Graham Glasgow started for the Lions. Did you see that, and is there some kind of a similarity between him and Jordan [Glasgow] in terms of temperament; he was just Special Teams Player of the Week.
“Yeah, I mean, they’re brothers. Similar. Very similar, yeah. Similar parents.”
In terms of their temperament and the way they approach the game, is there something there?
“Yeah. All three brothers are really smart guys, good guys, good teammates, good football players. Breed ‘em well in the Glasgow family.”
You guys had the knee braces on the offensive line. Did you guys have a talk about that after Grant [Newsome] got injured or what led to that?
“Yeah, yeah. No longer optional. All linemen are wearing knee braces.”
What is Grant’s status now? Is he out of the hospital and what’s his prognosis at this stage?
“Um…there’s been good progress and he still has more surgeries to go.”
Without specifics, can you talk about your recruiting trips and how you got involved with the chain gain and the homecoming announcement?
“Yeah, I was asked to announce the winner at the homecoming game, and Tatiana Mendez was the winner. It was great to be a part of the activity. Then the chain gang, we needed a guy and was promised a tri-tip steak sandwich at halftime. That was all I needed to hear. That was a lot of fun.”
Can you assess the play of Kalis and the right side of the line?
“He’s really--somebody asked last week how is his intensity and that’s really what he does. That’s his forte. He’s—he brings to the whole offense a great amount of intensity and good physical play. Strength. The lost art of toughness in football. Also, the valuable talent that is toughness and strength. It’s a respected quality.”
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I know when you talk about effort you don’t ever put anybody above anyone else, but do you feel like Mike [McCray] might be kind of an unsung guy on the team?
“Mike McCray’s doing an outstanding job. I just speak the truth up here, you know. If people deserve a pat on the back I put ‘em ahead of people. Pat harder to some guys than other. Don’t know where you’re going with that, Adam [not this Adam].
“Mike McCray, let’s talk about Mike. Yeah, he’s having a tremendous year. He’s really been a consistently good performer, an ascending player. He gets his job done. Very good leader on the field. Just consistently good, day in and day out. Not a lot of fanfare, never any drama. He’s just a good football player.”
What have you noticed most about him over the past year just in terms of he was kind of in a backup role and now he’s moved to the forefront. What have you noticed in the past year about him?
“Yeah, he wasn’t healthy our first year here, and he has been. He has worked very hard to have his strength at the right level. He’s overcome shoulder injuries and is tough as they come. Never hear a word of complaint or a whine. W-h-i-n-e. His athleticism is extremely good, plus he’s physical. He can athletically play outside the box, he can physically play in the box. Good in pass coverage. He’s been—and his instincts are real good as an inside backer, which is one of the most important tools.”
Follow up about the Glasgow brothers, to go from walk-on to starter to all-conference linemen, were they underrated or did they just improve so steadily that they made those jumps?
“I wasn’t here when they were recruited but yeah, underrated, obviously.”
Were they the products that they are now when you first met them, or have they improved steadily the two years you’ve known the Glasgows?
“No, they’ve been improving. It’s very important to them that they’re good. You see the importance with the family of getting the best grades, winning awards, excelling at sports. You see them work at it and you see them improve. Proven formula used by many and all three of the Glasgow brothers.”
Have you ever worked a chain gang before this weekend?
“Yes. I’ve been called into duty a few other times as a parent.”
Coach, 12% conversion rate by opponents on third downs in the first half of the year. What goes into that level of efficiency by the defense in that situation?
“Good team defense, good team—but it takes all 11 playing well together. Stopping the run on third-and-short-yardage situations, pass rush, tackling, not allowing yards after contact on shorter passes underneath the sticks, defending deeper balls, medium-range balls; it’s a combination of really good coverage on the back end, pressure up front, and a very good stop on defense.”
Do you guys expect Drake Johnson to play this year? Is he close?
“Yeah, yeah. I do.”
Did you watch any college games on Saturday?
“I watched a few, yeah.”
Which ones did you watch?
“Oh, uh…watched San Jose State and Nevada and watched Ohio State and Wisconsin.”
Does it do anything for you that Michigan is ranked higher than they’ve been in a decade, and how do you keep Freddy P. Soft off the guys’ shoulders?
“We’re just going to work. Work and not worry.”
After the Rutgers game you were talking about Jabrill and the Hesiman. Why do you think it’s so difficult historically for primarily defensive players to get?
“I don’t know.”
Obviously in the NFL you saw Lovie Smith’s teams and how they played. Are there any distinctive traits that you see with Illinois that he’s brought there in terms of scouting them?
“Still working through that.”
You said something interesting about Kyle Kalis. You said the ‘lost art of intensity in football.’ Why do you think that is? Why do you think that changed, and why do you think there’s a lost art in the sport that you love?
“I don’t know.”
Jourdan Lewis has been back for a couple games now. We talked to him after the first game and he said he felt a little rusty. Doesn’t seem like he’s been rusty. What’s your read on how Jourdan’s been after sitting out the first three?
“He’s been outstanding athletically, technically, physically, tense-ly [?]—all things are good. All things are real good with Jourdan. He’s playing at a very high level.”
This is going to be your first meeting with Lovie Smith as a college coach, but not in the NFL. What do you remember about those meetings in the NFL, and what stands out about Lovie as a coach?
“I don’t think—I don’t remember any meetings that we had in the NFL.”
What stands out about Lovie as a coach?
“Great coach. Outstanding person. Don’t know him real well, but I know a lot of people who do and everybody speaks very highly of him. Our interactions have been pleasant and good and…so, our task is prepare to play their team and it’ll be a challenge, big game, championship-type football game for our team, and it’s our duty to get prepared for it.”
Can you assess Ben Gedeon’s play through the first half of the season?
“Yeah, rock solid. Ben Gedeon’s been a shining star. Physically has made tackles that changed momentum. Been tough as nails. Been rock solid. Same as Mike McCray; both those guys have really played well inside for our defense. He plays with great instinct. great toughness, and athletic. Really always looked at Ben as our most athletic linebacker, and I think him and Mike both are at that high athletic level. But also, he can come up and burp a guard and shed and make tackles. Very physical in the way he plays. He’s been outstanding.”
Any word, is it still an open competition with Kenny [Allen] and Tice for field goals or has that kind of been ongoing? Have you decided?
What is your decision?
“Competition ongoing at all times, all positions. Just consider that always happening.”
Did you get Larry ready for this week as well?
Larry. Larry Prout--
Your new team member.
“Mmhmm. Good man. Isn’t he great? Larry is a good, good guy. Hope he comes this week. Good chance we get Larry for this ballgame. Excited about that.”
You said you caught the Ohio State game this weekend. Was that an important one for you to watch? Do you get anything out of watching them against a team you’ve played to this point and do you keep tabs on the Buckeyes doing well here?
“Yeah, yeah. Good—you know, just watching it as a fan. Two good football teams.”
Bobby Henderson’s touchdown at Rutgers was a really popular one among his teammates. What does he bring to practices and just generally speaking?
“Good teammate, good football player who’s, you know, everybody’s watched work at it, everybody’s watched him move up the depth chart and it’s just always great for morale when you see your teammate having success. You’re always happy for the other guy’s success. Guy that has been a good teammate and especially happy to see that.”