DAY AFTER CALL: HC Randy Edsall’s Assessment After The 49-7 Loss To Cincinnati

OPENING STATEMENT:

“Just talking about yesterday’s game, I need to find a way to get these guys to be a little more disciplined in terms of doing what they are being taught to do, on a consistent basis. Then we’ll have an opportunity to win, have an opportunity to be more efficient and effective in all three phases. One of the things you look at is there are times during the game where everyone lined up correctly, everyone executes their assignment, does their job, plays with good fundamentals and good techniques, we look pretty good. When we don’t, we look pretty bad. That’s the challenge I have with this group. I need to challenge them to get stronger because we were outmatched from a strength standpoint yesterday. They also need to believe in themselves, believe that they can go out, compete and win against the people that we’re going to. That’s the challenge that I have with these guys, to get them to understand that and get it done on a consistent, day-in and day-out basis, and then on a weekly basis as we go into the games.”

YOU KNEW HEADING INTO 2018 THERE WOULD BE CHALLENGES, ARE THE CHALLENGES WHAT YOU EXPECTED?:

“I think I knew what we looked like coming into this season and I knew what we were going to be facing in terms of the people that we were going to play. I don’t think there was anything that really surprised me. I knew what our strength were, I knew what our weaknesses were and you try to utilize your strengths and hide the deficiencies. Once you get into some games and people see you do certain things or see that you can’t handle certain things, you’re going to see them until you beat them and you show them differently. In some cases, we’ve done some of those things and in others we haven’t done those things and we continue to see it. We aren’t doing a good enough job of beating those things, so people keep doing them. What we need is sooner or later, sometimes people just need to make plays because not every play that you draw up is going to be perfect versus what people do. It comes to the point in time where someone needs to step up and make a play, either offensively, defensively or on special teams. Somebody needs to win in one-on-one matchups and we haven’t been doing a lot of that.”

LEARNING TO PLAY TOGETHER AS A TRUE DEFENSIVE UNIT:

“That’s one of the things that we’ve been talking about. Today, they watched the film as units to go over those things. One of the things that we need to continually do, we can’t coach these kids, we have to teach them because to me, there’s too many of them that don’t know how to play the game of football. They don’t understand situations. They don’t understand the big picture, with how everything evolves. A lot of them aren’t taught that, they don’t come in here and when you have young guys and other guys that haven’t come from programs where the fundamentals and the techniques have been taught, that’s what we have to do. We have to teach them everything, from A to Z. From football, how to practice and how to do all those things. That’s something we need to continue to do a good job of and do a better job of with these guys. In the long run, it will all pay off. Right now, we have to go through the pain of doing those things. In the long run, we are going to be fine. I took some guys now that I’m not going to play anymore as freshmen, they know what they will need to do to play and be successful at this level. Now we’ll let them get bigger and stronger because some of these guys weren’t big enough and strong enough coming in here, but we needed them to play. Now, after four games, some of them I’m not playing anymore, they are going to just redshirt, they are going to get extra lifting in and then in the long run, we’ll be better off down the road when we can play fifth year seniors, just like a lot of other teams do. Again, this is a developmental program. This isn’t a program that is going to have, shouldn’t have and won’t have guys coming in here and playing right away. What you want to do is develop guys. As you develop them, they have that experience, strength and knowledge because they’ve been taught the game. They’ll have good role models and I’m not saying anything bad about any of our guys, but they’ll have role models teaching them how to do it the UConn way right from the very beginning when they get here.”

HAVING TO LEARN THE GAME OF FOOTBALL, IS THAT INDICATIVE OF THE TYPE OF COACHING PLAYERS ARE GETTING AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL?:

“Football is a lot different at this level. There are really good high school coaches out there, I’m not saying that. I’m not saying there aren’t good high school coaches, there are good high school coaches, but at this level, the amount of work and amount of preciseness that goes into it and the understanding of everything, they don’t get to spend as much time with these kids in high school. The terminology and depth of what you might go into is different at this level. It’s a learning curve, it’s a process that kids need to go through to be able to pick that stuff up and do it. That’s one thing. We are in a program where we need to develop those guys. We don’t select, we recruit. What we have to do is develop those guys, so when you look at the whole package of guys coming in. Just go back and look, our success came from redshirting a bunch of guys and developing them, playing with fifth year seniors, that’s where your success lies in a program like ours. We aren’t an Alabama, we aren’t that type of school.”

