Todd Orlando & Tim Beck quotes – 8/30/17

Todd Orlando (Will Gallagher/IT)

Todd Orlando (Will Gallagher/IT)

Both Todd Orlando and Tim Beck were available Wednesday afternoon to talk about camp and preview Maryland.

Todd Orlando

On what he’s seen on tape from Maryland: “Well I think they’re extremely quick and explosive. That’s the first thing that pops out to me. When you look at both running backs, you look at the quarterback, even DJ Moore, you look at their skill guys and they’re extremely quick. I think they do a great job of getting those guys the ball in space, and I think that, to me, is what we’re going to get. Put us out either on the perimeter, or create some number count issues and try to run by us. That’s what we’re preparing for, that’s what we expect.”

On where he might have concerns: “I think if you guys saw the depth chart, I don’t think you go through anyone in the two-deep and say to yourself ‘oh wow, if he gets in the game, they’re in trouble.’ I do feel decent about it. Obviously, as a coach, you always probably want more. But I don’t think there’s a glaring spot on there if somebody’s shoelace was to break or helmet come off that you say ‘oh my goodness, we’re going to put that kid in the game.’ We’ve done a decent job. Obviously, there were some guys that we shuffled them around a little bit, tried to get the best athletes we could, and tried to develop them. From that standpoint, we are happy.”

On Naashon Hughes: “I think he’s taken a lot of pride. He’s an older guy too, so most of the time older guys, especially when new staffs come in, they probably handle it a little bit better. From his standpoint, I think we’re his third, correct? I think he was on the tail end of Mack’s last year. He’s been through it. I think he’s a little bit comfortable. Like you said before, he does have to make more plays. I’ve been on him about that. It’s a production business. It’s not about lining up there and just ‘I’ve been a starter.’ It’s about producing. We’ve talked. He understands that he has to be more productive.”

On Charles Omenihu: “Charles is doing some good things. He’s starting to use his length, and I think that’s probably the biggest thing. I thought he played high last year and ran around blocks. Now he’s becoming more physical. He’s a natural pass rusher, but I think he’s starting to take pride in the run game, too. He’s had a really good last three weeks of camp and we’re expecting big things out of him.”

On the depth chart saying Omenihu OR Roach: “We plan on playing those guys 50/50. One of them gets hot, then we might go 60/40 or 65/35, but we wanted to give Charles the respect too of what kind of camp he had.”

On if he has pass rushers: “We do. We do have a lot of guys that are natural. Even if you look at (Breckyn) Hager, if you look at (Naashon), Jeff McCulloch is another guy, then the guys up front. Even Poona (Ford). You come into a situation where you watch those guys in one on ones and you watch them on specialty, whether it’s third down or whether it’s a team pass environment, they can get after the quarterback. That’s a good luxury to have.”

On Gary Johnson: “Right now, he’s behind Malik (Jefferson). He’ll be the fourth linebacker. Based on our substitution packages that we have, he’ll be the next guy in the game. From our standpoint, when you’re the fourth linebacker — obviously he’s the third inside linebacker – if something happens, he goes into the game. We can mix and match. If we feel like somebody’s not getting it done, we can move him in there and pull other guys over. He’s going to play a lot of ball for us.”

On Johnson’s best attribute: “Speed. He can fly. He’s a tough kid too. We put those monitors on their backs. Kind of a GPS system to show how fast they’re going. He’s gotten up in the 20 mph range. Pretty fast for a 225 pound kid. That’s usually where the receivers are at. He can go.”

On who’s the fastest: “I’d probably say Kris Boyd. Somewhere around there. It’s a little bit hard because some of these kids don’t go wide open like Kris will get. He might be on some special team where he has to run 40 yards so you’ll see. Obviously he’s playing corner, so he gets the chance to go wide open. Some of the linebackers and some of the safeties don’t necessarily do that, but we get the numbers back, and Gary can run.”

