Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Alonzo Whaley Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Nov. 26, 2012
Pre-Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship)

On Eric Martin’s intensity
“That’s a tough question when you have a ball of fire like Eric Martin. He’s very emotional. The way he goes about the game is kind of old schoolish. He goes out, he gets in your head, he knows what you need to do and he knows how to do it. I think a lot of it comes from him being undersized too, feeling like he has a lot to prove. I’ve heard the comment that he thinks a lot of tackles look at him like ‘look at the small guy. What is he going to do?’ Then next thing you know, he’s in the lap of the quarterback. I want to say a lot of it is him feeling like he has a lot to prove. He just has that attitude that he’s going to get the job done no matter what. I can’t tell you exactly what he thinks and what he feels, but that’s just my opinion of how he goes about things and what I feel he thinks he needs to prove.”

On if Iowa tried to block him or if he’s just that good
“Eric Martin gets into his own little world where he battles out and talks crap as you know. He’s a real noise talker on the field. He gets in that mindset where he thinks someone is “trying to fight him” I guess. I don’t know. I can’t tell you what he goes through. He gets in a zone where he kind of gets upset and turns into Eric Martin I guess. I don’t know.”

On the funniest thing he’s said while he’s been here
“The funniest thing I’ve ever heard Eric Martin say on a football field was him arguing with some tackle from Ohio State and he said ‘I bet I bench press more than you.’ I don’t know what it has to do with football but it was probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard him say on the football field. I kind of looked at him like what does that have to do with anything? You never know what’s going to come from Eric Martin.”

On if there has been a time where he’s cracked up the entire defense with something he’s said
“Probably. Like I said, he has a sense of humor but he’s also in left field half the time. You never know what will come from Eric Martin.”

On if Eric indicated that there was something on the other side that was upsetting him against Iowa
“The Iowa linemen were pushing a lot after the play and they just kept pushing a lot. A couple of those guys were upset a lot. It doesn’t take a lot to get Eric Martin going. I think he got pushed a couple times after the play and like I said he turns into his little whatever you want to call it and goes into his zone. Like I said, I think that’s just how he plays the game, though. It has nothing to do with him being upset. He’s just a fierce competitor and he plays the game like that. He plays a lot better when he’s upset, though.”

On Eric Martin’s nickname “Caveman”
“That was the name he had before he came to college. It seems to be doing fine, so it just kept with him. I’m not 100 percent sure why they gave him the name in high school.”

On if it’s still used a lot
“No, not really anymore. It kind of died down.”

On what they call him now
“Crazy man Eric Martin. I don’t know. I usually call him by his name. I don’t know where Caveman came from. He doesn’t have any crazy nicknames now.”

On if Eric and Taylor Martinez’s friendship is one of the oddest you will see
“It’s definitely an awkward friendship. Half the time, you probably think they don’t like each other. They just give each other a hard time. They lived together for a couple years, so I think they are really good friends.”

On if it’s good for Martinez
“Like I said, I’m not 100 percent sure what their relationship is like, so I don’t know.”

On how important it is to win on Saturday
“It’s really important. This organization hasn’t had a conference championship since 1999. It’s just rewriting history and knowing that your team, the guys you’ve been fighting with since January, have been doing it. It’s definitely a big goal set out for us and we want to accomplish it for the coaches and for the organization.”

On if he looks at the banners and notices the gap
“I honestly just realized last week when I asked Will (Compton) the last time this organization won a conference championship. He pointed up at the banner and it was like ‘oh.’ I thought it was 2001 for some strange reason, but obviously it wasn’t. It says 1999. I think a lot of us have that in mind and want to be a part of that and want to win a conference championship.”

On what he’s done since the UCLA game to improve
“It’s important to me that I be there for my team. Whatever it is, whether it’s just supporting them or doing my part on the field, I feel like if I’m not playing my best, then I’m letting my team down. I think that’s something that’s really pushed me this whole time is knowing that my team is relying on me and I need to do everything I need to do to make sure I play my part and play my role.”

