Quotes From Quarterback Andrew Walter's Monday Press Conference
Sept. 22, 2003
Could you share some general thoughts of the game last Saturday now that you've had a chance to see some film and talk to the coaches?
'I'm pretty pleased with how our offensive line played. There were a few breakdowns but by and large I thought they did a really good job. People that touch the football need to play better. There weren't many plays being made by myself or anybody else and we're the ones who can make a difference in the game. The film showed that we need to do that and play on the same page. There were a lot of guys kind of doing their own thing, so we need to clean that up.'
What emotional state is everybody in going into Pac-10 play after the Iowa game?
'Well I think that at worst it's a loss and at best it's understanding that it's not a conference game. You learn from your negatives and try to move on. Conference play is what matters and there are going to be a ton of huge games and tough games. This one is out of the way and you can learn more out of a defeat than a win. The QBs and receivers watched film together the other day and I think that was able to clean up a lot of stuff.'
Is confidence an issue for the team?
'A lot of that can be remedied with a win and even if we play a lot better that can be remedied. I think that so far this year we haven't played as well as we can offensively. We've been up and down and inconsistent. Against Iowa that showed up. Coming out of a loss, it's one of those learning things where we have to get on the same page and I think we will.'
What percent of the plays that were called did everyone know their assignment?
'I couldn't put an exact percentage on it, not enough would be a way to describe it. Again, I was pretty pleased with how the line played, it's up to the guys that touch the ball to make plays. To heap it all on the receivers I think is unfair, but to put it on everyone's shoulders is fair. An exact percentage is too hard to say, but it needs to be a lot higher.'
How do you counter other teams from looking at the tape from the Iowa game and saying, 'That's how we stop Arizona State.'?
'I think they'd be wise to do that, if I were a coach I would do that. Again, we need to go back to what we need to work on and get on the same page. We need to clean up all of the assignment errors and get the confidence rolling, although I don't think the confidence is lost. Again if I were a coach I would do that, so we have to prove that we can beat that. Once we do I think teams will try to do their thing. But coaches tend to do what they've done their whole career and don't deviate too far from that. I would assume some teams would do that but, by and large, with the coaches I've been around, they'll stick to their gameplan.'
What do you expect to see from Oregon State defensively?
'Apparently they play a lot of four-deep and try and put pressure on you with the corners. They've traditionally been a blitzing team to try and get after you. Oregon State has traditionally brought a lot of blitzes. Each team could come out and do something totally different or they can adapt and try to do what Iowa did against us.'
Do you like it more when teams blitz because your ability to read where the blitzes are coming from has improved so much?
'When they blitz they have to roll to a zone and miss a guy because they're blitzing or they play a man defense. If we're able to protect, offenses love when teams play man. I guess the beauty of it and the beast of it is that you have to protect and sometimes you do sometimes you don't. I'd like everybody to get on the same page and get a chance to prove we can play against that sort of a system.'
Was the role of the tight end in the Iowa game more of a passing role or more of a protection role?
'More a part of protection probably. There were plays when we were trying to get him the ball, but by and large a part of the protection I would say.'
Is it taking time to jell with your new receivers?
'I think that's pretty evident. We're still trying to get on the same page and game time is when you really are able to develop a better connection. A lot of that can be remedied in practice if we practice every day like it's a game, so come game time it just carries over. If we can start doing that more, we can start jelling more.'
Is it frustrating seeing people predict doom and gloom after just one loss? How does the team deal with that?
'We see how the system works I guess. There are a lot of teams that have a loss already. It's just sports, we have a chance to see who's with us and who's against us I guess. I think we'll be fine, it's a long season, the guys know that, and there are a lot of chances to make up for what we did. Conference play is right around the corner and that's obviously important.'
What do you remember about last season's crazy ending against Oregon State? Would you predict a more offensive game than last year?
'The game went fast there at the end, it was a crazy finish. I hope our offense is able to establish things a little bit better than last year and coming off of the game that we had last week I would like to get that rolling a little bit better. It will be tough to do that against a tough Oregon State team, but we'll have to straighten that out in practice.'
What bothered you in last year's Oregon State game that won't bother you as much this year with the experience that you've gained?
'I think that in that game last year they were able to get to me early, and it was only my second start. Bringing the pressure doesn't affect me as much if the guys can see it and react and be able to understand where they're coming from. Anytime that they blitz and rush guys, it makes our people have to react a lot faster. Last year it had an effect but I don't think that will be the case this year. Everybody's a year older on the line and it won't be as much of a shock to have guys up in your grill as they were last year.'
Can Coach do anything differently philosophically to get the guys going for this game?
'I don't think he has to. People that touch the football need to do a better job and get on the same page with each other. The offensive line is playing well and doing a good job. I don't think he needs to change anything philosophically. If we produce better on first downs, we'll probably be able to run the ball more but when it's second-and-ten, third-and-ten we're not able to. In the future I see us doing that better.'
Are you going to try and establish the run better?
'Yeah, maybe. If we can eliminate second-and-ten and get down to where it's second-and-eight or six, it's more manageable. Teams know we have to throw the ball when we're in those longer situations. I would like to see that but I don't think we have ran it as well as we can.'