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Jon Embree Tuesday Press Conference Quotes
Release: October 04, 2011
By: CUBuffs.com
Untitled Document

On Stanford QB Andrew Luck Calling Some Of His Own Plays
“(Stanford head coach) David (Shaw) let him run some of his own plays last week. He does a good job. I mentioned earlier that sometimes you let kids call their own plays and you start raining footballs by throwing deep passes all the time, and he did a good job in staying with the offense and understanding what the game plan was to attack UCLA. He is probably the best player in college football.”

On Stanford QB Andrew Luck
“I don’t know about that. Watching him last year when I got here and watching the throws that he can make. He throws on his feet which basically mean he throws when his feet tell him to throw. So if it is a five-step drop, once his fifth step hits, he is getting the ball out or he is going through his progressions, you can tell that. He runs well, he runs better than people think and he has great size, he is a big kid. I don’t know if you have seen him in person, but you’re like, ‘wow, he is a big kid.’ He has all of the things you look for and then if you talk about the intangibles, him being at a school like Stanford and what he does academically and then the overall grasp of the offense and what they ask him to do makes him a pretty complete package.”

On The Benefit Of Having A Young Quarterback Redshirt For A Season
“I can’t speak to that as far as Tyler (Hansen). I think anytime you redshirt, I think anytime you can go into the league and sit and watch, like an Aaron Rodgers, I think it just helps in that quarterback position. It helps you see things when you are not on the field. It gives you a chance to learn and see what is going on and learn and get reps without actually being thrown into the fire. So any time as a quarterback you can do that, great, but there are also times when you are the best guy, and you have to go, like a Sam Bradford. I’m sure he would have benefited from watching and being able to learn, but he’s been thrown into it and has done a good job, but it kind of goes with it, you get beat up too sometimes. It is a fine line.”

On Not Trying To Build Up Stanford And Andrew Luck
“No, I’ve been honest the whole time with these guys. I believe it, he is, but that also doesn’t mean that he can’t be beat, he has been beat. I think it is important to understand who you are going against and everything that I’ve said about the kid is true and it is validated over time anytime you watch him play. He is a very good player.”

On Embracing The Underdog Role
“No, we are just going to keep preparing and go out there and do the best that we can.”

On The Challenges Ahead In The Pac-12 Conference
“There are not easy breaks in the Pac-12. Every week you have to bring it.”

On How The Team Has Rallied From Last Saturday’s Lost
“I’m not going to speak about the team. I’ll let you ask those guys because every time I say something, it is construed in a different manner. I’ll let them tell you how they feel and how they are rallying. We are just going to keep preparing for Stanford.”

On His Mindset This Week
“Ready to get back to it. That is the nice thing about not having a bye; you get to have another opportunity instead of sitting out for a week.”

On How To Defend The Stanford Offense
“Well, you have to stop the run first. I think that is the misnomer with having Andrew Luck, you think you have to go in there and stop the pass. If you don’t go in there and stop their run, look out. They are a power running team. They are a very physical team. They want it to be a street fight and I don’t think people out there who don’t really watch them or go against them realize that. It is a street fight when you play them. If you don’t have that mindset, they will run you out of the stadium. He’ll throw four passes. You have to stop the run and try and make them unbalanced. When he is throwing it, you have to do a good job of tackling and containing their tight ends, they make big plays down the field. You have to make sure that they can’t hit you quickly. I watched the UCLA game, third quarter opening drive, two plays and all of a sudden it was a touchdown. They open the game, 16 plays, 99 yards. They can do it both. You have to do good tackling, you have to put pressure on them when the situation presents itself, and you have to stop them running power.”

On The Changes From Jim Harbaugh To David Shaw
“No, it seems to be the same. I think David probably didn’t get as much credit as he deserved for what he did while Harbaugh was there. His fingerprints were all over it. The two had a great relationship; they think the same way, so it is just continuing on.”

On If He Talked To His Son About Stanford
“Spoke with him, just to tell him happy birthday, but I didn’t ask his opinion.”

On If Stanford Is Still A Program He Would Like To Emulate
“Yes it is because what they do up front with their guys, how they run the ball and still be able to get the ball downfield, how they use their tight ends. We are trying to recruit some guys in here to use in that manner and how they have the ability to still use their receivers too. It is a program that I have always admired from a distance, since Tyrone (Willingham) was there. If I was building a program, I would want to build it in a similar manner.”

On Rodney Stewart And Other Players’ Play On Special Teams
“He (Rodney Stewart) played a lot of plays. He returned kicks. Doug Rippy played a lot, Jon Major played a lot, there are a lot of starters that play a lot of plays and we’ll have to spell them some during the regular part of the game because we won’t take them off of (special) teams. I thought our (special) teams were dramatically improved and we will continue to work those guys and keep make that area more of a strength than a weakness that it has been. Those guys, I hand it to them, they stepped up and wanted to play and they went out there and it wasn’t just lip service. They did a good job on (special) teams.”

