Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

P.J. Smith Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

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

On the defense being the top passing defense in the country
“Feels good, but we still have work to do. To be No. 1 in the country in that, it says a lot about this defense.  It’s not just the secondary, it’s the defense overall because without the defensive line, the linebackers doing what they are doing, we wouldn’t have that stat. We gotta take our hats off to those guys and to the guys in the secondary also, because just getting up there a lot more and watching film and understanding what the coaches are asking us to do and that’s going to take you a long way.”

On the relationship with Coach Terry Joseph and having three different defensive back coaches
“Coach Joseph is a hell of a coach. When he came in we took him in with open arms and we got better and he challenged us every single day.  He is a hardworking man and he wants the best for us and he comes with his ‘A’ game every single day at practice. He demands a lot out of us and just staying on us and trying to make the best players we can become. We are thankful to have him as our secondary coach and that’s a blessing.”

On if Coach Joseph ever gets mad, he seems like of a calm guy
“Oh yeah, he gets mad, but he’s a laid back type of coach and like I said we have fun, but when it’s time to go to work we go to work. I tell you one thing, he is a great story teller, before every game he will sit down with the defensive backs and he will tell us a story and it always hits me every single time because it’s so real and true what he is saying. Me and Daimion (Stafford) walk out of the meeting like ‘oh man can you believe that’. We are just amazed how he can come up with that, I mean it’s true, but how he mixes it in with football, you know what I mean? But, uh he is a hell of a guy.”

On if they are football stories or stories of his life
“All of that, life stories, football stories, I mean he has spoken about a number of different things and it hits you when he tells you and it makes you think and realize how blessed we are to be in the position we are in.”

On what day he tells them this
“Friday nights we have our last meetings.”

On if there is pressure on them to win since Wisconsin is 7-5
“I don’t want to say it’s pressure, but I’d say it’s something we must do, bottom line. That’s a hell of a football team, you know.  We have gotten better every week so it’s going to be a good game but, I wouldn’t say that’s pressure, I’d say that’s something that it’s our time and it’s something that’s built to do this year, so starting today in practice.

With how difficult it is this year how important it is to get a win this year
“It’s important, I mean it’s important, this is the reason why we come here to play for something like this and we had two opportunities slip by a couple of years ago and that’s a nasty feeling. To get it now would mean everything in our senior year. Coach Bo deserves it, as well as this team.

What did Coach Pelini do change the defense during the bye week
“Well he challenged us to get in the playbook a lot more and really understand what they were asking us to do.  You know the games we gave up a lot of yards it was nothing special the other team did, we killed ourselves with this type of defense we ran, one person in the wrong gap, one person with the wrong communication. Guy’s just got to get up there every day and watch film and Will Compton and myself and a couple other players, we will watch film together and go through the plays and communicate the calls and what we are going to do in certain formations. Stuff like that takes you a long way and that’s why we have been getting better week to week.”

On what it was like in the lockerroom Friday securing the Big Ten Title game
“We were excited, but we know we aren’t done yet. We got through those six weeks and won those games and now we got one more that we need to get and that’s this weekend. Like Coach Bo said, we got our hats, but he isn’t putting his on because we got this one this week but we want this game next week and I got my hat and gave it to my dad right when I saw him because I don’t want it I want the hat this week along with the rest of the players. We are excited but we still know we got work to do and we got a team in our way and they are trying to do the same things we want. We have a goal and on a mission. So we are ready to take care of business.”

Coach Bo said there isn’t a better corner then Ciante Evans, do you agree?
“Oh man, Ciante is the man, that kid has so much talent. Just the way he prepares for the game and watches film and the things he does out there and I’m like wow. I go talk to him and ask him on certain things like how would you play this person and he will sit down and tell me. That kid has so much talent, I mean probably one of the best ones in the country.”

On how his improvement has helped the safeties this year
“He is finally understanding what he needs to do to help us. If we are all on the same page it makes the job a lot easier and for him to go out there and cover guys one-on-one the whole game, really you know we help him, but for him to do the things he has been doing. He is one of the leaders in the secondary. He is a quiet guy, but he works hard and it shows when it comes down to game time.”

Biggest change Ciante made from last year to this year
“He took the offseason to get better, he just worked hard every day during the offseason. He got up there and watched film and understands the things that coach was asking him to do at that position. That’s the key position we have to have it in and he stepped up to the challenge/ Coach Joseph challenged him and he stepped up to it and ran with it and now you can use him at corner, nickel, dime, and he could also play safety if he wanted to, that’s how talented he is and he is a hard worker and if your hard worker it pays off like that.”


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