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Hawkins' Tuesday Press Conference Quotes

Courtesy: Erich Schubert, Graduate Assistant SID
Release: October 03, 2006
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By CUBuffs.com

BOULDER University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins held his weekly press conference Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center. He recapped last Saturday’s game against Missouri, as well as this week’s upcoming contest against the Baylor Bears. The following are quotes from the session:



Head Coach Dan Hawkins


ON HOMECOMING GAME–“You have an institution such as this, which has been along for a long time, that has as many distinguished graduates. From that standpoint I think it is big.”


ON ERRORS FROM LAST COUPLE WEEKS- “It’s kind off been that way for the last three weeks and you just get in a process of learning. This week we had a couple of new guys that we wanted to make some plays and didn’t, but it’s just experience and trial by fire.” 


ON IMPROVEMENT IN LAST WEEK’S GAME- “Well in reality it came down to less plays than Georgia and the score was probably greater. From that standpoint there was improvement.”


ON BAYLOR DEFENSE—“They are a pressure group. They are very good on the back end which allows them to get after you up front. They do some zone blitz things like we saw out of Missouri but they can also be a zero blitz defense and play man. From that vantage point, they have a few more wrinkles to add to it. They are a very aggressive team, they play hard, they bring a lot of pressure and their DBs are good on the back end.”


ON WHETHER CU’S START IS FRUSTRATING—“It’s never frustration for me. It’s another yearning and another desire to keep figuring out what is a way we can teach guys ways to make a play or not do something. That’s where I pour all of my energy. How can we put a guy in a situation where he can get enough experience and confidence that he knows what to do and will do it?


“When I was a junior college coach we went 1-9 in my first year there. I was quite a bit younger, but you really fall into the same trap as anybody else in another profession where you go ‘I don’t really know how to do this; I’m not very good. We stink, I stink. Maybe I should do something different.’ I pulled out a yellow pad of paper one night and I sat by the fire and probably stayed up until four or five in the morning and I wrote down every stinkin’ thing that went wrong—including when we had the sprinklers come on during practice one time. I tried to find a solution to every one of those issues. When you’re in a situation like ours, you just have to dig down and get to the very bottom of [everything].


“I’m not trying to pick on [redshirt freshman punter] Matt DiLallo, but I’m trying to put him in a situation where his anxiety level isn’t so high that he can actually catch the snap from the snapper. If I’m at Boise State, I’m trying to figure out how I can get my guy to go from a 4.5 hang time to a 5.0 hang time. So you have to recreate yourself and get down on the base level and enhance every single little element of what our guys are doing. You have to build your resume back up, you have to build your castle so to speak. That’s part of the reason I came here, I sort of dig that whole thing. That’s just being a good teacher and I was raised as a teacher.”


ON PLAYERS’ ATTITUDES—“It’s been great. When I first started coaching I had a mentor, Bob Foster, who is now coaching linebacker at Cal. I was coaching linebackers for him and he was the defensive coordinator. We were going out to practice and he said ‘Hey Hawk, make sure you work with this kid on this certain technique.’ I said ‘Coach, this must be the stupidest guy in America, because I’ve told him 1,000 times and he can’t figure it out.’ He got [in my face] and was basically spitting in my face and said ‘You must be the stupidest coach in America because if you told him 1,000 times and he still doesn’t get it, you’re a terrible teacher.’ I learned at an early age in this thing to take ultimate responsibility for what goes on.


“They [players] know that we’re digging and fighting and clawing and that we believe in them and are looking for solutions. We are finding solutions. We certainly believe in doing things in a certain way. Our kids can show up everyday and know it’s going to be a positive environment and know what to expect.”


ON IMPROVEMENT OF QB BERNARD JACKSON—“[Offensive Coordinator] Mark [Helfrich] has done a great job of being very patient with Bernard and also working toward his strengths and looking at what he does and what he can do. Clearly, in any offense your quarterback has got to be efficient. That being said, I think we are having some other guys step up. You are starting to see our O-line getting on the same page and being a little smoother as far as what they do with schemes. The efficiency of the O-line which affects the running game and the passing game has improved. It’s just a culmination of all those things moving in the same direction. We’re evolving and we’re getting there.


“Nobody has worked harder at trying to increase his knowledge and awareness of what’s going on than that guy [Jackson] I give him full credit for that. He is busting his fanny learning.”


ON PLAY OF C BRYCE MacMARTIN—“He did a nice job. Particularly because the way they [Missouri] did things, zone blitzing and whatnot, he was able to look around and figure it out. That’s the beauty of having an engineering major as your center. There are not a lot of formulas he is not going to understand. He’s got things figured out. He did a nice job of taking pressure off Bernard. And then when you have a pre-med guy playing tailback [junior Byron Ellis], you have two guys that are way smarter than any football coach ever was.”


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