ACCOUNT MANAGER  |  
Cotton Bowl RSS Feed
View Gameday Info

PRESS RELEASES

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

TEXAS A&M OFFENSIVE PRESS CONFERENCE - TRANSCRIPTS

SENIOR ASSISTANT\QUARTERBACKS COACH TOM ROSSLEY

Changing quarterbacks mid-season…

“It was a hard decision for me and Mike was really the instigator and said, ‘I don’t think [QB Jerrod Johnson’s] shoulder is where it needs to be for us to get where we’ve got to be.’That’s a tough thing to do.When you go back and you analyze how much practice he was able to get and he just didn’t have the same velocity as he had as a junior.We weren’t for sure how everybody would take to the change.We experimented a little bit against Kansas and started QB Jerrod Johnson, but got Tannehill in early, and they both played well in the game, yet the next week in practice, Jerrod was still hurting and we decided it was time, Tannehill was ready and he needed to take over.”

Tannehill’s performance as a quarterback after playing wide receiver for two seasons…

“He’s always been to every quarterback meeting, he’s always been in every quarterback drill.I think back in fall camp the last two years, we’ve got two of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12, I’ve always thought that.The only problem Ryan Tannehill had was that he was at the same school as Jerrod Johnson.From that standpoint, it wasn’t that difficult to go to Ryan, but it was tough because Jerrod Johnson has done so much for Texas A&M University, he’s such a leader on our team, everybody looks up to him.He and RB Cyrus Gray are some of our leaders.But Jerrod understood it and he’s handled it very well and it was just something we had to do.”

Tannehill’s development as a starter…

“When you practice as a quarterback, I think you’re really training the reflex.Everything that you do in football happens so fast.You have to anticipate and it’s a reflex, you can’t think about it.It’s a reflex.His reactions and his decision making has gotten better and better.You can do it in practice at one speed, but game speed is still a little bit faster.It’s making great decisions and when you make a decision, being able to make good throws and give us big plays and he’s made the decision to sometimes throw the ball away and not have a bad play and yet, he’s made some pretty good plays to give us big plays, as well.”

 Adjusting quarterback role for Tannehill...

“We’ve never had to take anything away from Ryan Tannehill.He’s smarter than anybody in this room, probably.He’s pre-med, he’s a 4.0, so, we’ve never had to shrink anything for him.He had to leave practice early on Mondays or Tuesdays and sometimes he’d miss a two-minute drill, but he’s still on top of everything.”

Tannehill’s first bowl game…

“He’s played so much as a receiver, he understood the speed of the game.It’s kind of unique, him being able to play receiver, you understand the coverages.Sometimes I’ll catch him, while he’s playing quarterback, talking to receivers telling them how he would have run the route, which helps too.”

A&M offensive attack…

“We try to keep them on their heels and it keeps our guys on their toes.They don’t get a chance to get back and fade out of the game.They have got to be on their toes and we figure we’ve got a better chance to score points if we get more plays in.”

LSU defense…

“That’s the strength of their team, I think.Those two defensive tackles are really good players, especially number 92 (Drake Nevis), not to take anything away from any of their defensive front, they’re a great defensive front.Then they’ve got two corners to go with it.If you’re ever putting together a defense, give me two good cover corners and give me a couple of defensive linemen and you’ve got a good defense.That’s where they start out and then they put speed all around those guys.Those linebackers can run.We thought when we went against Nebraska that they had to two best corners in the Big 12.Then we come down here and go against these two corners, all the pub comes out about number seven (Patrick Peterson), but the other corner (Morris Claiborne), he doesn’t take a backseat to anybody.They’re both excellent.”

A&M offensive strategy…

“A lot of it is just going to be one-on-one matchups, whether it be outside with our receivers on their corners or inside with our linemen on their defensive tackles.It’s going to be one-on-one matchups and we’ve got to fight our guts out to try to hang in there and compete with them.We’ve got some good skill people, we’ve got some playmakers, we’ve got to buy some time and give our quarterback a chance tobe able to make plays.”

OL MATT ALLEN

Excitement of playing in the Cotton Bowl Classic…

“I’m extremely excited.I get to come in here as a senior, leading a great offensive line, that I feel really molded together to become a great unit.We get to play my former team and I couldn’t think of a better game or a better situation.”

Pride in the offensive line…

“They have really come along mentally and physically.They really matured throughout the season.I just try to help them in any way I possibly can, being that I’m the oldest guy there, they come to me with a lot of questions and they rely on the older guys.I couldn’t be more proud of the way they performed throughout the season. They really kept their poise and they kept working, they’re hard workers, they’re tenacious linemen and they’re going to be great in the future.”

Playing against former teammates…

“LSU RT Drake Nevis and LT Lazarius Levingston (Pep) are very good players and this game is going to emphasize our physicalness and we’re going to try to match theirs.You’ve got to fight force with force.Drake and Pep are very physical, technical players.I know both of them, I know how Drake plays and I know how Pep plays and we’ve got to beat them through physical play and technique.It’s going to be a good matchup, I’m looking forward to it.”

WR JEFF FULLER

Excitement about playing the Cotton Bowl Classic at Cowboys Stadium…

“Initially it was a good feeling to come back here to play Arkansas, just a different atmosphere.It’s fun to know it.On the way here, you see Dallas.It’s a great place to play football.The fact that we’re here for a week in one of the nicest hotels in the country, its fun to wake up every day, go to practice at Cowboys Stadium and be around your teammates, and also still be at home.”

