Dan Mullen met the media Monday afternoon for his weekly press conference.
He updated us on Tyler Russell, still uncertain but should be practicing, LaDarius Perkins should be back and talked about the upcoming game with Auburn.
Here is some selected quotes from Mullen’s press conference:
“We’re excited to get into SEC play. These are the, not that the non conference games aren’t huge, these are the big games though. You get eight conference games a year and to me, that’s what you’re judged on at the end of the year. How you finish within you conference. This is going to be a big deal for us. Getting into this game, obviously a great challenge. Every year since I’ve been here, we’ve started with Auburn as your first conference game. I think that first game can really give you a huge boost. It can be a big knock too for you how it comes out. I don’t think it defines the entire season for you, but I think it certainly can give a huge boost and push you on your way to having a great conference schedule and a great year. It’s a huge challenge. Obviously it’s a tough place to play. A tough place to go on the road to. I think our guys are going to be ready to go. Should have everybody back healthy with the exception of the guys that are out for the year. The guy that is questionable still for this weekend is (Ferlando) Bohanna. Everybody else, talking with our trainers today, they expect to be ready to go by game time.”
Has Tyler Russell passed his concussion test:
“He hasn’t taken it yet. They did somethings with him yesterday. I expect him to be practicing and doing somethings today, we’re going to kind of build him back into it. He doesn’t get any contact at practice. No one’s allowed near him anyway at practice.”
Is he the kind of guy that is cleared Friday afternoon, you’re going with him:
“We’re always very concerned with player safety. To me it’s all going to be safety related. Talking with him, where our trainers are, the fact that he is able to workout and do stuff, I think he’ll be ready to play the game, if he’s cleared for contact come the end of the week.”
How do you think Dak played, and if he had to play at Auburn how confident are you:
“I’m very confident with Dak and our team’s very confident with Dak. You don’t prepare a starting quarterback and a backup quarterback, you prepare starting quarterbacks. We prepare for Dak to be the starter. We have since this time last year. You don’t want the team not having confidence as a guy steps onto the field.”
Is Auburn the toughest scout in the league with all the transition:
“I haven’t’ since I’ve been here. Every year it’s been something new with them. I think this year we have two gams on them. Usually it’s just one game on them. It certainly does make it difficult. You’re looking at a whole new offensive staff.”
With what you’ve seen from offense, are they clicking like they did a couple of years ago:
“They’re very talented. They have a lot of playmakers. They have three big time running backs that all can make big plays in the open field. They have dynamic wide receivers that can beat you before and after the catch for big plays. They have a quarterback that has hit a lot of big throws down the field to keep you honest. He can improvise on his own, if you don’t account for him, he’s going to hurt you.”
Chris Jones on switch from defensive end to defensive tackle:
“We have to look where he is going to play for us this week. A lot of that’s dictated by the teams that we’re playing. He’s athletic enough to play defensive end for us. When you’re playing a lot of the hurry up speed teams, he gives you an athlete inside. That was kind of our thought, moving him inside for the first two games. (Auburn) they’re a little bit more of a power running team than the last two teams we’ve faced. He could get some more reps moving back out to defensive end this week to face that power running scheme.”
You’ve only got one sack in two games, but QB hurries are up, happy with that:
“At times. I always want it to be better. I do think we’ve done a good job and I expect it to continue to get better as the season goes on. I think we had a bunch of tackles for loss last game, so we have guys getting and causing penetration, creating that mayhem on defense.