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Tyrone Willingham Press Conference Quotes
Release: 11/07/2005
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Nov. 7, 2005

On Arizona: "Well, number one, we are going to have to prepare for a team that has been kind of revitalized. They are playing football at what seems to be a much faster tempo, with much more confidence, and they are executing. I think one of the things that really jumped out at me, they basically played mistake-free football, no turnovers. They get great production out of their quarterback; the running backs, I think, in the last ball game had two guys with 100-yards plus. And the key area is that they are getting turnovers. In the last couple of ball games they got basically turnovers for scores, and that usually seals the opponent's fate."

On Arizona Quarterback Willie Tuitama: "I'm not surprised. I think he has gotten himself into the system and started to understand it and then feel comfortable with it so he can execute and play to his fullest potential. So far, with the little bit of film on him, I have been impressed with him. Obviously, he seems to be a catalyst for their team, and this resurgence. They are really starting to move forward in a positive direction."

On How A Losing Program Learns to Win: "Obviously, the answer to that one is, win. You learn how to do it by actually producing it. Sometimes it is elusive and hard to get to, but you keep working toward it, you keep coaching in the right way. You are positive in your program and your beliefs, and at the same time very demanding. But you keep pressing your team forward to attain that one goal. You try to keep as positive a mindset and body actions as possible."

On What Willingham Expected Coming Into Washington: "I have always said, I didn't know exactly what to expect. Essentially, you come in, you plan to adjust and do the things that you need, to get yourself a victory in that win column, and that is what we tried to do. Obviously, I am not that pleased with where we are right now, I thought we would have more wins than we have. That is not based on any conceptions before the season started, it is after playing the games, that I feel there were a few games that we could have won, that slipped through."

On James Sims: "I think we have a few young men in our system that have played multiple positions. James has been a young man that has been extremely active in the process of trying to make this a good football team, and doing the things that winners do. He has been very positive, he has worked very hard, he has played fullback for us as well as tailback. Two Saturdays ago, his effort was instrumental in trying to get a win down at Arizona State. He played very hard, he played very smart, he broke tackles, and except for one mistake, gave us a pretty solid effort."

On Coaching New Teams: "Each group is different, each team is different. There is a different personality, there is a different adjustment that you have to make as a coach. You have to try and understand the personality of your team, to keep them moving in the right direction. All teams are not motivated by the same things, so you have to figure out what it is that moves these guys, and try to work toward it, and constantly adjusting and changing to make sure that you are on point."

On A Report That Johnny Durocher Has a Broken Hand: "That report, I think is partially true. There is a small fracture right there; we are not sure right now what that means in terms of the ball game. We will have a better idea and a clearer picture of that hopefully on Tuesday."

On When The Injury Occurred: "He doesn't know, it happened sometime in that second half. What particular play, he is not sure. I think it was more that he realized something during the process, but didn't think it was very severe. He continued to play the football game, and came in I think it was yesterday, or it might have been the night after the football game, but I think it was yesterday, complaining about some swelling."

On Whether DuRocher Will Play: "That decision has not been made. But the question was, is it conceivable that he might play. And, I think the answer was, we don't know yet."

On Who Will Get Majority of Reps This Week: "We don't know yet. I mean, that is a very honest answer -- until we find out exactly what their status is, we won't have any plans about how we will go about practice. Because we have to factor him in there, we will make the decision as soon as we know. Johnny's status will impact who will be our starter and how we will divvy up our practice reps."

On When He Became Aware of DuRocher's Injury: "I found that out Sunday."

On The Play Of The Quarterbacks vs. Oregon State: "I thought they both did some good things. But, obviously we didn't do enough good things. We have to be very careful about that evaluation, because that also heeds, as a quarterback evaluation always does, a lot of things around him. I like a lot of the things that Johnny did."

On Conditions Saturday: "I think there is no question, it is more difficult to play any type of game in conditions like that. But the weather was the same for both teams, and that is the standard that I hold our team to."

On Whether Heat is an Issue: "I think the Arizona State ball game, our men responded very well. We were not able to replicate the exact conditions of the ball game, but I thought our guys performed very well. The only question mark would be the last couple of minutes, and I don't think that was due to anything."

On How Often The Team Will Practice in the Dempsey: "Most likely all three days, unless there is a heat wave."

