Quotes From Rudy Carpenter's Weekly Press Conference

Aug. 25, 2008

On the offense going into the season opener:
'I think we're right where we should be. I think we had a pretty successful camp, it allowed a lot of the younger guys to get a lot of experience. Guys like Kyle Williams and Kerry Taylor, who needed a lot more reps than they usually get, and because guys like Chris [McGaha], Nate [Kimbrough] and even Mike [Jones] were out for long periods of time during camp, that gave guys chances to make some catches in some scrimmages and make some big plays for us. I think our offense is where it should be, our offensive line did a great job and I think the running backs we have are a good group. I think we're in a good situation right now.'

On the differences in the defense this year:
'I think our defense is a little bit faster this year. They seem to be blitzing us a lot more in camp this year than they did last year and maybe even more than they did during the season. They've been mixing it up a little bit this year too, doing some different things coverage-wise, playing a little more single safety than they usually do, moving around a lot more than they usually do with their linebackers, and their defensive backs trying to confuse you a little more. I think our defense had a great camp and hopefully can carry that over to Saturday.'

On how he has improved since last season:
'Well, obviously, it's my second year in this offense with Coach [Dennis] Erickson and Coach [Rich] Olson, so I think I have an even better grasp of the offense than I did last year and I think even more is that I have been here for awhile, so I continually learn how to prepare for games better and how to practice better. The game has slowed down a lot for me. Overall decision making, knowing when to try and make plays, when to cut my losses and throw the ball away and trusting guys to make plays around me.'

On thinking about his final year:
'I haven't spent much time thinking about it as my final year. I mean, obviously, I know it's my final year and it's weird to think about it as my last season opener, it feels like everything is the last for me. I'm sure once it gets later in the season, once we get close to Senior Night, I'll think about it a lot more, and it will be emotional for me.'

On what advice he would give to the true freshman about their first game:
'I would tell them to have as much fun as they can. I would tell them to expect to be nervous, full of emotion, real intense, but to go out there and trust what they're doing and what their coaches have been telling them, and to relax and have fun.'

On if he thought so many of the true freshmen would play this year:
'I didn't know. It's impossible to judge a way a guy plays in high school to how he's going to play in college, because there are so many variables that go into it. But once I saw this freshman class get here and I saw them compete and play in practice, especially a lot of the guys on defense with Brandon Magee, Shelly Lyons, Josh Jordan, Clint Floyd, Lawrence Guy, they can play, they compete and work hard, and they're smart, intelligent guys. On the offensive side, I figured Gerell Robinson would get a chance to play because I have had a chance to work with Gerell throughout the whole summer, and I thought he was advanced. Obviously a big surprise was James Morrison. He's a big strong running back who I think can help us this year.'

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