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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Purdue's Jeff Brohm Press Conference 11/25/19


JEFF BROHM: Time to get back to work for our team. Thought we showed awesome fight early in the last game, hung in there, didn't finish the way we wanted. Do think our guys played hard. We were not the better football team and didn't perform good enough to win.

We're on to our last game. This is an important game. I think our team and seniors need to understand that we need to do our very best to finish the season off, play with great effort, go out there and compete, try to find a way to win.

I think playing a team that's had a very good year to this point. They have some good senior leadership in their quarterback, good offensive line, runningbacks have played well, they got some receivers. They've been able to throw the football, spread it around.

Defensively they've been more attacking than they've shown in the past. They're going to challenge things, be very aggressive in their approach. Rotate a lot of guys in there. They've done some good things.

We're going to have to have a great week of practice. We're going to have to work hard to improve. The journey to get better starts today. That means we've got to do everything in our power to come out and play well on Saturday.

Q. What is your sense for Indiana's offense, what has made them effective this season? JEFF BROHM: I think on offense this year they've opened things up quite a bit. They had two good quarterbacks. Ramsey is the one playing now, a veteran. Played a lot of football games. He doesn't turn the ball over. He's efficient.

But they spread the field. They get it to their play-makers, make you cover guys in space. They'll mix in a little bit of run with it.

Runningback is big and physical and strong. They've done a good job. The quarterback can run the ball a little bit, as well, when he pulls it.

I think they've opened the playbook up more this year, tried to utilize their talent, spread things around, be more aggressive in their approach.

Q. What about their defense? JEFF BROHM: Defensively they've really done the same thing: been much more aggressive this year on defense than we've seen the first two years. More of an attacking style, more of a style where they're challenging things, making you find a way to beat them. That will make them out of position occasionally.

They play downhill, they attack. They're more versatile, do more things on defense as well. I think the combination of those things have made them a better team.

Q. What is going to be your lasting impression of this senior class? JEFF BROHM: Well, I think our seniors that have been here, they've been through a lot. They've overcome a lot, had some good moments. Now it's time to try to finish off on a good moment against your rival team.

A lot of these guys have seen all the ups and downs they could see. They've had a great attitude with it. They've done everything we've asked, worked extremely hard. I think they'll be very productive football players and citizens when it's all said and done. We'd like to try to finish the season strong for them.

Q. Is it safe to say Rondale Moore and Lorenzo Neal shut down, this is it? JEFF BROHM: I wouldn't say that fully. Haven't seen to this point.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the rivalry. Did you get a chance to ever play UK? Growing up in Louisville, what did you know about the bucket rivalry? JEFF BROHM: When I was there we didn't play Kentucky. I didn't get to experience that rivalry. I know the game has a lot of history and tradition. It's an important football game for the university, for bragging rights, for recruiting. It's an opportunity for both fan bases and players to get together. Most of them know each other. They go out there and compete, have a good time with it, hope to come out on the right side.

I think whether it's football, basketball, any sport, a lot of fun when you have these type of games. When it's the last game of the year, especially the last two years when something was riding on it for both teams, it meant a lot. Made for some good games.

We're hopeful that we can do our part this year, come out and compete, try to find a way to get a victory.

Q. How have you celebrated with the bucket in the past personally? JEFF BROHM: For me, really our team the last two years, the win has not only meant a lot, but it meant you got to go to a bowl game. A lot riding on it.

It was a great celebration. Those games meant a lot. I don't know what the record was before, how many we lost before that. It's always good to win that last game, especially when there's a lot riding on it. That's what made the last two seasons very fun, is the season came down to win and you advance or you lose and you go home. We were fortunate the last two years to pull it off.

Q. Mitch Daniels always brings up playing the bucket game in Indianapolis. Not going to happen. What would be your thoughts on the game being played in Lucas Oil Stadium? JEFF BROHM: I'm always open for a game in Lucas Oil Stadium. It's a great venue, a great place to play for the players and the fans. You never want to lose a home game, but that venue would be great for them or any team we could play.

Q. You played Minnesota and Wisconsin. They're playing for the Big Ten West this weekend. Who do you like in that game? JEFF BROHM: I think it's going to be a good matchup. The fact it's at Minnesota will make it to their advantage to a certain degree.

I think Minnesota is a big, physical team that can run the football. Run-pass, play-action stuff has been very effective for them. Two outstanding receivers. Quarterback is efficient. Their defense has done a good job.

Wisconsin is a solid football team. They've won a lot of football games. I know Minnesota found a way to beat them last year. Wisconsin will be hungry.

It will be a great challenge. Who can get out to a lead first and control the tempo will definitely help their chance of winning.

Q. A couple things from Saturday's game. Secondary gave a lot of cushion. You didn't get a great pass-rush. Was that part of the plan, to allow that much room between the secondary and receivers on Saturday? JEFF BROHM: We did not play a great game on defense, without question. No, our secondary did not have one of its better games. I think we all have to do a better job, coaches and players, this week, make sure we put our players in the best position to succeed and win.

Our players have to go out there and challenge things and compete to win, as well. I agree with you, I didn't think that happened as much as it should. We have to improve that and do a better job this week.

This team is going to spread you out, throw it on the perimeter even more so than the last. We have to not give too much cushion, challenge things, be able to make the tackle when the ball is completed or deflected or intercepted.

