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Dave Warner, Jim Bollman Press Conference Coverage
 
 
 
Dave Warner is entering his seventh season on the coaching staff at Michigan State.
 
Dave Warner is entering his seventh season on the coaching staff at Michigan State.
 
 

March 5, 2013

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - One day after being promoted to co-offensive coordinator, Dave Warner met with the media on Tuesday afternoon in the Breslin Center to talk about his new appointment.

Warner, who is entering his seventh year on the Spartan coaching staff under Mark Dantonio, talked about his past experiences as a play caller, his relationship with fellow co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, and what changes are on the horizon for the Spartan offense.

In addition, newly hired co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman talked with the media via conference call from Florida. Bollman discussed his relationship with Dantonio and how he feels to be back at Michigan State.

Complete Release: Dantonio Announces Restructuring of Coaching Staff

Co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Dave Warner

On the development of the new position...
I think what took place is, obviously, Coach (Dan) Roushar left. I was interested; I was hopeful that Coach Dantonio would have the confidence in me to give me this title. I'm very appreciative of that confidence that Coach has given me but at the same time, I'm sure you all read he was not in any hurry to make a decision, which is always the way he goes about things. He's going to be very careful and deliberate in the decisions he makes. Above most things, I guess you could say, is staff, staff continuity, and making the right decisions so we have the right people in the meeting rooms. It's very important to him. So it was a long process. It seemed like it was about a year and a half to me. Coach D and I had some conversations throughout the period where he was trying to make a decision and I was hopeful as the days went on. When news broke, he had no choice to let me know exactly what his plans were.

As far as my responsibilities right now, I'm going to obviously coach running backs, which will be a nice change of pace for me. I'm going to be sort of leading things, in Coach D's words, leading things as we put a game plan together. I do want to emphasize that things really will not change as we go about things during the week. We've always been an offensive staff that has worked together to build the game plan throughout the week. It's input from everybody on the offensive staff and I see that being the case as we move forward.

On what changes he will be implementing, both on and off the field...
I think the things off the field lead to the things on the field. Obviously, everyone is looking to see what we're going to do to improve our offense and I think those things are still out there to be answered. I think if you look at what we did last year, we came up short in a lot of cases scoring-wise and I think a lot of things led to that. I think that's what spring practice is for, over these next couple of weeks, is to figure out what we can do to improve that. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with being a little more creative, being a little more imaginative with our offense. It's still going to be Coach Dantonio's offense, but we are going to certainly tweak things a little bit to fit Coach Dantonio's philosophy but at the same time, make us more productive.

On his relationship with the quarterbacks and how that will affect his play calling...
I have sort of insider knowledge, I guess you would say, just from spending time with these guys throughout the years. I know their strengths or weaknesses; certainly that helps. Now, I'll obviously be spending more time with the running backs, getting to know those guys. At the same time, Coach Dantonio's philosophy frees me up a little bit more to get around everybody in our offense, to get a feel for everybody across our offensive football team. Certainly all that helps in putting your offense together and your game plan together, by knowing the strengths and weaknesses of everybody.

On his relationship and responsibilities with Coach Jim Bollman...
I don't know; that's something that we'll sort of figure out day by day. I've known Coach Bollman since, as I remember back, I think 1985. I think he was at NC State and I was at Kent State. We've ran into each other recruiting, we've known each other, but never worked together. Certainly, I know of him and a lot about him; just throughout the last few days, we've had a chance to be together and talked since spring break has taken place. I see it being a very good working relationship and how all that breaks down into duties is something we're going to work through. So, it's a day by day process.

On the elements of good play calling...
I guess probably the big thing that I think makes a good play caller is if the guy is able to think quick, I think a lot of that has to do with preparation, I think being prepared as you go into the game, having a feel for your personnel, what they can and can't do, but again, there will be a lot of input from everybody on our staff. Certainly, when things are working, it makes it a lot easier to call plays. We know that. We struggled with that the past year. So it's hard to call plays when you're second and long a lot of times; that's hard for anybody. As things tend to be successful in your first down calls and so on and so forth, it makes things a lot easier. It's just a feel thing but a lot of it goes into the preparation during the week.

On his history of play calling and what he's learned from experience...
I guess things have changed. Back at Kansas, I can certainly remember the first games I called weren't very good, by me. We still won but I did not do a good job. A couple of other places, Bucknell, UConn, where I called plays, it was sort of a work in progress. At Bucknell, we were pretty good actually in the Patriot League but at UConn, we were out-matched a lot, so probably a little bit more aggressive. I can see right here and now though, that this is the biggest spotlight. There are a lot of eyes that are on us and we'll be a little more pressure-packed. I'm sure everybody's going to have their opinion but that's part of the fun, that's part of the pressure. I don't know if things will change a whole lot, other than the fact that there's more eyes on us here.

On Andrew Maxwell' confidence and his role in play calling...
As far as Andrew Maxwell, I've said this time and time again over the years that Andrew's very mature; he's been that way over the years, a lot like Kirk (Cousins). I was very lucky to have those guys play quarterback over the last four years. I think that's mostly on Andrew, how well he handled (the spotlight). I know he struggled behind the scenes somewhat, with some of the negativity toward him, but I think he handled it as well as he could and that has a lot to do with him.