On if he’d seen the play on film that he intercepted
“It was just the structure of our defense and what we were running. I knew the ball had to come out fast, so I knew it wouldn’t be a deep route by any means. I kind of jumped it the first time and almost got lucky. Then they ran the same exact route the second time, so I jumped in front of it.”

On how they’ve replaced Lavonte David
“If you think about it, it’s the way it’s been the last couple years with guys like Suh. You don’t necessarily replace them; you find a way to move on. Just think of any other organization across the country. You never replace anybody. You find a way to get through it and find another guy that you brought in. That’s the reason you bring guys in year in and year out. You have to find guys that are important to your organization and important to your football team that can find a way to get the job done. I wouldn’t say we necessarily found a way to replace him because as you know he’s a great football player. You can never replace a great football player like that. You have to rely on the guys you have. You can’t say you wish you had Lavonte David and keep prying on that, because you’ll never find a way to get through it. I think we just did a great job of coming together and finding a way to get through it and better preparing ourselves for the outstanding offenses we are going against rather than keep dwelling on the fact that we don’t have this great player or how we’re going to do it. I think we did a good job of finding out what Bo was asking of us and getting the job done.”

On how this year’s defense is better than last year even though David and Alfonzo Dennard start in the NFL
“Taking it personal and making sure that we understand the offenses that we go against and not just relying on our ability to get the job done. I think the defense as a whole has done a great job of understanding the scheme and understanding what the coaches ask of us as individuals and making sure that our defense as a whole gets the job done. I think we do a great job of studying. Will this morning took me after I fell asleep and asked when I was going to get up and watch film. It’s Monday and he’s already making sure I get up and watch film. That mindset and that attitude is with the safeties as well. I think P.J. (Smith) started watching film this weekend. It’s just stuff like that that we take personal and take into our own hands and not rely on the coaches to give us the inside on teams. We take it personal as players and as a defense to make sure we understand offenses a lot better.”

On how tough it is to beat the same team twice in a year
“It’s tough but it also boils down to a mindset and a want to. I think this team as a whole has the mindset that we want to get it done this year. We set out a goal and we are doing everything we can to accomplish it. We won’t let one team ruin it for us. I think we have the mindset that we are going to get it done.”

On if he remembers the Washington rematch two years ago
“I think that boiled down to a mindset, just being in the same bowl two years in a row, playing the same team already. I think it had a lot to do with mindset but it’s completely different this year with this team.”

On who he looks to replace Baker Steinkuhler at defensive tackle
“I’m not a d-line coach. I’m not sure what they have planned but as always this staff does a great job of making sure we are in the best position to win.”

On how much respect he has for what Cameron Meredith has been able to do this season
“Not only for Cam, but I have a tremendous respect for those guys up front in general because they make my job a little easier. They keep guys off of me. I tip my hat off to those guys because they fight every play. Like I said, it boils down to a mindset. If you want to get something done, you’ll get it done one way or another. Those guys have the mindset that they are going to go out there and compete for this team every day and they do a great job of it.”

On how he would describe Wisconsin
“They are a tough team. They are physical, they fight hard. They won’t be a pushover. We know that and we understand that. That’s why we go out and prepare the way we do. We don’t overlook any team and that’s why we are in the position that we are in. We could’ve easily folded last week with Iowa when they came out and gave us their best shot. I think we do a great job of preparing and understanding who we are going against and never underestimating and having a respect for the game.”

On if it’s a letdown that they don’t get to play Ohio State
“I don’t think so. I’m blessed to be in a position to play for a conference championship. I don’t care if they would’ve brought in Louisiana Tech, no disrespect to them. Whoever we are playing, we are playing them for a conference championship.”

On people who would call it a diminished accomplishment
“All I can control is Nebraska and we are in a conference championship. We are going to go in there and play for it and compete for it until we get the results that we want.”


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