Football Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 9, 2003

Football Press Conference Quotes

USC Head Football Coach Pete Carroll

'We are happy to have had our chance to get home and get a win. It was a great atmosphere. The stadium was rocking and the crowd was terrific. It was the best we had seen early in the season in a while. We realize that we have an opportunity to really get some momentum going and get the season underway. These home games are so important that we keep something going and get a good feeling about playing in the Coliseum. Hawaii is an extremely explosive football team. In recent years, they have been tremendously productive on offense. There are obvious reasons why they are successful. June Jones is a great football coach and knows exactly what he wants to do with his offense and he has been doing it for years. I can see through the years how his offense has evolved and expanded things they have been doing to make it more difficult. It's going to be important for us to come out and play well on both sides of the ball. The offense needs to complement the defense by taking care of the ball. Defensively, we are going to have to slow things down. There are similarities from what we will see offensively this week and last week against BYU with the formation settings. It's very challenging for us. We have to get this game. I think it will be a spirited game. I look forward to it.'

(on injury to senior cornerback Kevin Arbet...)

'Kevin will need surgery to fix his foot. We will lose Kevin for the rest of the season. Will Poole will take over at his spot. We feel our depth will help us. It's a big loss to lose a leader and big-time playmaker.'

(on play of cornerback Will Poole...)

'Will has done a really nice job in both games. He is still learning, but is obviously a playmaker. We are excited about his play. We missed him a little during camp.'

(on what he did for summer vacation...)

'I spent a lot of time here in California and some time over on the islands. I spent a little time in North Shore. It's a special place that I like to hang out.'

(on challenge of playing against a coach with NFL experience...)

'I think it's a great challenge. We saw a little of that last week with Coach Crowton and BYU. These kind of battles are fun to me. It's interesting when you play in the NFL in the same division and play the same team two or three times, you come to understand the relationships with other coaches because you battle with them so much. I know that June has always given me problems.'

(on ability of wide receiver Mike Williams to take over a game...)

'I think going into the first game this year was big for Mike based on all the hype he was getting. He could have gone out there and only caught one ball and not have had a big game, but he had a good night. That was probably the most difficult game he will have all year because of the buildup before the game. He came back and practiced really well. You can tell his confidence was different. It was a hard game for him going in and now he can put all of that behind him and start playing football. He missed a bit of the BYU game, but in the second half of the game I think you saw his real confidence. I don't think there was anytime last year that I felt the same as I do now. He knows the offense real well and a little maturation has taken place. Fortunately, he has gotten off to a good start and I am hoping he will keep going.'

(on how a receiver of Williams' size can change the game...)

'I mentioned this awhile back when I talked about facing Randy Moss and the Minnesota Vikings. You could just tell there was something different going on. It was a preseason game and I remember he only had a catch or two in the first half. We went into halftime and told the team that he is a special player and to look out for him. Sure enough, the first play in the second half was a 60-yard touchdown pass to him. Mike is just so physical. It's like playing against Reggie Williams at Washington. He is so much bigger than the other guys and there is speed and talent to go along with that size. There is a different factor on the field. I think it's clear that he is oversized and can do things because of that.'

(on playing against passing teams early that will help playing against the same type of teams in the Pac-10...)

'In the long run, it will help. We are forced to really emphasize our coverage in the rush and mixture of pressures and zones. We have to get ready or we will get whipped. The contrast from Auburn to BYU was a great contrast in style. Hawaii is more like BYU than anything else. Hawaii also has a unique style that most people do not play with bits and pieces of June Jones' concepts. We have to work on playing against four receivers and focus on our substitution package defenses. There is a different kind of stretch on your defense when you play that style all day long. It will definitely help us.'

(on Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang...)

'I think he's a terrific player. He has great accuracy, resourceful and can make things happen out of the pocket. He is very adept at getting the football out of his hands and don't let you rush him. The style is such that he can avoid the rush with his series of quick passes. We know that June has used the shotgun in this offense to help the quarterback avoid the rush. He really understands the offense well.'

(on facing Chang in his first game this season...)