As you look forward to play calling, how it focuses around the quarterback, certainly it does. Our offense is focused around the quarterback. I mean, we're going to tailor our offense around what the quarterback does best. As you look at last year, certainly our pass game was not what we wanted it to be and there were a lot of factors for that. Andrew needs to play a little bit better; our offense needs to protect him a little bit better; the receivers need to run a little bit better routes, catch the ball a little bit better; the backs need to block a bit better. It's a full team deal. As a coaching staff, we realize that. So, we'll just see how it affects us here in the months to come as we approach the season but certainly the quarterback has a big part of how you do play calling.

On the mobility of the quarterback...
As our quarterback can execute those sorts of plays, we can certainly implement them. That's not Andrew's strength but I think he's capable of doing a fairly good job of moving around the pocket, whether that's a designed quarterback run or a quarterback scramble, that's something I try to emphasize with them, especially the second half of the year. Moving forward, that's something we're going to emphasize, with Andrew and with those younger guys. How much of the quarterback running game is implemented? It depends on who the quarterback is and how they can execute it.

On replacements for Dion Sims and Le'Veon Bell...
As far as replacing those two guys, that's going to be tough. We started looking a little bit past year, but those guys were our offense. As you look at some of our running game this past year, it's hard to imagine it without Le'Veon. Now at the same time, we have some young guys that I think have a chance of coming in and doing some good things. We have some guys on our football team now that are going to get a good opportunity. Nick Hill has certainly got to show he can do some things, when he's been in there. Jeremy Langford is a guy that has bounced around a little bit, has sort of settled at running back and has shown some good flashes. So the question is out there who that guy will be or who those guys are going to be at running back but it's going to be very important for us to find an answer to that.

Tight end, same deal, Dion Sims was a go-to guy for us. Who's going to replace him? We don't know. Spring practice is in front of us; that's where we need to find out. We only have one tight end coming in as a freshman, Dylan Chmura, who's a good kid. Hopefully, he can really show some things. But it's always tough to do. Sometimes the running back position, it's easier to come in and use your athletic ability to play right away. Of course, as you get to the line of scrimmage, it's harder to play right away. He'll be given some opportunity that's for sure.

On his plans for the running game...
I don't know that we need to do a whole lot different there; our running game was really on par to where it's been. That's not to say it was great but our running game did not gradually over the last couple of years decrease. We were, in the run game, seventh in the Big Ten this past year. Where in previous years we've been fifth, we've been seventh; we've been right at that 4.0 range, which is about where we want to be. So, I think we're going to stay with what we've been doing a lot and again, as much as anything, it's going to come down to what our quarterback can do to add some wrinkles in our running game along with any possible trick plays that will add to your rushing yards. The challenge is out there certainly, without Le'Veon Bell carrying the football, for us to maintain and hopefully get a little bit better in the run game.

Co-offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Jim Bollman

On his reaction to film of the offensive line...
In the beginning phases of that, we're going to look at all aspects of the offense. I had a chance to see one workout when I was there (in East Lansing) on my interview, so the aspect of what they have or who's going back, I'm anxious to get going but I haven't really formulated much of an opinion yet. It would be unfair to start speculating in that regard. I have a lot of confidence, number one, in the guys that are here, the players that are here, and the coaches that are here. I'm anxious to get going and to let this thing evolve.

On his involvement in the offensive line...
The first thing is that if I'm going to help be a leader, I have to be a great servant. My goal is to be sure that I'm able to help everybody, all faces of the offense, based on some of the experiences that I've had, and help be creative and help evolve things where we need to fix things up a little bit but some of the things have been done well in this program for a long time. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, that's for sure. So right now, I'm just trying to catch up, in all aspects, some of the simple terminology things, play calling, different things but what's going on in that regard. I'm anxious to get back there in a few days and get rolling.

On his relationship with Coach Dantonio...
Coach Dantonio and I go back quite a ways, to 1986, we both coached at Youngstown together for Coach Tressel his first year as a head coach. In fact, I was a defensive coordinator and Mark was a secondary coach. We've been pretty steady since then. It's certainly very rewarding and comforting to come back to a place like Michigan State where you've been before, 15 years ago. A lot of the people are the same; a lot of the administration, the assisting staff, the trainers, and the equipment staff are the same. I was very fortunate to have had that one 11-year stay in Columbus (Ohio) but as I said to Coach Dantonio the other day when I drove into town, you get on the circle and I felt like I was home, familiar again after what's happened, shifting around here for the last couple of years.

On Coach Dantonio...
Mark's qualities as a person, an individual, are very superior. He's going to do what he thinks is right; he's going to run the football program the way he things is right, with the utmost care for the people who are playing for him and instill in them the right motives and the right character. He's done a great job ever since he's been a head coach, ever since he's been a defensive coordinator. If you're around him, you don't have to be around him very long to sense that, where he stands and he's a great guy to be with that's for sure.

On his development since last coaching at Michigan State...
Well, I've had quite a few experiences since then. There's some time in the NFL in there, some time at Ohio, then going to Boston and Purdue for a little bit. You associate with a lot more people; you always gain a lot more knowledge. You hope you can then employ those things to help everybody. That's the object - to get better. Put your ego in your pocket to help everyone get better, no matter what they're doing, do your job and help everybody do their jobs better.

 

 

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