Anthony Wheeler. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Anthony Wheeler. (Will Gallagher/IT)

On Anthony Wheeler: “He’s doing good. Wheeler’s going to run the show out there. He’s our starting middle linebacker. Well deserved. He showed up every week. Been very reliable, durable for that position, which I’m really happy with. That position during a five week period of camp, you can get banged up pretty quick. He’s gotten through it. In my opinion, he’s probably the top guy in our room at linebacker in terms of football IQ. So that gives him a chance to anticipate and do those things. We’ll see.”

On if he knows how his team will react to a physical challenge: “No, I don’t think it’s a wait and see. I think around here, if you’ve seen our practices, which I know you guys most of the time have not been able to see, but we train really hard for that. We train for chaos. We train for battles. I’ve said this before, there’s only one way to know if you can take a punch and that’s to get in a fight. That’s every day in practice, we go out there, we compete, and it’s going to be live. They’re going to be physical practices. It’s like you said, if you don’t train that way and you expect guys to respond during a game then, I’m going to tell you what’s going to end up happening. They’re going to wilt. You don’t do that. It just doesn’t happen naturally. Human nature says you’re either a fight or flee, but you’ve got to train to fight. That’s what we do in practice.”

On how he tries to force turnovers: “We practice it. In every individual period that we have, we’ll practice it. That’s the number one thing. We’ll really stress it when we’re going against either our offense or ‘look’ teams and really go after the football. Then a lot of the times, in my experience with it, it’s been what kind of defense you are. So if you’re a pressure team, there’s probably more of a chance of a quarterback to make a bad throw or be disruptive. Majority of the time, where you get the football is being a physical bunch and running to the football. The ones that I’ve had that have been really good, you get a lot of hats to the football and you start roughing some running backs up, it seems like the ball has more of a chance to get out of there. Doing those things will help us.”

On Maryland QB Tyrrell Pigrome: “I’m sure going through some of the mechanical stuff that he had to improve with it… like I said beforehand, he’ll be able to throw the football. It’s not one of these things where he’s not going to be able to throw a hitch or throw a takeoff. He’s going to be able to do that. We’ve got to be ready for both of them, but he’s more of a runner.”

On if he expects Kasim Hill to play: “I do. I think at some point they’ll rotate him in there. I think at some point we’ll see him.”

On third down defense: “Third down especially. Most of the time, you get down in the red zone, you want to hold them to field goals. Third down’s going to be really big in this game. It’s huge, especially when you get into people that want to run up-tempo offense on both ends. If they decide to go really fast and we decide to go really fast, and you can get three and outs, either side of it I think it puts a little bit more pressure on a defense. Third down is going to be huge in this game.”

On Jamari Chisholm: “He’s done a good job. It’s one of these things where all the new guys that come in here, it’s not even the football part of it. It’s the scheduling. It’s ‘do this, do this’ and they’ve got like 14, 15 things a day that they’ve got to get accomplished. The talent was always there, it was just getting in line with our culture. I think finally he got lined up, very similarly to Gary. Gary was the same way. Everything was ‘I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do this, I never did this before and they’re asking me to do this,’ and then all of a sudden they figure out what we’re doing and then they’re able to show their talent. That’s what it is with both of those kids. They’re able to come in here and say ‘I’m a big, strong guy. I can help us out.’ We’re looking at it saying the only thing that we care about right now is that you’re doing all the little things the right way. We know you’re talented. We’ve got to be able to trust you if we put you on the field.”

On if that’s a learning curve for junior college players: “I don’t want to say that. Each kid is different. Each kid is coming from a different background. I don’t want to sit there and say it’s a junior college deal with it. You can ask Naashon Hughes about coming in there and doing the things we’re asking them to do. It’s just different. A Tom Herman-run program is just different. We’re different. The expectations and the scheduling of these guys, in terms of what needs to be done, just like when we got here in January, these guys then get a chance to go through that. They came in in July, and all of a sudden ‘here you go boys.’ The problem is 85 other guys know how to do it. You’re the only two in the incoming freshmen that don’t know how to do it. That’s what they struggle with.”

