Weekly Coach Martin Interview

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/ on line 33. Weekly Coach Martin Interview Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 10/22/13 Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 10/22/13 A tough week for the team against Rice on Saturday. Your thoughts on the game?
Doug Martin: Well I think the same Achilles Heel, not able to stop the run on defense. Until we can either get our scheme fixed or get players good enough or whatever it is to stop the run we’re going to struggle defensively. That was certainly the case again Saturday, although we did have some players who stepped up and played very well on Saturday. Moving Tra Nixon to inside linebacker was a positive move. Moving George Callendar up from safety to outside linebacker was a positive move. We did have some guys that stepped up but as a defense, we’re not there, we’re just not able to stop the run.

Offensively, I thought that King really played well the times that he was in there, he got hurt in the third quarter. But he ran very well, he threw the ball pretty well, made some big plays. I like some of the things he did. The thing that worries me about him is, is he durable enough to be a 1-A (FBS) quarterback. Part of it is you’ve got to be able to stay in the game and this is twice already that he hasn’t been able to do that. We’re still searching for a way to score points offensively without consistent quarterback play and that’s really tough. With the type of offense that you and Coach Brandon want to run, how much of a concern is it with not so much just King but with the quarterback position in general, especially with quarterbacks in today’s college game being more mobile, taking more hits when they’re out there running?
DM: The quarterback position here is a definite concern. Obviously we haven’t recruited here yet and these are the guys that we had to work with but we certainly have got to go out and recruit quarterbacks that A) can make plays and be a guy and B) that are durable. We’re already on the way to getting that done, we’ve got two committed and we think we have two more getting ready to commit. We’ll get that fixed in recruiting but right now I haven’t seen us play at that position to the level that we can win football games.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 10/15/13 How was the bye week for the team?
Doug Martin: It was good. It came at a good time. We were able to get a few guys healed up and we were able to get out there and work out a lot of young guys and get them some full speed work and we got some recruiting done too at the same time. It was a good week for us. What was your focus with the team during the bye week? How did you approach things, you mentioned doing some full speed work with the younger players. Did you do anything different than you would in a regular practice week?
DM: There was a lot more full pad work and live work. We normally don't scrimmage or do live work during the week much but this Tuesday and Wednesday especially were very physical. We did quite a bit of scrimmage work. That was for two reasons, we moved a couple guys around like Tra Colwell, we were working him at running back and wanted to get him some live work back there and then King we wanted to get some live work and then a couple guys on defense we moved around. We moved Tra Nixon to linebacker, moved George Callender up to outside linebacker from safety to try to get some more speed on the defensive side. When you've got guys like Callendar and Nixon who are moving to a completely different position than what they're normally playing, what kind of adjustment is it for them. What do they have to adjust to?
DM: I think it's mainly the calls and knowing where to be lined up and what gap to fit. For Tra Nixon it wasn't that big a move because he's been an inside linebacker before. For George it's a little bit more although in nickel situations he plays an outside linebacker position anyway. So that kind of helped the progress for both of those guys but it's mainly just getting acclimated to the calls.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 10/08/13 This is your first year participating as the head coach in the Aggies' annual Tough Enough To Wear Pink fundraiser. What does the event mean to you?
Doug Martin: These ladies recruited me early on when I came here and these ladies are good recruiters. Pat Sisbarro, Laura Conniff and Magella Boston do a good job with this. It's something we want to be involved with because we want our football team and the community to be one eventually and this is another step in getting that done. I think cancer's touched everybody's family in some form or fashion and it's certainly something we want to bring attention to. How did the pink football jerseys come about?
DM: Steve Macy [Associate Athletic Director] had a lot to do with that. He contacted Adidas, our sponsor, and they were very generous in working with us to get that done. I think it turned out really great. Turning the attention back to the football field, Saturday's result up at UNM certainly wasn't what you were hoping for. It really seemed like the problems in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams and the issues you've had at various points in the season all come to a head in the UNM game.
DM: Yeah. The thing that really bothered me about that game was it was the first game we've had this year that I didn't feel like we competed as hard as we had been. We'd played Texas and Minnesota and UCLA and we competed hard, we played hard every snap and played with enthusiasm and a lot of emotion and I just didn't see that same level in that game and that's what's not acceptable. We did get exposed by the triple option where they get you out in space. Our lack of team speed right now really got exposed and that's true in special teams too. That's a recruiting issue. We've got to go recruit and get faster athletes in here.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 10/01/13 Saturday's game against San Diego State was a little bit like the UTEP game in that I'm sure you felt like it was a game that you should have won.
