Nov. 3, 2009
DEKALB, Ill.- Northern Illinois head football coach Jerry Kill spoke briefly at Tuesday's weekly press conference to review NIU's contest with Akron and preview Thursday night's game with Eastern Michigan.
NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill
On the upcoming game with Eastern Michigan Thursday
"A good football team approaches every game they play as the most important game. This game is very important to us. No. 1, we're at home, but we also have a chance to get six victories. That's important in where we're at right now. We approached it that way. Certainly the practice plan has been a little different and it's been very fast. It's hard to get a team prepared in that short period of time."
On a wrap-up from Saturday's game
"On Sunday, we watched the film and the score didn't indicate how well we played except for the penalties. Our kids really played hard. Probably the best we've played up front since I've been here. With that, they played hard and we're a bit banged up. I'm more concerned about our health going into Thursday. What we did yesterday was pull the pads off of them. We only went about an hour and 20 minutes. That's about all you can do. Most of it's team, we didn't get a lot of individual stuff done. We just do the best we can."
Scouting Eastern Michigan
"The biggest thing is that Eastern, in my opinion, has played the toughest schedule in the MAC. They played four, Division I programs, and they just got back from playing Arkansas. They're very skilled. Offensively, week to week, they come out with something different. I know our defensive staff is very concerned because we're young on defense. If they come out with something different, how quick are we going to be able to come in and react to it? The threat of the unknown is a concern. With a short week, it may be a good thing."
"Defensively, they're a very aggressive team with good speed and very solid in the kicking team. I just think their schedule, the way it is lined up, they haven't had anybody on it that isn't a good football team."
On coming out ready to play versus Eastern Michigan
"I don't think there's any question that we need to come out there with some energy. Even though we didn't get a lot of points early in the game, we dominated the first quarter of last week's game. I think we need to do the same. We need to come out with lots of energy and a lot of focus. It gives us a chance to get Grady a lot better."
On DeMarcus Grady's improvement
"We haven't asked him to be a drop-back passer a lot. Basically, it has been play action, quick screens, things that we know he feels good about. For us to take the next step, we have to be able to hit the ball down the field. We have to see what he can do as the weeks go by. He's got to improve in that area, so we have to put him in that position."