Quotes from Cam Cameron Weekly Press Conference
November 6, 2001
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.
Defensively, changes were made last week specifically for Northwestern. What changes can we expect to be made for Michigan State?
"We won't know exactly what the personnel will be until later in the week. Our linebacker situation will be a little bit different. (Martin) Lapostolle, (Devin) Schaffer and Deonte Smith, we'll decide where they'll be best placed as the week goes along. Kemp Rasmussen was a linebacker in high school. Derek Barnett was a linebacker in high school. So was Herman Fowler. So, we have three defensive ends that played linebacker and could help us defend the run. They have two of the better receivers in the league, too -- in (Herb) Haygood and (Charles) Rogers."
Does that mean (Ron) Bethel could step in?
"He plays safety. But, Bethel could still be in there though."
T.J. Duckett had over 200 yards rushing versus Michigan, what were they able to do?
"A couple of things. One, they were able to create another gap. They did a really nice job at the point of attack...got some down blocks, some kick-out blocks and created a crease. He is a tough guy to tackle and some guys bounced off of him. They were able to use some passing situations to hand him the draw."
How is Duckett similar to others?
"He is a faster Ron Dayne. He is very similar to Ron Dayne. This kid could have started in the Big Ten as a junior in high school. We talk about high school guys going to the NBA. Here is a guy who could have given up his high school career and gone ahead and play in college. He was that good in high school. He could have been playing college football throughout his high school career."
On Michigan State's Charles Rogers:
"He reminds you of (David) Terrell and (Marquis) Walker of Michigan. He reminds you of those types of guys. He is a younger Kahlil Hill. And then Haygood is a sprinter. They are both great kick returners. At times when you are running the football, you have to find a way to keep those receivers happy. One of the best ways is let them return kicks. We will have to stop those two guys whether it's as receivers or in the kicking game. We are going to see those guys with the ball in their hands."
Is there anything from watching the film that you didn't immediately perceive from Saturday?
"You mention perceived. Perception, offensively, is making a good throw and making a good catch. When you make the same call and don't throw it well or don't catch it the perception is bad. The only difference between that game and some games earlier in the year is our ability to execute and our ability to eliminate mistakes. We expect our offense to continue to improve even from what we were able to do Saturday."
Can you take anything away from your last meeting in 1998?
"Well, they have a different coach. Antwaan was a freshman and we kind of caught some people by surprise. There weren't that many people to have seen him at that point. What do you take with you? The environment will be very similar -- sold out as usual; it's on AstroTurf. A lot of our veteran guys have been there before which might be a plus. It is really two completely different football teams. Personnel-wise it is pretty similar for them. They've got some big time guys and some of them are playing on Sundays. In terms of talent, this is as-talented of a team in our league, without question."
With Levron (Williams) being a senior, have you thought about using Jeremi (Johnson) more at tailback?
"This year, we are going to continue to do what we are doing. Jeremi is our starting fullback and backup tailback. Then, we're able to do some things with him in the one-back. In the long run, he could very well be our Duckett down the road. We would like to think that next year we would be playing with that type of guy. We've got some real good young tailbacks in the program, too. It is all going to hinge, but again that is in the future."
On Jeremi Johnson's performance over the past few weeks:
"He has been pretty well involved the past four weeks. I think that is a credit to our offensive staff. When you have a good player, you have to get him the football."
Does that build his confidence?
"I think he's been pretty confident since he's been here. He's kind of a quiet kid. Don't let that fool you. He is a competitor. I think he is still a raw talent and can get better and better. I think there is no limit to how good he can be."
How is his conditioning?
"Very good. You know, he is a big kid. It is as good as anybody his size. I don't know that he is in as good of shape as anybody in the country but with that type of body...I've seen some pretty good backs in this league with that size take themselves out a lot sooner. Jeremi never takes himself out. He doesn't do that. We ask him to block more than we do most people his size. We ask him to block, to run, to catch. He is on all of our special teams. He is a very valuable guy."
Was that catch as good on film as it looked live?
"It sure was. That was fun. Of course for us, we know it's coming. You're sitting there and there it goes. We get to mentally see it unfold because we made the call."
