Quotes from Cam Cameron Weekly Press Conference
Bloomington, Ind. -- Cam Cameron will address the media each Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss the previous week's game and the upcoming games for the Hoosiers.
"We came out of the scrimmage last night healthy. We just looked at the tape. I'm actually just coming from a personnel meeting that we had with our staff. We still have some issues that we need to resolve before this afternoon's practice and before this weekend's practices start. I was pleased with the effort last night. We really haven't let up on these guys since we started back on the 13th. The first thing we did is make some personnel decisions. Secondly, it's to start getting ready for North Carolina State. And third is get our legs back underneath us. We're a little tired right now, but we should be. I don't think it's that uncommon. I came out of last night's scrimmage relatively pleased. But we still obviously are the kind of team that needs to keep getting better and better every day."
Offensively and defensively, how many starting spots are open?
"Well, you know anything can happen in this week's practice. I'll just take you through it. Quarterback wise we are right where we said we were going to be. Barring any type of injury, Tommy Jones will start the game at QB. But Antwaan will also be in the huddle, too. Our running back spot, we will be rotating probably three guys through at tailback. I don't think whether that guy starts or not really is insignificant in my mind. Jeremi Johnson will be in the lineup as a starter whether its fullback or tailback...I can tell you that. The other guys that we'll rotate through will be (Brian) Lewis, (Levron) Williams and (Rashon) Myles. You'll see all those guys play significantly. At tight end we are going to rotate (Aaron) Halterman and (Kris) Dielman. They're both gonna be treated as starters. On the offensive line, we are probably rotate six guys through. The one guy you wouldn't be familiar with would be Clay Stuart. Clay Stuart has worked himself into the top six and we're gonna treat him like a starter. He's has an excellent camp so far. Wide receiver, Courtney Roby has worked his way up as one of our top three of four receivers. And he's a freshman. Our top three or four receivers would be Roby, Frazier, Johnson and Randle El."
"On defense, in our secondary we're gonna rotate probably six guys, maybe seven guys through. Your looking at Hanley, Wallace, Watson, Northern, Bethel, Gonzalez. A.C. Carter has really moved himself up the depth chart the last few days. He just needs to continue to do that. We'll have some other secondary guys making major contributions in the kicking game. At linebacker, obviously Schaffer and Smith. Shaffer and Smith will be two of the three to start. You could see (Brandonn) Baker and Herana-Daze Jones as the next couple of guys in there at linebacker. And Deonte Smith, a true freshman, will play some outside linebacker and also some of our nickel back. Our defensive line will be pretty much as its been. It's pretty much intact. The addition there will be Jeremy Belcher has had a nice training camp. He was one of the walk-ons that we were able to put on scholarship. You'll see him playing significantly, along with Courtney Young. Other than that, that really hasn't changed a whole lot. We're gonna do some rotating at some positions, especially defensively and early in the season when it's hot. But the good news is we have several positions where you've really got more than one starter. An example of that would be at running back."
How does the secondary look? How has Sharrod Wallace improved?
"Wallace had that leg surgery this spring and he's fully recovered from that. He had a nice scrimmage last night. Michael Hanley had a nice scrimmage last night...did some really good things. Again, A.C. Carter has really moved up and now gives us a third corner. I think he can really help us. He's not the biggest guy, but he can run. Then the other guys who are all kinda working in our safety/nickel spots. You know Northern and Watson. Watson will place some corner too. He's hobbled a little bit...he'll be fine the next couple of days. He has a little turf toe injury that has hobbled him a little. He made a nice interception last night from the corner spot."
Does having cornerback Hanley back make that much of a difference?
"Well, we'll see. You'd like to think so. We knew he was a heck of a player coming out of high school. He played extremely well for us as a freshman and he should be one of those guys who just gets better, and better and better every snap he takes. Again, you're talking about a guy who is a sophomore...he is still a young guy. We expect him to just get better and better and eventually work into being a heck of a player."
About the kicking game:
"I thought our kickoffs were as maybe as good as they have been at any time since we've been here. That will be just a matter of seeing how these guys can handle the game situation. Field goals, we're not where we need to be from an accuracy standpoint. We've got plenty of length strength. I think Braucher made his first six and then missed a couple. So, we're not where we need to be on our longer field goals. Now the good news is, in the actual scrimmage part of it, we were 100% on field goals. We had that kicking part early and then we worked the kicking game into the scrimmage later and we were three for three for field goals. So there is some improvement there. And the punting game, we still have a lot of work to do just in terms of protection. But I don't think that's uncommon. With Ryan Hamre we have to develop his consistency. He can punt better than he punted last night."
