Erickson Meets The Press
Nov. 12, 2002
(On Stanford) 'They're in a situation where they're struggling some, as a lot of us are at this time of year. They're a football team, offensively, that has a lot of talent. They're playing Kyle Matter at quarterback; I'm not sure who they're going to start this game but they've got some guys who can play. Kerry Carter is a darn good running back, a big, physical guy. On their offensive front, Kwame Harris might be as good as there is in our league. (Wide receiver) Teyo Johnson is 6-foot-7, whatever he might be, and he's a big target for them. They've had a lot of success offensively. They've had to switch quarterbacks, which has created some problems as far as continuity is concerned.
'Defensively, they're a team that has played well at times depending on the week, kind of like us. They've got a young guy out of Portland, (linebacker David) Bergeron, that we looked at and tried to recruit who is an outstanding player for them. Their secondary is a group that is somewhat experienced.
'They're dying for a win just like we are. They're in a situation where this is their seniors' last home game and they're looking for a win like we are. As far as we're concerned, I don't know if it makes any difference who we're playing. It's a matter for us to get on the road and try to get a win, which we haven't in two years in the league. And to get that seventh win, which I think is a real key for us having an opportunity for us to have a decent season. That's kind of where it is with us. Last week at Washington was very disappointing. I thought we had opportunities and just didn't take advantage of the, but that's over with. Right now, all we can do is worry about this football game and go on to the next one.'
(What concerns you most about Stanford?) 'They've run the football probably better than most that we play in our league, with Carter offensively. They've got some threats at wide receiver. Defensively, they've played the run real well, they're very physical inside - those are probably the two biggest things. Plus, it's the last home game for their seniors, which is always a concern when you go into an opponents' home field for the last game for those seniors who have played there a long time. The emotional aspect will be there.'
(On the challenges presented by 6-foot-7 wide receiver Teyo Johnson) 'He's tough to deal with, with the height advantage. He's a great athlete. He can jump; we've all seen him play basketball here. He's a talented, physical specimen. The thing he does is, he gets you on your back anywhere on the football field and it's hard. We're fortunate that we've got a corner in Dennis (Weathersby) who is a little bigger than most corners. He can do a pretty good job of staying with him as far as the physical height advantage is concerned. He's a big-time player who makes plays for them. When they're down on the goal line, that's where they're going to go, without any question.'
(On addressing penalties during the game, after the game and in practice) 'We talk about it all the time. It's not that we haven't talked about it. The one against (defensive tackle) Eric Manning (at Washington), which was on a third-down situation ... then the one on (linebacker) Richard (Seigler) in the end zone is the other one I think you're referring to. You talk about it, you pull them, you do a lot of different things. Now all of a sudden it puts you in a tough situation as far as winning and losing is concerned; maybe that will wake them up. But that didn't cost us the game but it had an influence on how the game went and the flow of the game in that situation, probably, because it was their first drive of the second half, and they go down and score. All of a sudden the margin becomes bigger because we could have gotten out of it; particularly the first one (penalty), because they would have had to punt. The other one, they probably would have kicked a field goal. It was costly; it could have been seven points or four points. Either way, both those penalties cost us points.'
(Have quarterback Derek Anderson's ups-and-downs been what you'd expect from a first-year quarterback?) 'This is going to be our 11th game, so it's not first year any longer. He's played some football games. He's been under fire and been out there. I've seen great improvement to a point, then we kind of went backwards on Saturday. Some of it was his fault and he made bad throws; some of it, we didn't run the correct routes on a couple of those picks. But when you turn it over five times, I don't care who you play - particularly on the road - you're not going to win the football game, and that happened to us. They weren't all Derek's fault, but it's time for everybody to step up. You just can't do that in a situation like that when the weather was like that ... when you're running the football with pretty darn good success, and that was our plan going into the game, and you've got to keep them honest with the pass. But when it ends up like that ... Derek's just got to keep improving. That's all I can say. I expected him to have some ups and downs, like any quarterback; I didn't expect what happened Saturday. Nobody expects five interceptions. It happens. I've seen it out here by our quarterbacks and other quarterbacks; it happens. You just hate to see it happen, and hopefully he'll battle back in the next couple weeks and do what he needs to do to get into the offseason and get to next year.'
(On Derek Anderson's ankle) 'His ankle is sore; we'll know more today at practice and it's hard to say. He came in and said he's going to be fine, but until you see him operate and drop and do all those type of things, you really don't know. We'll know more after practice. Adam (Rothenfluh) is probably the worst of the two in that he sprained his thumb on his throwing hand and has trouble gripping the ball. That's kind of a day-by-day thing. We'll just see what happens. We'll probably have to get Anton (Clarkson) some turns today just depending on where we are physically. You just don't know; they can tell you one thing, but until you see them out there practicing, you just don't know what the heck is going to happen.'