Washington-California Postgame Quotes
Nov. 13, 2004
Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson
General comments: 'California has some big guys, and they have a lot of weapons. They have two great backs and their quarterback is excellent. Marshawn Lynch is going to be a dynamite player for California in this conference. I was very proud of the way our guys competed, and we just had some things happen to us. It's almost impossible to explain. Our guys did a great job. I thought our kids did a nice job of running routes and getting open and making some plays down the field. I felt going into the game that we were going to be successful by throwing the ball, and I think this group as receivers as our second group of receivers is getting the hang of it, and it is tough to get. It takes some time, because so much coaching went into Charles Frederick and Corey Williams so these guys are getting it. I thought Casey Paus threw some very good balls. For the most part, I am very pleased with the outing that we had. In comparison to how we left the field at California last year, I think the California team thinks that we competed well, played hard and did their best. I can't complain.'
On expectations during the game: 'I really thought we could win that thing until late in the third quarter when they really started getting away from us. We came back and ended up with two drives, and although we didn't get any points out of them, we moved the ball for all four quarters the best we have, against the caliber of defense from California.'
On the blocked punt: 'We had the middle guy in our shield get injured, and so instead of running in there he limped off the field and by the time we got our backup in the game they just rushed it. I thought we were awful slow on blocking that one.'
Injury report: 'We had a lot of substitutions, and we had a lot of guys get injured. We lost three or four guys today. Joe Lobendahn seriously fractured his wrist and he is out for the season. Joe Toledo injured his lower back and his ribs and he couldn't continue to play. Dashon Goldson has been fighting a shoulder injury which will be surgically repaired at the end of next season.'
On the pre-game presentation by the team captains: 'I didn't have any idea. It means Jim Owens is wrong, I did letter at Washington. They are just such great kids and they have been through hell. They just play, and are great to coach. I thought the events of last week really got to them, but the way they came back this week and prepared I thought we were going to get out there and play well like we did for most of the game. I should be giving all of them gifts. They are just such great kids to be around on a daily basis. And all of the kids that I have coached here at Washington have been just sensational. There's nothing like kids at the University of Washington.'
On leaving Husky Stadium for the last time as a head coach: 'I have been coming here since I was four or five years old. I've seen a lot of great football games and met a lot of great people. This is a place where people like to coach, and is a tough place to leave. People fall in love with Washington. This becomes more than just a job. This is a great place and I really want the best for Washington football. It really becomes part of your family because it is such a big part of your life in a very good way.'
On the performance of quarterback Casey Paus: 'I think for the most part I think he threw some really good balls in there and moved the ball consistently. It's been awhile since we have thrown for over 300 yards. I would still like to think that we could throw for over 50 percent and not throw as many interceptions as we throw, but we also got some big plays. I saw some progress in a lot of ways.'
On the increased passing game: 'We saw a lot of big guys up around the line of scrimmage in the box and they are really difficult to run on. Their defensive line is big and strong, and we just felt like the way to open them up and loosen things up was to put some balls in the air.'
On the performance of wide receiver Craig Chambers: 'The shot he took to the ribs in the first half was clearly a penalty. A hit that late with the ball on the ground is clearly a penalty. He was really hurt after that play, really tender. This is a guy who decided he was tired of sitting on the sidelines and he did something about it. He went out and got better. He worked harder in practice and got faster and more explosive. Those things weren't there early. Trust me we are putting the best guys out there that we have in practice and he clearly has improved a great deal. I think he has some confidence back about what he can do. I know Casey likes throwing to him because he is a big target. But there is an example of a guy who went to work and got better in practice. He went from the scout team to eight catches today for a big number. It shows others that you can do it. You can work, you can get better all season and it is a great lesson for a lot of guys. I think guys have to be tired of being down in the depths and work their way up, and he did. His practice habits are better and he has more confidence and runs routes more precise than he did. He has great speed and he catches it. He is a big guy and he is fast, and I am really happy for him.'
WIDE RECEIVER Craig Chambers
On how he got open: 'All week coaches were emphasizing how aggressive their corners were so I was really concentrating on making sure I got off the line clean, stayed low, did not get jammed and was explosive. So that was a big help because last week I wasn't getting off the line too well. Coaches were telling me I had to pick it up this week.'
On his 77-yard touchdown reception: 'It was weird. When it happened, the corner that was on me was crashing, and I just kept running my route. I was one-on-one with the safety so I felt pretty good and when I broke out Casey threw a perfect ball out right where it's supposed to be. I saw sideline and started running.'
On Cal's defensive scheme: 'It seemed like whenever they knew we were going to run they left me in single coverage but whenever they knew we were going to pass they put cover-2 over the top of me and put two people on. It seemed like they were reading our offense pretty well.'
