Videos: Fritz, Tulane players on Navy game week

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NEW ORLEANS – Listed below is the complete transcript from Green Wave head coach Willie Fritz’s weekly press conference leading up to Tulane’s matchup vs. Navy on Saturday.

Opening Statement:
“I am disappointed in how we played last Saturday against Memphis. We did not play one of our better ball games. I would give credit to Memphis, they played extremely well and have a very good team. We started out okay, but we had some self-inflicted wounds with penalties and we did not finish the first half very well. It was disappointing, but luckily we have another game to play this week. We have to drop that one and move on. Navy is a great ball club; they are 5-1. We are playing at their place, we had the opportunity to play there a couple of years ago. It is a tremendous stadium with great scenery when you go there and play a game. They run the under-center triple option, but they have expanded their offense with some pass game. They are averaging fifteen throws a game, and that is eleven or twelve more per game than they normal do. They have a new defensive staff and they are running a completely different defense. That has been a big secret to their success with their slant, their twist, and their blitz from the second level, you do not see that very often. As well, they are playing a lot of man-on-man coverage, which they had not done in the past. It will be a big challenge for us Saturday against Navy.”

On whether it is easier to coach after the loss to Memphis…
“I don’t know. I think our guys were disappointed, but you just have to bounce back. We talked about that after the game. As soon as the game was over, I talked to them about that and how we have to learn from it, flush it down the toilet and then move on. I really think sometimes guys sit around and dwell on past successes and sometimes guys sit around and think about past failures, I do not think either one is going to get you where you want to go. You have to live in the present and move on. You have to lock in on the upcoming opponent, which for us is a great opponent in Navy.”

On concerns for teams pulling Memphis defensive plays against Tulane in future games…
“This one will probably not be the game where they do it because they have such a unique offensive style. That is one of the things we talked about on Sunday though, we need to understand that teams are going to look at that. There are a lot of teams that run similar type offense to Memphis, not exactly the same, but the same formations and similar running of plays. We will probably see some things that worked against us Saturday night down the line both offensively, defensively and in the kicking game.”

On whether the middle of the field was a problem defensively…
“Yes, I did not think we tackled very well and we had more missed assignments than we have previously had. They have great athletes over there and that was a big part of it. There are also a lot of 50-50 balls, they probably got ninety percent of those with back shoulder fade and they had a nice catch down on the goal line on the 1 yard. There were a bunch for us that were close, but those do not count.”

On Jeffery Johnson’s progress…
“I think he is getting closer. It is hard when a big guy like that gets an ankle sprain. It takes a little while to recover, but I think he is getting better and better every week. When we see he is able to play full speed all the time, we will start playing him again a bunch. Right now, it is going to be limited, but hopefully he will play a bunch on Saturday.”

On having extra time to prepare for Army…
“I think it helped us. We had a bye week and then played Army. There are a lot of similarities between Army and Navy, but Navy throws it a lot more than Army does. The quarterback style is a lot different too.”

On not having the inside run threat as much hurting Tulane’s ability to get to the corner…
“I am not sure. I think we got away from the run because we got so far behind. We were trying to get the ball down the field and get some scores to get back into the ball game. But, with our offense we expect every back to be able to do all the runs whether it is inside the core or outside the perimeter. I do not think it made much of a difference, besides the lack of a good player.”

On the American Athletic Conference West Division…
“This is an interesting scene, last year 5-3 won it, but this year there are a bunch of really good teams. Our objective is just to play a whole lot better than we played last Saturday and get out there and get that good feeling back.”

On whether he said anything to Justin McMillan to keep his confidence maintained…
“No, he has great confidence. The last interception that was my interception. We were just trying to run forward and they obviously play pretty deep. It was something like fourth and 23 yards. We would have liked to have that back before the half, but you have to overcome that stuff when you play a good team. Everybody has to play well and everybody has to coach well. We have to improve in a lot of different areas, offense, defense and kicking game. The kicking game did not cover very well; covered very poorly on kickoffs. We have to coach them up better.”

On the possibility of Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine playing this weekend…
“I am hoping. We are lucky that we have a lot of backs. We will see, Saturday is a long way away. I hoping they will both be able to play.”

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