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Oct. 28, 2013

Paul Chryst Press Conference
Georgia Tech Game Preview

Opening statement:

“Recapping Saturday’s game, obviously it was disappointing. After watching the tape, I believe our guys played hard and put it out there, but we certainly didn’t do enough to win the game. We have to make sure we recognize the areas we can control and get better at those. I need to do a better job of coaching. We’re looking forward to playing what is a very good Georgia Tech team. We’re anxious to get the guys over here today and start the week of preparation.”


On updating injuries:

“Shane [Gordon] didn’t finish the game. He came back here, and fortunately nothing is broken or structurally wrong. It’s how much he can get the movement back and tolerate it, so we’ll see as the week goes on. And with Cory [King], who’s been out for a little, he’ll do some things today. He said it felt better over the weekend, so we’ll see how it goes this week. That’s the injury update.”


On whether the team was overconfident in the second half against Navy:

“I didn’t sense that. But I’ve got to do a much better job of coaching because for any team to be complacent or overconfident in a game, that’s on me. I think genuine confidence doesn’t result in overconfidence. Respecting the game will never let you become complacent in a game. That’s on me. I’ve got to do a better job.”


On how he can help improve the team’s demeanor:

“Just like most things in coaching, you’ve got to keep trying to hammer it and work through the guys I know aren’t that way. I’ve got to get better at this. That’s a great opportunity for leadership to step in. That’s an area we can get better.”


On the deeper passing game:

“We’ve called the same plays that worked against Florida State and New Mexico, but the ball sometimes goes in different places. You have to be smart and pick and choose—the deeper the throw, the longer the protection. We have to balance that.”


On the identity of the offense:

“You’re always developing your identity. I wouldn’t say we’re in a crisis. There was some really good execution Saturday, and then there were some plays at times that we have to execute. We didn’t execute on crucial third downs. The first third down in the red zone, we didn’t get and ended up kicking a field goal. The third down at the end of the game and at the start of the second half, we have to execute. Those are the things we have to focus on. An identity develops throughout the course of a season; at the end of the year, that’s who you are. And every opportunity before that, you’re working to define that.”


On running back James Conner not playing after he fumbled:

“We didn’t put him back in right away after that. Then we only had seven plays in the third quarter. James ran really hard; I like the way that he ran. But we have to keep talking to him about taking care of the ball. It gets lost that Isaac [Bennett] had a pretty good week the week before [against Old Dominion]. We like how James is running, but we wanted to make sure Isaac had enough kicks at the can. It wasn’t just because he fumbled that he sat the rest of the game. We have to help these guys grow and get through these things. We have a lot of guys that make mistakes, and we have to help them learn and get better.”


On safety Ray Vinopal’s interception that was ruled out of bounds:

“I did [think he made the play]. I thought he got the foot down and was communicating with the official. It doesn’t matter now. We’re supposed to review all of those, so you don’t want to waste a timeout. I thought that it was a heck of a play by Ray actually.”


On winning close games:

“I think every time you’re out there, it’s a growth process. You look at all the close games we’ve played—Connecticut, Notre Dame and this one—they seem like three really different games. I would hope that I’m growing every game and getting better. It’d be pretty hypocritical to ask the players to get better and then I’m not. I think we do need to learn how to win.”


On if linebacker Shane Gordon’s injury contributed to Navy’s offensive success:
“I thought he was playing pretty well. They had a chance to run some plays and see how we were defending it. I thought Shane did some really good things when he was in there, and Matt [Galambos] certainly made some plays too when he went in for Shane. I don’t know if it’s as easy as saying when Shane went out that it opened the floodgates or anything. I don’t believe that.”


On Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense compared to Navy’s:

“Because of personnel, there are some different things that they’re doing, but there is a lot of carryover certainly. A lot of those [Navy] guys played and coached for Paul [Johnson], so there is some benefit to having faced it so we can make corrections and clean it up. There are also disadvantages because you put a lot on film for them to prepare for too. I think there are things to be learned from the film for us and I’m sure Georgia Tech will too, but the bottom line is we have to go out and have a great week of preparation so Saturday we can go play the game. It still comes down to what the players know and what they can execute.”


On Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee compared to Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds:

“He’s similar [to Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds] in the sense that you truly have to account for him and he can hurt you. A couple games I’ve seen of him he’s made a couple of very good throws, but he’s a good player. There’s no doubt they’re explosive, fast on offense and play really fast on defense. It will be a good challenge for us. Lee is certainly a good quarterback and I’m going off film, but Reynolds did some stuff too. I think he’s a good quarterback though who can throw really well.”


On the Georgia Tech defense:

“They’re really good. Up front, they’re active and they play fast. They’re explosive, they’ll hit you and their secondary plays with confidence; part of that is because they have some guys up front that can put some heat on you fast. They’re explosive and very good on offense and deserve all of the accolades they get, but defensively, I think they’re playing really well and will be one of the better defenses we face. They rotate some guys in, but they have their main guys.”


On Pitt’s defensive rotation at Navy:

“At the end, not as many guys played and part of it was because of Ejuan [Price] being out because we had a pretty good rotation there with Ejuan, David [Durham], [Bryan] Murphy and Shakir [Soto] in there. We had three defensive tackles and linebackers play, but maybe that was more because of the injury situation than the style of play.”


On quarterback Tom Savage:

“I thought he really made some progress. The one sack we gave up we ended up being in the wrong protection, so they were on him a little sooner than maybe he anticipated. I thought he got off some reads and progressed through them, so that’s some progress there. I love the way he’s competing and studying the game. I think he’s in a good state right now. I’m not saying he played perfect, but I think he’s good. I watched the film with him on the way back. It’s easy then when you’re sitting in a comfortable chair to say ‘I should have gone here with that pass.’ But he plays the game hard and I respect that.”


On if defenses are focusing on wide receiver Tyler Boyd more:

“I’m sure they’re aware of where he’s at. Some of the things we ran went to Devin [Street] when Tyler was open and [Tom Savage] had to pick one over the other. I don’t think they were doing anything special on film with covering Tyler.”



Meet the Press: Paul Chryst previews Georgia Tech

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