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By: Associated Press
Jon Embree Tuesday Press Conference Quotes
Release: October 18, 2011
By: CUBuffs.com
Untitled Document

On What Makes Oregon Tough To Stop
“Oregon, it is not just their offense, it is their whole team. The thing that jumps out about them is their speed. They have great speed at all of their skill positions. They do a tremendous job of making you defend the whole field, vertically and horizontally. They run essentially option football and so you have to be assignment conscience and we have to be very disciplined on defense to limit big plays and try to force them into situations where we can have the upper hand on the defensive side.”

On If He Sees Much Difference Between Oregon’s LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner
“No, and no disrespect to LaMichael, he’s a great back, but Oregon is at the point where they put in some guys like that and they keep the production up. I believe they had almost the same amount of yardage (last week) as their average was. I think Barner had about 170 yards, and that is about what they average per game and LaMichael was averaging. Not a big drop off.”

On If He’s Ever Experienced This Many Injuries To A Team
“No I have not. Injuries are part of it and I just figure that at some point it is going to even out for us. Unfortunately, it will not be this year. At the same time, we did some things early in camp – whether it was scrimmaging guys and knowing the nature of our schedule without a bye, it was important that we were ready to play and had guys that were in a situation that had some kind of comfort level when they got thrown into a game. We have played 13 freshmen. I met with the freshmen yesterday, I told them that I was proud of them and how they have handled this because some of the guys have had to burn their redshirt a little later than you would probably like, like a Woodson Greer. Malcolm Creer is looking at that, but at the same time they are excited about playing and they were prepared. Woodson has played well when he’s been thrown in there so late into the season. I’m proud of those guys, and it’s part of the game, but that is ok. We just keep competing and keep fighting and that is one of the things that I talked to the team about, ‘The other team is not going to feel sorry for you, so we’re not either. We are going to go out and compete. We are going to go out there and whoever is representing the University of Colorado on the field, do it to the best of your abilities. Play with great effort and we’ll see what happens.’”

On Someday Getting His Team To The Level That Oregon Is At
“Yes, someday, but today I just want to get to where we know who we have. (Oregon head coach) Chip (Kelly) has done a great job. I know Chip and Chip has done a very good job and he has molded that team into his personality. He’s got them playing at a high level. It is that time of the year with the BCS stuff starts coming out and they’re a team that you have to keep an eye because obviously if they keep winning and with their schedule and what they’ve done and the nature of our conference, their strength of schedule should be good enough to where they will be talked about at the end. They are a program where someday, what they are playing for in terms of their stakes, you would like to have happen here.”

On Preparing For Oregon’s Fast Paced Game
“I don’t know what it was a year ago, but they do play at a fast paced. We do have a plan, I think everyone in the country does the same thing when they play them – they have two offenses going at once so you get used to that pace. At the same time, until you actually get to the game and get into the game speed, there will still be a little bit of an adjustment, probably early in the game and then you’ll get used to it. That is how we’ll do it, I’m sure that is how a lot of teams around the country do it that way, but they always play fast.”

On If He Is Going To Prepare For Both Oregon Quarterbacks
“No, you prepare for their scheme. Both of those quarterbacks are very good at what they do, it doesn’t matter. It is not like one does something well and the other does something different. They both run very well and they are both good in the passing game.”

On If Colorado Will Ever Have An Innovative Offense Like Oregon
“We’ll always be a pro-style offense. There will be certain components of what they do, that we would sprinkle in. Again, with the nature of where we are as a program, we can’t do that. We are at a different point, we are trying to install the competitiveness, the physicalness, those different things that I feel are important for our program to take the next step, and then as we grow and as our depth grows at other positions we can start doing those things. We tried the zone read one play this year – fumbled. We are not ready for that yet, we just have to keep building and staying focus on what our vision and what our plan is. I think sometimes when you struggle, if you deviate from your plan and vision, what ends up happening is you end up setting yourself back. I understand it, it is not ideal right now, but I am still happy about some of the things that we have accomplished. I still feel great about the direction that we are going with our younger guys, I do feel good about the way things are going from a recruiting standpoint so we have to keep our eye, as we build this, on building it the right way, and not trying to go and trying to find some short term success at the expense of the overall vision of the program.”

On If He Is Tempted At All To Try and Mirror Oregon
“No, I am not tempted at all. I don’t know if stubborn is the word, but I believe in what we are trying to do and we are recruiting to that. I believe that what we are doing and how we are doing it, will give us a chance to be successful in this conference. It is unfortunate that it is not happening sooner than later, but one of the things I told the team when I first got hired is, ‘What we are going to ask from you is going to be hard, but it will be worth it.’ I have to remember that that is for me too, not just the team. I understand that it is not how we all would like it to be on October 18, but as we continue to build and grow with this, I believe it is going to pay dividends.”

On Keeping The Defense’s Spirits Up
“I tell them to focus on today and then focus at the task at hand. It is what it is. We can’t control that, we have to worry about what we can control. That is effort, that is being assignment sound, that is playing as fast as we can play and that is when an opportunity comes to make a play, try and do it. You are not going to get, ‘Woe is me,’ and I’m not going to let the guys on the team walk around and sulk about it either. We have a great opportunity this week. We get to play Oregon, and that is how we have to look at it.”

