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 you’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 you’re working with a split offense. Certainly looking for guys that are making plays. So we don’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 it’s been a couple practices. It’s been basically 4 or 5 practices. Even through those practices he split time. He certainly adds another dimension to our offense. He’s got some power obviously. So we’ll see what he can do there. The limit for him is still out there. He’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, he’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 there’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 this…we know we have to have table running backs for our offense. That’s been that way for years since we’ve been here. You gotta have more than one. We feel like we’ve got 3 or 4 right now with Riley in the mix. They’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 play…he came in for a strike. So you’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 it’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 he’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 play…because he’s certainly capable of making big plays…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 you’re gonna lose sleep over?
A: Yeah, that’s not been us. That’s not been Michigan State football. But it’s certainly not by design. It’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 that’s gonna stick into fall camp.
A: Well, I think that’s a possibility. What you saw in his big play he made today…I’m not sure if that was his only catch… You saw him make the big play today. Yeah, that was his only catch. But he’s done that in numerous scrimmages so it’s not a one-time deal what you saw today out there. He will continue to be evaluated like all our receivers. He’s right there; he’s right in the mix.
Q: Dave, would you like to come out of spring game and say, Here’s my starting quarterback. Here’s my starting running back. Or is it better to have this competition continuing on?
A: I think you always like to have…. Myself, I like to have things set. Here’s my guys in all these positions. But at the same time, it’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: That’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. That’s probably why we were in gun today than at any other time.