STEVE ADDAZIO: Well we're excited to get into week 2, and obviously in week 1 we went out and did some things that I thought were quite good, and then other things that I think we need to really improve on. I think in Division I football you're in a footrace each week. I think the greatest improvements come in the first four or five weeks of the season.
That being said, our main focus right now is to improve on all three phases of our game. We're playing Howard, as you mentioned. Howard is returning six starters on offense, returns five on defense. They're going to come in here with some exciting players, some good team speed, and it's up to us to come out and really lock in to getting better and making our game more sound in every phase.
We're excited for it, looking forward to it, and with that, anybody have any questions.
Q: Darius Wade with his first start, what can you say about what you took away from him and his play. Obvioiusly you can look at the numbers and see some success, but watching the film back what you can say about Darius?
ADDAZIO: Well, I think Darius for his first start went out and we really had very few penalties, we had no turnovers. He threw the ball well, he handled himself well. i think he got an opportunity to learn some valuable lessons and spread out passes and Darius needs to be able to get rid of the football and avoid sacks. All in all, I think for his first outing it was a good starting point and then he like everybody else, we've got to just now improve each week. We want to raise the level of our play. Where we are right now is certainly not good enough, but we understand that each week we get better and we're striving to get to where we want to be. He's in that same category.
Q: And then as far as Tyler Rouse, you said a lot of positive things, but one of the time we talked you made a statement that he's the hardest working guy out there in practice, just what you can say about his first game and where he's at for this team?
ADDAZIO: Tyler every day is at competitive excellence. Every practice, every snap he takes is 100 miles an hour, it's attention to detail, and so therefore when he gets in the game, that's how he plays. That's one of the challenges with a young football team is making sure that they understand we will play the way we practice, and then the attention to detail that we have in practice will come through for us when we get in those games. So when he's a great example to our team of how to handle yourself.
Q: What impressed you the most in your week 1 victory?
ADDAZIO: I think the most important thing was we had no turnovers and we had very few penalties or we had really no operational errors to speak of, so I felt real good about that. I think we played physical. I think we played tough. And that's realy, really important to us.
Did we play as clean as we needed to play? No. On defense, I thought we did an outstanding job of stopping the run. They ran for seven yards on the day. I think there was a lot of positives there.
I think the foundation was set right. Now we have to get a higher level of education, and that's what we're striving for this week is to really, on offense, increase our level of execution.
Q: I just wanted to ask you about Bobby Swigert. I saw he caught a touchdown pass Saturday, first time back in over two years. Was it 11 knee operations he had? Can you talk about his fight back, to get back and play again?
ADDAZIO: Bobby had a rough go of it. It was several, as you mentioned, surgeries with a lot of—all of a sudden you take one step forward and two back and then two forwards and three back, and there was a lot of disappointments along the way, a lot of people questioning whether he'd ever be able to play football again. But he is a football guy. He has a passion for the game. He was a great player, and he wanted to get back.
You can't—to me it speaks to the level of spirit of a man. The human spirit is something, and here's a guy that just refused to not get this done, and he battled himself back and put himself in position, and he caught that pass, and our team responded the way they did because they respect and admire him. He'll continue to get better and he's regaining his form back. He's got the best hands on our team, and we expect more and greater things from him.
Q: About his teammate reaction, in terms of other players seeing a guy go through what he went through and fight back the way he did, how does that translate to other players and how hard they work and what they go through?
ADDAZIO: Well, I think it's just a great lesson in perseverance, and then your will. Here's a guy that has unbreakable will, and unbelievable presence. Those are qualities that whether you're a college football player or whether you're a husband, a father, whether you're a CEO of a company, you learn those skills and you learn that nothing is going to get you down and you can overcome anything, and I think other people get a chance to see a guy hold himself like that and operate like that, it speaks volumes as a role model to everybody. Couldn't be more proud of him, and certainly our team recognizes that.
Q: I was looking through just to individual defensive statistics, and I noticed that some of your guys are sprinkled through there. Connor Strachan led you with six tackles, Cameron Moore with passes defended, William Harris with interceptions, and Harold Landry with two fumbles forced. They're all freshmen and sophomores. What does that tell you about your defense and the contributions you're getting from young players?
ADDAZIO: Well, I mean, it's great. I mean, freshmen and sophomores are making up both sides of the ball, offense, defense, and special teams, and you know, it's exciting because you know that everything you invest in you're going to get back. It can be a little frustrating because there's a lot of firsts out in the field and sometimes firsts create disruption to execution, but they love football, they love to work, and we feel like every week, we put something in the bank for the future. We're excited about it, and it's just a footrace right now to get this group functioning every week at the highest level they can and just keep raising the bar.
That's what we're doing right now. It's been fun. It's been exciting and these guys, they're something. They surprise you every day.
Q: Tell me a little bit about Stracahn and what his contributions are.
ADDAZIO: Well, he's a guy playing middle linebacker. He's on all special teams. He's got great speed. He's got great power and strength. He's a local guy, right here from Wellesley, Mass. and his uncle was a great pro, his dad was the player at New Hampshire and his brother is a player at Brown. So football is in the family, football is important to him. He loves to play, loves to hit, and he's got great athleticism.