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Keep it simple and play physical is Faulkner's offensive philosophy

New coordinator likes progress

March 30, 2012 · Athletic Communications
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON OFFENSE? My main philosophy is to keep it simple for the players. We want to be an up-tempo offense but at the same time dictate the speed of the game. That does not mean to always be fast but to control the pace. We also want to be a vertical run team and push people around. Yes, we are a spread offense but we want to be very physical. In football you have to be able to lineup and push people off the ball and that is a top priority this spring.

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF EMPHASIS ON GETTING BETTER IN SHORT YARDAGE SITUATIONS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET BETTER AT THAT PART OF THE GAME? The biggest thing is that we have more of an emphasis on 3rd-and-short by lining up with different personnel and running the ball downhill. Our center is obviously in a three-point stance but our guards will be as well which should help them explode off the ball.

HOW WILL THE 2012 OFFENSIVE UNIT DIFFER FROM 2011? We will utilize personnel a lot more than what we did a year ago. We will move guys around in order to get them the football. I believe in using your playmakers and taking advantage of their skill set.

HOW DO YOU LIKE THE PROGRESS THE PLAYERS HAVE MADE THROUGH SIX PRACTICES OF SPRING DRILLS? They are picking up things nicely. I do not like busted assignments because you cannot move forward with our install until we have honed in on the fundamentals. The players are getting better at understanding what we want and the emphasis put toward doing all the little things correctly. They are learning how to practice better which is critical because we are more physical this season in our workouts. They seem to be picking up the new terminology but we have to continue to get better. By no means are we where we need to be.

LOGAN KILGORE IS YOUR STARTER AT QUARTERBACK. HOW AS HE CHANGED SINCE THE LAST GAME ON DECEMBER 3? The biggest thing I have noticed is that Logan is more comfortable and he has done a great job of taking command of the offense and getting people lined up. Last year was his first year of playing at this level and it takes time to get a feel for the game and you can already see a difference from last season.

WE KNOW JEFF MURPHY IS AN EXPERIENCED QUARTERBACK WHO CAN GET THE JOB DONE BUT WE DON’T KNOW A LOT ABOUT SHAUN WHITE. TELL US ABOUT WHITE’S PROGRESS. Shaun White has a lot of ability. People think he is a dual-threat guy but that is not necessarily correct. He is more of a passer than runner. Shaun has the ability to run but has a great feel for the passing game and is very savvy and poised in the pocket. He is making good decisions and is getting better with each practice. Shaun has a good understanding of what we are trying to do and I feel he has a bright future.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING TWO COACHES (MATT MOORE AND GLEN ELARBEE) OVERSEEING THE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN? It has been awesome. You basically take a 50-minute meeting with one coach and that’s 10 minutes a position. Now you have two coaches and the positions are getting 15-20 minutes so everyone is getting more individual coaching. They can spend more time with certain players and if one coach misses something the other one usually catches it. They do a great job of working together and have a great passion for the game which has rubbed off on the players.

A HEALTHY BENNY CUNNINGHAM IS INVALUABLE. WHAT DOES HE GIVE THIS OFFENSE? He can hit the home run, has great hands out of the backfield, is smart, and should be a great leader. We will utilize him more in the passing game than we have in the past because it’s another way of getting the ball in his hands to make plays.

ASSESS THE RECEIVING CORPS? I am excited about this group. You have guys like Anthony Amos, Kyle Griswould, Reggie Whatley, and Tavarres Jefferson who all have a role and it’s our job to utilize them the right way. I think we have done a good job of moving them around this spring so they have the best chance to succeed. They are all working hard, have no egos, and come ready to compete every day.

WHO ARE THE PLAYMAKERS ON OFFENSE? We have three really good running backs in Benny Cunningham, William Pratcher, and Drayton Calhoun. Calhoun is the new guy who can hit the home run and ranks as one of the fastest players we have on the team. Anthony Amos, Kyle Griswould, Reggie Whatley, Tavarres Jefferson, and Jeremiah Bryson are special type players who need to have the ball in their hands. But, we will spread it around a lot because we do not have just one guy. It will be a complete group effort.

TALKING OF JEREMIAH BRYSON, IT APPEARS HE HAS ADDED STRENGTH AND WEIGHT IN THE OFFSEASON. ASSESS HIS PROGRESS. We are very pleased with Jeremiah. He is a kid who can play in the slot and in the backfield. He will have a heavy role in what we do in the passing game and the running game.

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