On redshirt freshman linebacker Herana-Daze Jones:
"He graded out in the high seventies I think. Which is pretty good for a redshirt freshman. We give some awards out on Sundays for performance. I wanted to give him a pat on the back. He is a redshirt freshman and he played the first good game of his career. Pat him on the back and let's have another one. When he puts a string of those together, now you're talking about a guy who is a player. He can be a good player if he continues to work. Again, the play right before the half he had a tackle blocking him and he reaches out and makes an interception. We haven't had that play made here in five years. So, give him two pats on the back."
Did the bye week contribute in your preparation over Northwestern?
"I think it helped us in an overall sense. We didn't panic. We didn't fall into the trap that everything is at stake and we've got to beat Northwestern. Do you know what we did? We went recruiting for three days. I don't know that a lot of people would have gone recruiting for three days in that situation. I think a lot of people would have panicked and said we need to win this game or we're not going to be here so why recruit? We don't look at it that way. Our staff went all over the country -- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It was good to get away and the couple of days off we didn't do anything. We gave our players four days off and didn't do anything on Northwestern. I said two things after the Iowa game. I refuse to believe that the Wisconsin game was a shooting star. Secondly, I encourage everyone to go home and spend some time looking in the mirror. I'm not sure how much people do that anymore. Those were the only two things that were said. It was a two-second conversation after the Iowa game. We didn't see each other for four days. Everyone looked at themselves in the mirror, starting here. Secondly, Wisconsin wasn't a shooting star and they can play this way. You can prepare 24 hours a day for seven days a week. If you don't have the right people in there, it doesn't matter. If you don't have people that want to play and don't have people that want to be coached, time doesn't help you. We had some guys in there that wanted to play and who wanted to be coached. We accomplished in two days what has been taking us two weeks to accomplish."
Antwaan (Randle El) made the comment that some guys got 'fat' after the Wisconsin game. Can you comment on that?
"They can fool us sometimes. We may think we know but the players are no different than the people all over the workplace in America. They can be one thing when they're away and then walk in the door and make you think they're something else. If that is the case, then we ought to kick ourselves right in the rear end. I'm sure he meant what he said. There was no indication of that being the case. But, if we let that happen then we're all accountable to that -- coaches, players, trainers, managers. Everyone has a role in getting a team refocused after a win. I guarantee you that if there is anyone sitting 'fat and happy' going into this game, then we're in trouble."
On recruiting Kemp Rasmussen and his brother Kyle:
"I was going through their roster. Fifteen of their twenty-two starters, I was in their high school or their home. We know this team extremely well. We recruited Duckett just like everybody else. Rogers was a top player and everyone was trying to recruit him. We had several of these kids on official visits. Kemp was a kid that was not highly recruited by the Big Ten. As a matter of fact, wasn't recruited by Michigan State. Pete Schmidt thought he was a good football player and he was right. Kemp came in as a middle linebacker and we moved him to defensive end. His brother, Kyle, had other offers in the Big Ten. The whole Rasmussen family is great. Kyle chose to stay closer to home. He had a few more options. He also had a girlfriend."
The offensive line hasn't given up a sack in the last five games. What is your feeling on that group of guys?
"If there is a position playing well, I think the first place you look is the guy coaching them (Hal Hunter and tight ends coach Marty Fine). It is critical in college football -- the coaching element of a position. Especially, at a place like Indiana where you move a tight end to center...another tight end to tackle...a defensive tackle to offensive tackle...a defensive tackle and move him to tight end. When you're at a place like Indiana, you have to be a little more creative. That puts premium on coaching and in particular, position coaching. I think our tackles and tight ends are good players who believe in what they are being coached to do. There are some tough kids in there. Now they've bought into the unit thing. It's not look at those seven guys from tackle to tight end. It's not the seven best, it's the best seven that play in there. There is a difference because they have to play in unison. That is the key -- the seven who can play together -- and they're starting to get that. I think it has spilled over into the backups. You have to realize that on Saturday Jamarkus Gorman comes in and plays twenty snaps. Well, Bobby Brandt goes down at right tackle and has to come out of the game. Enoch (DeMar) gets bumped to tackle and Anthony Oakley moves to right guard. And, we didn't miss a beat. Another good reflection of coaching is how the backups play. We had two backups come in and we never missed a beat."
How is Bobby Brandt?
"We looked at the medical report this morning and at no different point in time this week...we'll be ready to play. But it's early. We haven't practiced yet this week."
Check back soon