About special teams:
"Well, just on our coverage teams we've got more defensive backs available to us. And the guys I didn't mention would be Floyd, Stone, those young linebackers, Herana-Daze Joens, Deonte Smith, Rashon Myles. Some of those backups that you really could almost classify as starters will be big players for us in the kicking game. That was the final part of our personnel meeting, making sure we know who is available in the kicking game. We're trying to restructure that a little bit. I like what I've seen in our coverage teams to this point. Hanley will be on a couple of teams. That's where a Floyd, a Carter, a Stone, a Glenn Johnson, those kind of guys that are kind of back ups can really go out and become starters in the kicking game. I think those guys can help you."
What is the status on Gorman and Thompson?
"I'll tell you what we're doing on all of the discipline issues, just so that we can be consistent. We're going to follow are student code of conduct for the athletic department and the University. For me to make any comment over and above that is really I think counterproductive. I think the one general comment I would make is that we have a hundred players on our team. It's unfortunate that the mistakes and the actions--as we know goes on every football team--of just four or five guys becomes a reflection of us all. I think that's the disappointing thing. But in the real sense, when 90-95% of your team is doing tremendous things, I think we all have to keep that in perspective. And make sure we don't characterize the 95% by the 5%. We'll deal with all of these kids because we want to work through it and there have been some mistakes made. But we want to handle it consistently number one. We want to handle it professionally number two. And I think all of us at one point in time in our lives were given a second chance and sometimes that second chance is warranted. And we'll make those decisions with our policies."
Is there some significant improvement on the defense? Is it ahead of the offense at this point?
"Well, working in reverse. One, they are not ahead of our offense right now just because we have some offensive guys that can play. Again, our running backs have experience, our quarterback and so forth. So, they are not ahead of our offense at this point. Are we improved? Without question we are improved. Now, we have to go out and translate that into a football game and the situations of the game. There are a lot of situations, you simulate as many as you can in practice, but then there's situations that come up in a game that you can't simulate. And now it is going to be a matter of how we adjust...how we adjust throughout the course of especially our opening ballgame. Then as the game unfolds, guys making plays in the fourth quarter, they either overcome some early mistakes or they just solidify a ballgame. That is what its going to comes down to."
What do you expect out of N.C. State?
"Well, they were a very good football team a year ago. We all know that when they came in here into Bloomington. I think they're statistically lead by maybe the most efficient freshman quarterback in the history of college football in Phillip Rivers. I think he has great maturity for a young guy. He gives them a chance to beat anybody on any given Saturday, or Thursday, and no matter what the score is. He has proven that he knows how to bring this football team back. The game is never over when you go against him or their offense. They're plus or minus a guy, you know they lost some guys. But everyone lost some critical guys and you make those additions with kids you redshirted or junior college players. You know, we've done that. I know they've done that. We expect them to be the same kind of football team that they were a year ago, if not better. They won eight ballgames a year ago and beat Minnesota in a Bowl Game. Everything you read, they think they are going to be better. I have no reason to doubt that."
About N.C. State's personnel (Fisher, Wright, Robinson):
Well, those were the initial guys coming in. Fisher is one of those linebackers that just has a knack for making plays. And they do a nice job with him...where they blitz him on certain downs and freeing him up to come free. He is just a guy who plays all out. He reminds me of kind of an Antwaan Randle El on defense...just a hundred miles an hour. Wright, their TE, is a guy that everybody has touted as an NFL prospect. He sure looks the part. I know he has gotten bigger over the summer. You won't have to convince us how good he is. We watched him jump over us last year on 4th-and-15 and make a great play in the end zone. We know he is a great player. Robinson is like a Damien Anderson in my mind. Just great quickness, can catch the football, can run. They do a nice job of asking him to do the things in their running game that he does well...trying to isolate him on people in space. I'm sure he's one of the best backs in that conference. So, this is going to be a good test for our defense; and a good test for our offense, without question. I know Chuck Amato talks about getting better on defense, but I've known Chuck for a long time. Wherever he's been, obviously at Florida State for a long time, they've played good defense. So, we'll have to be obviously ready for them to be improved there also."
About the depth on the defensive line:
"Improved. You know we've moved Kemp Rasmussen around some. He'll play some tackle, he'll play some end. Barnett is improved. Steve Williams was a defensive tackle last year and now he is an end. He is improved. Dominique Smith had the best training camp that he's had and he's been able to stay healthy. Then some of the backups, (Jamil) Frink, (Jeremy) Belcher and Courtney Young, all of those guys just give you a little more depth in there. We've got more depth and we would like to think that if we can play more people it would keep us fresh for late in the ballgame. That is where you're going to have to get pressure on the quarterback, late in the game."
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