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Free Press livechat with Ron English

September 28, 2012

Ron English did a livechat hosted by the Detroit Free Press this afternoon. There were some interesting questions, and although a lot of his answers were fairly cautious (safely worded), there are a few points where you can read between the lines. For your reading convenience, here’s a transcript of the whole thing.

    • Hello, Eagles fans, I’m here and ready for your questions.
      by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:29:00 PM 3:29 PM
    • Coach, great to see you. We have lots of questions in the hopper already. We’ll get going in a minute …
      by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 7:29:24 PM 3:29 PM
    • OK, let’s do this …
      by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 7:30:26 PM 3:30 PM
    • As an EMU alumni, I had/have high expectations coming into this season. With an 0-4 start, losing a tough game last week to the Spartans. What can you do to help jump start the offense and get this team on the board more?
      by Tom EMU08 9/28/2012 7:30:33 PM 3:30 PM

  • We can continue to work hard in terms of technique, execution and attitude.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:31:29 PM 3:31 PM
  • Many people were suprised.with emu’s showing against state. How did you change the defensive scheme to deal with msu’s running attack and what did you learn about your defense?
    by tom k 9/28/2012 7:31:42 PM 3:31 PM
  • Our young guys are getting better every day and our defense has bought into the concepts that Coach Snow and the staff are teaching.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:32:55 PM 3:32 PM
  • After that nice hard effort in Lansing how is the team approching the remainder of the MAC schedule? Supporting you guys getting back on track!!!
    by Brett 9/28/2012 7:33:09 PM 3:33 PM
  • Thanks Brett. Our attitude has been to get better consistently, knowing that the MAC champion will improve throughout the season.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:34:22 PM 3:34 PM
  • Does Tyler Benz at QB give expanded play calling options to Coach Karcher, in your opinion? That team in gray helmets last Saturday looked vastly different from the one we’ve been watching. I attribute that to a presence that Benz gives that Gillett can’t. Thoughts?
    by Brian 9/28/2012 7:34:36 PM 3:34 PM
  • Tyler has a presence about him that I like. It’s fair to say that we will do more things.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:36:04 PM 3:36 PM
  • What’s Marlon Pollard’s status? Will we see him on the field again this season, or is he done?
    by Eagle Totem 9/28/2012 7:36:23 PM 3:36 PM
  • Unfortunately Marlon is injured for the season.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:37:17 PM 3:37 PM
  • What are the keys against Kent State?
    by Josh 9/28/2012 7:37:29 PM 3:37 PM
  • We must play four quarters of efficient football. Score points, take care of the football and limit big plays defensively.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:38:52 PM 3:38 PM
  • I miss seeing Mike Hart in the maize and blue. How is he as a coach? Is he as intense as he was as a player?
    by Big Blue 9/28/2012 7:39:19 PM 3:39 PM
  • He’s growing as a young coach but he’s a hard worker, a great communicator, and very smart.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:40:31 PM 3:40 PM
  • Coach, how challenging is it to get your players out of an 0-4 mindset and concentrate on MAC play?
    by Mike S 9/28/2012 7:40:44 PM 3:40 PM
  • We’ll see Saturday but we completed a great practice earlier today.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:41:32 PM 3:41 PM
  • What’s the most important lesson you learned as a coach at the University of Michigan that has helped you at EMU?
    by Dan Roach 9/28/2012 7:42:02 PM 3:42 PM
  • Treat those two imposters, success and failure, just the same.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:43:04 PM 3:43 PM
  • I am a student at Purdue, but I follow your program as well with my friends (at U of Illinois). We were really hoping you would pull it off against MSU. You guys played well, did you take a lot of positives out of that game?
    by PurdueFanGreg 9/28/2012 7:43:18 PM 3:43 PM
  • Our team really improved in a lot of areas. We must make the plays that present themselves.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:44:52 PM 3:44 PM
  • Gillett has led the offense for three years. He was the leading rusher for the last two years and still leads this season after sitting a game. He is one TD pass from third place all time at EMU. Yet he is the only player to be benched. Why?
    by Ed 9/28/2012 7:45:06 PM 3:45 PM
  • Every player on our team is evaluated based on their performance. We have not given up on Alex. He is a captain and important part of our team.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:46:58 PM 3:46 PM
  • How do you view opportunities to play schools like MSU or Purdue? Measuring stick, teaching opportunities, or both. I’ve always viewed the opportunity to play “up” as a welcome challenge. I imagine the team got great value out of MSU and Purdue, albeit for different reasons. Thoughts?
    by Brian 9/28/2012 7:47:17 PM 3:47 PM
  • I want to win every game and improve every game. I really don’t look at who we’re playing but how they play. Our players are learning that too.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:48:56 PM 3:48 PM
  • What goes on in the EMU locker room at half? Do you find you normally try to fire up the players or just stress what needs to be done. I understand it depends on the situation.
    by Josh 9/28/2012 7:49:12 PM 3:49 PM
  • Great question. In our locker room we first make corrections, adjustments, etc. Then we stress playing four quarters with great effort and intensity.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:50:50 PM 3:50 PM
  • Do you still talk with any of the Michigan coaches or former players?
    by Big Blue 9/28/2012 7:51:10 PM 3:51 PM
  • I do.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:51:26 PM 3:51 PM
  • There is a blaring hole in the defense’s ability to stop the run, as a team we are giving up 497 yds a game avg. What are you doing to counter this?
    by Tom EMU08 9/28/2012 7:51:47 PM 3:51 PM
  • Last week we put 8 defenders in the box most of the game. We stress leverage, tackling, and getting to the ball in numbers.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:52:56 PM 3:52 PM
