Junior Linebacker, Sean Lee
Q: How long has it taken you to get over the Michigan loss and start focusing on Illinois?I know the exact play - I said the same thing as it was happening. He's seriously one of the best guys ever.
A: We had a really good practice yesterday; we're thinking about them today. I think we were down on Sunday, when we watched the film, but after we watched the film yesterday in meetings we put it behind us and we had a really good practice yesterday, so we're ready to go for this weekend.
Q: How well do you know Lydell Sargeant and what are your thoughts about the job he's done in his first year starting?
A: I've known Lydell; we played basketball together when we were young. He's always been a tough competitor, he's always been a great athlete and he really picked it up this off-season working hard. He's done a great job so far this season.
Q: Illinois is so much different than any team you've played this year with the multiple quarterbacks. What are you expecting from Juice Williams and the other kid (Eddie McGee) who plays that position?
A: We're expecting a lot. He's (Williams) a great athlete and we really have to be conscious all the time because we're dropping back in pass coverage and we have to watch him because if he doesn't have anyone open, he'll drop and run the ball. So that adds a whole entire new dimension to the game for us.
Q: When the defense only gives up 14 points and you lose, how frustrating can that be?
A: Anytime you lose is frustrating, no matter how the defense plays. There was a lot of stuff we could've done, a lot of mistakes we made. I don't think the defense was very consistent the whole game. We made some plays and then we didn't make plays that we needed to make. We let them drive down the field on us in a critical part of the game and we didn't get off the field towards the end of the game and didn't give our offense enough time, really. We felt like we could've played a lot better and 14 points is too many.
Q: You mentioned it was a good practice yesterday. Who sets the tone for a practice? Is it the players, the captains, the coaches? How does everything get re-energized?
A: I think it starts with the coaches. They tried to get us to get over the loss because obviously we were bummed a little bit. But it really starts with our captains on the field. With the defense, Dan (Connor); Dan got us going yesterday, got us to practice hard. He made us realize that one loss is not going to define our season. So, it really starts with the captains.
Q: Was it frustrating not to be able to get off the field in the fourth quarter and what led to that? Were you guys worked down a little bit by that point?
A: I think were inconsistent on that drive. I think their biggest play probably was I was in coverage and (Ryan) Mallett rolled out to his right, and I came up. I think that if I wouldn't of come up too early...that was a huge play. Plays like that where we had the coverage and we just didn't make a play. We just didn't get it done when we needed to.
Q: Coming off a tough loss, where do you go from here?
A: You just keep working hard...doing the same things we've been doing in practice. It's not effort; it's not effort that's the problem. We've just got to execute maybe a little better, concentrate harder at practice and when it comes to game time, just play.
Q: How has it helped the defense that a lot of you guys grew up near each other (Pittsburgh area)?
A: We all kind of have the same attitude -- tough, hardworking, willing to do whatever it takes to win. And I think we thrive off each other and compete with each other.
Q: Have you heard from Puz (Paul Posluszny)?
A: I did. I talked to him Sunday. It's a pretty big bummer for him, because he's a warrior and he loves to play. And it kind of puts in perspective one loss; it's not as bad as being out the whole season. When I heard about that (Posluszny's injury), I stopped moping and was ready to get to the next game because I realized it could be a lot worse.
Junior Tackle Gerald Cadogan
Q: Did the team come into the game with the offensive game plan to run the football as much as you did or was that just something the coaches saw with the defense during the game that kind of went to that?Great gameplan, great gameplan - definitely. Poor kid. Poor us.
A: The coaches put a great game plan together and that was the game plan going into last week's game.
Q: That was an old-fashioned physical Big Ten football game. What did that game teach the offensive line, or what did you guys learn from that ballgame on Saturday?
A: From each game that we've played thus far this year we always learn something. From this one, we had to learn with games like this it comes down to technique and different stuff like that and working as one team because we can't have breakdowns here and there, so it really helps us to come together.
Q: What was the mood like on the sideline for the offense on Saturday?
A: The goal was to get points on the board to help our defense out and score some points. The mood was to focus on getting points on the board.
Q: When you look at this game (Illinois) Coach Paterno often says you either get better or you get worse. How important is this game on Saturday to get the season moving forward again?
A: This game is like every game that we approach, it is very important. We still have our goals in mind; we still have the goal to be Big Ten champs. This week of practice has to be great, and in this game we have to make improvements in the areas that we might've had some mistakes last week.
Q: What areas did you guys see with Michigan's defense that led you believe you could run better than maybe you did?
A: I'm not sure; the coaches really put that together, a great game plan. But as I watched film, their D-ends are very fast off the ball and really got a hard charge up the field and then they showed some blitzes that the coaches thought that would be a good game plan.
Q: On the left side, in some previous games and this game, if you guys had some more experience would you be able to run off the left side a little better or are teams overloading there?
A: Sometimes it has to do with the stunts but for the most part I think we're pretty balanced as far as running to the right and to the left.
Q: What are you expecting from Illinois - are they a blitz team, what style defense do they play?
A: Their defense is going to shift around a lot, they're going to blitz a lot, their D-linemen are going to move and they're not going to sit still the whole game. That's what we expect.
Q: Can you talk about the job done by the guys filling in for John Shaw on the offensive line while he's been hurt?
A: Whiz (Stefen Wisniewski), we call him Whiz, and Mike Lucian have been doing a great job stepping up to the plate and they're really getting the job done, especially in practices, making the calls that we need to get called. They've been doing a great job.
Q: Where do you go from here coming off a tough loss like this to Michigan?
A: There's only one place you can go and that's forward. We have to have a great week of practice this week and we have to get focused on what we have to do and that's beat Illinois. We're taking it one game at a time. The Michigan loss was hard, but we can't let that devastate our season, we have more games to play and we have to focus on this game this week and get the job done versus Illinois at Illinois.
Q: Sean said you guys had a good practice Monday. What was your take on that? What really got you guys going again?
A: The fact that, like what I just said, that we're focused on what we have to do now. What happened has happened, we can't dwell on it, we have to move forward, that's the only motion that we can do and the coaches are doing a great job focusing us on what we have to do, and that's beat Illinois this weekend.
Q: What has Anthony Morelli's mindset been like since you've returned to practices? Is he confident, is he moving past this lost?
Yes, we've just had one practice and that was yesterday. But, we're re-focused, we're focused on what we have to do and that's beat Illinois. Morelli's doing a great job calling the plays and doing the calls on the line of scrimmage, the audibles and whatnot.