David Turner News Conference Quotes and Video

Nov. 1, 2010

Cat Scratches: Making a bowl game still important for UK football

Defensive Line Coach David Turner

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll turn to the coaching portion of the news conference. I hope you all got the e-mail sent out this morning that Coach Joker Phillips had a death in his family and his returned to Franklin, Kentucky today. Assistant Head Coach David Turner will be doing the news conference today. Coach Phillips hopes to return later this afternoon.

At this time we'll turn it over to Coach Turner.

COACH TURNER: I hope everyone is doing well today. I think Coach Phillips has tried to school me up a little bit on this and start out with the injury report.

Raymond Sanders should be okay this week. Right now he's kind of day to day. But we feel that he should be okay as he continues to get treatment, as well as Cartier Rice, and those guys are working to get back on the field. So we feel good about their availability on Saturday.

Derrick Locke, I'm sure everyone wants to know, has been cleared by the doctors. Right now he's working no contact and it's a day-to-day situation with him. And obviously we hope we can have him available for Saturday as well.

Q. As far as Derrick Locke is concerned, even though cleared by the doctors, coaches and players in conjunction with one another sometimes have the feel to call whether he plays or not?

COACH TURNER: First thing for us, we want to make sure there's no possibility of further injury and taking the young man's welfare into account there. So between the doctors, the trainers, Derrick, the coaches, you try to come to a mutual agreement.

If he's ready, he feels good, he's confident, and if he's been cleared, then he'll play. If not we want to make sure that, first of all, he's well and it's not a chance of reinjuring his shoulder.

Q. This team's had to continually pick itself off the ground week after week, a lot of times even during the course of the game some of the time. It seems like it could take a toll. How tough do you think it is for the guys, and where are they at right now?

COACH TURNER: To be honest, Chip, we're pleasantly surprised. Guys have been resilient. They've been working hard. They continue to do what we ask them to do in terms of practice habits and putting themselves in a position to win football games.

Obviously it hasn't gone the way we would have liked, the players and coaches. But the guys are battling back. There's still a lot of goals we set before the season that we can achieve. And right now we're basically looking at three one-game seasons. The next game is the biggest game. And we've got to prepare for that just as we prepare for the SEC opponents.

Q. It's important to make sure that the young guys understand at this point in the season, even though things haven't gone the way they thought, to not to shut it down; there's a still lot to play for and those Bowl practices would benefit them more than anything. How hard is it to get the young guys to understand that at this point in the season?

COACH TURNER: With young guys, it's always a transition from high school and college, to try to teach them the ways you do things. We work with those guys a lot on Sunday, scrimmaging and trying to get those guys ready and putting them in situations to be able to compete in the spring for positions.

But the attitude of those guys has been great. They continue to work hard. It's a unique group in terms of talent, in terms of attitude.

As coaches, we feel real good about those guys. Obviously they're the face of the future. And so those guys have continued to work. We haven't seen a change in attitude. It's always a possibility that that can happen if things don't go like you want them. But those guys have battled and they come with a great attitude and work every day. And we feel good about it.

Q. You don't have every goal in play in this season, how important is the Bowl streak, how important is it to get back to another one?

COACH TURNER: The kids have mentioned it. It's obviously something that's on their mind. They don't want to be the group that ends that.

Still a lot of work to be done. No guarantees in this deal. They know that's something they want to work towards. That's a goal that's out there for them, to get to postseason play. And it's a big deal for them.

Obviously we feel it's good to be able to get into the postseason, because you get X amount of extra practices for those young guys, which can be beneficial and help you down the road.

So it's a carrot out there, so to speak, that's dangling. And like I mentioned earlier, it's three one-game seasons. We can't worry about Team X or Team Y, we've got to worry about Charleston Southern. Can't worry about the Bowl. You do you business on the field, that Bowl picture takes care of itself.

Q. I know he's not a defensive lineman, but what has Danny Trevathan shown you this year, coming in here?

A. One thing about Danny, he loves playing the game of football. He plays with emotion. He flies around. He makes plays. He tries to be a leader. He's doing some good things on the field as well as off the field, probably not exactly where we want him in terms of that, but he's working towards it. Nobody's perfect. But Danny's probably been the one constant right now on defense that's working hard and showing up. And a lot of it has to do with what's happening up front, trying to keep blockers off of him and free him up, because he is one of our most athletic guys, one of our most athletic linebackers and one of our most productive players.

Q. One thing that doesn't show up in stats, is your guys (defensive linemen) maybe freeing him up to be able to set Danny up to make plays?

COACH TURNER: Everybody has a job description. And growing up nobody dreams of playing defensive line. Everybody wants to be a quarterback or running back and touch the ball. So those guys understand the position they play is not one that's going to get a lot of limelight, not one that's going to get a lot of attention.

And I preached that to them. We've got to be the guys that do the dirty work. How do we get attention? You get sacks in the passing game. That's the biggest way. But right now we're concentrating, trying to improve our defense, run and pass, and Danny is a big part of it.

Q. What do you know about Charleston Southern, do you worry about them thinking, oh, it's just an FCS team? Do you feel like you'll have their attention all week even though it's not an SEC opponent, and you've got two more coming after this?

COACH TURNER: We better get their attention. Charleston Southern, I think over the last five years, five or six years, is the winningest team in the Big South Conference.

At the beginning of the season, there were some FCS teams that beat some Bowl division teams. I think it was North Dakota State beat Kansas. Right in our league, Jacksonville State beat Ole Miss.

You have those examples out there, what can happen if you're not focused, what can happen if you don't take an opponent seriously.

