COACH SPEAK : SEPTEMBER 9
By Leo Haggerty
Starting a new column this week that we’re calling it “COACH SPEAK” for an obvious reason. Each week, we’ll take the quotes from at least one professional and one collegiate coach throughout the United States. This week we have HC Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Clemson University HC Dabo Swinney. Both are very quotable and very amusing as well as insightful with their commentary as you will see below. Enjoy.
LH : College football is just not putting out NFL-ready quarterbacks for a lot of reasons but the biggest one is the spread option. How nice is it to have Jameis Winston, who looks like he’s going to be around for at least 10 years, as your QB?
DK : I think that Jameis is only going to be here a couple of years after that coaching job he did the other night for Florida State. I think Jimbo is going to bring him back. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to pay him enough to keep him. It is hard for people to transition from the spread to pro football. I hope Jameis is here for 12 to 14 years. I doubt I’ll be here for 12 to 14 years. Just look at the rookie QB class coming into the league this year. It remains to be seen if they will be able to do what Jameis did last year. Those guys are just hard to find.
LH : Playing in a controlled environment at The Georgia Dome, does that effect how DC Mike Smith will rotate his defensive lineman?
DK : We’re going to rotate guys. I just think that’s the norm in the NFL right now. Atlanta is doing the same thing with their defensive line. It’s just tough. If you have the depth to rotate, and you have the ability to rotate fresh defensive linemen in there against offensive linemen, that’s definitely the way to go. That’s what we’re going to try and do here.
LH : You and DC Smith are only two years removed from Atlanta. Does that help in that you know certain player’s tendencies?
DK : Right now, I think teams are more scheme-oriented. They got a new coaching staff. OC Kyle Shanahan on offense. Of course Coach Quinn brought the Seattle defensive scheme with him. They chose guys from other members of coaching staffs. I don’t think so. We know some of the personnel but they’ve changed a lot of the personnel since Mike and I were there. We know a few guys on both sides of the ball and that may help a little bit.
LH : You’re starting receiving corps are from 6’4″ to 6’6″. You have a basketball team out there. How nice is that for Jameis in the sense that when these big guys turn around, they are creating separation just because of their size?
DK : We like big receivers. And, like you just say, we like receivers that can get open. They come in all shapes and sizes. I prefer big guys but there are guys that are good that aren’t 6’5″ and 6’6″ but that’s what we got. Those are the guys we got. We’re fired-up about that and we’re going to coach them and try to get them in good spots. We do have little guys like Adam Humphries, He’s not 6’5″ but he finds a way to get open. We going to use Adam, in fact we are going to do this with all of our players, and put him in positions where he can play to his strengths and avoid his weaknesses. That’s the chess match of football. Putting players in position to maximize their strengths and avoid there weaknesses.
LH : Do you think the media has been too tough on your rookie kicker?
DK : Definitely. I definitely think that. This media here is way too tough on everybody. In fact we’re going to get rid of Roberto and pick up his brother (this was a joke but Koetter, with a straight face, continued on with the charade). I told Roberto today. His brother is going to be the first person to leave Florida State early. We’re cutting Roberto and getting his brother. I read everything you guys (the media) writes and you’ve got me convinced that he’s terrible.
LH : Wayne Gallman. Blocks like an All-American tackle and catches like a first-round draft pick wide receiver plus gets you at least 100-yards a game on the ground. I know there’s a guy on the West Coast get a lot of notoriety but is there a better all-around running back than Wayne Gallman in college football today?
DS : Wayne Gallman is just raw power and a tough kid. He averaged four-yards-a-carry and, believe me with the way the Auburn defense was playing, those were extremely tough yards. The fact that he was able to get his 100-plus yards rush was amazing. He’s off to a great start.
LH : You have Troy coming up this week. Do you think the reasons the non-Power Five conferences are becoming more competitive is the scholarship limitations on the Power Five conferences and the use of the spread offense?
DS : I don’t think so. The scholarship limitation has been around for a long time now. What I do think is happening is that Troy just does a great job of recruiting athletes to their program and there’s a lot of athletes out their to choose from.
LH : Did Mike Williams exceed your expectations last night?
DS : Not really. Yes, it was nice to have him back after a year’s absence and you could tell he was a little rusty. He had some great plays but he had 3 drops and that’s not like Mike. The slant he dropped was for a touchdown. Sometimes the great plays overshadow the not-so-great ones. He graded out a 78. That’s not where he, or we, want him to be. He needs to be up in the high 80’s to 90 range when grading out.