Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes - Sept. 3, 2013



Sep 3, 2013

DEKALB, Ill.- Northern Illinois head football coach Rod Carey spoke at NIU's weekly press conference at the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center to review the season opening victory over Iowa. Joining Carey were safety Dechane Durante, quarterback Jordan Lynch, offensive lineman Jared Volk and kicker Tyler Wedel. Below are excerpts from the press conference.

NIU Head Coach Rod Carey

Opening statement
"Obviously, it was a good win. You know it was one of those games that had a lot of ups and downs to it and momentum swings. I think everybody in here saw it. We watched it and analyzed it. A lot of good stuff to learn from and you know we put it to bed on Sunday and so now we're in full swing mode going forward. Our assistant coaches did a great job getting our guys in the right place at the right time and our guys did a good job executing. Overall, I was just really happy for our assistant coaches and our players. "

On what Carey learned about his team Saturday
"I think we learned that they don't panic. Now, just because you didn't panic once doesn't mean you won't panic again, so you've got to keep proving that. In that situation I think we learned that from them."

On the bye week
"Early bye weeks can be a bad thing or a good thing. I think we're going to use it as a good thing just because it was a physical football game, that way it's a real benefit for us. You'd like to have your bye week right in the middle of the year, but we don't. So we're going this way with it and we'll use it for recruiting and young guy development and for our team and move forward which is a big key for us."



On the timing of the bye week
"It's just the way the schedule fell. You know different date. You got really five weeks to play four non-conference and sometimes that's how it works out."

On if coach and his assistants will be on the road recruiting
"Yeah, we will be. We're going to be out and a couple guys are already out so we're all going to get out. NCAA lets us all get out on out bye week so all of us are going to get out."

On the performance of the offensive and defensive lines
"I think that one played to a stalemate because I watched it on film. I think it's a good matchup boy, because I think their D-line improved and I think our O-line improved. What you had probably was some times in there where we were at the end of the game we pushed them around a little bit but they got after us a few times. So, I think that one is pretty equal."

On the positives and negatives of the NIU defense
"Well they bent but they didn't break. I love that about a defense. It's like they go ahead and make a play to get some momentum back on their side whether it's a small thing, little play, a first down and 10 play and hold them to a yard or two, all of a sudden their ahead of the chains instead of the offence being ahead of the chain. So I love that about them. There are always first game stuff on defense offence and special teams so there is enough things in there for us to get better at. Some alignment issues some communication issues here and there that I think we need to improve and we will improve."

On the defense's ability to bend but not break
"That's a good question. I don't know how to quantify it exactly but I can tell you it's a mentality of never giving up and if an offence gets a big play on you, which Iowa did a couple time, tackle them. Make them lineup again. I'm an offense guy and offense is usually screwed-up more than they do get it. So if you just make them keep lining up, odds in your favor are pretty good."

On the performance of Jimmie Ward playing with a cast
"I think he catches better with the cast. I always give him a hard time with that. No, it's one of those casts that's just on the hand so he has his wrist free so he can still kind of cup things in and you know he still has the good hand so he got that ball in the good hand and went, so I don't think it's in that much pain to try and catch it in one hand with the cast cause that would be a problem."

On the time table for Ward's cast to be removed
"In a few weeks here. You got to let the bone heal and it's just one of those things. It's a broken finger. God gave you 10 of them and you only need about 6 of them to survive."

On the boxing gloves in the defensive meeting room
"That's a defensive thing. You can talk to coach Niemann at some point about that but what they do is it falls in line with all the different motivational things that we use and I won't go into detail on it but it falls right in line with how we talk and how we act."

On running back Cameron Stingily's progress
"I think he's handling the curve really well as far as understanding it. I think the more times you get the ball, the better you're going to be at all the nuances of playing that position. We talked about it and I would like to get him the ball a little bit more in that game that we just played. We didn't, and he made the most of his opportunities, I really thought so. He'll get better the more he gets it, like any running back."

On Jordan Lynch's chemistry with the wide receivers
"I mean Tommy [Lewis] and Da'Ron [Brown] and Juwan Brescacin and A.J. [Angelo Sebastiano], and [Jacob] Brinlee all played last year, so it's not like we're getting a brand new crop in there and starting from scratch. They already had some chemistry built up but I think they worked harder at it this summer."

On the efficiency of the passing game
"I was happy. Not surprised. That's why you do the work, so that you don't leave things to chance as much as you can."

On what Sebastiano was like as a high school player
"I was involved to at extent with that recruiting, and I was here the whole time during recruitment when we got him here. I don't want to make A.J. out to be something he's not. I think A.J. will tell you this too, is that he hasn't thrived, he's not a polished and finished product in any way, shape, or form as a football player or a person, and I don't think any of us are, so I don't like making things out to be something they aren't. But, the natural progression that A.J. has taken in his life mirrors his football play.

"He has talent, you saw that. That catch he made to get it started in that drive when we tied it up, it was a great catch, so the talent has been there. When you mature, if you think back to when I was 18, I was pretty immature. The difference in your maturity levels from 18 to 21, it's like an old guy like me going from 40 to 60. That's how much you might mature in those times. That has mirrored in the way that he plays this game and how it has slowed down for him. That is really key, when you get the game to slow down for you, the way he has, then all of a sudden good things happen."

On what stood out about Sebastiano during the recruiting process
"He could run and catch really well. That's what you look for. He's a good kid too. You don't bring guys up into DeKalb from Florida that don't fit. He's a guy that's gone through some bumps in the road, but he's a guy that gets it."