Doug Martin: Yeah. I think defensively we played about as hard as you can possibly play and put ourselves in a position to win the game and offensively we just have to be able to get more points on the board than 16. That's just not going to be enough, particularly to get shut out in the second half. Your playmakers have to step up and make plays to win games like that. We just didn't get that done. Defensively what improvements did you see from the team that enabled them to play as well as they did on Saturday?
DM: We're playing really good defense in the redzone. People are moving the ball on us a little bit but when we get down in the redzone we're doing a good job of holding people to field goals, the other night we turned them away twice, stopped them on fourth down twice with no points. Our defense is still getting turnovers. I just think we're playing hard. They're competing. They're making some plays on that side of the ball at crucial times.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 09/24/13 Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 09/24/13 Aggie safety Davis Cazares had one heck of a game against UCLA on Saturday.
Doug Martin: Yeah he did. I tell you what, he continues to take coaching really well. He's got great instincts, he had three turnovers, I don't know how many tackles he had. He was the FBS Independent Player of the Week so that's two weeks in a row that one of our players has won that. Davis had two goal line interceptions, a fumble recovery and 14 tackles. In your coaching career had a player have a defensive game like that?
DM: Not many times and not against that caliber of competition. I think that's what was really impressive about that was who he did it against because that's probably one of the top five teams in the country. Last week you talked about winning the turnover battle and you were able to do that. What's the next step for you. You have nine takeaways on the season through four games but one thing that hasn't happened yet for the offense is converting those takeaways into points. You've scored just 14 points off the nine turnovers while the opposing team has turned your eight turnovers into 52 points.
DM: Yeah, I think that's exactly the point. Our offense has to start taking advantage of those turnovers and we still have to limit how many turnovers we're giving on offense. We still gave two away Saturday and the only reason we won that turnover margin was because or defense went out and got three. We need to start taking advantage of it offensively and we also need to limit those turnovers offensively.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 09/18/13 Your thoughts on Saturday's loss to UTEP, a game that I'm sure you and most Aggie fans felt you could have and maybe should have won.
Doug Martin: Yeah no question. It comes back to the achilles heel of this program for the last ten years or longer and that's the turnover margin. When I went back and looked at the history of the program here it's been a minus in the turnover margin every year except for one and until we get that fixed we're not going to win football games. I showed that to the team and emphasized that to them. We turned the ball over twice inside the ten yard line on Saturday night. We beat ourselves. That's happened too often over the years here and that's what we have to get changed. The team did a good job in those quick change possessions, a couple of times getting the ball right back.
DM: That's the one good thing I'm seeing. We're battling. We'll compete and we'll fight and we don't put our head down or any of that stuff. We've got that conquered. It's just learning to make critical plays at critical times. Two of those turnovers were inside the ten yard line going in to score and another one was the opening kickoff where we put the ball down on the four yard line and even with all that it's 28-21 with 12 minutes left in the game. We are competing hard but we've got to play better and we've got to find ways as coaches to get our team to buy into the turnover margin. I even went as far as showing them some perennial losing programs like San Jose State, Louisiana-Monroe, Kent State to where they had changed their turnover margin into the positive and all those programs won. It's not like it can't be done, it's not like it hadn't been done somewhere else. We just have to get it done here.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 09/10/13 Your thoughts on the game against Minnesota?
Doug Martin: I was really pleased with the way our players came out and battled in the second half. We were down 27-7 at the halftime and in the past I don't know if New Mexico State would have come back and made that a game but our guys battled and with 13 minutes left the game was 30-14 and we had the ball on the nine yard line getting ready to score. We had a fourth and one and we don't make it. Had we made it, that's going to be a 30-22 game with 13 minutes left and we're right where we want to be. We're making progress, our guys are playing hard, we've just got to learn how to finish those games; especially when you're playing a team that's a little bit more talented and a little bigger and faster than you. There's no room for error and our guys have got to learn to be better at critical moments. Those two fourth down moments and the punt return we gave up was really the whole game. It was a very similar situation to the UNLV game against Minnesota where they were knocking on the doorstep about to make it a one score game and gave up a pick six. After watching film from that game did you feel like you could put yourself in the same position to be hanging around in the third and fourth quarter?
DM: Yeah, we certainly had all the confidence in the world we could do that. Again, we were right there even with giving up the punt return. We were in a position to get that done. That's the difference between winning and losing in college football. You've got to make plays at critical times. That's what our guys have got to learn to understand. You've got to play aggressive, you've have to take chances and make things happen.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 09/03/13 Your thoughts on the game, a much different first half than second half.