'I don't think it's a huge advantage. He may come out hot as a pistol, which I know they are counting on. He still has to get his first game under his belt. It didn't slow their offense last week.'

(on coaching at the collegiate level compared to the NFL...)

'There is no question that there is a difference. The best way I can categorize it, after the draft when you bring in your new free agents and rookies, they follow you around and want to learn new information. That is what the college players are like. There is a different level of enthusiasm. We see that throughout the ranks of the players we have. It's exciting to coach in that element. As a coach, you want your players to do what you ask them to do. In college, you have a tremendously receptive group. It's very refreshing. I think you are able to affect more people. I think it's really a wonderful part of this level.'

(on key for better running attack...)

'Well, more yards would be good. We have to find some consistency, we haven't done that yet. In the first couple of games, we have played three or four guys and that's not helping our consistency. We are going to continue to develop our guys because we want to see how they fit together and what is the best mixture. In the next two weeks, we need to come to a decision. The overall thing is we need to come together and be more consistent. BYU gave us problems and we didn't handle it well. We just have to get back to business and get on course with our running game. We need to find balance especially to help our young quarterback.'

(on inability to control BYU tight end Daniel Coats last week...)

'The three times that we were right in position to make an interception, we should have at least knocked down the ball. We went for three picks and didn't get them and he caught all three of them. All three of those plays alone would have changed the course of what he did. It wasn't where we were positioned or the calls, guys went for interceptions and didn't get them. It's a matter of making the right decision. I like the mentality, but you have to knock the ball down. I don't think it's a major problem. I promise you, the tight end will not make a catch this weekend (note: Hawaii does not utilize a tight end in their offense.'

(on play of punter Tom Malone...)

'Tom has been kicking the ball a mile. Midway through camp, he has worked a lot with our special teams coach Dennis Slutak. Tom has great potential. He's kicking the ball well and feels confident. He mishit a ball in each of the first two games, but it worked out well. He needs a long field to pound the football and we gave him some chances against BYU. He has extended that range. Hopefully, he can keep it going. He had two magnificent kicks in crunch time in the fourth quarter. Whenever you have to kick after a safety, it's often that the punter mishits the kick because it's out of the normal rhythm and he bombed that ball. That's another nice little phase that Tom has shown in his game.'

(on play of linebacker Lofa Tatupu...)

'He is doing really well in the huddle. He is a gifted football player and has great instincts. He didn't play as well in the BYU game in his pass protection so he has a lot of improvement to gain. We are really encouraged by him. He is absolutely in control. I don't think until he has been around for a while that he will be a true field general. He is trying to feel his way around and I think that's understandable.'

(on Heisman talk about Hawaii's Timmy Chang...)

'I think it's warranted. A guy has a huge year like he did, he deserves all the attention he is getting. He has a chance to put up huge numbers. They have the necessary ingredients coming back and confidence in the system. He is deserving.'

Hawaii Head Football Coach June Jones

(talking about bouncing back after 62-7 loss to USC during the 1999 season...)

'We have come a long way. I think that game kind of made it for us to get our rear ends kicked. We had a sellout crowd and everyone was excited. As coaches, we won the team over in the film session the next day. It was probably the best thing that happened to us. I realize that there was no one on this year's team that was in that game. All in all, everything works out.'

(talking about experience from first game this season...)

'We have a long way ago. We didn't do a good job of protecting our quarterback considering that there was probably not one Appalachian State player that could play on USC's defense. We have a real task at hand. Defensive, we have some talent, but we are still not assignment perfect yet. I wish we had two or three games under our belt before playing a game like this, but we have to step it up and get it done this week.'

(talking about quarterback Timmy Chang's one-game NCAA suspension...)

'It was unusual. We had a computer system that was unable to give our grades in time for the bowl game. We had a game on the 25th and the computers were inundated and could not get grades until the 29th. We instilled a rule that's used around the country where we use the grades from the previous semester and declared two or three players ineligible based on those grades. It ended up that when we finally the grades a week after the game, Timmy had one incomplete, which he made up and got a B in the class, but theoretically he was ineligible for a week. If we would have known ahead of the game, we would have had him make it up. We were unaware of it. It was unfortunate for him, but it will make him better in the long run.'

