VIDEO: Mike Turner Press Conference
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Mike Turner held his weekly press conference on Tuesday morning discussing the Eagles opponent on Saturday evening.
Turner Opening Statement: It's a little bit different setup because of time. Two years ago we played Limestone, we played them there and I think that it was a one o'clock kickoff. It's a six o'clock game and we are there homecoming game. We have to know how we travel, it's a different situation with a bunch of young kids. Early this season we traveled overnight to Wingate the distance will be similar to that on Saturday. The difference is that we will sleep in our own bed and then will get up and have breakfast together around 9:30 a.m. and then will have meetings over here. Then we will get on the road and get a pre-game meal along the way, then we'll get there in time to get dressed and play.
Question 1: What has enabled Limestone to have early season success and be on top of the South Atlantic Conference Standings?
Turner: All there wins come in overtime and are come from behind wins. That's impressive to have that much resolve about you and to have that much belief. I've watched them in overtime and they have scored on either the first or second snap. Mike (Furrey) has them playing right now with high intensity and I'm sure that it will be a different kind of crowd of there with it being homecoming on Saturday. We will have to be ready to play.
Question 2: What sticks out to you about Limestone's wide receiver?
Turner: He's speed, his catching ability, he'll go up and make some catches. He's a competitor and you honor those kind of guys, you respect them. We've got to be sound in coverage, we got to make sure that we have underneath and over the top coverage on him. The main thing is getting the pass rush.
Question 3: How do you carry the momentum from the Catawba game into the final six weeks of the season?
Turner: We've had great effort in five games, we've had great excitement in five games and we've faced some adversity in two of those games. Saturday was a kind of we finally got it all together kind of game. We did well in the third quarter, I like for us to finish better and we are addressing that about finishing in the fourth quarter. We gave up a big play on defense and we didn't finish a few things on offense. We are a work in progress. Man, do I like the way that they are playing, the way that they are playing together as a group and the way they back each other as a group.
Question 4: How much easier are those teachable moments in the fourth quarter after a game like Saturday?
Turner: Oh there is no question about it. It's like I told you, God has allowed the sun to come up both those weeks on Sunday morning after the loss. Sunday morning the sun came up and it sure was a whole lot brighter after winning. I think you can teach a whole lot more after you win but I've been impressed with our kids. We've had those two heartbreaks, those two games that we've lost by two snaps but they have come back with a determination about them that we know we can play with folks and we know that we can be a good football team. We're really excited about the work habits yesterday in meetings and in practice. I think that we will be ready to play.
Question 5: What has impressed you about your teams intestinal fortitude so far?
Turner: It's a group effort, we're young and we really don't have a lot of leaders on our football team. We got four guys here and four guys there. We are still in the process of building leadership but more are they doing it together? They are calling on each other and that is leadership. Their determination to get it done and their ability to support each other and that's what I talked to them about yesterday in the team meeting. I told them you showed some things that some football teams don't necessarily have. I have been really proud of them and I told them to be humble. If you're not humble then humility will find you. We want to make sure that we are humble this week and we are going to have a great practice today. You go back to work today just like you would any other week.
Question 6: You dedicated to the run game on Saturday how did that help their confidence?
Turner: I think going two tight ends we did what we thought we had to do to give us the best opportunity to win. Number one we held the football to keep Catawba's offense off the field and to give our kids confidence when they lined up and executed the offense. I could be a lot more proud of them if I could change those grades a little bit. We are still not where we want to be, we are still a long way from where we need to get to. I think there is a blessing in that because they are seeing what they need to do to get better. I think that we are looking to be more consistent on both the offense and defensive side of the ball. There has not been a let down but there has been a consistency of I have to do this. We are in a position as a football team that we have to play lights out on both sides of the ball to be competitive.
Question 7: Demitri Saulsberry has stepped up in the backfield how has he been able to work himself into the rotation?
Turner: That is a guy that is consistent, he is not world class speed by any means but he is world class heart. He is the kind of kid that is great to be on this football team, he is a guy that people love to be around and a guy that you know you can depend on. Demitri Saulsberry is never going to get you beat. To watch him break some runs against Newberry and Catawba was just awesome for our kids.
Turner: We talked about it as an offensive staff to work Hayden and Jacob in there because we got to keep those kids fresher. We are going at a tempo that we run on offense and we've pushed some guys the distance. Playing some guys 10 snaps and another guy 15 snaps it's about keeping the gas tank full and putting another guy in there to keep it going. We are in the long run now, we are five games into it and this will be the midway point. We've talked all along since fall camp about being the freshest and healthiest team.
Question 9: How do you defend Limestone's dual threat quarterback?
Turner: He is one of those guys that you have to keep him contained. He is going to hurt you more with his feet than with his arm. He is young man that you have to keep eyeballing him, keep a spy on him and keep him inside.
Question 10: How does he compare to other quarterbacks that you have faced?
Turner: He is more like the kid from St. Augustine's and you know that you most keep him in the pocket. He get's outside and he has receivers that understand how a route breaks down and find an opening. He's that guy that if he gets it on the corner he is gone.
Question 11: How can fans see the consistency on the field?
Turner: If you look at it the last few weeks, we've been averaging around five yards a carry. We told them three things on Saturday, number one we had to have a four yard mentality that has been around this offense for years. The second thing is take care of the ball and we did that. The final one was eliminate dumb penalties. We are still working on that one.
Question 12: How important is it to rebuild that confidence going onto the road after being at home the past few weeks?
Turner: We read them the verse in Hebrews, were it talks about believing in things that are unseen. Sometimes you're in control of a ball game and then something happens and you don't have control of the ball game. If you're going to believe what you say you are, then you got to know that there is something there beyond that part of it. I was very proud of our kids because I thought that they played with a vision on Saturday.