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.
What is the latest on (Bryan) Robertson and any other injuries?
"There was something that showed up on Bryan Robertson's MRI and he will have a CAT Scan. I was told they did take a look at it and something was there and they need to take a second look at it to see if it congenital or something new. He kicked a little bit. He is better but there is something there that we need to clarify."
Can you comment on Brandonn Baker, Robert Brown and Yamar Washington?
"Yes, those three guys will be out for the remainder of the season. Brandonn Baker will stay in the program and his plan is to graduate from Indiana University. And in all likelihood, in the spring, serve as a student coach."
"Robert Brown will have to wait a few weeks and in all likelihood have his shoulder reconstructed. That is hard to come back from and be ready in the spring. In all likelihood he will be back in the fall."
"Yamar broke the bottom of his leg/ankle. He will have surgery on Wednesday. So, he'll be out the remainder of the season as well."
Given two of those players are Linebackers, what are your concerns now at the linebacker position?
"Well, now you are talking about the freshmen - Martin Lapostolle, Herana-Daze Jones, Deonte Smith. Those guys now move into the two-deep and in some cases may wind up starting this game."
What did you learn from watching Penn State and Purdue against Northwestern the last two weeks?
"I think it would be to just hang in there and mental toughness. They're going to move the ball on you at times and it is really no different from any other game. It is a 60 minute game. It is not a 30 minute game, it is not a 45 minute game, it is a 60 minute ballgame. I think, and I'm sure all those teams had to do was show the Michigan State tape. Michigan State played extremely well against Northwestern and gave up one play with :06 seconds to go and...bang they come in and kick the field goal. You have to be ready for that tempo and be ready to play these people for 60 minutes. Penn State was able to do that and Purdue was able to do that. A game with Northwestern isn't over until it's over."
With what happens between plays offensively and defensively, is :25 seconds enough time to get a play off?
"It is more than :25 seconds, that is the thing that you have to realize. It is probably closer to :35 seconds. From the time the play is dead to the time is has to be legally snapped it is probably :35 seconds. I think it is adequate. If an offense can operate under those conditions, then a defense can surely operate under those conditions."
Can you talk about the pressure a Northwestern offense can bring to a defense?
"Well, I think initially, it is a communication issue. We know they have the threat to snap the ball quick. One, you have to be ready initially for the ball to be snapped immediately. Then, as you see them so often do, they get you set in anticipation of a quick count to get you to deploy. Therefore, in the press box they can now call a play. I think any defensive coach can tell you, every defense has a weakness. They try to exploit that weakness by calling plays from the press box. And, they've done a nice job of that. Now you have to get ready for that kind of tempo. Then, as was pretty well documented over the summer, they want to turn it into a conditioning game. They take a lot of pride in the shape that they are in. They want to turn it into a :60 minute, fast break - Can you hang in there with us? - type of approach. There are some teams that they have out-conditioned. That is why we have to be sound in our approach and come ready to play for 60 minutes."
Defensively, will that be a case of simplifying things against their offense?
"Actually, it will be the opposite of that. If you are too simple, then they can exploit that. There aren't that many teams this year that have a defense that can just go out and dictate to an offense. Therefore, you have to be more flexible in your defense and give a little bit more of a disguise across the board so they can't necessarily zero in on what you are doing. Now, that is just a start. After you do that, you still have to get to the football and ultimately tackle. It all gets back to fundamentals. You can't be overly simple to this group unless you're just stacked with personnel."
Do you agree that (Zak) Kustok has developed into more of a running threat this year?
"Well, he is. I think we all learned a lot last year. It is almost in some cases a lesser of two evils. When you're talking about an (Damien) Anderson and a Kustok and a (Sam) Simmons and a (Jon) Schweighardt. If you let this team starting running on you like they did to people a year ago, now you're in no-man's land. You're not taking away the run or you're not taking away the pass. You've got to take something away. The key will be our mental approach for 60 minutes."
Have you considered things strategically to improve on stopping the running game?
"Absolutely. There is no magic to run defense other than you need to get one more guy there than they have to block you. That is the key to stopping the run. Again, unless you are laced with personnel across the board, and there aren't many people that are, you need to get one more there than people are to block you. Then making the tackle when you are unblocked."
Do you see a lack of those things from the Iowa game?
"The Iowa game was a variety of things. To revisit that is probably counter-productive at this point because we've done that with our players and we've moved forward to Northwestern. That becomes are next opportunity to show that we've done something about it."
Did you have a chance to watch any of the Big Ten games on Saturday?
"Just like we thought. Again, we do a lot of studying in the off-season, the spring and the summer. I think everyone knows whom everyone was losing. There were some key guys that teams were losing and some key guys coming back. It is a very balanced league and Michigan is the only unbeaten team in league play right now. It is going to be interesting these next four or five weeks. As I said in the opening of our Big Ten Teleconference, this game is exactly like the games that we have already played and the ones that we will have to play. If we play as well as were capable of playing, we'll give ourselves a chance to win the football game. There is not a team on our schedule that we can play poorly against and beat. There is not one. That is a compliment to the league. I don't know if there is anyone in our league that can play poorly and beat anyone. If you look for a difference in this league, in the past there were teams that could come out play poorly and still win. I don't think anyone, I don't even think Michigan, can come out and play poorly and beat anyone in this league. I may be wrong, but that is how I see things at this point."
We talk about it each week and now everyone is blocking kicks. Can you comment on the kicking game?
"It is true. And everybody is off the hook now. Virginia Tech got one blocked and one run back for a touchdown. Once it happens to Virginia Tech, everybody is off the hook (laughs). People are putting their better players on the punt block teams. They are asking their best players to just play. One time is was (Michigan's) David Terrell, now it is Marquise Walker. In the past, people didn't do that. Everyone knows now that the kicking game is the difference. Is everybody going to go back to the tight punt? Well that is one way to do it. And now the punt returners are so good. It is a balancing act of what are you going to do. We are all trying to solve the issue. What better a year could there have been for Indiana to have one of its strengths be the kicking game? It should be and it should have been. We have talented kickers and we're covering better. That hasn't happened and we are not kicking the ball as well as we are capable of doing. Now, we are like everyone else."
Is the mental approach on defense a matter of sitting down and talking with your players, a matter of the players evaluating themselves, or something else?
"It is a combination of things. You know that talk is talk. I think there is a commercial with Jalen Rose...'it is easy to talk about it but you need to be about it'. Don't talk about it...be about it. We're always looking for a way to get these young kids to understand what we are trying to get accomplished. Talking is a part of it but now you have to go out and do it, back it up and do it on a consistent basis. Not for a practice or a game but for an extended period of time. We (meaning our entire program) are going to be evaluated on our players' ability to play as hard as they can possibly play and as smart as they can possibly play. We are not going to accept anything less. If that does not occur then the people responsible are going to be held accountable. I know I hold myself accountable to have a football team that does that. So, if you guys want to look for a couple of things, just look for guys playing as hard as they can play and as smart as they can play. If they aren't doing that, then there is a problem somewhere and it's not getting solved. We need to be the best football team that we can be. Period! If you do that, than you can live with the outcome. When you're not as good as you can possibly be, then that is unacceptable. Whether you win or lose, in my mind."
Check back soon