Aug. 25, 2014
Interviews: OC Cubit | DC Banks | QB Lunt | LB Monheim
Head coach Tim Beckman met with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday. Selected quotes are below. For the full video of the press conference, the full video is available at the top of the page.
"It's about that time, as we all know. Great preseason camp. I'm very, very excited about this football team. Mostly importantly, I'm excited not just abou the type of talent we have, but I'm excited about what these football players have done for us. They have been outstanding since December. We've challenged them to be better players, we've challenged them to be better men. And that's exactly what they've met. We've got just a blessed atmosphere to be around these players because they come in prepared, they come in ready and they come in committed to themselves. As I said downstairs in Rotary today, it might be corny but love is out there. This football team loves taking care of one another. They understand what needs to be done. They've done it off the field, they've done it in the classroom, now it's time to do it on the football field, so we're very, very excited about this game getting started.
I do know a lot about Youngstown State. Of course, one of those programs that is known throughout this country. They've been involved in a lot of championships, of course with Coach Tressel. We texted back and forth with each other this morning and he'll be up for the football game. So I can't wait to see him and Ellen and his family. But we know the challenge that Youngstown State will bring here because they will play to the last second of the football game and they will give you everything they've got. But what we need to do as a football team is take care of what we can control, and that's the fundamentals of football. We talked about it as a staff this morning. We must tackle, we must catch the football, we must block, we must shed blockers. We must do the things that any football player needs to do to be successful."
When do you want to get that right tackle spot finalized?
"We're still going to work it. I would give the nod - if we were playing tomorrow - to Pat Flavin. Right now, we'll make that decision on Thursday because they've still got three more days to compete. Christian has made up some ground. You think about him and he played defensive end in high school. Last year, he had the surgery so he wasn't able to play as much. His body has grown and it takes time getting used to. He's going to be a phenomenal player, it's just the learning aspect."
What have you liked from Flavin?
"Leadership. I know that doesn't have anything to do with football skills. Pat works extremely hard. What Pat can do right now is he brings a little more experience and he understands about what we want up front. But, again, it'll be a great competition and we'll find out on Thursday."
Why do you think there's more optimism around the program than in past years?
"I think it's (got to do with) a little bit of maturity. You look on the two-deep and you saw a lot of freshmen and sophomores who had to play. We weren't able to redshirt like we can now because of some depth (issues). But the belief in the system and the belief in one another and the belief that this football team needs to take that next stride. We have the last two years - again, nothing to brag about going from two to four (wins) - but again, it was better. We've made those strides off the football field, now let's make them on Zuppke Field."
What does Kenny Nelson bring to the defensive end position?
"Kenny's a quiet guy, he doesn't say a whole bunch. But what Kenny has shown us is he's very, very athletic. You have to be athletic to play the defensive end to the field (side of the formation). He's also very lengthy, which we haven't had that length like you would like. That's why Jihad Ward and Paul James are there, too. Kenny works extremely hard and I really think his game is in front of him. He can continue to learn what he needs to do and he can be a definite talent in the Big Ten."
How is Jake Howe enjoying playing fullback?
"You should see the big smile he gets on his face when you tell him he's going to go in and play fullback. He was recruited here to be a fullback, which I didn't realize until this year. But he's put on the weight and he can play defensive line for us; we don't have any question about that. We just wanted a bigger presence at fullback and he definitely gives us that at 295 pounds."
What do you know about Youngstown State?
"I know a lot about them. There are five coaches on that staff that I've known forever and I know how they coach. They do a great job. That's why Youngstown State wins a lot of football games. They're dynamic on offense. They're going to run a lot of spread and they're going to try to overload you in the pass game by attacking levels. Defensively, they're going to zone-dog probably every play. There's a little bit of an old Ohio State flavor on that coaching staff, so I know a little bit about the coordinators and what they bring. They do a phenomenal job."