March 30 Press Conference - Players (3-30-04)
Senior Defensive Tackle Jodie Clemons:
On his senior leadership heading into spring practice:
JC: "I have been in a leadership role for a couple of years now. Guys have been looking up to me to make the plays and to encourage the rest of the guys. It's my job to come out and motivate the guys and play better."
On the number of players on this year's team compared to teams of the past:
JC: "It's nice to not have to rely on our starters to do everything. On special teams, especially, we now have guys who can step up and fill in whenever we need it. It is also nice for me, because playing defensive line, you have to have depth at that position because it is so physical."
On the addition of a new defensive coordinator:
JC: "I am extremely happy because they hired my defensive line coach as coordinator. He [Joe Cullen] is still the same guy. He is still going to yell and scream. He is still going to root for us when we make a play, and he will still be there to get on us when we make a bad play. Coach Cullen brings a new theme to the defense as a whole. I think it is great because he knows how to motivate us as players and as individuals in the classroom."
On his off-season conditioning:
JC: "For me, this year was the toughest conditioning for me. I am at the largest point in my career. Now, with guys coming in and working extremely hard, it gives us a chance to be a better team. It was hard for us because you can't expect to do the same things and have the same results. We have been working harder to raise the bar from last year."
Senior Wide Receiver Courtney Roby:
On having his third different receiving coach while playing at IU:
CR: "A positive thing that can come out of this is different thoughts and philosophies. These news thoughts can add to your game and improve you as a player. Coach [Bob] McConnell is a very hard-nosed coach and one that demands the best from his players. As a player, you wouldn't want anything but that if you want to be the best."
On how running track has helped him improve:
CR: "Track has helped me tremendously. I have not run track since my last year of high school. When I first started, my form was off. With the help of the coaches, I have managed to get that back. Just running up against world-class sprinters has helped me a lot. It was hard at first doing both track and winter conditioning for football, but in the end, I know running track will help me out."
On the team improving its pass efficiency:
CR: "Last spring, Coach DiNardo emphasized the run game, and obviously that paid off going into the fall. This spring, we're going to emphasize the pass game, and hopefully, we'll have the same results. Everybody just needs to be on the same page and do what the coaches ask and everything will be alright."
On how tough the off-season conditioning was and how it has helped him:
CR: "I think it was more difficult for me because I had to go straight from track practice to football conditioning. I was running four hours a day, non-stop. It's definitely going to benefit. One thing Coach has emphasized is we're going to be the best-conditioned team out there. If guys just buy into it and do what they have to do, we'll definitely be alright."
On the change in 7 on 7 this winter:
CR: "We basically did that after winter conditioning workouts. With our numbers up, we had to actually run two games. That was different than how we did it in the past. In the past, we basically had just one game, with the one's and two's. Now we have like three and four deep, so we have to run more than one game at a time. We definitely benefited because everybody got more reps. I think that is really the only change we made."
Senior Safety Herana-Daze Jones
On his conditioning during the winter:
HJ: "My numbers are up this season. My bench-press is back up to 350 pounds. I feel much better heading into spring practice this year than in years past. Overall, I am pretty healthy heading into practice."
On his thoughts about new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen:
HJ: "Coach Cullen is a great guy and a great coach. I love playing for him. I respect him very much. You can always expect that Coach Cullen will give you 100 percent effort. Some people might not like a coach that yells at you for doing wrong. All the guys I have been around know that Coach Cullen will yell at you when you do something wrong, yet he will be the first person to tell you that you did a great job. It is real easy to play for a guy that you have a ton of respect for. I am passionate about playing for him."
On where the team should be after spring practice:
HJ: "Other than being healthy, my goal is that we will be a smarter football team. Everybody gets stronger, everybody gets faster, but where we can improve the most is knowing what we are supposed to do and where we are supposed to be. I hope we will play smarter and be better students of the game, and if we do so, we will be a much better team."
On the benefits of having had a year of experience at safety:
HJ: "I think it will benefit me a lot. It is all about being comfortable at a certain position. Safety is a tough position to play. The hard thing for me last year was I was the last line of defense. When you play linebacker, you always have someone backing you up. Playing safety, you have to be very confident, cool and poised. Being more comfortable and getting better at my technique will help me out a lot this year."
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