Interim Head Coach Brian Wright
Nov. 4, 2013
On halftime speech:
I told the defense they were doing a great job and keep playing hard. I told the offense that we had to eliminate the penalties and eliminate the turnovers. We had two crucial turnovers there and the penalties were hurting us. I told them just stay poised and patient and keep after it because the defense going to keep us in the football game and that proved true in the second half.
On the emotion in the second half:
Well I told all the redshirts all the non-dressed guys they were suiting up in the white jerseys, they were going to be waving towels they were going to be right there with us I wanted our whole football team there. I didn’t need them all dressed, but I wanted them all there rooting on. They needed a little bit of coaching so we got to work on that a little bit our enthusiasm on the sideline, but it was a team win. I told them it was going to be a team win it was going to take all of us. It was going to take coaches their families the players it was going to take everyone of us all the support staff everyone that touches the lives of our players it was going to take everybody to do it. It took alumni, we had alumni come speak to the team and show up. We had tremendous support from the alumni to reach out them. Jared Allen got in touch with a lot of those guys and the support really from them and people all over the country it was amazing.
On being thrust into his first game as a head coach:
I love it. It was a tough circumstance, it still is. When you win its a little bit easier obviously, but we’re a nowhere near through this whole situation. I still think we’re going to have to remain focused and it will be about the right now moment that we are in. We are going to have to continue to battle everyday, but I am excited. I ‘m excited about the opportunity, but again it was the other assistant coaches. The other assistant coaches kept battling and put together a great game plan on both sides of the ball.
On the difference of being head coach vs coordinator:
I tried to learn all the official’s names. So that was different and talking to those guys was awesome because I think they felt sorry for me or something. I told them I was going to be nice to them and not yell at them and they appreciated that. Just trying to manage the game and manage the offense and be up there watching the defense, it was fun to see the defense and be ready to make some of the game management calls you have to make. The offensive staff was tremendous in helping with the offensive game plan and helping with a lot of calls. The offensive staff made a lot of calls today to really help me out there with the offensive side. So that was different.
On first Gatorade bath:
Yes it was! It felt awesome. (What Flavor?) I don’t know, I’m not sure maybe red or orange.
On the importance of this win:
Well we talked about that all of our hopes and all of our dreams are still out in front of us so obviously the win keeps us all the same hopes and same dreams. I just think it proves that a bunch of men can get together and go to work and be resilient and battle and focus on the moment and prepare to win, and when you do all those things you have a chance to win the game.
On assistant coaches adjusting to being shorthanded:
Well we had some assistant coaches that had to take on more of a roll. Jovan Dewitt did a great job calling the defense. He simplified a lot of the defensive calls. I think he did a tremendous job calling the defense. They had 167 yards of total offense; I mean that is unbelievable defensively. The created four turnovers it gave us an opportunity to win the football game. When you win the turnover margin and you hold a team to 167 yards you got a pretty good chance to win the football game.
On keeping structure during the bye week:
Keep them busy, we are going to treat this week like a normal week. We are going to treat it like a game week. So we’re going to work the same days that we would typically work. I told the staff I think this will be our most challenging week because there is not a game at the end of the week. So we have to do a great job this week. We’re going to mix it up and change some things up and do some things we never done around here before and keep them competing and keep them doing a great job in the classroom and representing this university.
On calling trick plays as head coach:
Yeah it’s easy now. I didn’t have to ask so it eliminated one of the steps.
On D’Joun Smith’s week of practice:
Just laser focus just was always into it. He was one of the few guys, I think a lot of the defensive guys, I don’t have a great relationship with a lot defensive players I don’t know them that well and they don’t know me. That’s why I tried to tell them that it’s about them and playing for each other and playing for FAU and the brand, but DJ was always a guy that was just in my ear these last couple of days. He’s the one when I told the team we’re taking their names of the back of the jerseys and DJ asked can we put FAU on the back. So it was his idea.
On Jaquez Johnson:
Jaquez is just he is a resilient human being. He continues to do everything I ask him to do. He’s tough, he’s smart and he just keeps playing and that’s what I asked him to do he kept doing it. Once we got the turnovers corrected he did a great job.
On Jonathan Wallace injury:
Yeah I think he got his knee banged up a little bit, we’ll see I haven’t talked to the doctors yet
On Tony Moore Injury:
Tony was fine as far as I know.
On Damian Fortner:
I’m really proud of Damian Fortner he’s a guy that really hadn’t played much football at all for us. He had stayed into it he stayed focused and I am really proud of him. I asked him to do a couple of things this week that weren’t necessarily playing time things, just being part of the team and helping the team and he did all those things with tremendous effort.
Nothing really different the any other week I’m telling you we had our best week of practice offensively. This Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we had since I’ve been here our guys were really locked in, glued in. Obviously we had some adversity on Wednesday so it was a little bit different on Thursday but they came back and had a tremendous walk through on Friday as the whole team did. So those guys were just they been a part of the plan the whole way.
On the emotion of today:
It was extremely emotional but it is your livelihood and you have a family, you move them across the country and you trust somebody and when that doesn’t work it hurts. The good Lord is going to take care of us and if we are meant to be coaching then I believe that God has a plan for me and my family that we’ll be coaching here or we’ll be coaching somewhere else. So I have total faith that we’ll coaching football somewhere next year.
On auditioning for the head coach position:
Everyday your auditioning for a job so I suppose so, but I been audition for about 18 years for this opportunity.
On Celebrating this Victory:
I’m going to go home and I’m going to hug my kids and my wife and my mom and dad are here stepdad are here one of our best friends is here and so I am just going to enjoy all of them and I haven’t seen them or talked to them very much. I hope I get some sleep because we haven’t slept much lately.