Head coach Kliff Kingsbury was made available to the media on Monday and he assessed the team after Saturday’s win over Eastern Washington.
. . . [What stuck out to you] Just overall effort, played hard, got tired in the second half. Have a lot to clean up and a bunch of mental errors, but I thought they played hard.
. . . [Overall play of the offensive line] Started off a little shaky, gave up early sacks, as the game went on, kind of picked up the physicality and ran the ball.
. . . [More on the offensive line] they did well for their first outing, they tried to be physical and play and that’s all you can ask in their first start.
. . . [On Willie Sykes] he’s just matured a ton, very proud of him and how he’s handled himself through spring practice and camp, he’s a tough kid and will stick his nose in there and had a nice play yesterday.
. . . [On the run vs. pass play calling] Ideally, that’s what we want to do, 50/50, last year we were way heavy in the pass area and couldn’t run the ball, relied way too much on Pat [Mahomes], this year there is a heavy emphasis on trying to run the football and as long as we can do it, we’ll run it.
. . . [On the first three offensive series] I think it was bad play calling on the first three, I was probably a bit conservative early, once we started to open it up, better things started to happen.
. . . [On Nic Shimonek taking those sacks] Those two that he took, there was nothing else to do to make it worse, if someone else screws up, your job is to not make it worse. He did a good job, we punted and our defense stepped up.
. . . [On the pistol formation] Just trying to get an even look on either side, you soften them up a little bit when you spread them out like that.
. . . [Who stood out in the offensive line] I thought Paul Stawarz did a nice job at center, Jack [Anderson] is a physical kid, Jacob, [Hines] I think they all did a fine job and they all got better. They stayed in shape and physical and finish drives at the end.
. . . [Secondary overall] Early on, we had some busted coverages, where they had some guys running open, but as the game went on, the guys settled in, all those corners settled in and the safeties were active.
. . . [Open field tackling] That was a big step, tackling all offseason, Jah’Shawn [Johnson] is a sure tackler, [Vaughnte] Dorsey is physical, and define improvement with [Lonzell] Gilmore.
. . . [No drops on Saturday and if it has happened before] I’m not sure, that’s a veteran group of receivers. You better, because there’s not enough footballs to go around right now.
. . . [Who stood out in the front seven on defense] Not going to give out exact grades, Broderick [Washington] was solid, Big Mike [Thomas], Jodyn [Brooks] was all over the place, the physicality was there and the effort was there.
. . . [On the first three offensive series] I think I was making some bad play calls early, we got into rhythm and saw some things that were working and overthought things early on.
. . . [On the big pass to Derrick Willies] It was more of they were screwing down on everything, taking away a bunch of our quick game, and we had to loosen him up and let him run. He made a nice play.
. . . [On Justin Stockton having some room] It’s because he had running lanes, last year his feet were stopped at the line of scrimmage, if you get him out in the open, he’s explosive.
. . . [On Desmond Nisby] Just his physicality, he finishes runs, he rarely has a negative run and has a good pad level.
. . . [On the stretch plays] We did a good job of stretching it out, sometimes hitting the front side or cutting it back. Coach Jones has had a heavy emphasis in that scheme and believes in it.
. . . [On winning the turnover battle] That’s the goal, that’s been the difference in our season since we’ve been here.
A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. has a notebook of things (that I may have linked to yesterday, but you’re getting it again) from Saturday’s game, including the play of McLane Carter and Jett Duffey, Panazzollo’s punting and more.