George O'Leary Quotes - Oct. 4

Oct. 4, 2010

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By Heather Lancaster

UCF head football coach George O'Leary met with the Orlando media on Monday to preview Wednesday's C-USA opener against UAB. Here is a sampling of what he had to say.

On the way the schedule falls:
"It helps having two Wednesdays in a row rather than just one Wednesday and splitting it up. We just treat Wednesday as Saturday and count back. Today is Thursday. It screws up the wives big-time. The big thing is that there's two in a row so we'll play Wednesday night and then Thursday is Sunday and we'll move from there. The kids get used to that schedule and it's not so bad two weeks in a row. You take the Wednesday night game because you're the only game on TV so it's great exposure for the teams playing and the UCF campus. ESPN usually does a great job of getting around and making sure everything gets included in the tape as far as the campus itself. I think it's great exposure throughout the whole country."

On bouncing back from K-State.
"I think players are very resilient. Coaches aren't. That was a tough loss from the standpoint that we had so many opportunities offensively and defensively. Defensively, we had a third-and-10 with a great man coverage call and the kid blew the coverage. We had chances to make plays defensively. We played a great game defensively but you have to play 60 minutes. Offensively, we just left way too many plays on the field. I'm talking five, six, seven touchdown situations. You can't do that and expect to be successful."

On the seniors calling a player's only meeting:
"That's garbage. That's garbage. That's out of line. I was down there right after that meeting with them. It concerns me that they have to do something like that to remind them that we have a whole season to play. That bothers me as a head coach. When players call meetings, as a head coach, that's for show. That's nothing. I don't get a lot out of those things. Why do you have to remind somebody to still play hard? That's a no compute to me."

What stands out to you about UAB?
"They're 28th in the country in offense. They're averaging about 440 yards per game. I think they've done a lot of good things on offense. They utilize two quarterbacks. They both can throw. (David Isabelle) can run a lot better than (Bryan Ellis) but they both do pretty much the same thing offensively. We're going to have to pretty much play the game plan and understand what's going on. They've had a lot of big plays. They've been in a lot of the games that they've played. They're 1-3 but they've played a lot better than that. (They say) you get what you deserve but I don't think that's the case with UAB. They had some tough decisions at the end of a couple of those games and lost a couple of them."

On Josh Robinson:
"He's a very good football player that can help us out. He really needs to start helping us in other areas besides defense like special teams. I think he has the ability to be a very good special teams player besides being a good corner. He breaks well on the ball. (He makes) good transitions. (He has) good reactions. (He has) good anticipation as far as the quarterback and ball are concerned."

On things missing from passing game:
"One, I think is the quarterback and his delivery on time and just hesitation and the touch - like the one pick against Kansas State (the receiver) was open but (he threw) behind the kid. I think (he needs) more timing and basically, the touch on the ball is one and another, receivers running through the cuts. We have worked hard on that and it keeps getting better and better. Protection wise, I think we have done a good job. We have only allowed three sacks all year. And that needs to continue because UAB has a couple of live wires that can rush the quarter back. As far as (Bryant Turner), I think he is a very good football player. He puts a lot of heat on the quarterback, whether it's sacks or tackles for losses. UAB is about a 50-percent coverage team. So, we are going to have to make some decisions to make plays."

On needing both quarterbacks Jeff Godfrey and Rob Calabrese:
"Heck yeah, did you see the last game? Of course we need both. I think it's natural when we have a young, freshman quarterback that you give him a chance to get a little blow out there and see what's going on to get his head where it's at, if he is making some mistakes. If they are older kids, I think you can use a one quarterback team because they are used to the pressure and the sense of urgency at that position. When you have a young kid, you have to have two ready to play and get them both in the game plan."

On Godfrey starting did you think he was going to take the reins?
"Well, it's amazing. People see big plays by the quarterback. They don't see the rest of the plays. That's what I see as a coach when I break the films down. If we made a mistake coaching wise last game, we should have gotten him off the field in a couple of situations just to make sure he knew what was going on in front of him. You put a lot of heat on a kid to know everything in the game plan and even shorten the game plan to help him out. If they change up something, he just doesn't have enough experience to know where to deliver the ball and even some of the run reads. I think he has to do that and he's asked to do that. He will come off and see what's going on, which is smart of him. That's the kind of team we have to be, especially with his youth. He will be a terrific player in the future and the rest of the year. But, there is a time where he has to see what's going on. He is still the number one quarterback, but we have to have the ability to play both guys."

On Godfrey's confidence:
"He is very confident and reassuring. He is not by any means cocky. I think he handles all that stuff real well as long as you set the game plan and you know what's going on. It's not whether is playing well or playing bad, there is a stage where the second quarterback is going to be in the game for a lot of reasons. It has nothing to do with his confidence."

On starting Godfrey and giving him the opportunities to sit out a few times:
"Godfrey is starting, there is no question there. Like I said, we have the ability to play both quarterbacks. It all depends on what we see going on and how he handles it."

On Kemal Ishmael's improvement:
"I think he is probably one of the most underrated defensive players we have. You see a lot of other guys get some name recognition. If I had to pick one guy out of the 11, Kemal would be right up there as far as the most valuable. He always does what he is supposed to do. When I look at the grades, there are very few minuses. He is always in the right position at the right time, except for the one time at Kansas State - that was his pass play on the backside. For the most part, he does a heck of a job. He is a great kid and I am very happy we have him."

On tailback Ronnie Weaver also playing a lot on special teams: "Play your best people. It's funny I watched the number one team in the country a little bit. I was going back and forth between the Marshall game and the Alabama/Florida game. I see Julio Jones. I see Trent Richardson. I see them all out there on special teams. You play your best kids. And that's what you have to do. I like playing a lot of people on special teams. It gives our team a chance for kids to get on the field. If you are on all four special teams that's about 25 plays a game. I think we are averaging 21-percent special teams a game. That's a good number of plays if you are on all four areas of special teams."

On kicker Nick Cattoi:
"He is still alive. He knows he has got to make it. He knows that. I'm not getting into a kicking thing. He is the best kicker we have. I think he picked his head up the one time and the next time he just didn't finish the kick. It was long, but just wide. He has done well."