Willingham Monday Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 16, 2006

General Comments:
'The question that will arise for most of us, is what, exactly, the status of Isaiah Stanback is. At this time, I have no new information for you. He will go through some exams today, most likely this afternoon. They were not able to be scheduled on Sunday. As soon as we have that information, we will make it available to everyone. But, I anticipate right now, based on the limited information that we have, that he will not play this week. We will determine what the extent of the injury is, and how long he will be out of the lineup.'

On the injuries of the team:
'Well, the other injuries were minor. We don't anticipate any loss of time, but we won't know for sure until the start of practice tomorrow, the full extent of those injuries. Most of the guys, except for a couple, came back into the lineup so we anticipate that they will be fine.'

On Isaiah's impact on team's defenses:
'Anytime you have a guy that runs that fast, he puts a lot of pressure on the defense. Most people don't have on offense or defense a man who can sprint to the time of 10.48. That changes things, especially because the quarterback is the one player, in most systems, that you don't go man for man with. You hope that your schemes kind of take care of him, but you don't really try to match up man-for-man as you would if you were doing a man coverage on the receivers and/or backs. So, he is kind of the wild card. When he has that kind of speed, it can be very frightening to most defenses.'

On the team's moral:
'Well, we don't really get a chance to see them today, because today is their day off. But, we anticipate that they are down. When we lose, I would hope that they are not jumping around laughing and having a great time. I hope it means something to them. So, as anticipated, they were down. But we have some sound leadership, and by Tuesday, we will start to get some of that hurt out of us, and get ready to go. Get ready for maybe the best team that we might play this year, or might have already played, they are pretty good.'

On how the loss of Isaiah could impact the team:
'The one thing is that Isaiah's leadership will not disappear. That type of young man doesn't walk away from the program if he is hurt or injured. He will be there pushing them, building them up, and being a good leader for them. But, there is no question you miss his presence on the field. There that leadership has more impact because he does do things on the field. So, we have got to get guys to step up, whether it is by group or individual.'

On the team's performance:
'Well, when you look at that performance there a lot of areas where you can get better. We need to get better on our third down conversions, get that percentage to where it needs to be, we didn't do as well as we wanted to when preventing the run. We gave up three pass plays that were 40, 51 and 80 yards, if you eliminate those or reduce those down, then you have a winnable game. The rushing yards they had, you can not give up those types of plays and not get yourself back on the field. Those are the things that we hark on every week, such as stopping the run. If you can stop the run you make them a one-dimensional team and make them less successful. If you can eliminate their explosive plays and get them off the field after three plays, you have a chance to win it. In most cases we did not do that in this particular game.'

On giving up big plays:
'On the 80 yard reception, one of our defensive backs slipped coming across the man coverage. The other one did not take the correct angle, allowing him to cut back and there was another tremendous block on the guy that slipped and knocked him out of play.''It worries you any time that you give up big plays, I don't just want to single out Oregon State. Any time that you give up the big play, if we give up one in practice, it bothers us and concerns us. You want to eliminate those because they have such a momentous effect on the ball game. But at the same time we recognize that we are playing one of the more explosive offensive teams in the country right now. They are scoring at a pretty good rate and they are doing it quickly.'

On if Jake Locker will be considered for playing time:
'Things to look at are, what is best for the individual and what is best for the team.'

On starting Shelton Sampson in the backfield:
'No, I am pretty comfortable with our running game.'

'The difference is their ability to perform as a team. A couple of times when I played them while at Stanford, they had some outstanding talent, but it seemed as though it was individual talent. Now they have talent functioning as a team. Coach Tedford has done an outstanding job in terms of everything that they are doing and you can see it in their play. They are an explosive group both offensively and defensively.'

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