PJ Fleck Interview new - Sunday 10-13-19

Gopher FB Coach PJ Fleck appeared on the Sports Huddle on WCCO Radio.

Sid: Passed less in this game than before. was that your strategy to run only?
PJ: a little bit. saw what the weather conditions were. we adapted. had to be able to run the football, establish the ground game to open up the pass. conditions weren't advantageous to pass the ball 50 times. Our OL blocked hard. TE's, WR's made 8-yard runs become 15-yard runs, 20-yard runs. backs ran hard. no turnovers. we were effective when we threw.

Sid: OL played well.
PJ: starting to play better as a unit. Daniel was out with an injury but he'll be back next week. still need to rotate on the line. Schmitz gives us an element of toughness. Dunlap played his best game, finishing blocks, need to keep working on the small details. Blaise moving to RT. Sam is Mr. Steady. Connor had one of his best days. You need your best players to play their best in October and November.

Sid: your QB is as good as anyone in the B1G.
PJ: he's as good as Tanner Morgan is going to be today. He wants to be better tomorrow. Takes it one day at a time, one issue at a time, one solution at a time. He's a winner. A tremendous human being.

Sid: Mo Ibrahim hadn't played much. had 3 TD's.
PJ: We had all 3 backs healthy for really the 1st time all year. had 2 over 100 yards. Rodney and Shannon got the yards, Mo got the TD's. And they don't care which it is. Just kept rolling them in. good to see them take off. we've been close to 700 yards rushing the last two games. that does not mean we're going to do that every game. we love to run the ball. But don't forget about our Receivers. Tyler Johnson had a big game but he got lost in the shuffle. Chris, Rashad only 1 catch each, but they were the happiest guys in the locker room after the game. they blocked really well.

Max: what did you do to prepare for the weather?
PJ: it's hard to prepare. leave no stone left un-turned. Had a nice day Thursday, then we got the wintery weather. We turned the indoor facility down to 50 degrees. As players walked in, they had to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads. gives them a shocking feeling. we opened up the doors to bring in winds. WR's, QB's had to put their hands in buckets of ice, RB's in ice water. had pitchers of water with trainers running around for guys to dunk their hands in. The QB would be looking to sideline to get play and holding their hands in water. that's the way you have to prepare. had no turnovers. the ball is the program. we had wet footballs, frozen footballs. our preparation was tremendous. our equipment manager and trainer were terrific. they did a great job.

Mona: crowd was phenomenal. // TE's involved in blocking. did Paulson realize how open he was?
PJ: (Paulson) didn't stick his hands in ice water long enough (laughs). sometimes when you're that open, it's difficult. The best thing about Paulson is he came back and responded. He was able to let it go. our fans were tremendous. I hope everybody is getting excited. that's the reason why we're here. it was a mano-a-mano game. no turnovers. nobody gave anybody anything.

Sid: defense had to make plays.
PJ: Kamal Martin 15 tackles. It's difficult to stop Nebraska in terms of explosive plays. they're well coached. they've got weapons at RB, WR, TE. they're in the top 20 of explosive plays. most of their scoring drives happen because of explosive plays. we know they were going to get some. then we had to stop them, get them off the field.

Max: Martin was a QB in HS. Do you look at QB's expecting them to move positions?
PJ: it's getting harder to tell a kid they're not going to play QB in college. You have to be able to project and tell a kid he's going to play another position. QB's these days in the NFL come in all shapes and sizes. We do that a lot. With a few kids that are committed to us, we feel they're going to play another position. Look at Kamal, he's a long athlete. he can play football. you're going to put him somewhere. try to have them be in a position to play on Sunday.
want to maximize their talents at this level and the next one.

Mona: most improved: Sam Renner.
PJ: Sam is a treasure. he's an unsung hero on the team. the kind of guy that does a lot that usually nobody knows about. Usually the LB's are making the plays; last night he got to make plays. He is an unbelievable human being, student. tremendous teammate. He played NG, 3-technique, 5-technique. He makes everyone around him better. Before the game, we stay in a hotel. I had my children at the pool at the hotel. I looked over in the workout room, and in walks Sam Renner - working out on the elliptical machine. he was working out 5 hours prior to kickoff. He had his headphones on. that's the type of kid he is. he earned that scholarship.

Sid: Is your QB allowed to audible?
PJ: it's not that he has the freedom to audible to any play he wants. we typically give him 2 plays, he can pick the one he wants. if we give him 2-part play...most of our plays have a decision to be made. there may be 2 or 3 plays built into one play. I think Mike Leach said it best. Coaches make suggestions - you're (the QB)the one that has to pick it. You see it from your vantage point.

Sid: Picture what happens when Penn State comes in here. They'll have 60,000 people here. (Mona- Sid, I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself.)
PJ: we'll end the interview now. (everyone but Sid laughs)

Sid: Gopher Football is back again. Murray's.
PJ: RTB, Ski-U-Mah, Go Gophers.


Active member
Thank you as always SON! Does it make any sense for Faalele to move to the interior of the OL? Sure is nice to have more talent on the OL than can play at one time.
Sid is the only one in the stadium that can remember the last eight game win streak. As much as he drove me nuts 30 years ago I want nothing more than to see him keep going. He has become my homer role model. I want to be talking Gopher football when I am nearly 100 years old, preferably with a few Big 10 titles before then.


Knows Less Than Coaching Staff
Thanks SON. Sid is getting more incoherent by the minute. Should have been gone long ago.

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Wow, how differently will you feel in a few years? Good luck with not aging and not getting incoherent.


Oregon Gopher

Guardian of the Western Front
Thank you as always SON! Does it make any sense for Faalele to move to the interior of the OL? Sure is nice to have more talent on the OL than can play at one time.
Not fast enough to play Guard and need to take advantage of his length in pass blocking.

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Active member
Valuable for those of us with short attention spans, and with spouse with even shorter attention spans for non-Gopher football local sports.

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