On Tyler Hansen Stepping Up With Him Playing Another Great Quarterback
“I expect Tyler to play well, I do. Tyler, he’s our leader. I love Tyler, I think he has a great grasp of the offense, I like his thought process and when he does certain things and I think his teammates feel the same way about him. I expect Tyler to play well, I do.”

On What Conversion Rate He Wants His Defense To Make On Third Down
“I think part of it depends on what the length of the third downs are. If it is third-and-short, you are not going to have a good percentage, but I think you want to be in that 35 percent range of getting off the field.”

On What His Team Needs To Do Better To Get To The 35 Percent
“Part of it is tackling, there has been times where the guy has caught the ball short and we missed a couple of tackles. That happened a few times on Saturday. And then we just have to be better of getting off of blocks when it is a run situation. We are spread thin, so we have guys all over the place and sometimes that contributes. As coaches, we have to be better of giving our guys opportunities to get off the field.”

On Injuries
“I know it sounds cliche but I’ll know Thursday. I don’t know who is in and who is out.”

On Why His Team Has Taken So Many Penalties This Season
“I don’t know. We have to be better as a staff.”

On If As A Coach He Is Tired Of Early Standings And Polls
“I would just like to get in the standings and then worry about it. I think in college football it would be nice to not do any until October in a perfect world, but I don’t see that changing. By October, you know who is good, who is not, you have a good idea of the nature of the schedule and all of that because once you start at a certain level, whether it is too high or too low, often times it is too hard to move up or necessarily move down. Then it becomes style points and other things. I think what hurts our conference is as soon by the time a game is over, people are already in bed. People probably went to bed when it was halftime, and they get up in the morning, see the score, maybe vote before they go to bed. It is what it is. The beauty of it is that most teams control their own destiny.”

On The Difference Between Playing At Home And On The Road
“We seem to be tentative playing early on.”

On Maintaining Belief In His Vision For The Program
“You’ve just got to believe in your plan and keep contact with your players, making sure they are on board. You can’t lower your standard. You’ve just got to keep doing it with recruiting and getting guys that can fit you system. As you start winning, your program and your players start developing confidence and then it just kind of takes itself over. When you have a really good team, they take over a lot of internal issues that you don’t deal with as the head coach; you don’t have as many things pop up per se when you’re winning, when guys are on the same page, when guys have the same goals. You’re just basically getting them to the game safely and letting them do their thing. When you get to that point, you’re one of the best programs.”

“The guys on this team, the core guys, have the same vision and have the same desires so that makes it easier.”

On DB Brian Lockridge’s First Game On Defense
“We told him in front of the team, ’They are going to complete passes on you. It might be in a critical situation, you might even have some touchdown passes on you. Who cares? We’ve got your back.’ I don’t think he went out there feeling any pressure to be Deion Sanders or anything. He did well, he did. He did a good job of tackling. He made mistakes at times, but we all did. I was proud of him, but he didn’t surprise me; I expected it out of him.”

On The Performance Of Players Who Switched Positions
“I was pleased with all those guys. Tyler Ahles, I was pleased with how he played. You know, he’s a fullback coming over playing defensive end and giving us snaps. There are a lot of selfless guys on this team and those guys, it’s important to them. When it’s important to you, you will generally play well. I feel those guys all did admirable. I was encouraged by them, I really was.”

On Selflessness Of Team
“I think we have a lot of selfless guys on this team and we’ll continue to build it that way because it’s about being the best team when the opportunity presents itself.”

On Brian Lockridge’s Injury Status
“We didn’t run them yesterday so with us practicing today, I’ll talk to him out there in practice so we’ll see. I wouldn’t anticipate him doing anything until Wednesday or Thursday.”

On Moments He Had As A Player Where ‘Enough Was Enough’
“We had had enough. There were a couple watershed moments as far as when I was in this program as a player. The first was playing Missouri my junior year. We were their warm-up game for Nebraska. My first two years here they beat us 59-20 and 52-7. They came out here and we had them (trailing) 35-0, I think early in the second quarter. That was kind of the first step, when you look at things to get to a championship, to do those things, I’m going to get hammered for saying this but it’s like the NFL, you have to control your division first. Before we could talk about beating Nebraska and really believing you could do it, you had to beat Missouri, Kansas, Iowa State, you had to be able to beat them so you could focus on the next hurdle, so to speak, so we did that my junior year. The next moment was actually the loss at Ohio State. That started us at 0-4; we lost three of those games by eight points combined versus Arizona and Oregon (and Ohio State), so very difficult schedule. There were some seniors, myself, Eric Coyle, Barry Remington, Solomon Wilcots, Conley Smith, Darin Schubeck who just had had enough. There was an incident at Oklahoma State, we had just beat Nebraska so we were losing at Oklahoma State and there was a guy there who had a tantrum and they somehow came out and won. I’ll let you guys guess who had the tantrum at halftime and rallied guys to get going. That’s who I’ve been and we’ll see if I can change it.”

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