Mizzou Media Day Quotes Coach Pinkel and members of the Tigers football team talked to the media on Monday
Oct. 10, 2011
Head Coach Gary Pinkel Injury Report... “For the most part, things have stayed the same. Austin Wuebbels has a sprained shoulder and is questionable right now. We will make a decision, as we did last week, on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday based on what happens there.
We have decided to redshirt Will Ebner. We talked to Will last week about it. He wouldn’t be ready this week -- it might be a week or two down the road. You all know the issues Will has had injury-wise since he’s been here, and he has always been a soldier. You saw him last year wearing a boot all week long, doing everything he could to help the team win. I just want to be able to honor him, to try and allow him to get himself healthy so he can play next year. We are also going to put in a medical appeal for Elvis Fisher.”
Opening Statement... “Obviously we are disappointed with where we’re at right now. I think any time you go through adversity, you look at where you’re at, what you need to do to get better, and you persevere, fight and battle through it. That’s what we’re doing. That’s what we’ve always done. Your focus is on becoming a better football team, coaching better, playing better and being more consistent. We are going to keep working hard to do that.
Iowa State is a very good football team. They have a lot of good players and they are competitive. We’re game planning now, glad to be back at Mizzou with our fans.”
On winning and losing... “There’s no magic out there. We had the ball four times inside the 35-yard-line on Saturday and came away with three points. You’re going to have problems when you do that. Both sides of the football we had penalties, some very critical penalties. We had too many negative yards on offense, putting us in long third down situations. There are reasons why you win and reason why you lose. I know there is certainly frustration, but you get better by coaching better and by practicing. You also get better by the final 48 hours making sure that your mind is in a position to play your best. Winning isn’t magic. There are things you have to do, and we recognize that. Sometimes you try and solve problems and they don’t get solved fast enough, so you just keep battling through it until they get fixed.”
On position competitions... “Sheldon Richardson is playing well and Dominique [Hamilton] is playing well. They’re just competing. It shows there is a lot of competition there, I think it’s healthy and it’s good, and I think we are getting good work out of all those guys.
As far as Grant [Ressel] and some of the issues and trouble he has had, that simply means we will open it up to competition between him and Trey Barrow this week. Whoever wins the competition will do the kicking.”
On fixing penalties... “When you come into a program there is a discipline you do in terms of penalties and we’re just going through a phase. We are doing things we did when we built a great reputation for not having [discipline]. You just persevere through it. It’s frustrating, but our program has built a great reputation for not [committing penalties]. So you just battle through it until it turns. Trust me, we just don’t go out there and say, ‘Well, I hope it works out well’.” That doesn’t work.
On new players getting more opportunity... “I think every fan’s idea of fixing something is to throw someone else in there. Nobody knows our depth or our personnel better than I do. We handle it like we’ve always handled it. If we feel like a younger player can play, we’ll do it. If we feel like he’s not ready to play, he won’t. You want self-starters who are going to be able to play hard and do the right things regardless of who is in front or behind them. I think that’s a little bit of coaching, too. We’ve got to do a better job coaching to get the most out of our players.”
On planning ahead... “You plan for one football game. You plan for tomorrow’s practice, and you do everything that day to make sure you are doing things to help you play better on Saturday. There’s not magic out there. I don’t wake up and [think], ‘Boy, I hope things work out, I hope we win’.” That doesn’t work. You win because you prepared well, you play well and you’re coached well. Honestly, whether we are undefeated now or 2-3, that’s our focus. Our focus is the next game. I think obviously there is a lot of frustration and angst in our players because they are used to winning at a high level, and that’s ok as long as it’s guided in the right direction to help fix our problems.”
On Iowa State Head Coach Paul Rhodes... “He’s done a great job. He’s a good coach, he’s done a great job recruiting. His football team is very competitive and his team plays as hard as any team we play against.
Junior WR T.J. Moe On third down struggles... “My only input is if you throw me the ball, I’m going to get the first down. Everybody has their own things they are working on. Ours are third downs and some other things. I can’t tell you anything else than I’ll try to get open for you.”
On the importance of establishing the run game..... “We only ran seven plays in the first quarter against Kansas State, so nobody got the ball. It makes it easier on the offense if you can get a run game going. It makes it easier on the receivers because then guys are peeking in the backfield, trying to see if the running back broke lose. Henry [Josey] has made it easier on the receivers this year. Play calling is up to the coordinators. There’s sometimes against Oklahoma were we didn’t run it all that early. We were throwing the ball downfield. I was catching 30-yard passes in the first quarter and we were moving right along. It’s game to game and you try to figure it out from there.
Senior S Kenji Jackson On home field advantage... “I’m sure the intensity and the emotion from the crowd will really do a good job helping us. I know it helps me play when the crowd is really into it. It’s fun to play in those type of atmospheres. It can be a spark for us and help us to victory.”
On Iowa State... “Iowa State is a good team, just like ever team we are going to face the rest of this season. We are going to approach them harder than we’ve ever done. We are going to over-prepare and just keep playing football. We can’t forget this is a game we love, and it’s going to bring some hard times, but it’s ultimately going to make us better players, better coaches, and we’re going to learn from the mistakes we’ve made and do better.”