On The Defense: "I think our defense played ... I don't think you can say extremely well, but it was pretty close to that. To have the number of short fields to play on that they did, I thought our team took a fair amount of points off the board."

On The Placekicker Position: "I won't necessarily call it up for grabs, because I think that Evan did win the competition outright. But we have a few more misses than I am comfortable with. We look at every position, but we allow the guy who wins that position to maintain that position. But, at the same time there comes a point when you have to look at it."

On Joe Lobendahn: "Joe, as you know, suffered a knee injury on Saturday. And the injury will, as I understand it, take him out for the remainder of the season. And that is a very costly loss to this football team, because he is really the heart and soul of -- not just our defense -- but really of our football team. Because, there is a young man who loves football, and plays the game the right way. He does that, so his loss will be big."

On Who Will Replace Lobendahn: "We will probably have the opportunity to get Darrion Jones back as his backup. But if that is not necessarily the case. We will make whatever adjustments we think will give us the best opportunity. So, it could be other guys that you see in the backer position."

On Anthony Russo: "Anthony Russo should be fine. I think his final label of injury was a concussion."

On Evan Benjamin: "I think he may have had, by our counts, as many as seventeen tackles in that ball game. That is a huge game for a linebacker to have that many tackles, and to be that active. It was really nice to see Evan play to that level."

On Backup Quarterback Situation: "Well, we will see. Right now Carl's injury has, in my mind, put him behind Casey Paus. He has not had hardly any work this fall with our starting group, other than what we had earlier prior to his injury. So that has put him behind Casey, who has been a little bit more involved in the rotation -- a little bit more involved, a little closer to the action. He has also involved himself in special teams, so that means he is game-ready, and just a hair in front of Carl, so we will see. It could involve any number of guys, including Felix Sweetman."

On Kenny James Not Playing Against Oregon State: "It was just a function of the rotation of that particular ball game."

On Willie Tuitama Abd Playing Freshman Quarterbacks: "Brady Quinn, that is the one that comes to mind. I did that with Brady Quinn, a couple of years back. You look at the timing of it (in Arizona), it happened probably in their case, the last two ball games, I don't know if he played before that but he started the last one. But half the season is over now, he is probably a little bit more comfortable studying the offense, understanding what is going on, better able to demonstrate his skills in the system now. So it is probably a good course to pursue, that you don't put too much pressure on him too soon in the season, and now he is probably ready to handle it."

On If Quarterbacks Are More Prepared As Freshmen Than They Used To Be: "I would say it is becoming more frequent, because of the background of the young men. In high school now, there is a lot more passing, there is a lot more involvement in terms of understanding the game, they are more involved in coverage and in terms of understanding the game from a defensive standpoint."

On What Arizona Did To Beat UCLA: "Number one, they made no mistakes, for the most part. I think this might have been their first game this year with no turnovers. When you don't turn the ball over, you have a chance to win. The other thing is, there was always a percentage that we kept when I was in the NFL, about when the defense scores on a turnover. I think it was something like, eighty or ninety percent that won the ball game. So, when you are able to create turnovers, score off of turnovers, not make any mistakes, and make a touchdown on special teams play, you are going to have a pretty good vantage point. They stopped UCLA -- I think they almost had minus yardage early in the ball game. That gave them the chance to win."

On Whether Tuitama is the Reason for Success of Arizona: "I would say yes, in a sense. I haven't seen all of their games yet, so it is difficult for me to comment on that one. But, I would think that the energy level is very positive right now. They are feeling good about themselves, and that may have started even before that. Before the UCLA game, they inched forward to where they are now; one player kind of pushed them over the edge."

On Arizona's Rushing Attack: "I'm not sure about total numbers, but I do know they had two guys that went for over 100 yards each, and that is impressive when you do that. That means you are getting after it in the front, and the backs are following suit."

On UW's Offensive Line Play vs. Oregon State: "There were physical breakdowns, there were mental breakdowns. That was probably not our best performance of the year; it may not have been close to our best performance."

On The Players Taking Responsibility for Losses: "It is nice to know that you have young men in the program that are willing to take responsibility for what takes place. And again, the coach takes responsibility for what takes place. That is a very positive sign; now we have got to do something about it, though. It is good to take responsibility, but let's change our actions, let's change the things that we have to change. Let's get better execution, let's see if I can put them in better positions to make their job easier. It is the job of our coaches, and myself, to do that."

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