Arizona Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 22, 2001

On the loss against Washington:'The game tapes showed that we played a hard, tough, physical football game. We did so many things well. We never let them get too far away from us, and we stayed in the game. We worked hard to get an opportunity to win the game, and we were in a position to win. We made mistakes, and they made mistakes, but the errors we made were errors of effort. We were flying around, and we created turnovers. We had to change our basic offense because John (Rattay) didn't have the same amount of experience and practice time, so we ran the ball more, and our line stepped up to the cause.

'Our defense was able to turn the ball over for us as well as they did. They stopped drives, and they were able to get the ball back and give us an opportunity to win the game. We did give up some yards, and no one is pleased about that, but other than a couple of big plays we were around the receivers a little better than we were in the past. They had a couple of big plays, and we had two busted coverages on two long passes early in the game.'

On this week's opponent - USC:'Carson Palmer is someone who has shown that he will line up and throw the ball. So, we have to be ready for that kind of onslaught if they decide to come out and throw 50 times.'

'They have an unusually talented group of players playing a sophisticated style of defense, not just run defense, but pass defense. They have great athletes. It's not easy to throw the ball against them, and that's why they're leading the conference in pass defense. They play to their strengths, they know things, they read routes, and they understand what people are trying to do.'

'They have played a good, hard schedule. They have played good teams. They have a new coach and a new system, so things are changing there much like they are here. They lost three really tough games, games they could have won, and they were right in them until the end. That's hard on anybody, but that doesn't diminish the talent they have. They have great athletes across the board.'

On defensive end Johnny Jackson:'Johnny Jackson had an MRI and x-rays in Seattle. Johnny has a sore neck, and what we were checking for was to see if he had a vertebrae that was chipped. He will probably do another MRI here just to be certain, but at this point, it is more a matter of his comfort level than anything else. It is like getting a whiplash injury where your head is knocked back, so it's sore, and I would list him as questionable to doubtful for the week.

On Reggie Sampay's move to center:'Reggie Sampay played the game, and he is beat up a little bit. He'll probably go a little lighter in practice, but we expect that he will be ready to go this weekend. I was pleased with his play at center and Steven Grace at guard. That gave us a better balance on our offensive line, and I think it helped us with our run protection and pass protection. We likely will stay with that lineup for the rest of the season. We made the change because Steven (Grace) is bigger, and we knew that we were going to be playing some bigger guys up there (at Washington).'

On quarterbacks Jason Johnson and John Rattay:'They both feel good, but our doctors will still watch them this week.'

On defensive end Eli Wnek's return:'He showed some enthusiasm and got his hands on a ball that was batted, so that was good. He smelled out a screen play, and just being on the field, just his presence was important. He is smart, and he talks to the guys about what's going on. I'm sure he is looking forward to playing more this week. And, with Johnny's (Jackson) situation, it is very likely that will be the case. Eli's foot was sore yesterday, but he feels that he can step up what he can do.'

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