Press Conference Transcript (10-7-03)

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    News Update

    October 7, 2003

    Press Conference Transcript

    Head Coach Gerry DiNardo:

    Opening Statement:

    GD: “We spent the last two days just talking to our team. I met individually with everybody about being on the same page and understanding we have a lot of work to do. When you don’t win a game, you still have to come back and get to work and build a team and build a program. Our guys have been really good, and that’s what I expected. I wanted to meet with every guy that has played in a game this year individually to make sure he knew we were pressing on the gas pedal and not taking our foot off it. I expect a terrific practice today. We are going to continue to put this thing together, this team together and this program together.”

    On building a program:

    GD: “I believe that without a shadow of a doubt we are a better football team than we were a year ago. That is something we can build on and that is what we are building on. Our run defense is better. Our running offense is better. Our kick game is better. Our pass offense isn’t as good or as productive, but we are on track to have less than half the interceptions we had last season. You can’t throw 21 interceptions and call it bad offensive football. I like where we are in that regard. That’s our approach.”

    On looking ahead to the future:

    GD: “I do feel I know exactly what we need to build a program here at Indiana. There’s not a doubt in my mind I know the formula. It doesn’t matter what Indiana has done in the past. I’m proud of the success Indiana has had in the past, and I know the future and how to build a future here.”

    On being more involved in the offense (personally):

    GD: “If I feel like I can be part of the solution, I will be part of the solution. I love what we are doing offensively, and we will keep doing it offensively. I do think I can bring expertise, enthusiasm and intensity to a group and that is what I do. I spent more time with the offensive group in a meeting this week. It’s what head coaches do. They address their problems. My plan is not to take over any one particular aspect because it is too difficult to address problems in other aspects when you do that. I jump into this and jump into that and that is what I’ve done with the offense this week.”

    On his offensive approach:

    GD:“My approach is I say anything to anybody and enjoy every minute of it. I can make a difference in a meeting room because I’m not there every day. It’s a new approach. Good teachers find different approaches.”

    On individual meetings with the players:

    GD: “We’re halfway through the regular season and coming off of two losses. We have a team that has not had recent success. I just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page, and I wanted to make sure it was my page. Our guys are great, and they all are on my page. Some of the meetings lasted one minute, some lasted ten minutes. I went over everyone’s academic situations and everyone’s special teams points. I asked them what they thought they could do to play the second half of the season better than the first, thinking if a guy knows how to be a better player in the second half and everyone knows how, we will be a better team the second six weeks. If you look at the Connecticut game, we are definitely a better team right now. At the end of the year, we have to be a better team against Purdue than we were against Michigan State. We only control half of it. We don’t control the other side. I want to make sure I’m controlling that half. That’s why we met individually.”

    On team’s first half performance:

    GD: “I would say we are a better team than we were a year ago. We have to work on pass offense, pass defense, sudden change (turnover or turnover on downs) in area three (when drive starts between midfield to opponents 25), goal-line offense. When a team starts in area three, 53% of the time they will score either a field goal or touchdown. Our percentages are well below that. If it doesn’t happen all that often, we should still be scoring at a 53% rate, and we are nowhere near that. We didn’t score last year either, so this has been a two-year problem. And when we are goal-to-go, we have to score.”

    On Quarterback Matt LoVecchio’s performance:

    GD: “I feel like he is a guy who has started six games in a new offense and has made much more progress in many more areas than he hasn’t. He has improved in everything that he is doing more than he has struggled with some things. That is good and that is what’s expected from a guy his age coming into the program.”

    On stopping Northwestern’s offense:

    GD: “Your defensive gameplan has to start with stopping the run, whether it’s the wishbone or spread offense. We always start our gameplan by stopping the run, and this week will be no different. As much as Michigan State throws the ball, we still defensively game planned them by first stopping the run and then stopping the pass. It’s just the way we were taught to do it.”

    On Northwestern RB Jason Wright:

    GD: “He’s terrific. He played very well against us last year. He’s an extraordinary individual in all aspects of his life. He’s got a lot of things going for him.”

    On Victor Adeyanju and Aaron Halterman practicing:

    GD: “Indications are that they will. If they go today or tomorrow they will. I’m anticipating them both going today.”




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