On Tyler Wedel's performance
"Good high kicks. I loved the way he got the ball up into the air. I'd like to see him still be a little more consistent on his kicks, because there were a couple that were a little lower, and a couple high and shorter kicks. I'd like to get that yardage and that height about the same every time. I think he would too, but overall a pretty good day for the kid in his first time punting."

On turnovers and special teams
"Don't make me out to be a prophet or something, but that's as old as it comes. You win the turnover battle 3-1, and you win the special teams battle with hidden yardage, and you can throw the fake in there, but really our coverage units did a good job with returns, their coverage units did a good job, but the positioning of the ball on the field for the most part, we had an advantage there. When you do those two things, when you go against a good team, those things are usually the difference, and it was Saturday for sure."

On Tommylee Lewis' injury
"No, I saw him yesterday. He was walking around pretty good, but that isn't running. I didn't get a report yet today. They were going to take him out and move him around a little bit yesterday and today, and then I was going to get a report. I have not gotten that report yet. I would assume, and this is my opinion, by the way he's walking, that it's a good sign."

On not panicking in close games
"Someone said, and I tend to agree with this, is that momentum and understanding how to win cross team lines. We drew a line in the sand from last year's team to this year's team, and the only thing that crossed and you hope it's crossed, is that understanding on how to win in close settings.

"I think when you have a program like NIU does, and this university, is that those things cross over. That's the mark of a good program, is when you can do that repeatedly over and over again. You're not always going to be perfect on that, but understanding how to put yourself in a position to succeed, that is what you can ask for, and that's what we've been able to do. And fortunately, we've been successful as well."

On having big wins be close wins
"I'd rather they were by larger margins. But you're right, so I think that travels with you, that you expect to be in those situations, and you know how to succeed in those situations. We have a lot of guys on this team that have been through all of those, and now the young guys have been through one too, so they've learned, so it's kind of a thing that gets snowballing a little bit."

Dechane Durante, Safety

On the bye week
Going along with Jared, I'd say getting our legs back. It was a hot game for us, it definitely took a lot out of us. Getting rest, getting ahead, and getting our legs back I would say.

On the mindset during Iowa's final possession
"Thinking back to last year, the same situation happened, and being a defensive player, nobody on defense wanted to go out the same way. Nobody wanted that taste in their mouth. We definitely wanted to get this win. We wanted this win so bad. We knew if we wanted to win, somebody was going to have to make a play, and Jimmie stepped up and did that.

On the difference between Carey from Orange Bowl prep to Iowa prep
"With bowl prep last year, he stepped in during the biggest moment of the season in the Orange Bowl. I would say this year he was more aggressive, because he wanted this win just as bad as anyone starting the new season."

Jordan Lynch, Quarterback

On not giving up in games
"One of the things we never do, we never flinch. We always believe in the process and the journey, and we know when it comes to the fourth quarter, we have a chance, that's when we play and that's when we start to shine. We live for those opportunities."

On if it is hard sitting out a week after coming off a big win
"I wouldn't say so. Just like everyone else is saying, it's a chance for us to get our legs back, watch some college football, and we'll be anxious to get back out on the field."

On if he learned anything about his receivers Saturday
"I saw it all summer when I was working with them and all fall camp. I know what they're capable of doing, and I think they showed a lot of Northern Illinois fans and a lot of Iowa fans what they're capable of. I thought they did a real good job, and they make my job a lot easier at times."

On Sebastiano's performance Saturday
"He showed me the yards after catch, and he would just go get the ball. He told me on the sidelines `whenever you're in trouble, throw it up to me and I'll go get it' and I did it at the time, and he came down with it, so I have a lot of trust in him."

On Sebastiano's confidence
"He's one of the most confident guys of that group. He's always wanting the ball, he's always open even if he's double covered."

Jared Volk, Left Tackle

On the bye week
"Something that's good about a bye week is you get the young guys a lot of extra reps. This week is more to get our legs back. We're still going to start early looking at Idaho, we're going to turn the page and go to the next game, and just get a head start on that game as well as getting some young guys some reps. We've just got to take it one day at a time and get better every single time."

On the difference in the team since the loss of the 2010 MAC Championship game
"The biggest difference between then and now is that we're such a close group, and like Jordan said, we believe in the cause, we believe in the journey, and we believe in each other as a team. We're a really close group, a really close team, and we know that we can count on each other and we help each other out whenever we need to, so I think that's the biggest difference, that we believe in each other and know that if we play like we can, we can always pull it off."

On the difference between Carey from Orange Bowl prep to Iowa prep
"I would say the biggest difference would be, last year in the Orange Bowl, he didn't really know the defensive side of the ball being an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, and in the past offseason he got to know the defensive side of the ball and all the players, and he got close with them like he's close with the offense. Like Dechane said, he really wanted this win, it was his first win and a way to begin the season right. I think he did a great job and didn't really change that much. He's a player's coach, and that's what he's always going to be."

Tyler Wedel, Kicker

On the bye week
"It's a regular week for us. We go out and get our reps in practice. There's nothing really we look for. We don't really look towards Idaho too much, that doesn't happen until our special teams meetings. We just use it to get our legs back. We'll be in the cold tub a lot, a lot of stretching, and a lot of fundamental work just to make sure we're ready for the next game."

On the difference in the team since the loss of the 2010 MAC Championship game
"If you noticed everyone on the sidelines, this team is so close, when they had the ball with a minute and a half left, no one on our sideline is sitting their with their heads down. No one is thinking we're going to lose this football game. I think this team just has so much confidence in everyone's ability that we're going to come out and make plays, and in the end win football games."

On not giving up in games
"I think that's part of it obviously, because we've done it so much lately. But I think the team is so close, and everyone has confidence in everyone else that they're going to make a play in the game to do what's best for the team to win."


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