Playing in front of home fans and ticket requests…

“You guys have no idea.Everybody wants a ticket to this game, that’s a good feeling.I wish I had tickets for everybody, but we only get six for the family and they went pretty quick.”

Playing against another nationally-recognized defensive back…

“It’s definitely a positive.When you play football you want to play against the best and I’ve definitely have had the opportunity to do that this year.I definitely like going against great competition because it makes everybody better.It’s definitely a team game and the initial plan is to definitely win.I’m just going to do whatever I can to the best of my ability to do that.”

Deciding to go to the NFL…

“There are so many pros and cons.This year they don’t even know if there’s going to be NFL next year, if there’s a lockout we’ll take that into consideration.This is the best receiving class in a decade.I’ve been hearing from different people that it’s such a great receiving class with Julio Jones, AJ Green, the guy at Notre Dame, there’s a guy at Pittsburgh, you can just go on and on about big receivers coming out this year.I definitely like competition and definitely feel I can rise to the occasion.At the same time, you could also look at it the other way.Leaving early has advantages, injury comes into play, but I never go into games thinking about injury.”

RB CYRUS GRAY

A&M offense…

“Our offense has been so great.We have different guys that can make different plays and we have two sets at each position that can do great.That’s our main thing, being able to get depth behind positions.It’s been great for us.I know we havea lot of young guys that are going to continue to produce in the future.”

Different looks on offense…

“Our main thing is getting in space and trying to out-tempo guys.Coach Sherman and his staff has done very well with that, it’s been working for us and I believe it’s going to work for us in the future.There are a lot of different sets and we’re just trying to get the ball in the playmakers’ hands.”

A&M’s running game…

“Our offense is great and our running game is really the heart of our offense.We have to be able to get things started with the running game and open up the pass.I think our offensive running style is a little of both.We can pound the ball and you can get on the outside and the guys can catch the ball.”

A&M’s wide receivers…

“You got so many great guys that have been able to make plays.You have Jeff Fuller, Ryan Swope—those guys are really the key guys of our passing game and they’ve been able to make plays, get open and make plays after the catch.”

LSU defense…

“They’re a great team with great speed.They have great length up front and their secondary is pretty good also.They’re all-around a good defense.We’re going to have to do what we do best.”

WR RYAN SWOPE

Tannehill playing quarterback…

“Playing that wide receiver position for two years helps him have a feel for it.”

Affect a Cotton Bowl Classic win will have on the A&M football program…

“It would help tremendously to get this win.We have such a great group of guys this year.This team is real hungry, we’re real determined to go in Friday night and get the victory.It will help us tremendously with our confidence for next year and going into next season to get that ‘W.’This team, I can tell you right now, is a hungry team and we want to win for the seniors, we want to do it for those guys.It’s going to mean a lot to us.If we win, it will definitely project a ranking for next year, that’s why it’s such an important game, it carries over to next season.”

Health…

“I practiced.Today I got some good reps.I didn’t go with ones-on-ones full-speed, there’s not need to tweak it again or stress it.I would say, I felt like 100 percent out there.I had no pain in my foot, they just don’t want to stress it and re-injure it.I came down on my foot and had a sprain in my foot.They took x-rays and saw the sprain and it’s just a matter of healing it.We’ve had this same sprain with three different guys, you just can’t come back on it too soon.”

Playing through injury…

“I’ve played through thigh bruises and other things, but not a foot sprain.”

Excitement around playing in the Cotton Bowl Classic…

“It’s going to be a fun game on Friday, I’m really looking forward to it.There’s a lot of hype in the air right now.We’re looking forward to it, it’s going to be exciting, and we want to win for the seniors, that’s our main priority.The atmosphere is going to be incredible with Aggie fans and LSU fans to play in Cowboys Stadium, it’s a privilege.”

Preparation for the game…

“I’ve been getting my rehab and icing [my foot] and doing as much as I can in practice, not overdoing things, just resting it.”

QB RYAN TANNEHILL

Playing at Cowboys Stadium…

“It’s such a huge stadium; there are so many parts to it.If you’re not used to it, it’s tough to find the ball in that place.Receivers will have a tough time trying to adjust to the deep balls without losing it in the stands and the lights.It’s just a different setting than you normally play in.I think it’s good that we’ve played in there before.To come back for a second or third time, it gives us a baseline we’ve already seen.It will help us out, I think.”

On having several different roles…

“I just try to do what I can.Whatever position Coach Mike Sherman puts me in, I’m just going to try and do it to the best of my ability.If it’s punting a pooch punt here, holding a field goal, hands team, whatever it is, I just want to win the game.Whatever I need to do, I’ll do that.”

Being named starting quarterback…

“It was after the Kansas game, I had gotten some time in that game.Coach Sherman called me to his office the next Monday and said I’m going to get the start this game.First, I was super-thankful for the opportunity.I thank God and Coach Sherman for the opportunity.Then second, I was excited, tons of emotion and excitement came over me.This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for; it’s on my shoulders to seize it.I just had to take advantage of it.I just tried to prepare to the best of my ability and get ready for the game.”

Any sign of defenses adjusting to his play since his first start…

“I think defenses do what they do.They might change a few things here and there depending on what team they’re playing and how the quarterback plays, but I think for the most part, defenses do what they’re good at and we just have to adjust to that.”

CLOSE MENU -