Sept. 8, 2009
Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes - Sept. 8
Kill, Adamski, Skarb and Wilson preview the Western Illinois Game
DEKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois head football coach Jerry Kill spoke at Tuesday's weekly press conference at the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center to review the Huskies' game with Wisconsin and preview Saturday's match up with Western Illinois. Joining Kill were center Eddie Adamski (Kildeer, Ill./Carmel), fullback Kyle Skarb (Hawthorne Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) and safety Tracy Wilson (Harvey, Ill./St. Francis DeSales). Below are excerpts from the press conference.
NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill
On learning from Saturday's game versus Wisconsin
"I think that missed assignments and missed alignments will beat you long before mismatches. Up front, they were 40, or 50 pounds heavier per man, but I thought we played hard, we played physical and I thought we did some good things. There's no question about that, but we made some mental errors. Our biggest emphasis for Saturday is to play hard and play smart. Pretty simple. We went toe-to-toe with Wisconsin. After we came back and watched the film, and I'm sure Wisconsin is saying the same thing, we left some plays out on the field."
"Overall, I was pleased with our effort. There were some guys that surprised me. I thought Brian Lawson played outstanding football for a guy that's never played in a game. Alan Baxter played a great game for a freshman. Our two receivers played very well for being true freshmen. We took a lot from the game, now we have to move on."
"You try to look at what we need to do to execute better on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. If you have to eliminate some stuff, you have to eliminate it. Sometimes we get caught up in, well, we had some success last year, we're going to build off that and you move faster than we normally would. We have a younger team than we had a year ago. Sometimes, as a coach, you move faster than the kids can move. It's not about what we know; it's about what the players know and what they can do. We're still trying to find that out. When you're an 18 or 19 year old who's never played and your first game is in front of 80,000 people, you find out a lot about those kids. I'm excited about those younger players that played, who have never played college football and how they responded. They did a pretty good job."
On correcting mistakes from Saturday
"You are never going to be mistake free in football. We just have to be able to overcome some of them, but you're never going to be mistake-free. You don't want to beat yourself if you don't have to. We are going to make some mistakes because we're a young team, that's just part of it. As long as you're not making the same mistake over and over, you'll be all right. If you're making it over and over, than you probably need to play some else. We also have to understand Wisconsin is a good team and they create some mistakes. You just have to give them credit also."
On concerns of Western Illinois
"Defensively, they're unique. They may play with three down linemen, they may have four or five standing up, they move all over the place. They'll be the most unique defense we'll see. To be honest, at Southern, we struggled with them. We were able to win some games, but we struggled with what they do. I'm glad we have played them. That helps us a little bit. Offensively, coach Patterson is a product of Hayden Fry, and he has a system. He knows his system very well. He's great during game day making adjustments on what you do. It makes them hard to defend. We certainly understand what they do, but they're very good on game day. That's what makes them special."
On if he was surprised Western has beat NIU three straight times
"No. I knew that from playing Northern when I was at Southern. I kept track of those things. I do my studying. To be honest with you, it wouldn't matter who we were playing this week. We need to concentrate on us getting better. When we walked into the locker room after the game against Wisconsin, we started teaching immediately for the next game. I didn't even wait. My postgame speech was to talk about what we needed to do to get better. We've just got to teach and coach and be consistent."
On the speed difference against Western
"It's hard for me to tell until we play them. They're athletic, I can tell you that. They're as athletic as many teams in our conference. Their receivers could run; they're tall. They're quarterback, who we played against when I was at Southern, is athletic. They're an athletic football team."
On the importance on Saturday's game being home
"Every game is important. This is definitely the most important game we've played all year because it's the next one and it is at home. You need to win at home. You need to defend your home turf. If we had won a couple more at home, we would have been sitting better last year. To me you've got to win at home. We need to emphasize that."
On Western's quarterback Matt Barr
"I know a lot about him. We played against him when I was at Southern when he was younger. He's a left-handed kid. He moves around well in the pocket. He reminds me of Nick Hill who I had at Southern. He's a shifty guy, can get out of trouble. He's what I call a designated scrambler where can step up in the pocket, slide out of it and throw the ball deep. He's very gifted, has natural instincts. He knows how to win. He's proven that. I have a lot of respect for him."
On Cory Hanson's progress
"I'm proud of Cory. I remember when I was at Southern, preparing for Northern, we prepared for Cory. He was light in the pants when he played a couple years ago. He's gotten stronger; he's a more physical player; he's a better player against the run. There's nothing like experience. You either buy in or you buy out. He's bought in to what we're doing and playing well.
On the contract extension
"It was not about money, it's just an extension. I told Dr. Peters and Mr. Compher I want to be able to get the program built back up to exactly where Joe Novak had it and continue on. To do it right, you can't do it the quick fix way. You can't take 15, 18 transfers, you have to build it along. We're playing some freshmen now that I'd like to redshirt, but we can't. To build a good program you need a little bit of time. I think they feel good about the progress we're making. Basically, I think they like the direction we are going. It's very rewarding to me because I`m excited about being here and I want to do it the right way."
"With a new athletic director coming in, you don't know how that's going to mesh. Jeff came in and looked at what we were doing and wanted to make sure it's the philosophy that fit with him and what he expected. I had an idea we would be a good mesh because of who he's been with and what he stands for. If it didn't mesh, I probably wouldn't have gotten an extension. We're all trying to go the same direction and have the same beliefs.
Eddie Adamski, Center
On what the team took away from playing at Wisconsin
"Experience. To start of [the seson] with a Big ten opponent, you get a lot of exposure and get to play in front of a big crowd. It was a great way to start the season. We really wish we could have had a win up there. It's a great start for us. We played well as a team and it will carry through to the rest of the season."
On the advantage of playing Western Illinois at home this weekend
"It does help to play a home game. It's tough every time you lose any game. You get a bad taste in your mouth. The only thing you can do is just come back the next week, practice hard, stay focused and look forward to the next opponent."
On the offensive success in the 4th quarter
"Coach Kill pulled us to the side sometime in the second half and just told us to go out there and play football. Don't think about anything, go out there and have fun and see what happens. Go out there and have a good time. It worked. In the second half, we were pretty successful. We just need that throughout the whole game and we can be pretty good up front and as an offense."
Tracy Wilson, Safety
On possible concerns about WIU and the passing attack
"They have a very strong passing game. They have some playmakers at wide receiver. We need to make sure our defensive backs know all our responsibilities. They have a decent running back and their quarterback brings in a lot of experience. We are just going to try and focus in this week and make sure we line up right."
On what to improve on for this week
"We need to stop the big plays in the passing game. We were on the field for a long time, so we need to get off the field quicker to give the offense more of a chance."
Kyle Skarb, Fullback
On the locker room atmosphere after Wisconsin
"There wasn't a lot of smiling. A lot of the team council members came forward and picked us up after the game, and it was really nice to see them take responsibility to pick us up."