and it’s not something that you see any other time of the year, so any extra time that you get to prepare for it only helps you, but you’ve still got to do the job. It’s still very difficult to defend and we know that and obviously everybody in the country knows that but we welcome the extra practices against what they do offensively and hopefully we can be a better team because of it."
On the play of the defense through two games
"I think after our first two, I have seen definite improvement over where we were last year, from where we ended the season last year. There’s no doubt about it. Our guys are playing harder, they’re playing faster, they’re thinking less and you see them be better athletes and just you see their athleticism come out because they’re not having to think. They understand what we’re trying to do but then you stop everything and then you try to do some things that you don’t normally do or don’t normally see in a year so that’s what makes it so difficult as you try to prepare for a Georgia Tech offense."
On avoiding the mistakes of the 50-68 loss to the Yellow Jackets in 2012
"You go back and look at that game (and) we fumbled a kickoff return, which gave them the ball in excellent field position. I think we threw a pick on a screen pass on about our own 25-yard line that gave them the ball on a short field. They returned kickoff for touchdown. We went for a fake punt on our end of the field and didn’t get it, so we gave them another short field. So, I’ve got to do a much better job of making sure we manage that game and putt our defense in as many good positions as possible."
On the play of bandit Norkeithus Otis
"He really fits that hybrid position, a guy that can go get the passer and create quarterback hurries and all the problems there, but also a guy that can drop into coverage and cover guys and so you really don’t know when he’s coming or when he’s not and he really fits that position very well. Then, he brings all his energy to the position. He just plays with his motor hot all the time, and that’s what we ask for. We want our guys to really play hard and he is really the epitome of what you’re asking for when you say play hard each and every play like it’s your last play. Well, that’s what he does. At the end of a practice or the end of a game, he is wore out. And that’s you’re looking for in your players is to leave it all out there on the field."
On whether Fedora anticipated Otis taking a step from one year to the next given his spring and summer
"You anticipate it and you hoped for it in the worst way, because he had totally bought in. He was doing everything you ask and when I say he practiced hard, it was obvious. He was going at a different speed of other guys when everybody’s tired. And just because he’s making sure he gives everything he has, you really not only want to see him be successful, you really hope he does so that the light comes on in a lot of guys’ eyes."
On the play of quarterback Bryn Renner
"My expectations for Bryn are very high now. Very high. I would say in the first game he had a lot to work on. But at the same time, I also knew it was going to be a difficult game for him because they were going to pressure us pretty good, and we were going to not throw the ball down the field to get the ball out of our hands quicker and so I think that took away a little bit of what Bryn was capable of doing. You go back this week, Bryn was one of our players of the game offensively. He played really well. He threw the ball extremely well down the field and made plays for us.
So Bryn’s playing well, there’s no doubt about it. The pieces of the puzzle around Bryn are a little bit different this year, so we still have to come together as an offense. I don’t think we’re hitting on all cylinders yet offensively, and we’ve got to become more effective running the ball to take some of that pressure off Bryn so that he can be who he can be."
On Renner’s leadership style and development
"He’s definitely a vocal guy. Bryn’s very fiery, very competitive, and we’ve worked really hard with him on controlling his emotions during a game. Because at that position, you can’t get too high or too low because if you do, it’ll drive you crazy, it’ll drive your teammates crazy throughout the game. And so trying to stay more on an even keel throughout the game is something that we want him to work on to manage his emotions, and I think he’s doing a really good job of that."