Breaking Bread With T.J. – 12/3

Breaking Bread With T.J.

UConn Huskies interim head coach T.J. Weist held his weekly press conference on Tuesday and he talked about a variety of different subjects as the team prepares for the Memphis Tigers on Senior Day this Saturday at Rentschler Field.

In his opening statement, Weist talked about how it was a great team win on Saturday over Rutgers. They built off the momentum from the Temple win and carried it over against one of their biggest rivals in Rutgers.

He said he was proud of the team effort on defense, offense and special teams. He said they finished off the win with class. He said this team is learning how to win and finally putting things together.

When asked about if the attitude of the team has changed since they're winning, he said no. They've approached things the same way. They're finally making the plays and they didn't beat themselves like in the past.

Weist said it's critical to send off the seniors with a win on Saturday. It would give them momentum for the rest of their lives. He said they've part of something special by battling through adversity.

He said he's not surprised about the consistency of Geremy Davis. He said again that Davis is the hardest working player on the team and works on his craft every day.

He said Casey Cochran's decision making continue to improve in the Rutgers game from the Temple game. It looks even better because he didn't have any turnovers and put together a complete game. He said Cochran has been a great leader on and off the field.

Weist has been happy with the production of Max DeLorenzo because he does something every time he touches the ball. He's always ready to keep making plays. He said Max has become a vital part of the offense.

He said Memphis CB Bobby McCain is one of the best corners they'll have seen this season.

Weist talked about how the seniors on the offensive line have pulled things together and really stepped up their games.

He said senior RT Kevin Friend is questionable for the game and he hoped to have him at practice on Tuesday.

He also said the Ty-Meer Brown and Gus Cruz are done for the season.  They have long-term injuries but not career-threatening. Both are evaluated daily and both are feeling better. But if they played and got injured, it could be career-ending so that's why they aren't going to play.

He said the staff has done a great job considering the situation. They've stayed together and are coaching hard. He also said they've been loyal to him, the university and most importantly, the players.

Weist hasn't paid much attention to the coaching search at UConn. His focus is on leading the Huskies to their third straight win on Saturday.

When asked about the success of the other athletic teams, he said it gives his players confidence and pride playing for the state and the university. When teams win, they are respected and he said when UConn athletes win, they win with class.

Shamar Stephen has been very consistent all year long. Weist talked about all the NFL scouts coming in to watch him because of his consistency. He said he's a force inside and gotten better as the season goes along. He said he's one of the best leaders out there as he has the respect of the players and coaches.   He also said he has a great attitude and loves the game of football. He shows that in his work ethic.

Weist was asked if he's gotten better as a head coach since he took over. He said yes but it was hard to really say that. He said he has gotten better because they're winning games. The ultimate deciding factor if he's gotten better as a head coach is if they win the final game.

He talked about how he's proud of the seniors and how serious they are in winning and leading this team. They've been very mature leading team and how they approach each day. The seniors have the respect of their teammates and have overcome a lot of adversity, especially this season.

He said Memphis is a good football team, a well-coached team.

The press conference ended after he talked about the Iron Bowl from Saturday when he said that other team won. Weist is an Alabama graduate.

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