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PRESS RELEASES

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

LSU DEFENSIVE PRESS CONFERENCE - TRANSCRIPTS

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOHN CHAVIS
On possible distractions of the facility…
“Yesterday we had a very good practice without any distractions. Our players are focused and know exactly what we need to get accomplished. I think walking into Cowboys Stadium is more motivating than anything for these guys.”

On Texas A&M’s offensive tendencies...
“Texas A&M has done a tremendous job this year, especially QB Ryan Tannehill. When Tannehill took over as their starter, the Aggies did not lose any hint of athletic ability. He has made several big plays and puts them in the right situations. One of the most impressive things to me is how quickly Texas A&M gets to the line of scrimmage. This tempo is the one thing we have worked hard on during bowl preparation. The Aggies have talent all over the field and we have to be prepared.”

On disguising defensive schemes…
“Because Texas A&M gets to the line of scrimmage so quickly, we will be forced to show our schemes a little more than what we usually like to do. Certainly, the better you disguise your scheme, the more successful you will be.”

On Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill…
“The one thing I have seen on the field is tremendous offensive execution. Tannehill makes a lot of great decisions and can also run the ball when he needs to. He executes the run-zone scheme better than most quarterbacks we have seen. Texas A&M runs a big five-wide scheme and we have to fully prepared because Tannehill will make the plays.”

On overall play of the LSU defense this season…
“We have made great strides to be a much better defense than we were at this point last year. Of course, we are not where want to be but we have definitely improved. I am a firm believer in defense winning championships so we hope to anchor our ball club with that.”

DT DRAKE NEVIS
On playing against Texas A&M friend Patrick Lewis…
“Well he went to a rival high school of mine and we always competed against each other at track meets. I gave him a lot of advice during his recruiting process and we have kept in touch since then. Over the years we built a very good friendship and I never thought we would playing against each other in a game like this.”

On experience of the defense…    
“We are all consistently joking around and building team chemistry. Several of us came in together and we have built great relationships over the past several years. We all know each other’s thoughts and we consistently study our defense. It is important for us as leaders on this team to know our schemes because we can be coaches on the field.”

On pass rushing…
“The coaches have a done a great job working with us on the fundamentals. We all have the talent to get to the quarterback but the coaches have fine-tuned our techniques which has allowed us to be one of better pass-rushing teams.”

PK/P JOSH JASPER
On experience in Dallas so far…
“We have enjoyed every minute of this city and the Cotton Bowl Classic so far. Saturday we went to a big banquet at Cowboy’s Stadium and thoroughly enjoyed that. We have been to a few entertainment spots and have thoroughly enjoyed our stay so far. It has been nice because we can actually have a good time but prepare for a big game as well.”

On the emotions during his four years at LSU…
“This has been a wild ride. While playing in the SEC, we have competed against a national championship team every season. What more can any athlete ask for? In my first season at LSU we won the national championship and have been to a bowl game every year since. I have been blessed to be part of this team.”

On expectations during the 75th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic…
“As a kicker, you can be thrown into situations where you could win the game. There is a lot of pressure that comes with this job but it is one of the most rewarding as well. My goal is to do the best I can for my team because these guys have a lot of confidence in me.”

DT LAZARIUS LIVINGSTON
On readiness for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic…
“We are ready. For the whole month of December we have been preparing and banging up on each other to get ourselves ready. The team is confident and healthy and all of us are looking forward to bringing our talents to Cowboys Stadium on Friday.”

On defensive expectations…
“Hopefully we can come out and dominate in all phases of the game. Our guys are the best in the country so my expectations are higher than anyone else in college football. When the lights come on this Friday, I expect us to come out firing on all cylinders.”

On playing against Texas A&M friend Matt Allen…
“Actually Matt and I signed together in 2006. We played against each other when he was at LSU his freshman year. I had the opportunity to see him a couple months ago when he came to Louisiana. Matt is a big, physical, and talented guy and I look forward to playing against him. He and I both know that what happens on the field stays on the field. During the game we will do our best to take each other down but after that, we are back to friends again.”

CB PATRICK PETERSON
On talent of the defense…
“A lot of people were doubting us this year because we were so young but this is probably the most talent I’ve been around since I have been at LSU. These guys also wanted to win more than any team I have seen and that is what brought us to a 10-win season so far.”

On history of the Texas A&M vs. LSU rivalry…
“First of all, we will be marked down in history as playing in the 75th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Secondly, the Aggies have historically dominated us in this rivalry so we want to come out here and end this losing streak. We have prepared well for Texas A&M and hopefully we will come out the better team on Friday.”

On distractions of Cowboys Stadium…
“When we first walked in to the stadium we were all excited to play there but as soon as the whistles blew, we were focused. This team wants to end this losing streak against the Aggies and we are definitely not going to let a giant high definition screen distract us from our goal.”

On pressures of leaving LSU next year…
“Deciding to enter the NFL draft this upcoming year has been almost burdensome for me. I have grown up around LSU and have been very blessed to a part of this program. Every fan, coach, teacher, and teammate have been nothing but supportive during my years with the Tigers but this decision is not only for me. I had to decide what would be best for my family as well.”

LB KELVIN SHEPPARD
On responsibilities of being a senior…
“As a senior on an SEC defense, I have a major responsibility. I am pretty much a coach on the field. Every day I have my face glued to playbooks, film screens, and defensive schemes. It is my responsibility to know the job of all 11 guys on defense just so I can be prepared to explain in every situation. This is especially true against Texas A&M because they have such a fast-paced offense.”

On his improvement during the past four seasons…
“I can honestly say this has been a very humbling experience. If you would have asked me where I thought my career would go as a freshman, I would have not been able to tell you. I was young, naïve, and just running down the field on special teams. I have been blessed to have coaches like John Chavis and Les Miles as my teachers. My teammates and coaches now look to me as a leader and I am so thankful to be part of that.”

On praise from defensive coordinator John Chavis…
“Honestly, when Coach Chavis tells me that he has never seen a linebacker play all three spots as well as I have, it means more to me than any reward or trophy could ever give. He has been coaching linebackers since before I was born and has many athletes in the NFL now. Like I said, for someone like Coach Chavis to say something like that, I could not receive any higher reward.”
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