Mizzou Media Day Quotes Coach Pinkel and the Tigers met with the media on Monday
Oct. 24, 2011
Head Coach Gary Pinkel Injury Report... “We expect Terrell Resonno to be back and playing, which is really good for us. Brayden Burnett most likely will [be back], too. Grant Ressel is questionable right now. We practiced yesterday and he strained his hip flexor in his kicking leg. We’ve got to see what the MRI looks like from that. Trey Barrow will take over if that would happen for this particular game. Anthony Gatti, a redshirt freshman offensive tackle, tore his ACL in practice last Wednesday. His meniscus is damaged a little bit too, so they will wait a couple of weeks to let the injury settle down, then they will go in and fix him up as good as new.”
Opening Statement... “Texas A&M is a very good football team. They are playing well, and offensively, their numbers are similar to Oklahoma State’s. This is a pretty high-powered offensive league this year. [A&M QB Ryan] Tannehill is an experienced quarterback and a very good player. We are impressed with him and how he plays. [Their] receivers and running backs are good, so they are outstanding. Defensively, they give up a lot of yards, but they also lead the league in sacks. They do a lot of damage and do a lot of good things.
We are working hard, trying to make ourselves better, as always. That’s what we’ve done since the day we got here. Certainly there is a lot of frustration around here. That’s ok, but it’s something we’ll have to work through because there is an expectation level that we have not met.”
On QB James Franklin’s state of mind... “I think every quarterback goes through tough games. He probably takes a little too much on himself, but you go back and analyze the turnovers. Most people simply will look at the quarterback and say, ‘It’s his fault’, but a route could be run the wrong way, a player could come out of a break the wrong way. For him, we had two balls tipped [at the line of scrimmage]. He’s had four balls tipped in 218 throws. That’s probably as normal as any quarterback we’ve ever had. He has a very high release. [On one of the tipped passes] he threw the ball too low and that’s how it got tipped and intercepted. It had nothing to do with decision making. The other one, the lineman didn’t get [the defender’s] hands down, and that’s his responsibility. We missed the point of attack block on the goal line. He had about a second and a half to adjust to that.
There are breakdowns in other areas, and what we do is we make sure he understands those. Certainly, especially for a young quarterback, you are always concerned about them not taking on too much themselves. He’s the kind of guy that would do that because that’s the type of person he is, so we’ve got to help him through that.”
On high-powered offenses in the Big 12... “We know [Texas A&M] has a lot of firepower. When you play offenses like that, you have to score points. We are 12th in the nation in total offense and I think there are five in our league ahead of us. In our league, that’s just how potent it is. It kind of reminds me of ’07 and ’08. A lot of these quarterbacks are experienced and doing really well.”
On E.J. Gaines’ interception return against Oklahoma State... “The first thing I did was scream, ‘stay in the end zone.’ We showed that play in front of our team because it was a big play in the game, and I told them, ’95 percent of the time, if you come out [of the end zone], generally you are going to get tackled on the four, five, six or seven-yard line, and the offense has that whole distance to go.’ That’s why we want to keep it in there and get the ball at the twenty, unless by some chance you have a clear shot to run. Bottom line is he is a heck of an athlete. I think it showed a bit of his will. You know, we’re struggling out there and here is a guy that says, ‘I’m going to make something happen.’ He’s athletic enough that he can do it. He just has to be able to separate the discipline of making sure you stay in the end zone and using good judgement when you bring it out. But there is no question about it, he is really a great athlete.”
On the Texas A&M defense... “There run defense numbers are very good. First of all, I think you should give them credit because they are doing a good job against the run. I think also, when you get a team that is a sack leader, a tackle for loss leader, all those yards come off the rushing game. So that’s where it filters down -- you have to go back and do the math a little bit. They have a really good scheme. [Sean] Porter, their linebacker, is really an impact player, and they bring him off of the corner all the time. He’s got a bunch of sacks and tackles for losses.
We’ve been rushing the ball pretty well, we just have to quit stopping ourselves on offense. There’s no question about it, [A&M’s run defense] presents a pretty good matchup.”
On the offense’s third quarter struggles... “It’s unfortunate we have to talk about that one more week because we made a little progress the week before, but we are in position to [excel]. [Against OSU] we had great field position twice and turned the ball over. We’ve got to do a better job coaching. There is nothing magical here. Bottom line is don’t turn the ball over and go score. It’s not like we’re three-and-out punt, three-and-out punt, three-and-out punt. That wasn’t the case. Beforehand, I think there was a lot of that in there, but that certainly wasn’t the case on Saturday.”
Sophomore DB E.J. Gaines On what was going through his mind during his interception return against Oklahoma State... “Really, I was just trying to make a play for the football team. In the back of my head, I knew I should have taken a knee, but I was just trying to make a big play for my football team and that’s what happened. I heard it from [my coaches] afterwards. I’m glad all my teammates were blocking for me because, a few times, it looked like they could have made plays on me, but there were a lot of key blocks on that return. In the end, it came up as a big play for us.”
On his maturation as a cornerback... “I’ve got a long ways to go. I would’ve actually rather been better than I am at this point, but I really just have to work on my fundamentals, staying low in my backpedal, keeping my eyes on [the receiver’s] hip instead of peeking at the quarterback, to get better as a cornerback.”
On playing against potent offenses in the Big 12... “It’s fun. We are all competitors here. That’s what they teach you at the University of Missouri, competing and competing. Anytime we play anyone in the Big 12, it’s always a fun competition.”
On convincing the coaches to give him a shot to get the ball in his hands... “It took me awhile because I’m a defensive player, and defensive players aren’t always the best with the ball in their hands. I feel like I’m doing all right for myself. I dropped a punt while I was back there, which the coaches don’t like that, but I feel like I’m calming down when I return punts.”
Junior WR T.J. Moe On James Franklin’s mentality... “His biggest thing is he doesn’t want to let anyone down, ever. So when he feels like he isn’t doing his best, it really eats at him. I think it really is eating at all of us. We’re all feeling it. None of us are feeling great about Saturday. You know, I had 100 yards and I felt awful after the game.”
On Texas A&M Ryan Tannehill’s conversion from wide receiver to quarterback... “It’s really unique. That’s real difficult to do, and I’ve never seen someone have that type of success. He is all over the field. He’s on special team and I think he is on their hands team. You got some really unique talent out there playing quarterback and having that kind of athletic ability; being able to transition from playing wide receiver midseason last year and coming in and being so successful at quarterback. I think that’s a really special individual.”