OF THE OLDER GUYS, WHO IS PROVIDING LEADERSHIP?:

“We have a leadership council, have a guy at each position, so those are the guys that should be stepping up and trying to do those things. That’s another thing, we don’t have somebody right now, that’s strong enough. We have a leadership council, but we don’t have very many vocal guy that are willing to step up, get outside their comfort zone and take the bull by the horns. We don’t have the Ryan Krug’s, the Alfred Fincher’s, the DJ Hernandez’s, the Darius Butler’s or Cody Brown’s, we don’t have those guys yet. That’s part of the program to in developing these guys. We don’t have the leadership within our program, right now. We have good kids and guys that do the things that do things, but we don’t have those extraordinary guys that step out and are comfortable making other teammates uncomfortable by doing the right thing. We don’t have that guy yet. We need to get that because if it’s always coming from the coaches to get it done, they aren’t going to be a good team. It needs to come from within. Kids aren’t brought up that way anymore, they aren’t brought up to be leaders. Nobody goes out to organize games. That’s part of the recruiting process. We are going to be going out recruiting a week from today, that following week, the open week, that’s one of the big questions that we try to ask. We have some young kids here that I think are going to be good leaders down the road, we have some young kids doing a good job, but they are still learning the way. As you get into your program, you develop this leadership that guys see and step up. That’s why we have young guys on the leadership council. That’s why when we go out recruiting, we ask those tough questions, we need to find out who are those guys that can be leaders and aren’t afraid to put their teammates in uncomfortable situations, question them and be the guy that stands up without worrying what anyone else thinks of him, we don’t have that right now. That’s something we’ve been working on for two years now. We’re trying to develop those things. That’s why we do a lot of things with leadership, but we don’t have those one, two, three or four guys that are willing to step out of their comfort zone and take that role to where it needs to go.”

HAVING THE 2008 TEAM THERE YESTERDAY, DOES THAT HELP?:

“That’s why we keep bringing these guys in. Every home game we have different guys in as honorary captains. We have them come in and speak because they have a lot of pride in this program. We’re trying to get it back. I want those guys to hear from the guys who went through here, what they had to do in order to be successful and how you have to do it. They are getting a great message from other people besides the coaches. Cody Brown gave a good talk, DJ Hernandez talked before, Tyler Lorenzen, Ryan Krug and Brian Markowski, same thing, but we lost that tradition and oneness of our program with not having these guys back. These guys when to bowl games, they put in the hard work, they know what it takes and they have a lot of pride in this place. I want these kids to see how much these guys have and we want them to get it back, to get it going again. To bring these guys back to speak to them. I’m trying to do everything I possibly can to make this thing happen as quickly as we can. Some of these freshmen, we are going to redshirt them because they aren’t big enough or strong enough. The only way they are going to get stronger, I can get them another lift, I can get them to put on some weight and understand the rigors they need to go through, but I’ve addressed this too many times before, the only way you get stronger is with time, by working in the weight room. That’s what I want them to do. Cody Brown told them he came in here at 207-pounds and ended up being 245-lbs and was a pretty good player, but you have to work at it. He told them how he got tired of getting beat up every day on the board drills and those things. He made it a point that I’m not going to get beat, I’m going to give it everything I have, every day, to get better. Those are some of the things these kids need to hear.”

A LOT OF PLAYERS AFTER THE GAME TALKED ABOUT THE MISSED FIELD GOAL RESULTING IN PLAYERS LOSING BELIEF, ARE YOU SURPRISED AT THE LACK OF MENTAL TOUGHNESS IN THE PROGRAM?:

“I don’t think we are a very mentally tough team, at all. That’s one of the things that we have to continually try to work on and dwell on. You can’t let something like that effect you. If you really look at the film, we should have been ahead at halftime, in my opinion. We weren’t because we didn’t do the things necessary. You can’t let those things bother you. The offense can’t worry about feeling like they need to score every time. You can’t think that way. If you need to score 60-points to win, then that’s what you need to do. You can’t worry about that. You start worrying about those things then you aren’t focusing on what you really need to do in order to be successful or to help to win a game. None of these kids have ever won here. None of these kids have ever been a part of a winning season. First and foremost, they all have to believe in themselves. They need to believe that they can do the work. They need to believe they can go out there and hold their own against the people they are going against. But guess what? You need to put in that work, get bigger and strong and understand the game. Those are all the things that we’re trying to put together, come up with different ways to teach them and understand that, but then they have to want to go do it for themselves.”

MATT SCHONVISKY / SITE CREATOR

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3 months ago
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