PJ Fleck Interview new - Sunday 10-6-19

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

Sid: Running game yesterday. started running the ball like gangbusters.
PJ: we've been working on our whole system. passing, running the football. The OL is getting better. want to get better every day. not a single senior up front. times when you have to be able to rely on the run- last week when we needed to control ball, the guys did a great job dominating the line of scrimmage. have to be able to run the ball to win in the B1G we're getting better, but we're not where we need to be. the line is learning how to play together. we still have a long way to go. proud of the progress we've made. proud of Rodney and Shannon.

Sid: Rodney Smith?
PJ: looking good. he's had to come back from injuries. as he's been coming back, the more he's played, the better he's got. the more Shannon plays, the better he'll get. We'll get Mo back this week. we've got to get better in every area. that includes using our RB's as receivers.

Mona: TD pass to Spann-Ford. huge celebration. looks popular with teammates.
PJ: he's a wonderful teammate. works hard tremendous young man. from the St. Cloud area. he's a Team favorite. athletically as a receiver, he's tremendous. he needs to continue to work on the physical part of the game. he's very close to breaking out as a tremendous TE in the B1G. taking the proper steps moving forward.

Sid: have to correct QB fumble for TD, Interception for TD
PJ: two big catastrophic mistakes on offense. those things happen. we've got to eliminate them. it's happened twice now in two separate games. on strip sack, we had 9-man protection. that's the most you can have, and the QB should be protected. we had one guy break down. we've got to clean that up. that's what today's (practice is) for. focus on things we didn't do well find way to make those right. our defense played outstanding. we did not allow a TD to Illinois. a tremendous job by Joe Rossi and his staff. the Offense scored 2 TD's for Illinois.

Mona: Ball wet in 1st quarter. balls going off hands. Tyler Johnson on TD showed why he was a good basketball player.
PJ: goes back to all of that. Tyler has the ability to control his body in the air. the ball was wet for both teams. we had drops on both sides. with conditions like that, not every play can turn into a 90-yard touchdown. last week it seemed like every ball that was caught went for 70 yards. you can't do that every week. sometimes you have to turn into a possession receiver. keep the chains moving. catch the ball with your body. we did well in the 2nd half. evolving, learning to be better.

Sid: Offensive Line played better
PJ: we kept Illinois off balance. got better this week with the outside look. had better play this week on the outside zone. that opened up the inside zone for us. we made plays downfield.

Mona: Mo available for next week? Faalele?
PJ: Mo is right there. technically, we could have used him. I didn't feel comfortable enough with the trainers' decision. the trainers truly take care of our young men. Daniel looks like he'll be OK.

Sid: Winfield
PJ: any day Winfield has a good day is a good day for the Gophers

Mona: St. Juste? looks like a ballplayer
PJ: he graduated from Michigan in 2-1/2 years. he's got 3 years eligibility at the U of MN. that is our philosophy with grad transfers - like to have more than 1 year eligibility. it can be hard to pick up system and be able to perform in just 1 year. Ben is a tremendous kid. he can be a very good corner in the B1G. at first, we've had to rotate him in, but he's working into being in a starting position. he's very long, he can run. physical. smart.

Sid: using 4-game rule
PJ: did that with Donald Willis. played in 4 gms at LB. we'll use Gordon in the same roll. we'll have some other guys working on 4-game rule. some guys haven't played yet. we might need them in the future. Wiley - might need him toward the end of the year. have to manage the roster.

Mona: would you rather play guys in 4 consecutive games or spot them in?
PJ: I like spotting it. you have 12 games, then a conference championship game or a bowl game. It's difficult to predict when you'll need them. all young players will be better by the end of the year than they are at the beginning. If possible I like to save them. have them available to play at the end of the year.

Sid: what about the RB from Baltimore?
PJ: Are you talking about Mo Ibrahim? He's doing great. still a little banged up. hopefully we'll get him back against Nebraska. want to be sure he's 100% healthy. don't want it to come back. he's been working his tail off, working with the trainers.

Mona: any Parallel with WMU, the way the team has developed? year 1-2-3?
PJ: comparisons steal your joy. It's similar to how we've built programs. that doesn't mean it's exactly the same as another place. this is a different league. the process to rebuilding a program is the same. each year has it's own steps. go through step 1 then into year 2, year 3. continue to develop, get better at things. that's the similar part. it's how we run our culture. we feel we can pick it up and run it anywhere.

Mona: you've developed a relationship with the band. did your team go to band practice?
PJ: the band is a really important piece of college football. that is what separates us from the NFL. they have triple the amount of people we have on our team. It's important for the band and the football team to connect. A lot of the band comes to our Sunday practice. I thought it was necessary to repay the band. see what they go through. they have position coaches. strings, winds, brass. Heather and I have two sons who play an instrument. Betsy (band director) does an amazing job. She's become a good friend to Heather and I. Homecoming is very special for the band. we need to thank them for all they do.

Sid: game at 6:30 with Nebraska. one of biggest games they've ever had here. good tickets available at cheap prices. team needs you to support them. Murray's.
PJ: RTB, Ski-U-Mah, Go Gophers. Looks like we'll have some perfect MN weather next week.
 
Thanks SON. By the way, I agree with you 100% about spending $30 for a parking spot. I'd walk 2 or 3 miles in a heartbeat!!
 

pharmacygopher

114 Row 11
Sid: using 4-game rule
PJ: did that with Donald Willis. played in 4 gms at LB. we'll use Gordon in the same roll. we'll have some other guys working on 4-game rule.

Does than mean PJ doesn't plan to play Willis the rest if the season to protect his RS?
 

PMWinSTP

Active member
Thanks again SON!

I learned that comparisons steal your joy and next week will be one of the biggest games we have ever had here.
 
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RememberMurray

New member
"Mona: would you rather play guys in 4 consecutive games or spot them in?
PJ: I like spotting it. you have 12 games, then a conference championship game or a bowl game. It's difficult to predict when you'll need them. all young players will be better by the end of the year than they are at the beginning. If possible I like to save them. have them available to play at the end of the year."


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I'm with you, Coach Fleck!
 
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