New MSU OC Dave Warner Talks QB Battle, Riley Bullough and More as Spartans Exit Spring
Q: Coach, coming out of spring can you talk about what youâ€™re most pleased with your offense and most worried about?
A: Most pleased, I think you may not have seen it today, but you probably did, we tried to mix things up a little bit. A little bit more creative than we have in the past. I think today what you saw was Mark Staten being creative with his offense over there on the green team. I continue to be concerned with our pass game, with our efficiency there. Throwing, catching, protecting, the whole thing put together. I think we made strides this spring there, but I think we got a ways to go.
Q: Did the drops disappoint you today?
A: Yeah. I thought we did a better job throughout 14 practices of consistently catching the football. So I was a little bit surprised with what I saw. But I did see some great catches today too, which was very encouraging. We just gotta develop some consistency there and those great catches certainly help us out.
Q: Did a game like this change at all your perception of the quarterback situation?
A: Not a whole lot. Because youâ€™re working with a split offense. Certainly looking for guys that are making plays. So we donâ€™t put a whole lot into this game.
Q: After a couple of weeks of Riley on offense is it starting to look like more of a viable option?
A: Well, yeah. You say a couple weeks; really itâ€™s been a couple practices. Itâ€™s been basically 4 or 5 practices. Even through those practices he split time. He certainly adds another dimension to our offense. Heâ€™s got some power obviously. So weâ€™ll see what he can do there. The limit for him is still out there. Heâ€™s never played running back. He played quarterback on offense in high school, even though he ran the ball. So we feel like if he gets a lot more individual work and a better feel for offense, heâ€™s gonna keep getting better and better.
Q: Is he your #1 back right now, Coach?
A: I think that remains to be seen. I think thereâ€™s certainly a possibility of that. I think we got a couple guys at that position. Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford played well today. Nick Tompkins played well today, a couple big runs. Bottom line is thisâ€¦we know we have to have table running backs for our offense. Thatâ€™s been that way for years since weâ€™ve been here. You gotta have more than one. We feel like weâ€™ve got 3 or 4 right now with Riley in the mix. Theyâ€™ll all get their opportunities.
Q: How big was it for Andrew to respond to the deficit with that field goal drive?
A: On the pass playâ€¦he came in for a strike. So youâ€™re always looking for your quarterback to pick you up when you need to be. And he did that. We need that from a quarterback.
Q: Is he your #1?
A: Andrew? I think he was a leader going into today, my own personal opinion. But certainly, like a lot of positions itâ€™s gonna be an ongoing competition. But I thought Andrew did okay today.
Q; Is Cook a guy that sometimes plays better between the lines than in practice?
A: Probably. When given the opportunity heâ€™s done well out there in game-like situations and scrimmages. Like a lot of guys he just needs to be consistent and not make the bad playâ€¦because heâ€™s certainly capable of making big playsâ€¦by scrambling around, which is what you saw today.
Q: In all your scrimmages you made one catch by a tight end. Is that something youâ€™re gonna lose sleep over?
A: Yeah, thatâ€™s not been us. Thatâ€™s not been Michigan State football. But itâ€™s certainly not by design. Itâ€™s something we need to continually work on.
Q: Coach, spring ball always pops up a couple guys that stand out and then they kind of disappear going into fall. It looks like Troup is kinda making a push to be somebody thatâ€™s gonna stick into fall camp.
A: Well, I think thatâ€™s a possibility. What you saw in his big play he made todayâ€¦Iâ€™m not sure if that was his only catchâ€¦ You saw him make the big play today. Yeah, that was his only catch. But heâ€™s done that in numerous scrimmages so itâ€™s not a one-time deal what you saw today out there. He will continue to be evaluated like all our receivers. Heâ€™s right there; heâ€™s right in the mix.
Q: Dave, would you like to come out of spring game and say, Hereâ€™s my starting quarterback. Hereâ€™s my starting running back. Or is it better to have this competition continuing on?
A: I think you always like to haveâ€¦. Myself, I like to have things set. Hereâ€™s my guys in all these positions. But at the same time, itâ€™s gonna provide a lot of competition through the summer. Drive guys probably a little bit harder to prepare for August when the jobs will be won.
Q: The two incidents on offense where you used the old mike separation between the offensive linemen, is that a new wrinkle you put in or is that something they did?
A: Thatâ€™s just something we may throw out there again at ya. You never know.
Q: Should we read into anything with all the shotguns today?
A: Um, no, not really. In most spring games you rely on the pass. You want it to be exciting and throw the ball around quite a bit. Thatâ€™s probably why we were in gun today than at any other time.