On emerging as a playmaker: 'I had an alright game at Oregon and my Arizona game wasn't that great so a lot of people I'm sure were doubting still. I just wanted to come out here and prove again that I can do what I need to do to earn a spot on the team. I thought it was real important for me to have a coming out today.'
QUARTERBACK Casey Paus
On the offensive production: 'I thought we moved the ball against a great team. We just have to put the ball in the endzone. That's what it comes down to. If you're not scoring points, you're not going to win a game. We had some turnovers and some unfortunate tips but those have got to be eliminated.'
On what they need to do in the red zone: 'Just play smart football. The coaches are giving us great game plans and they're doing everything they can for us. We've just got to play smart and execute.'
On the team's effort level: 'No one gave up today. I'm proud of everybody on this team. I wasn't about to let any of the guys on the offense give up and they weren't about to let me give up. I can probably speak for the defense and say they didn't give up either. It's a great team that came in here and they are going to be scoring points and we've got to counter that. Unfortunately we didn't.'
On Craig Chambers: 'I've been telling people that Craig's been there, he just needed a boost of confidence and now he's got it. If he continues to play the way he's playing then we're expecting a lot of big things out of him.'
INSIDE LINEBACKER Joe Lobendahn
On play where he got injured (tackling Aaron Rodgers): 'I came from behind and tackled him, but my arm got caught between his legs and he scissors-kicked my arm. I wasn't trying to get hurt, but it happened, and it happens for a reason. Right now I'm kind of frustrated because last year I got hurt too, I tore my ACL, now this happened. I just want to stay healthy for one season.'
On defense: 'It's all about preparation. We prepared ourselves to win this game. On defense, we pretty much shut them down on what they do best. They came out in the second half and started moving the ball.'
On emotion of final game for the seniors and Gilbertson: 'I feel for them right now. This is their last home game and we lost the ballgame. I went out there and played my hardest and played my heart out for them. It's sad to see them go out like this. I'm not planning on having to do this next year, I'm going to try my best to make sure the seniors have a better year next season.'
WIDE RECEIVER Sonny Shackelford
On staying with one QB the whole game: 'It did help because when you play with one quarterback and one style, then have another quarterback where you're running the option, it's a big difference. So not to say that any one quarterback is better, but it felt better to have one quarterback in there because you knew how he felt practicing with him all week and you knew how it was going to work out.'
On Craig Chambers emerging as a threat: 'It's big. Some of the things he does are unexpected to some people, but the people that are on the team know he can do stuff. He's a big body on the field and when you throw the ball up to him he can make big plays. That's real good for the offense because it keeps the chains moving.'
On the effort level compared to last year against Cal: 'The score didn't show how the game went, by any means. Everybody played their hearts out. Everybody played to the very last play. It's just sometimes the ball falls a different way. It just seems like the whole season the ball's been falling against us.'
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER Evan Benjamin
On interception: 'It felt good. Coach put us in the right call and I stayed with my man and stayed disciplined. I didn't really see the ball because I didn't take my eyes off my man. I kept my eyes on the tight end and when he looked to the ball, I turned too, and the ball was floating in the air.'
On Aaron Rodgers: 'He's a real good quarterback. On our first interception of him, he had a lot of time and he was trying to make a play and Scott (White) was in the right place. Mine, I think he got a little bit more pressure and he got nervous. I think he stayed in the pocket well and I think we could have got a little more pressure on him, but he was good at making plays when he had to.'
On defense in the first half: 'The first half was a good half of football on both sides. They came back with that long drive in the end of the second quarter, but I thought that drive was more our fault than what they did. I wasn't really surprised, I knew that we could do that, and coach had a great game plan. In the second half, our team was worn down a little bit and they came out firing.'
On Cal's running backs: 'They have some really good running backs. They do everything you want a running back to do: they stay low, they run forward, and they fall forward. That's what gets you four or five yards per pop and that's all you need.'
On Chambers' performance: 'He's playing real well. He's a real good target and I think that he's helping out our passing game a lot. With E.T.(Charles Frederick) out, he's making plays that we need. He's having a great second half of the year. I'm excited for him for next year and the year after to see what he does.'
California Coach Jeff Tedford
On the slow start: 'It took a long time to get going. First of all, give them credit. They played very hard defensively and they also did a nice job at the line of scrimmage of stopping the run. We just weren't as sharp. I don't think Aaron (Rodgers) had his best day today but did a nice job of pulling it down and making some plays with his legs. I thought the defense played well. We gave up a couple of big plays, which we can't do but it was nice to see our guys bounce back in the second half and regroup and come out and play a little harder.'
On Aaron Rodger's mistakes: 'We've all come to expect Aaron to hit every ball and today there were a couple of overthrows, a couple of bad decisions. This was the first time all year long that he's made poor decisions but he'll learn from it I'm sure and bounce back next week. He'll learn from his mistakes of throwing the ball into coverage a couple of times today.'
