Coach Dale Lennon
Aug 20, 2013
By DeMario Phipps-Smith
Saluki football coach Dale Lennon addressed the media before Tuesday afternoon's practice. The following is a transcript of the interview.
Q: How do you treat practice this week? It's not really game week, but do you treat it like game week?
"No it's not game week. We have to get better. We can't approach it like game week. We are still in camp, and it's still a part of pre-fall. We have to have that mentality that there are still elements to our game we have to get better at."
Q: Is the team close to being ready though?
"We're further along than we were last week. We have one more week to get to that game ready point. When you get into game week, then it is just preparation for the opponent. We have a lot of little things that need to be covered and gone through."
Q: What are some of those things?
"Everything with the game, all those game situations that come up. There are so many little nuances that the average fan may not be aware that you have to practice that stuff."
Q: Do you have a scout team for Illinois yet?
"No, this is about us getting better. We're not there yet. We still need to improve in a couple areas. We still have aspects of our game we need to work on. I think that was a mistake we made a year ago, where we didn't have a good third week and that showed in our first game."
Q: In training camp you want to get the identity of your team. How tough do you think your team is right now?
"Well you find that out in the ball games, but we're working hard. Nobody is satisfied with what we're doing or where we are at, so that's a good start."
Q: How close are you to establishing your depth chart?
"We are getting close there too. It's a day-to-day situation. Now we have to get people healthy too. It's tough to have a depth chart when you have a handful of guys who are injured. You don't know what that depth chart is going to look like next week, so we just have see how we make it through this week."
"No, not today. We'll see. I don't know (about this week)."
Q: What about Malcolm Agnew?
"He'll do some stuff; to what extent is still to be seen."
Q: Have you chosen team captains?
Q: Did you add anybody from the walk-on tryouts on Sunday?
"We are in the midst of a weeklong process. A lot of them haven't filed with (the NCAA) clearinghouse yet so we'll figure all that out by Friday."
Q: Have you used all your scholarship money for this year?
"We're not like basketball. We use equivalencies that can become available, and then we have counter lists that allow you to have 65 full scholarships that you can divide among 85 players. That's more of a moving target that can change on a daily basis. There is still a little money in the bank, not much."
Q: Is the plan to practice Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week?
"And don't forget about Tuesday.
Q: Will practice be closed?
"It is closed."
Q: Why the closed practice?
"We're just working on parts of the game that we don't need crowds to see. We are at that point now where we don't need to have everything open to comment. I don't like it when video shows up on newspaper media sites and stuff like that."
Q: Tell us about the FanFest on Thursday.
"FanFest is fun. That's something the players really enjoy. It's a chance to connect with the community and especially the young kids. That's where you see that your own players are kids at heart, and they just come out and play---the old fashion play in schoolyard type of thing."
Q: Talk about your plans of doing something extra for the community this year?
"There are a couple of things in the works we have planned out. A few of our players have a project they are working on, as far as helping kids become a fan of (game) day, helping provide access to the team on Fridays and Saturdays and working kids club. During the course of the year, we're always doing readings at the elementary school and just being available in any way we are needed."
Southern Illinois also added two transfers this week. Junior linebacker Lamonte Edwards joins SIU from the University of Minnesota, and senior offensive tackle Jarien Moreland has transferred from Florida A&M. Both will be eligible for the 2013 season, which begins for the Salukis on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Illinois at 11 a.m.