On What The Defense Can Do To Be Assignment Sound This Week
“Practice. All we can do is practice. From assignment sound, it was more technique. Sometimes we would get caught in a situation of just trying to do our job, instead of knowing how to do our job. We have to be better technique wise, and again, just turn it loose. I think sometimes you get to where you don’t want to make a mistake. You are never going to play a perfect game. You are going to make mistakes and you can still have success, so let’s do if full speed ahead instead of making mistakes going at half speed.”

On The Linebacker Position and Maybe Moving Some Freshmen Up
“No, I don’t know. We are going to look at that. There are a couple of different things that I’m sure we are going to evaluate with coach (Greg) Brown and coach (Brian) Cabral to try and get the best 11 out there, but we haven’t settled on what we are actually going to do.”

On Possibly Pulling Malcolm Creer’s Redshirt In A Game
“We told him that we are bringing him up and we are preparing him. If it happens, it happens. If the situation presents itself where he doesn’t have to do it, then that is what we’ll do. He is all for it, we have had good conversations with him and he is excited about the opportunity.”

On Trying To Keep Malcolm Creer’s Redshirt
“Yeah, I believe that is what you try to do, but at the same time, I don’t know how long Speedy (Rodney Stewart) is out, hopefully it is not very long, but who knows. So you have to prepare him and at some point you have to decide to get him in there so that he has some game action, so maybe his first time isn’t in there in a disaster situation. Those are all different things that we have to look at as a staff. I trust (offensive coordinator) Eric (Bieniemy) and his judgment and like I said, Malcolm is all in. So we’ll see what happens.”

On Injury Update
“Shawn Daniels, I don’t think so. Daniel Munyer, possibly. P-Rich (Paul Richardson), probably not. Travis Sandersfeld, could be. Josh Hartigan, yes.”

On If The ‘Blueprint’ Is Clear On How To Beat Oregon
“This team hasn’t been beaten much, so I don’t know if there is a ‘blueprint’ out there. We feel good about our game plan and what we have set up is going to give us a chance. We’ll be huge underdogs, but that is alright. It is really a matter of us focusing on us. The team, we need to handle us and do what we are supposed to do and what we are capable of doing and then see what happens. You can’t get caught up in Oregon and all of the other stuff that they do. We have to make sure that we are focused on us and focused on the things that we need to do. Everybody has tried a lot of different things to beat them. I think when you look at the teams that have beaten them, they have done what their identity is, what they are about better than what Oregon did and what they were about. That is how you beat Oregon, you have to do what you do better than what they do. To say there is a blueprint out there, I haven’t seen one yet, I guess I will have to Google it.”

On If His Team Can Be More Physical Up Front
“I’ll have to answer that one on Saturday. I don’t know. Will Pericak and Conrad (Obi) and Curtis (Cunningham), Nick Kasa, they have their work cut out, so we’ll see if we can do it for 60 minutes and get after them. They do a great job, you can say ‘Beat them up,’ but Auburn and LSU also ran with them. You are not going to play you in a phone booth. You can’t say that you are going to beat them up and play between the hashes. You have 53 yards of width that you have to try and defend with them. And they try and create one-on-one matchups and put you in a situation where if you make a mistake, with they’re speed it’s over, the band is playing. You have to be very technique sound and assignment sound. Those teams, they got them physical, but they were able to run with them too.”

On How Much Faster Is Oregon
“Oregon can beat Jon Embree. I have lost a couple of steps. As far as the Buffaloes, I don’t know. I’ll race Chip (Kelly), we can settle it that way.”

On What Is The Team’s Identity Now
“We still want to be able to try to run the ball. We show flashes every game. Offensively, we show flashes every game of being able to run it. We need to get consistency. Our identity hasn’t developed because we haven’t been consistent on what we want to do. We flash, whether it is a quarter or a half, we have to get better at that. We took a stop back in our pass protection. We were sacked five times or something like that last week and I thought we had been doing pretty well on that front. Right now, for our identity, it is really about consistency and what we are trying to do, be it run the ball, be it play physical. I thought we took a step back tackling last week a little bit. Part of it could be because guys are beat up, you maybe don’t go in there with the same intensity as you do when you are feeling good. We have to continue to stay the course, we have to continue to work on getting better and work on being consistent. That is the first step in a program I think is have consistency in what you do, then wins come and then through recruiting, you improve to where you are winning consistently, not just winning here-and-there. Then you get to a point where you have a different mindset, a different set of confidence and then you have a chance to play for championships.”