On using the run game in the second half: 'We tried to mix it up a bit but absolutely. We came in at halftime and talked about a couple of different runs to try to run. JJ and Marshawn are pretty special guys and they did a very nice job of running the ball today. They did a nice job especially in second effort type runs where they are breaking tackles and breaking into secondaries.'
On the blocked punt: 'We saw that punt formation and knew that they had a punt blocked a week or two ago. We felt like we could get after one and sure enough, the guys came very hard and did a nice job of making a play there. They were spread so there were a lot of gaps to get through and so we wanted to get after it.'
On the coverage by the corners: 'They didn't cover them very well. It was man-to-man coverage on some of those and they spun us around a little bit and made some plays. Again, you have to give them credit. (Craig Chambers) had a very good day today. He's a very good receiver and did a very nice job of turning our guys around and running after the catch and the quarterback put it right on him on those plays. They did make some plays but yes, we didn't cover as well as we need to.'
On Marshawn Lynch: 'He did it all. That was a tremendous catch. The concentration he had when it was bobbled up in the endzone and still held onto the ball, the runs that he made, the guy just hardly ever goes done. Most of the time he is never on the ground when play stops they have to blow the whistle finally. He is so strong and has such great balance. He threw a pass today, which was supposed to be a deep ball but the safety stayed back so the receiver cut it off and he threw a nice strike to him on the sideline. It's pretty evident Marshawn is a special, special guy. The strength, the speed, the agility, balance, ability to catch a football- he's a tremendous athlete.'
On difficulties of find a spot on the field for Marshawn due to the talent and depth of Cal's team: 'When you have a guy like JJ doing what he's doing it's tough. JJ has really done a nice job. I think he went over 100 yards today and just continues to pound and again, not turning the football over, securing the football is key, I think JJ's done a great job of that.'
On the defense: 'They did a nice job in the first half of slowing them down when they got down there and making them settle for field goals but turnovers were key. I think they did great in the running game. I don't know how many yards they ran for but it seemed like the defense was very stingy on the run today.'
On his halftime speech to the team: 'I got on them pretty good before the game because it seemed like the mood was so subdued in pregame. It didn't seem like there was a lot of excitement out there so we had a good talk with them before the game but obviously that didn't work. At halftime there wasn't a lot to say. We mainly talked about how there was another half of football to play, we haven't played our best and I didn't really have to say much. The team was doing most of the talking. I didn't say much to them.'
SAFETY RYAN GUTIERREZOn slow start: 'I don't know what it was that caused us to come out and play like that early on. I think that we were thinking about the game too much, considering we were playing a 1-8 team. We needed to get up for these guys and it gets in your head a little bit. We came out a little flat and it showed. We have to work on that. I don't think that we have played well in the past couple of weeks in the first half, especially on defense.'
On halftime adjustments: 'There were no adjustments at halftime. I think in the first half guys were missing their assignments, much like what happened in the Oregon game. When you get a guy running free it just comes down to us missing assignments.'
On late hit call: 'Coach thought it was a little bit late, but I couldn't see the ball. It was an honest mistake and he had his back to me. I didn't go through him and I didn't lead with my helmet. I tried to pull back but I just couldn't do it in time.'
DEFENSIVE TACKLE LORENZO ALEXANDEROn history of matchup: 'They came out and tried their hardest to beat us because we are a big target right now. We just have to come out and play our game and that is all that we can worry about.'
On second half turnaround: 'I just wanted to come out and try to motivate the guys a little bit. Wendell Hunter came out with some big picks to get us going and we got that blocked field goal. We were able to get the running game going. I think that it was a team effort as the reason why we were able to turn it around and get some things going.'
On turning point: 'It was probably in the first series of the second half where we got the blocked punt right away. We were able to come out and shut them down and I think that really got people going. They came out on the next series and scored on us, but our offense was able to come out on the field and get some rhythm going as we started to pull away.'
CENTER MARVIN PHILIPOn slow start: 'I don't know what it was, but it just seemed like people were tired. We rallied around, but we came out flat in the first half. We got the offense on the sideline and I told them 'whatever it is, get it fixed because we have to get some points on the board in the second half.' We were able to start pounding the ball with our running game and get our offense going in the second half.'
On offense: 'They were blanketing our receievers very well today. We felt like we had good protection and we were able to give Aaron a lot of time, but anytime you have no recievers downfield, stuff like that is going to happen.'
On two running backs over 100 yards: 'It is exciting to have two running backs over 100 yards. Our main goal was to try and get J.J. over 100 to try and keep his streak alive. We wanted Marshawn to come in there and step it up and for him to also get 100 yards was a sweet feeling, especially for an offensive line.'