Keith Gilbertson Monday Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 24, 2003

General Comments:
'I think we beat a pretty good football team [Washington State]. They are really balanced and have good athletes everywhere you look. They are a very athletic team. Beating those guys makes us feel pretty good about ourselves.'

On Cody Pickett on the last drive:
'I thought Cody was real good the last drive. Our guys gave him good protection. Another thing about the last drive was that we were just taking what they gave us. We dumped it out to our backs. We hit a slant route when they were back. We ran a few runs. There wasn't a feeling of panic. It wasn't a two-minute offense because when we got the ball, we did have more time. I thought our guys did a nice job protecting him. Cody made some real good throws. The ball he threw to Corey Williams was a real laser. He put it the only place it could have been.'

The effect of the sack on the last drive:
'The sack didn't change it as much. When it's a regular drive it affects you a lot more, because you punt after three downs. This drive was four downs for us. I'd like not to give up that sack though.'

On wanting to play a Bowl game:
'I think guys would really like to play another game. Sometimes people say its great for our young guys. Unless time is specifically carved out in practices, it doesn't help the young guys on the scout team as much. I don't know how much better a guy gets while on the scout team when he's doing somebody else's work. It's great for the young guys who are on the first or second string on our two-deep.'

On how he would sell the team to bowl committees:
'Sure. I'd say we have a prolific passing combination. I think we travel well. We've been a prominent bowl figure, not every year but for a lot of years. Those are the things I would sell. I think we have some exciting young players.'

On trying to get Reggie Williams to return next season:
'You don't do any sales job. You let him figure it out for himself, with his family. He knows what he wants to do and needs to do. His dad and I will talk this week about it.'

On which injured players might return to play in a Bowl game:
'I think Rich Alexis might be able to. The same goes for Ben Bandel. Joe Toledo and Tusi Sa'au probably will not be able to play. Owen Biddle would have some time to heal up.'

Feelings on seeing Rich Alexis play another game:
'It would be fun to see him play another game. He was on track for a big season and it was cut short about halfway through. I don't know if he'd be 100 percent. I'm just guessing we have a chance to get him back.'

Will Isaiah Stanback practice more at quarterback if there is a Bowl game:
'He's practiced at quarterback every week. Things would not change with him.'

On Terry Johnson's situation with regarding to leaving for the NFL:
'I think his mind, he's probably thinking he's ready. In his situation, I just feel like he's ready to take on the next challenge. When guys start thinking that way they should go. The worst thing is if they want to go but come back and then start thinking I should have gone. That's why I tell guys to go if they think they are ready to go.'

On Kenny James and Shelton Sampson this season:
'They complement each other. They are both good backs. Being red-shirt freshman, the way they were thrust into action, I think they did some marvelous things. I'm very pleased with their productivity. Like all young backs they have to learn to block better and hold onto the ball. They both can make guys miss. Shelton has big-time speed. I thought his touchdown run was a real nice run. He bounced outside and made a guy miss.'

Positions that will be recruited in the off-season:
'Obviously quarterback. I think you always sign a certain umber of lineman. I think safety is an issue for us that we need to address in recruiting. I'd like to sign a good balanced class. Obviously we don't need much at receiver. I don't think we will have that many spots in our class though. We need some junior college help as well. We will be very involved there. Defensively we need some guys.'

On Washington State's speed being a factor:
'I thought it was a big factor for our offense against their defense. That's why you saw more option. Option football makes them play more assignment type football on defense. That way they can't just fly around all the time. The option is a valuable commodity in college football today. It makes defenses do some things they don't want to do. I think our backs can run the option. That's not to say we don't have good receivers.'

On why everyone does not run the option:
'Not all teams have the personnel to do it. Some coordinators just run what they know best. Also, coaches don't want to risk getting their quarterback hit more.'

On the aggressiveness of the defense against both WSU quarterbacks:
'I don't think we were more aggressive when Swogger got in there. We were aggressive from start to finish. We blitzed the same amount when he was in there. We blitzed more in this game than in other games. What would we be holding back for? You have to tee it high and let it fly in that game.'

On blitzing:
'A lot of that depends on the people you have in the middle of the field and the corners and safeties you have. I heard they defensive coordinator say they wanted to blitz more but they were worried about leaving Reggie Williams and Charles Frederick in one on one coverage. There have been a lot of plays around here when Reggie has caught the ball and beaten the first defender and then gone 70 yards. If you can hold up at corner then you can pressure more. If you are nervous about it then you can't blitz as much.'

On why the defense played so different from the previous game:
'Well the game is still between the ears. We didn't practice great on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday our defensive staff decided we should go live with the scout team. It changed the whole aspect of our practice. You can't do that for 12 weeks though because you could lose a lot of guys. The kids were flying around later in the week and they still had that look in their eyes come Saturday. But, it is still in your head. I thought both teams played hard. It was a fast and aggressive game. Guys played as hard as they could play on both sides. There were some real tired guys who left that field.'

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