  • Could you give us an average day in the life of a NCAA football coach i.e. what time you get in to the office, how many hours you put in, and what you normally eat for lunch
    by josh 9/28/2012 7:53:19 PM 3:53 PM
  • I normally get to the office by 7am Mon-Thur. I normally leave the office between 11:30 and midnite Sun-Wed. Thur the staff goes home by 6:30. Sunday morning I start reviewing tape by 7am.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:55:50 PM 3:55 PM
  • In each game this year, the team has done reasonably well early, but not been able to keep up later in the game. What do you think is happening? Is it physical fatigue, mental fatigue, superior coaching adjustments by the other team, or what?
    by Eagle Totem 9/28/2012 7:56:17 PM 3:56 PM
  • Each game the reasons have been different but we have focused on finishing games and we are improving.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:57:53 PM 3:57 PM
  • Did you ever think of playing #81 [Dylan Brooks] on defense? I saw him in high school and he was a demon on defense?
    by Gerald Meredith 9/28/2012 7:58:08 PM 3:58 PM
  • We have about 15 minutes left with Coach English, so be sure to get your questions in soon
    by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 7:58:28 PM 3:58 PM
  • We’re still developing him as a tight end. He needs to mature there.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 7:59:04 PM 3:59 PM
  • If you could change one thing about college football it would be…
    by Josh 9/28/2012 7:59:21 PM 3:59 PM
  • The scrutiny for the players. There’s a lot of pressure on these young men.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:00:14 PM 4:00 PM
  • After playing so well against Michigan St., do you feel that this team is beginning to find its identity.
    by Michael Wold 9/28/2012 8:00:30 PM 4:00 PM
  • I do. We’ve had issues that we’ve had to work through and continue to work through but this team is beginning to show signs of being a good football team.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:01:56 PM 4:01 PM
  • What is going on with the Eagles running game? Last year you finished in the top 20 in rushing in the FBS this year only 127ypg. Is it o-line, scheme, backs or a change to more balance between passing and running?
    by Bill 9/28/2012 8:02:11 PM 4:02 PM
  • I’m very disappointed in our run game. We haven’t blocked well or run the ball well. It really comes down to all of the guys blocking and the ball carrier.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:03:47 PM 4:03 PM
  • What do you think of your rival’s win over Iowa?
    by PurdueFanGreg 9/28/2012 8:04:02 PM 4:04 PM
  • Congrtulations on a great win for our conference.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:04:35 PM 4:04 PM
  • If you could be on one magazine cover, what magazine would it be and what would the story be about?
    by Josh 9/28/2012 8:04:49 PM 4:04 PM
  • C’mon Josh. I’m thinking about other
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:05:40 PM 4:05 PM
  • Any pleasant surprise so far out of this past years recruiting class that we should keep an eye out for?
    by Bill 9/28/2012 8:06:02 PM 4:06 PM
  • Kirkland Bryant played well last week. Darius Jackson has done a good job. Pat O’Connor is going to be an excellent player.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:07:32 PM 4:07 PM
  • What is the biggest difference in the players you coach now compared to when you were at Michigan in the Big Ten?
    by Big Blue 9/28/2012 8:07:53 PM 4:07 PM
  • Ability to learn and retain. We run about a tenth of the amount of defense we ran at Michigan.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:08:59 PM 4:08 PM
  • Last few questions here …
    by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 8:09:17 PM 4:09 PM
  • But we’ll still take a good one if you send it now …
    by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 8:09:26 PM 4:09 PM
  • Do you ever invite charlie batch to campus to talk to the team?
    by josh 9/28/2012 8:09:40 PM 4:09 PM
  • We have and he responded, spoke at our clinic, and did a great job.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:10:30 PM 4:10 PM
  • What is the explanation for players not beaing able to learn and retain?
    by Lou 9/28/2012 8:10:47 PM 4:10 PM
  • We are still training guys to understand the investment in time that it takes to be good.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:12:14 PM 4:12 PM
  • What are the biggest differences in the guys on the team and the teams attitude and personality now compared to what it was when you first took over @ EMU?
    by Bill 9/28/2012 8:12:25 PM 4:12 PM
  • Physically the guys believe in themselves and know they can win. They know a lot more football. They have higher levels of expectations and more pride in their school. They wear EMU football gear. They have more self esteem.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:14:18 PM 4:14 PM
  • This’ll be the last one.
    by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 8:14:29 PM 4:14 PM
  • Coach, do you think any player(s) on the current roster are NFL caliber?
    by emuian 9/28/2012 8:14:31 PM 4:14 PM
  • I think a handful will bw in NFL camps next year.
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:14:57 PM 4:14 PM
  • That’s a wrap for this. Thanks for all the great questions. And thanks to Coach English for taking the time to chat!
    by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 8:15:11 PM 4:15 PM
  • I want the team to improve and win every game too. When I coach hockey I instill that the next opponent is just the next victim. Thanks for doing this and good luck to you and the team in MAC play. Go Eagles!
    by Brian 9/28/2012 8:15:15 PM 4:15 PM
  • Thank you for taking my question coach, best of luck the rest of the season. Hope to see you in Detroit.
    by josh 9/28/2012 8:15:18 PM 4:15 PM
  • Coach – I know this is water under the bridge – but I still believe you were the best candidate to replace Lloyd Carr when he retired.
    by gobluuue 9/28/2012 8:15:21 PM 4:15 PM
  • Thank You all and GO EAGLES!
    by Coach English 9/28/2012 8:15:47 PM 4:15 PM
  • Catch EMU when it returns to action next weekend, against Kent State.
    by James Jahnke 9/28/2012 8:15:58 PM 4:15 PM
3 Comments leave one →
  1. fan permalink
    September 29, 2012 12:51 am