Doug Martin: The first half we played really well. We saw all the things we wanted to see. Our defense caused three turnovers which we've been emphasizing since we got here. We only caused nine all of last year. That was a huge positive. I thought our kids competed well, they had a great look in their eye, they were confident, they were disciplined. We only had three penalties the whole game. Then the second half we just let it get away. We gave up too many big plays on defense. Some of those were mental errors where we didn't get people covered the right way and those type of things. Then the turnovers on offense. We had two turnovers in the second half, one of them we were going in to score to make it a 21-14 game. That was a crucial one. So, we've got to learn to play 60 minutes but as far as trying to establish an identity of what we want to look like, we got a glimpse of it. Coming out in the first game of the year, establishing a tempo on offense, the offense looked really good up until the turnover. What was the message to the offense before they headed out for that first drive?
DM: Just that we wanted to establish who we are. We want to play an up-tempo, fast paced, no huddle and we want to be balanced. I thought that was the other thing that I was pleased with. We were able to run the ball effectively and we threw the ball well. We threw the ball 51 times and only gave up one sack. That was a testament to our offensive line and us being balanced also. I think we're headed in the right direction offensively but the bottom line is you've got to put points on the board and that was disappointing that we didn't score more.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 08/27/13 After going through spring football and fall camp what are some of the differences you've seen in the team over those few months?
Doug Martin: I think the number one thing is just the difference in our strength and nutrition program. Hiring Coach Decker as our strength coach, our players physically look different than they did when I got here in January. I think the nutrition part has helped that. And I think they carry themselves a lot better. They've got a lot more confidence about themselves about how they've prepared and worked out and those kinds of things.

Obviously learning the offense and defense we're a lot more acclimated to what we want to do on both sides of the ball than we were in the spring. What are some of the positive surprises out of fall camp and what are some things that you expected the team to be doing a little better at this point that need to be worked on as the season starts.
DM: I think one of the biggest surprises has been the emergence of King Davis III who'll start as our backup quarterback but he'll play in the game on Saturday. Just watching him come along and because of his progress we were able to move Travaughn Colwell to wide receiver to get more athletes on the field. That was a little bit of a surprise.

I was hoping that our return game in the kicking game would be a little farther along than it is, kick returns and punt returns. I'm anxious to see how we'll be in the game. We've still got this week to work on it but I think we've got to be really effective in special teams to help us win some games. I'm not sure we're exactly where I want us to be right now. You mentioned moving Travaugn Colwell to wide receiver. How has that move gone for him and how quickly has he picked up that position?
DM: The move went really well. Obviously from playing quarterback he already knew then assignments and everything, where to line up, what to do. I think in the first day out he caught a touchdown pass in a scrimmage so he's acclimated real well. He's got a little bit of a shoulder injury that he unfortunately got during a practice so he's a little bit limited right now but we're hoping to have him ready for Saturday. I think it's going to be a really good move for him and our team.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Martin Interview :: 02/13/13 You've said you feel like there are a lot of pieces in place for the program to be successful right away. What are some of the things you've seen that lead you to believe that?
Doug Martin: First of all facility-wise we're in good shape here. We've got a beautiful stadium, brand new coaches offices here, we have great meeting facilities. There's going to be some work done with the stadium, hopefully the field turf thing done this summer, expansion to the weight room so all those things were in progress. We're in a very fertile area for recruiting, we're near Phoenix, we're in a hotbed for high school football. I just think the support that we have from the administration here and this city. I think this city is really hungry to have a good football program. Reaching back to former players has been a great avenue of getting people energized here. I just think when you have a good base for fans that really want it to succeed and you have the facilities, you're really close to getting it done and that's what I see here. You're in a little bit of a unique situation versus the previous head coaches in that you had a year in Las Cruces and you got a chance to see the inner workings before you became the head coach. How much of an advantage is that for you in becoming the head coach and being able to hit the ground running?
DM: I think that's a great point and it's huge because it's so comfortable for me number one coming back here having known a lot of the players, all of the administration and knowing the city really well. I had a year to sit here and look at this football program and just visualize where I think it would go, should go and could go so it's not like I'm just jumping in here and trying to figure things out now. Obviously I've had a year to get that done and that's what led me to the most important part of our scheduling and when you look at UTEP and New Mexico and if you win one of those two games you're going to have a pretty good year here beating one of those rivals and if you beat both those rivals something special is going to happen here and history proves that out. In '76 they beat both of them and they were Missouri Valley champions, 2002 was the last time they did that and they were a 7-5 team. It helped in that vein a lot.  Continue Reading This Post >>