(talking about Timmy Chang's ability in the run-and-shoot offense...)

'Well, he is an interesting guy. He has tremendous vision and feel for the game. He has grown a lot in the last couple of years and is much tougher. He has an unbelievable quick release. When you get right next to him and he would get the ball out. He has a good feel and understanding for what we are doing. I think we threw 650 passes in his freshman year at four receivers. He saw everything and we only gave up 10 sacks and a lot of that was because of Timmy, seeing blitzes and getting the ball out.'

(talking about USC...)

'This USC team may be the most well-coached team that I have seen in my four or five years at Hawaii. They remind me of the excellence that NFL teams have. They don't beat themselves, they execute their schemes in all three phrases of the game. They are just well coached. They have a diverse defensive scheme, letting the kids play. Offensively, Norm Chow has done a great job of helping the quarterback. He gives them a system, sort of a 1-2-3 deal, where they can get the ball to kids and have success.'

(talking about coaching against Pete Carroll in the NFL...)

'We had some great battles. We came into the league about the same time. I remember I was with Jerry Glanville at the time and talked to Pete about coming over as a coordinator, but he ended up staying in Minnesota. I went to Detroit and competed against each other as coordinators there. When I got to Atlanta, he got the head job with the New York Jets. We have seen each other many times. I am sure he is not going to be surprised about anything that we do and I feel like I have a good handle in terms of the scheme he uses, but he always seems to throw in a new wrinkle every time we play them...something that we haven't seen.'

(talking about staying in Los Angeles this week before next week's game at UNLV...)

'We have not done that here before. When I was with the Falcons and we played against the Rams and the 49ers on the West Coast, we used to stay here so I have just used the same format. We have school involved so we are bringing some academic advisors on this trip. I think it kind of bonds you as a team and hopefully we will play well on Saturday at the Coliseum. Usually when you are together this long, you build the chemistry you need to win close games.'

(talking about taking advantage of some of BYU's success against the Trojans last week...)

'We didn't have a tape exchange, so we saw it on television. It looked like they were similar to things that BYU has done. All in all, we are kind of practicing against the schemes that they have shown all of last year.'

(talking about working at the college level...)

'I loved my experience in the NFL. It was my life for 20 years. I don't take anything away. The experience is you have to do what you have to do and make decisions or compromise who you are. The money and the free agency has changed some things. You are probably more of a psychologist in the pro level. I really love my stay here and I do have a great group of kids. I don't believe we have one bad kid on this team. I think that is a sign of that because you are the head coach, you can kind of recruit who you want to recruit and don't have to compromise things. That is what I have been able to do.'

(talking about pressure for Timmy Chang of being a Heisman candidate and breaking stereotypes as an Asian-American player...)

'I told him that I think he will become the all-time passing leader in the history of college football if he stays healthy. From that standpoint, he does have a chance to win the Heisman. Does that put pressure on him? Yeah, it does. Like I told him, if he feels any pressure now...wait until he becomes an NFL quarterback. This will make him better. You are only as good as your last game and you have to learn how to fight through adversity. I think he will be able to do that. I think he has some great skills. Since our whole population here in Hawaii has an Asian influence, I don't have any feeling one way or another because that is what we are used to here. It probably is a bigger deal when we go to a city like Los Angeles and he is the only Asian quarterback in the league.'

(talking about Timmy Chang's ability to take over a game...)

'The first year, I thought he did play through some tough times. I had a talk with him before the start of last year what he needed to do in order to grow as a player. He got up off the turf with a knee ligament injury in the second quarter against Cincinnati last year and told me he would be out for three weeks. He went into the locker room, put on a knee brace and came out in the fourth quarter and threw a touchdown to win the game. Last year, at Fresno State, we won the first game ever there in the program's history and on fourth and six late in the game, he stood in the pocket and waited for the right time to deliver the game-winning pass. He has grown as a player and learned to compete. He has gotten tougher and those are the things he has to do. He has to become a better overall player and if he does that, he's got a great future.'

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