And obviously our job as coaches is to make sure we stay focused. It's a big game because it's the next game. And we need to worry about, more so about us and going out there and handling our job and doing our job and playing well regardless of the opponent. So that's how we're going to approach it. We better get their attention, because this is a team that can create some problems for you.

Q. As a coach, you talked about how the Internet and 24-hour information access is a challenge to coaches. But on the other hand, because of all those things that was mentioned, all these kids know exactly what you just talked about. Does that help in a way?

COACH TURNER: Well, yes and no. With the information age out there, there's a lot of things out there, YouTube and you can see the game if you want to and all that stuff.

But, yes, the big thing with us is just making sure they stay focused. Just making sure, hey, they understand this is their job at hand, this is what we've got to do.

I use a quote Gene Stallings used, somebody asked him in a press conference a similar situation, just come off a big game, this is not viewed as, quote/unquote, a big game. He said: If you don't think it's a big game, lose it. So it is. (Laughter from media).

So for us it is a big game. And it's important for us to get out and play well and start fast.

Q. After so many close SEC losses, is this kind of a nice break for this team?

COACH TURNER: I don't know if I would say it's a nice break. You know, it's a quality opponent that we have to be prepared for. Obviously it's not in league play. And there's a lot of teams in our conference right now that have non-league opponents, in this part of the season, later part of the season.

It's a big game for us. It really is. We have to come out, like I mentioned earlier, make sure we play well and worry about things that Kentucky can handle and have control over.

And that's going out and having a great week of practice, prepare just like it is an SEC game, and go out there and continue to try to improve and put 60 full minutes together on the field. And if we do that, we'll feel a little bit better about ourselves.

Q. Did you reach the point where maybe the last three games you start and maybe try to get some of the older guys more rest; or do you all just not worry about that and just play who is No. 1 on the depth chart right now?

COACH TURNER: Well, as coaches you're always trying to put yourself in the best position to win, whether that's, quote/unquote, a older guy, younger guy.

During the course of the season, when you play young guys, at this point in the year you hope they're getting better which means they can contribute a little bit more.

Sometimes that's why you see those guys play. It's not a conscious decision of, hey, we're going to move in this direction and play young guys and for the lack of a better term phase out the older guys. We're just trying to put ourselves in the best position to win on the field and really don't care whether it's a senior or freshman.

Q. I don't know if you watch closely enough of what other defenses are doing, but seems like last two weeks Georgia and Mississippi State had put a lot of pressure and different blitzes, have you seen them do anything different because you've been so successful, have you let him (Mike Hartline) sit back there and throw and pick a defense apart?

COACH TURNER: There's no question that we're probably seeing more blitzes and people are starting to get after Mike a little bit more. I know the offensive staff and Coach Summers are working on the protection aspects of it and that's something we have to continue to work on. And right now that's the way people are attacking us. But Mike's proven to be one of the better quarterbacks in this league.

And what we gotta do is just continue to work on it, get some people open and get the ball out.

Kentucky Players

#98, Mark Crawford, DT, Jr.

On the team and where they are at right now after some key losses …
“Of course it is hard, having an up and down season. We are a young defense and we are learning how to deal with it. We really can’t keep our heads down too long because one loss can turn into two and then turn into three and then there goes the season. With three games left we still have a lot to play for; we are still trying to get to this team to a bowl game. As of right now everyone has a good head on their shoulders ready to go into this week getting ready for Charleston Southern.”

On how tough it is to keep your head up after a tough loss …
“It’s hard, it’s really hard. We still have an opportunity to get to a bowl game. We definitely don’t want to be known as the team that quits the bowl streak. That’s the objective right now to get to a bowl game. That is our motivation.”

On what the defense can take out of the Mississippi State game …
“That is something that we knew from the beginning and consistency is what we needed. If we could be consistent we could be one of the best defenses in the nation. It was no surprise, but those one or two slip up cost us the game.”

On Danny Trevathan
“Danny is just everywhere. He is just a great player. Every game he is getting a lot of tackles. We look to him to make a lot of plays especially as a defensive lineman. It just feels good to have a player back there that you know is going to  make the play.”

#70, Stuart Hines, OL, Jr.

On the increased blitzing the offense has seen in recent games …
“We are just getting a lot of pressure from defenses. They are throwing everything at us that they can. It is tough for us to see. It is tough for Mike (Hartline) to see. Other times we are just outnumbered and that is something really disappointing to us. We started off the season well and the past few games we have kind of gotten away from that. We are going to have to buckle down and focus more these next few games.”

On how Joker is handling the tough losses …
“He has been great. He comes in after a tough loss with a positive attitude. He says we can’t dwell on this loss we have to move on. The next game is the most important game. We can’t sit here feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to move on the next game.”

On being without Derrick Locke the last three weeks …
“I think we are really starting to miss Derrick’s experience and just his knowledge. He is a more seasoned player. This is his senior year, so he has been through it all. We are really missing that aspect. Hopefully we will have him back this week.”

#30, Moncell Allen, Sr., FB

On the team’s mood in practice Sunday …
“It was pretty good. Nobody was sad. We all just came to practice and had to work. Some of the young guys scrimmaged, (they) are going to be the future of this team. We ran with Coach Rock (Oliver) and did some different stuff. We talked with the seniors and talked with the team and we expect a lot of different things from practice this week so that we can get ready to play.”

On how they have dealt with the tough losses …
“We have dealt with it pretty hard because we are losing these close games and we are expecting to win them. We are playing so hard right now and when you come up short like we have in these games it is kind of frustrating.”

On finishing the season strong …
“We just have to get together and make sure that we are focused at practice and make sure everybody knows that we have to win these games. Especially for these seniors, they have put their sweat and tears into this team and we expect the young guys to step up because we have some guys hurt. Hopefully, we can get those guys going and get them motivated to help us win.”