Postgame Quotes: 2012 Gopher Football Spring Game

April 21, 2012

Head Coach Jerry Kill

On his first “real” spring game:
“We’ve been practicing over the last two or three practices very similar, so I thought it was fine. I think any time you break up all the kids and split them up---certainly for receivers and quarterbacks you lose timing. But I think it was more important for us to look at how young people run routes, how we block, how we tackle, and get a chance to see young players play. We held some kids out today, and we kept it simple. …We got to play everybody and we got a chance to see everybody on the field, and we got out of it healthy. So that’s the biggest thing. We’ve had a good spring. I think our kids have worked very hard, and I think we found out a lot about a lot of kids throughout the spring.”

On the team’s progression throughout the spring:
“We’ve gone through a lot. We really have. You know, Gary (Tinsley) passing away, and all the things that have gone on mentally. None of us understand, really, what the kids have gone through, and I think they’ve handled things very well, as well as they can. They’ve stayed focused and practiced hard. We’ve got a lot of kids that have stepped up and gotten better. I if I saw anything out of today…we’ve got some guys in the secondary that can run, and we’re a little bigger in the secondary, which we needed to continue to do. I can tell you just physically watching that that was better.”

On the kicking and punting game this spring:
“I think you’ll have to understand we divided up teams, and we had a different holder. We’re not deep in that area. I think (Jordan) Wettstein has had a good spring. Chris (Hawthorne) has had a good spring. Today wasn’t his fault (when his kick missed at the end of the game)—the ball never got down. Everybody likes to blame the kicker, but there’s a lot more to it. …Overall they did a good job in the spring. I think punting the ball-wise, I think David Schwerman, who got hurt in practice, really punted the ball well in the spring. Probably the dark horse out of all of them is Pete Mortell. He has had a very, very good spring. We’ll see how it all works out.”

On the passing game today:
“If we’d lined up and played offense versus defense, it’s going to be better. We divided up our receivers evenly. …If you ask Peyton Manning what he’s doing right now, he’s got Eric Decker out there by himself and he’s working with him hours and hours and hours a day to develop that. … Today, there was a ball an inch, a foot, two feet here or there, and we didn’t make a play. But I think all that can get corrected through repetition in the summer."

Sophomore QB Max Shortell:

On what he’s been working on this spring:
“This spring I’ve been working on my quick game and trying to get my speed up.”

On if he understands the offense better compared to last year:
“Yeah, with a year in the system it’s really easy to understand what the coaches want and what our offense is designed for.”

On how he played Saturday:
“I felt like I did a real good job today.”

Senior QB MarQueis Gray

On how he played Saturday:
“I think I played real well. I only played 10 plays but in those 10 I think I did what I’m supposed to do. The defense did a good job and we all just had fun today.”

On the biggest difference from last year:
“Growing as a leader, taking charge in the huddle, and just realizing that I’m the starter going into this fall camp and being the best leader I can be.”

On what he’s been working on this spring:
“I’ve been watching a lot more film, throwing with our receivers, trying to develop timing, and like I said becoming a better leader.”

Senior WR Brandon Green

On how did he felt on the field:
“I felt good. We had a good game plan going in, and there was a lot of executing. I made plays.”

After getting banged up at the end of the second half:
“I feel good. I just landed on my hip, and that hurt, but I’m good now.”

On what he's looking forward to in his last season:
“I want to go out with a bang, get to a bowl game, and win some games.”

Sophomore RB Cole Banham

What does the spring game mean to you in regards to showing the coaches what you can do?
“It’s an opportunity to show them what I did all through practice, how much I’ve improved over the fifteen practices.”

What have you been working on this spring?
“I’ve really just been trying to learn the offense. Last year I played just pretty much scout team, so I didn’t really run much of the offense. I’ve been trying to pick it up as quickly as I can. That way I’m not thinking as much on the field and just running and letting my talent show on the field.

How has the transition been from a division two program to division one?
“It’s been a little bit of a learning process. It’s a little bit faster here. I’ve learned so much through the process of my year here.”




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