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Tom O'Brien Reviews The Connecticut Win




Oct. 9, 2000

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College head football coach Tom O'Brien

Teleconference from Sunday, October 8, 2000

"Nothing on the injury front. No one's practiced, no one's back. We're going as is."

That could still change, though, right?

"Yes it could. I'm becoming jaded from this whole process that every Sunday. You go out there and look at a guy and say, 'hey, he looks good.' Then by Tuesday or Wednesday he can't go. So, we'll just coach the guys that we have and that's the way we'll play.

Outside of the tight ends, are there any other positions that you're planning on expanding?

"There's nothing right now from last week. I haven't gotten to that point yet.

Cedric (Washington) hasn't shown any progress?

"No."

Did you get to watch Syracuse on television last night?

"I watched a half of it and then went out to dinner. Looks like a physical football team that'll really get after you with their defense. I looked at their tape today and it was confirmed.

It gave you a rare opportunity to see both teams you'll be facing in the next two weeks.

"Yeah, it's strange, but I didn't pay much attention to Pitt, I paid more towards Syracuse.

In terms of what you guys were able to do against Connecticut with special teams right off the bat, is DuJuan Daniels back on kick returns this week?

"Yeah, he'll be back."

Can you talk about the productivity you had there given Dedrick's return on punt?

"We have better players returning kicks now. Starting last year on special teams they were inexperienced. As the year went on they became better at it because they were more experienced. They've carried that through this year. William Green had a great return for us early, but because of Cedric's injury, we couldn't put him back there right now, so DuJuan's going to have to get back there now that he's healthy. We've trained Jamal Burke back there as well as a couple of other guys, so we just have to continue getting the ball out to get good starting field position for our offense. If we didn't have those stupid penalties that get called on us.

Paul Cook wasn't in the defensive backs position. Do you have an update on him?

"He's fine."

It was a did not play-coach's decision?

"Yeah."

Can you talk a little about Derrick Knight? Will he be seeing more action now?

"He came into the year as a third-string tailback, and we always talk about how we need three, and now we're down to two and training Toal at both fullback and tailback. He's showing good vision. He got his first extended time on Saturday and got a good look at a couple of different things. He's got to concentrate on holding onto the football. We can't spell William with him if he's going to go in and fumble, so that's the most important thing he's got to do. He has subtle little cuts there that are pretty good, and he's got enough speed to bounce the ball outside and do some damage. He'll get better the more he gets the opportunity to play, and he's a good tailback right now."

In looking at the film of yesterday's game, what pleased you most?

"We came through the game with no injuries, or major injuries, first time in a while."

If Cedric were healthy, obviously you'd have your normal rotation of carries between Ced and Will Green. If he can't go on Saturday, do you foresee Will getting most of the work with Derrick getting spot duty?

"Yeah, I expect so, I don't expect to change that."

You kind of have two number ones now.

"Yeah, I have two kids who've practiced well and played well and deserve to play. The fresher they are, the better we'll be when it gets to the fourth quarter, especially if to run the clock out, to have fresh legs out there. There's not that kind of level right now between Derrick and William, so William will have to play more."

In terms of the offensive production that you've had, do you have to temper that with who you've been competing against?

"I've made it painfully obvious that I have. Of course you have to temper it. The bottom line is that we've been precise. The ball's been thrown where it's supposed to be, we made blocks, we've run through big holes. We've done things we weren't able to do a year ago. There has been improvement there, but still, the holes were smaller against Virginia Tech, and we had to be more precise in the passing game, which we weren't. One thing we won't want to get into is a scoring battle. Once we get some guys back on defense that may be the way we'll have to be here from now on. We might have to try to simply outscore the other team."

Does that change your game plan with the injuries on defense, trying to control the clock a little more to keep those guys off the field?

"Well that's what you try to do, we tried it with Michael Vick, to keep him off the field because he killed us when he was on. Sometimes you can accomplish it, sometimes you can't."

Out of the injured guys, is there any one that you can see who has a better chance of coming back?

"No. I've gotten jaded through this whole process."

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