Kris Boyd. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Kris Boyd. (Will Gallagher/IT)

On his highest rated corner and safety from camp: “Our best corner is Kris. Then at safety you could probably put a blanket over them. I love all those guys. To me, there’s nobody that’s really showed up and did the ‘I’m elite.’ I think they’re all really, really good players. I’m excited about that position. I really am.”

On Ta’Quon Graham and Josh Thompson: “TQ, he’s part of a rotation. You’re probably looking in either the 25 to 30 percent. 80 plays; 24 plays, 25 plays, that’s where I’d like to see TQ. Josh, we’ll see how Josh plays out. To me, playing a corner position, (it’s) our guys unless they’re absolutely exhausted. He’ll be on a very small percentage. He’ll probably be more of a special teams guy.”

On how many players he rotates and if he plays 20-30 players: It depends. I’m ‘play our best guys.’ But, once again it goes into what’s happening in the game? Are we tired? Do we look tired? I’ve never taken that approach. To me, hockey-shifting guys in there, I’m not a big fan of that. You put your best guys on the field and you train them for stamina. You train them for contact so this way you can have them throughout the game. We’ll see how it plays out. Things happen during the course of a game. Some guys might need to be relieved a little bit. We’ll see how it plays out.”

On who is in the defensive coach’s box: “Jason Washington, and a couple of the support guys.”

On if he likes physical challenge from Maryland:” Absolutely. I think if you ask Maryland they’d say the same thing. It’s the first ball game. It’s one of those deals. I don’t think it’s necessary to say ‘we’re glad we’re doing this’ or ‘playing these guys.’ We finally get a chance to play somebody else. I think they would say the same exact thing. Fall camp for us was the end of July. Here we are, and we’re still a couple days away from the game. Having five weeks of training against each other and doing all these things, and to finally put all that stuff to bed. Tired of hitting our own guys and get a chance to go out there and compete against somebody else is healthy for both parties.”

On the Texas offense: “I think they’re going to be great. I really do. It’s creative. They can twist and turn you with tempos. We’ve got playmakers.”

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Tim Beck (Joe Cook/IT)

Tim Beck (Joe Cook/IT)

Tim Beck

On if he sees Harbaugh or Meyer influence in DJ Durkin: “I think a little bit. I think DJ, over the years he’s been with Muschamp, he’s been with a lot of different guys over the years. I think he’s kind of developed his own style. He does a great job with it. They’re very well coached defensively. They play really hard. You see those attributes in him from the guys he’s been with that they’re well coached and play really hard.”

On the expectations or ‘leash’ on Buechele: “I don’t know that we have a ‘leash’ on him. I hate to use that term. He’s our starting quarterback. We’re going to ride with him as long as he’s going to drive us. If for some reason he doesn’t and we feel like in the best interests of our football team we have to make a change, then we will. By no means are we going in with that. I’m not one of those kind of guys. I think he’s going to play lights out. I really do. I think he’s going to have a great game.”

On if there’s an advantage having previously coached against Maryland: “I think certainly we’re probably a little more familiar with they’re personnel because we’ve played them and recognize them defensively. They have quite a few starters back on defense. Having played against DJ over the years, even when he was at Michigan… I think with that being said probably a little bit more familiarity with him than you would say somebody you haven’t played against.”

On the running backs: “There’s a group there, that’s for sure. I really like Chris (Warren’s) development and Kyle (Porter’s) development. I think those two guys took a step forward. Maybe a little bit from the rest of the pack. I like all of them. There’s five guys that could probably play at some point. I do think it’s a deeper group than we first initially had thought it would be. There’s still a lot of development that needs to be done by some of the young guys. I think we all feel good about the direction that they’re going.”

On the wide receiver rotation: “A lot of that is through coach (Drew) Mehringer. I trust him and his judgement and what he needs to do. We’re going to keep them fresh. That’s for sure. We’ve got a lot of them, so let’s play them and keep them fresh, and keep putting pressure on those defensive backs so they have to cover fresh bodies.”