I do think that needs to be improved on greatly.

Q. Are those just a combination of missed assignments or mental breakdowns? JEFF BROHM: Combination of all those things. There were a couple times that the secondary had a complete bust. Never should have happened. Especially the play-action post on the 30 yard line should never have happened.

There were some things that our corners especially, but our secondary needs to have a much better understanding of the situation and what they're playing.

I think in general we all need to do better because I don't like to give that much cushion.

Q. What made Milton Wright the candidate to throw the trick play? JEFF BROHM: He's a very good athlete. The great thing about him is he's one of the few, since the day he's got here, he's made every practice, practices hard, gives great effort. In high school he's a good athlete, played a little wildcat quarterback. We always let our receivers throw a little bit in practice, see how they throw. He throws it pretty good.

The question and concern was throwing it out to him, was he going to throw it regardless of whether he was open or not. That's what scared me because I didn't want an interception. We had to reinforce, Hey, if it's not open, pump that thing and run it. We had to make sure he fully understood that.

Fortunately it was wide open. Couldn't happen any better. It was a good throw. Gave him a chance to make the throw. Didn't overthrow a wide-open guy. We scored a touchdown. That play was a lot of fun.

Q. You mentioned earlier the journey to get better starts today. I would assume it means looking ahead to the future. Broad question, but where do the improvements or where do you need to fill the gaps as you get past Saturday into 2020? JEFF BROHM: That could be a long answer.

In general we have a lot of work to do. Every year you go through, you have to realize where your weaknesses are, try to work hard to fix those. I think there's been quite a few areas we need to get better at: coaching, personnel, development. All those things need to improve.

We've struggled at times running the football. We have to find ways to be more physical, commit to getting that done.

We've got to continue to develop all of our young players on the offensive side of the ball, get them better, all of them, every single one of them, so that we can play more guys.

If we have some areas we need improvement, we need to go get it. That's not always just bringing in freshmen. We have to be careful we make sure any transfers or graduate transfers, anything like that, guys have experience, we're open to that.

Same thing on defense. I think the interior of the defensive line, we've got to get more mass and size, without question, get bigger. We have to develop our depth at linebacker, get better there. We've got to get better in the secondary.

Sometimes we got to continue to develop those guys, let them play through it, without question, because there is some good promise. There's others that if they haven't got in the game yet, they need to improve greatly.

We have to work hard, make sure we have a daily plan to get that done. Once again, try to fill some holes of guys that can come in and play right away.

All those things have to happen. You have to do it year-round. We were fortunate the first year especially to get about nine additions that came in and kind of just filled some voids. Last year we did a little bit. This past year not as much.

We have to make sure we have the perfect balance, but also develop and get our guys stronger, more physical, develop their daily habits so that everything is about improving and winning and getting better.

Q. In the future for your offense, would you like to incorporate some more RPOs into your system? JEFF BROHM: We threw some this past game. We always have them in. When you're running the ball effectively, it helps. Everything is on the table. I think we have a little bit of everything.

When you have good balance, it definitely helps. But we always got to evaluate the team each and every year and play to our strengths as well. Don't want to be stubborn, but there's a lot of areas we need to improve.

Q. Obviously having a lot of true freshmen play this year because of the injuries, can you talk about the impact that David Bell and George Karloftis have had on either side of the ball. JEFF BROHM: David and George have been difference makers for us, outstanding players, great talents. They've done their part. They provided great leadership by example, how they work, how they come ready to play each and every game, make plays and compete.

We've got to get more guys that are able to do that. We have to get more guys that are willing to work hard to do that. We have to get more guys that are willing to bloody their lip every game and play as hard as they can in order to win.

It also goes to off the field. More guys that understand what they think is hard work and what they're doing is not good enough. We need more. They have to be committed to do more.

When you look at both David Bell and George, but especially George, the guy studies the game all the time. From the first day he got here in January, you see him in the facility all the time working out, doing extra work in the training room, in the weight room, on the turf field, studying film, wanting to perfect his craft. You need more guys to commit to want to do everything in their power to get it done. That's how you can improve.

We've got to get more guys buying into that work ethic.

Q. When you're out recruiting, do you look for guys that can be like a David or George, make an immediate impact on your program as true freshmen? JEFF BROHM: We look for as many as we can. The question is, can you get them all. Without question you can identify quite a few of those guys. You have to recruit your tail off, convince some of those guys to come to Purdue and showcase what they're all about.

The fact that we've had the last couple years multiple true freshmen come in and play well I think helps. But it's still a battle to make sure you get that done.

Q. Is Dedrick Mackey okay? Got up slow after the interception return. JEFF BROHM: He's nicked up. He's been nicked up. We have some other guys, as well. I give him credit, he's played through some injuries. This week will be the same way. We'll try to get him into practice as much as we can. We'll have to evaluate as the week goes on.

Q. Senior Day Saturday, do you have any closure on Sindelar yet in terms of what his plans are? JEFF BROHM: That's a good question. I was waiting to get that.

Whether or whether or not certain guys go through Senior Day will not fully determine if they're coming back or not. There's certain guys, like the one you mentioned, a few others, that need a little more time to figure out exactly what they want to do.

No, I do not know a final answer to that.

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