October 23, 2012
Ellerson's Weekly Press Conference
Ellerson's Opening Statement:
"The good news is, is that we have a game this Saturday. Ball State is coming to town and they're a good football team."
"They haven't canceled the season and my keys still work to the office this morning, so as I said, we want the arrow and get after somebody."
"Based on the way we practice this morning, our guys are resilient and excited to play, trying to get better. We know we have to play better, coach better and practice better."
"8th week of the season and practice relatively long. We need to have that as a young team. Guys were focused, trying to get better and we aren't miserable with each other."
GoBlackKnights.com's view of today's practice saw the offense have a good practice this morning .... good energy, good focus. Without a doubt, there was this workman-like but spirited group out there. As such, we had a couple of questions for the Army head coach at his Tuesday afternoon press conference.
Coach, this appears to be a classic case of Catch 22, where you want to finish the season on a strong note, but also get some of younger guys who will be the future of the program like AJ (Schurr), more significant reps. What are you thoughts?
We're just trying to find a way to win the football game. We really do have our heads down. You're right, I mean we think there are opportunities for A.J. to help us win a football game and we're not afraid to put him in there. But that will be the intent and it won't be to do something developmentally for some future football team.
We're trying to have the best football team we can this week and that's all we're going to worry about and we are going to keep that mindset going forward. Because that keeps everybody going, that keeps everybody engaged, that keeps everybody stepping forward.
And like I said, we don't need anymore young players out there, we've got plenty of them.
It appears that Raymond Maples has lost some pep in his step since the hit during the final offensive series against Boston College. Are you seeing the same thing and if so, is it just the wear and tear of the season or is there something physically hindering him?
I think it's just the wear and tear and it's nothing specific. But clearly having as many touches as he has and the number of times that he has been tackled ... he has his share of bruises and strains. We have to help him a little bit in practice. The good news is he's played so much, accomplished receiver and one of our best blockers out of the backfield if not our best blocker out of the backfield as well as a dynamic ball carrier. Again, I think you are right and the wear/tear has taken a little bit out of his step. But again, I was and we were all pleased with what we saw in practice this morning from him. Because he's as focused and I think a younger Ray Maples would have had a harder time with some of the things with some of the things that we are experiencing as a football team.
He's one of those guys that frankly that is handling these frustrations better than he would have. He's a more mature competitor and there's nobody more frustrated, nobody more angry and nobody wants to win more than he does.
Ellerson's comments on Ball State:
"The thing that is most remarkable is their passing game and their quarterback, Wenning (Keith) is guys you will be seeing play on Sunday and play well on Sundays. He has arm strength, accuracy, poised and sees the game very very well."
"They are not one dimensional and have a big physical running back in Edwards (Jahwan). A little different style of runner ... more patient perhaps in what they do. They are a complete outfit."
"They don't a receiver, but a couple of receivers. Sneed (Willie) has over 60 catches and the guy (Jamill Smith) behind him 54 catches. They can spread the ball around."
"They are not afraid to run the ball in passing situations if you are leaning too far."
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