On Maryland defenders he needs to account for: “They’ve got a great defensive end. They had a lot of sacks last year. I think it was 37 sacks. Almost three a game is what I think it averaged out to. They’ve done a nice job. Middle linebacker has done a nice job for them. They had a safety last year, too. There’s a couple of guys that they have on their team that do a really good job. They’re around the football a lot. They run to the football. They play hard. They’re big inside as well. It’s going to be a good challenge for us. There’s no question about it. We’re up for it. I think our guys have worked really hard. I caught the end of (Todd Orlando’s) comments. We’re ready just to play somebody else for goodness sake already. It’s time.”

On the progress Ehlinger has made: “A lot. I really love the way Sam worked once he got over, like all freshmen do, at some point they have a two or three day meltdown from all the offense versus all the defense. Once he got past that, he made leaps and bounds. I’m really pleased with his improvement.”

On if he’s got chemistry with Herman: “It’s beautiful. He’s been awesome. Really, our whole group. You can’t forget coach (Stan) Drayton, coach (Corby) Meekins, coach Mehringer, coach (Derek) Warehime, all those guys. Extremely supportive. Very loyal, hardworking guys. No egos. That’s the most beautiful thing about going into that room, and even with coach Herman, he’s the same way. Learning from him, his ideas, the things that he’s got, us spit balling and throwing up ideas, it’s been a really great lead-in to the fall camp and a lead-in to our season right now.”

On learning Herman’s game tendencies over time: “It’s weird. I think we see so much alike that way. I don’t know that I would have done anything different so far that we’ve done in our preparation. The things that we’re doing I really don’t see anything like that where I would say ‘boy, I would do this different’ or ‘I would try to do this.’ Also, with coach, he wants you to say that. If we feel like ‘hey, we need to not practice as long’ or ‘hey, this guy needs to run this route instead,’ he wants to hear it and talk about it. We’ll come up with the best answer. He’s been on point. I think our guys are ready to play. I really do.”

Shane Buechele (Will Gallagher/IT)

Shane Buechele (Will Gallagher/IT)

On asking Buechele to be more vocal: “He’s grown up an awful lot. I’m really pleased with what he’s done. It’s hard to play the position here because I want so much chaos for him because his job is really hard. Really hard. All the things that we ask that guy to do every single play. His growth in that area has been outstanding. It really has been. Now he still has got a ways to go because he’s still just a sophomore. We forget that. You think because he played last year he’s a senior. I really love the way he’s responded. He’s worked extremely hard. I mean extremely hard. I’m really proud of what he’s put in to prepare himself for this game”

On his message to Ehlinger with Buechele starting: “He’s got to be ready. He’s one play away. A chin strap could break and he’s got to go in on fourth and one on the goal line. His preparation has got to be like he’s the starting quarterback. He’ll be on the headset listening, communicating so when I talk to Shane or when I see things, and we’re saying ‘hey they’re doing this,’ he’s mentally getting those reps.

On Garrett Gray and Cade Brewer: “I think both those guys have developed. They both can run and catch. They’ve gotten a lot better at blocking through the course of the fall. I’m really pleased with those guys, their development, and where they’re at. I’m excited to see those guys go out there and play.”

On the offensive line: “We’re going to live and die with those guys. A veteran group. A lot of very good players up there. Very tough, physical guys. I think of all the groups, they’ve come the farthest in terms of the transition of the culture of who we are. We’re going to ride those guys. There’s no question about it.”

On who will be in the coach’s box with him: “Coach Meekins will be up.”

On Kendall Moore: “Good. Like anybody as they come into a new system and a new environment, missing spring and some of summer, he was behind and had a lot to catch up. He’s made progress, a lot of progress to get to a certain level, but our guys have also made progress. He’s still a little bit behind them. He could see some action.”

On Kirk Johnson: “Kirk’s really come a long way. Really pleased with him in the fall as well. Might see him out there some as well.”