Breaking Bread With T.J. – 11/4

Breaking Bread With T.J.

UConn Huskies interim head coach T.J. Weist held his weekly press conference on Monday and he talked about a variety of different subjects.

In his opening statement, he talked about Louisville having one of the best defenses in the country. They are very impressive, well coached and well rested (they had a bye week as well).

He stated the players are still motivated and have a lot pride. He was asked if it was hard to motivate the players and he said no, the team is hungry and the players are embarrassed to be 0-7.

Chandler Whitmer isn't No. 2 on the depth chart due to a hand injury. Casey Cochran will be the back up.

When asked about playing younger players, he responded that you want experienced players but you're always evaluating. Teams all around the country are playing true freshman and he's playing what the coaching staff thinks are the best players.

He stated one of the problems with the team is they are lacking in execution in all three aspects (offense, defense and special teams). They aren't playing as physical as they can be.

They spent three long practices working on fundamentals, assignment and technique.

There was more emphasis on tackling during practice. They did a lot of 1's vs 1's, 2's vs 2's. He said they did this to simulate speed not only for Tim Boyle but for everyone.

Graham Stewart and Taylor Mack are back on the depth chart and are almost back to full speed.

When asked about Teddy Bridgewater, he stated he's more efficient, is smart, makes good decisions and has very sound fundamentals as a QB. You aren't going to have a good offense without a good QB.

The Cardinals use three RBs and they spread their WRs out.

Weist said he knows their offense well because he was on the staff with Louisville OC Shawn Watson at Southern Illinois.

Louisville DEs have 15 of the 27 sacks and they bring pressure.

The Huskies need to get momentum this week and make plays. Sure they beat Louisville last year but it's a whole new year and game. Guys need to make their blocks, throws and most importantly execute.

Weist stated they need to be careful with but not pamper Boyle. He's responsible like any other player and has to produce. They got on his decision making and tried to put him in the situations to learn from past mistakes, hence why they did 1's vs 1's.

Boyle sets high standards for himself. He's corrected his mistakes but still has work to do.

There's no grand plan for Boyle. They'll start the best QB as it's a constant competition not only at QB but all positions. If you don't produce, you'll be replaced.

Weist didn't want to speculate whether or not using a different QB would make a difference in the past. Wouldn't be fair to the guys.

When they played Michigan on national tv, they played their best game of the year. Weist stated they are using that as motivation from the hype.

Two of the weeks that Weist has been interim head coach have been bye weeks. Said you don't want those bye weeks after a loss.

He said that this team has a lot of pride and character. He's proud of the team's mentality and guys are doing a good job. He's proud of their effort but it comes down to execution.

The team knows what it needs to do to win. They just need to go on the field and do that.

He said there is no limitations on recruiting. They can offer scholarships and they aren't changing their approach to recruiting.  They are full speed ahead and plan to win and stay here.

The coaching staff is getting positive vibes from recruits. They see the mentality is there.

He was asked if it was hard to keep the "All In" mentality and responded that it wasn't. It means more now and is even more important to be all in in all areas, academics and the football field.

Whitmer has been a great mentor to Boyle.

Shakim Phillips is looking better but he isn't full speed.

In light of other coaches falling ill, Weist said their jobs are very stressful.

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