Of If There Is A Tendency To Not Go As Hard In Practice If The Team Is Playing 13 Straight Games
“No, we have to go. When you are dealing with college athletes, there is a fine line of not going because as I told you, if we don’t work on tackling or work on certain fundamentals in blocking and technique, we are not guys that are going to show up and all of a sudden do it on Saturday. So you have to keep work it, and unfortunately some of the things that you have to work and improve on, there is no easy way around it. Yeah, we don’t have some things that might help us, but we knew that coming into the season. The way we practice, we are not full pads this week, but we’ll be in shells and practicing at full speed. We won’t necessarily be cut blocking like we did last week, but you can’t shut it down and say, ‘We’ll let’s get them there Saturday,’ and you get there on Saturday and you can’t run, block or tackle.”

On Appealing To The Team’s Pride With Being An Underdog
“I don’t feel like I have to appeal to my team’s pride. I feel that they have enough pride in what they do. They have enough professionalism, so to speak, to understand that they have to show up and compete. When you are a competitor, it doesn’t matter, you go there and do the best you can and you do it at the maximum effort. That is what you do as a competitor, that is what you do when you have pride in the fact that your representing a program that your family is watching, your friends are watching. If you don’t have enough in you to go and compete, then shame on me for letting you stay on this team. I felt like our staff, we have done a good job, I feel like our leadership council has done a good job of keeping things going the right direction and looking forward to the next game. We had a good practice yesterday. I expect to have a good practice today. I expect it to be a lot of energy. I told the coaches that we are going to be up-tempo in everything that we do and keep getting after it. Like I said, there is no, ‘Woe is me,’ it is what it is and let’s go, let’s go play. Some of these guys only have six chances to ever play football again. As an ex-football player, as an ex-athlete, you will miss that day when you don’t get to compete. You will miss that day when you can’t play anymore. If that is not enough to go out there and play your heart out, then you probably shouldn’t have been here in the first place.”

On If He Is Seeing Any Improvement
“I do in different areas. I have seen improvement, but again, getting all of the improvement in the right areas in one game. That is what we need to do. I think offensively, we did some good things last week. Again, the running game was moving in the right direction. We had some opportunities that we missed early, I think we were pressing a little bit in the stand point that we were struggling on the other side, feeling like you had to do it every time you had the ball. I think some things uncharacteristically done on the offensive side, but when we settled down and just played, I thought we did a pretty good job. I have seen improvement on that side of the football and in a few areas; if we didn’t have as many sacks, that would have made me feel a little bit better. Defensively, we took a step back. We are getting better at penalties. Our coverage units are getting better at special teams. You can see where having more starts is showing up, but we are also getting some guys dinged too, but you have to do it now. Yes, there are small – I don’t want to say victories – but there are weekly improvements, there are.”

On If TB Tony Jones Hits The Hole Faster Than Rodney Stewart
“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought or looked at it from that stand point. Sometimes too, it is the play that is called. A running back, they all have their different styles and uniqueness to it, so I don’t think you can pigeon hole into certain things. I did think he ran hard between tackles. He did a great job on the touchdown to not stick it out there early. It would have been a natural thing to do, especially when you see the end zone view and you see what he sees. When you see the hole open, you almost kind of want to jump through it and get the ball across the goal line as quickly as possible, and he did a great job in being patient, getting behind his pads and then finishing his run and getting the ball across. His second touchdown too was good as well.

On If Him And OC Eric Bieniemy Have Talked About A Running Back Rotation
“No, we haven’t discussed that. That is probably something we’ll talk about on Thursday after we get a better feel for how guys practiced and what kind of game it is going to be. We’ll discuss the rotation a little more than. How tired Tony gets will probably have some bearing on it.”

On Why WR Jarrod Darden And TE DaVaughn Thornton Haven’t Seen More Game Action
“Jarrod is just not traveling, he is just not in the wide receiver rotation. DaVaughn, we are looking to use him more in a receiver type role. He is obviously playing on (special) teams. We’ve done some stuff with him. DaVaughn we need him to gain a little weight. I think right now he is 214 (pounds).. Some of the things you have to do with him to help him, you are kind of limited a little bit in that aspect so we are going to use him as more of a bigger receiver type. I think eventually he will be ok. I’m not down on him; it is just the nature of some of the games, the nature of some of the personnel, it hasn’t fallen for him. Jarrod, he is just not in the rotation right now. I think we have six guys, and he is not in that group yet.”

On How Important It Is To ‘Set The Edge’ Defensively Against Oregon
“It is because if you don’t, they’ll run around you. Some of it is not just the defensive ends when we don’t get the edge set sometimes. That has got to be priority number one against these guys because they will take it and run around a corner and they do a good job. Their receivers do a very good job on the perimeter blocking. They really do. They get after you, they take a lot of pride in their down-the-field blocking, they’ll cut you, they’ll stay up, they do a good job in mixing that and so you can’t assume that your secondary support is going to be the answer if you are not doing a good job of setting the edge. That is obviously something that we have to do a good job this week in practice of, getting that simulated and getting our ends, our linebackers, our safeties, whoever it might be that is responsible for it.”

On If Setting The Edge Is A Matter Of Being Physical
“Sometimes it is. Sometimes it is the other guy just blocked you and sometimes it’s technique. Sometimes we are mismatched and we get swallowed up and that is how they get the edge. We’ll move our guys some to help them out to, so they are just not lining up.”

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