Breaking Bread with Bob Diaco

UConn Huskies football coach Bob Diaco held his press conference for the game against the Stony Brook Seawolves on Saturday and spent a good portion of the time talking about last week’s loss to the BYU Cougars.

Diaco started out by saying everyone was disappointed in the loss. He’d stated that they are a process team and that process is success. The objective was to get better as a team and they got better.

He said they need to have a detailed understanding of their jobs. He said not everyone has a depth of knowledge as it relates to college football in general.

He stated that it was incredibly challenging to defend an offense like BYU in general, let alone in the first game of the season.

They trained the players to read and react. Some of them didn’t. He said the players need to fall back on their training.

He said everyone needs to continue to get reps. He said they tried as hard as they could on Friday.

Of all the positive things that happened, nothing surprised him.

Despite the fact the three starting linebackers, Marquise Vann, Jefferson Ashiru and Graham Stewart combined for 33 tackles (11 each), Diaco said the overall play of the linebackers was below average to poor.

He said the high substitution plans will continue for two more weeks (Stony Brook and Boise State).

He was pleased with how the offensive line played.

He said Andreas Knappe is closer to playing and will do more in practice each day this week.

He stated he’s pleased with the defensive line. They are coming along as far as learning the new system.

He said RB Arkeel Newsome showed great burst, hits everything at full speed, has excellent contact balance and power to run through tackles.

He said the situation with the two QB’s went well. Casey Cochran saw 47 snaps while Chandler Whitmer had 36.

He said opponents are not the main focus right now. It’s about the team getting better and correcting the mistakes. He sees it as they will work to attack their defense offensively.

He was asked about coaching style and he always tries to stay positive. He doesn’t want the players to hear negative things.

He said the team needs to understand what phase they are in.

The two QB plan will continue going forward but as any coach will say, he has reserved the right to change it if necessary.

He would like to increase the load for the running backs getting Newsome and Ron Johnson as well Max Delorenzo and Joshua Marriner more touches.

He said he was proud of Kamal Abrams in all areas. He said Abrams faced a lot of adversity during camp (more on this later).

He stated he would like to get LB Junior Joseph on the field more because Vann needs a backup.

I asked him about what he wants to see this week and he said he wants a better Tuesday practice than last week and basically the same thing each day going forward.

He ended his press conference by stating the defensive line needs to attack better.

We’ll have more on Abrams as well as few other subjects over the next few days.