    Ability to learn and retain? Thanks for follow up question Lou.

  2. John Baublit permalink
    September 29, 2012 8:58 am

    Somehow I take really strong offense to the Coach English comment that the, “players at Eastern Michigan don’t have the same ability to learn and retain as those in the Big Ten.” What a cut down on them and to me since I am an alumnus. This must mean that my EMU degrees aren’t worth the same as those from Big Ten Schools. Just maybe the real reason they aren’t learning and retaining is that Coach English isn’t a good teacher or maybe his players and the athletic director should recommend him for a coaching job somewhere else. When I watched the Ball State game from the stands last August in Muncie, I couldn’t help but to wonder about how much poor coaching was responsible for their embarrassing level of play. Obviously the Ball State players didn’t have any difficulty learning and retaining when they beat Indiana or neither did Central Michigan last week against Iowa.

    • September 29, 2012 12:17 pm

      I think you are taking it too seriously. I believe that he was referring to the ability to use football as another classroom – be a true student of the game and study it and ace the test on Saturdays. It’s about building their football IQ.

      Realistically, MAC schools pick up certain caliber players – good athletes, but lacking the football smarts. Athleticism is only half of it. The players have to have a great football IQ. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. With the status of EMUFB as program, getting the recruits with football smarts is slim right now. We’ll get there eventuality but games must be won first.

      In the B1G, you’re going to have a larger amount of players with a higher football IQ. Just the way the cookie crumbles.

      In rebuilding programs such as EMU, you’ll find the coaches saying “We have to get back to the basics.” It’s so true. Coach English has mentioned this and I believe he’s doing a great job of trying to instill that B1G mentality in our players.

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