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Coach's corner 7/24/08

Thursday July 24, 2008

Coach’s Corner 7/24/08

Welcome to the final 2008 edition of Coach’s corner. This week Coach Guidry addresses the week 17 loss to Corpus Christi and looks forward to the 2008 finale at Arkansas.

Guidry’s thoughts heading into the final game of 2008: “It’s been a great journey. It’s been a long year. It’s been a tough year. The guys have stuck together through this. We’re looking forward to going up to Arkansas this week to play a tough football team.”

On Nick Gatto’s potential game winning 43 yard FG attempt that hit the upright at Corpus Christi: “Looking at the kick from my angle and perspective I knew it was going in. For some reason it seems that there is a swift air inside that arena and at the last minute it shifted to the left a little bit and hit the upright. Unfortunately for us, instead of bouncing in it bounced out. That’s the way it goes sometimes. The guys fought hard, I was very pleased with their efforts.”

On Gatto’s reaction to missing the kick: “Nick was very disappointed. A guy with his expectations as a football player in this league…and where he’s been in the past…and where he’s trying to go in his future…it was disappointing to him and disappointing to us. Going into that situation I called time out, looked at Nick and there was no question in my mind that I felt pretty good about that (going for the FG). We hoped that we would have made a first down and make it a lot easier for us. We dropped a critical pass on 3rd down and unfortunately for us we made it a little tougher for Nick. But Nick is one of those guys that anybody in this league would count on in that situation. I even talked to the coach from Corpus Christi and he said ‘Coach there was no question in my mind that I would have done the same thing’. They had a lot of respect for him. Everybody in that arena who has seen him kick before has a lot of respect for Nick just like all of his teammates and coaches.”

On the emergence of WR Ervin Dickerson at Corpus Christi: “Welcome to Arena Football. It’s taken him a few weeks to get adjusted to the game and he’s made some plays. He’s still adjusting, still learning the angles, and everything that’s entailed with Arena Football. He made some great catches in the second half. Overall he played exceptionally well. We’re very pleased with his performance on offense.”

On the solid play of FB David Kennebrew: “He’s very consistent. He works hard. He’s one of the hardest working guys we have on our team, and like I’ve said before it’s very indicative of his performance on game days. We’re very pleased with him and his efforts this year. There’s going to be an opportunity for him to move up next year. I think he needs to put on a few more pounds but I will give him high recommendations without any questions. We’ve been so fortunate to have his services this year.”

On the Copperheads’ defensive performance @ Corpus Christi: “We made a change on our defensive line. We put Gathan (McGinnis) down full time now. We also made a change from our offensive line. We moved (Wesley) Thibeaux (a former starting OL) over to nose guard. Thibeaux is one of those guys that all year has had a motor so we just had to get him over (to defense) when the opportunity presented itself. They stepped up. In critical situations you have to be able to step up, make plays and execute. Those guys did that. I was very pleased with their performance late in the ball game.”

On guys who have stepped up this year and distinguished themselves: “David Kennebrew has been consistent for us. We talked about him earlier. He’s one of those guys who came into this game (Arena Football) raw, as a rookie, his first time playing professional sports and he conducted himself well on and off the field. Defensively there are two guys who stand out; Armar Watson and James Todd. James Todd has been consistent all year. Armar Watson has been an Ironman for us. He’s played offense, defense and has scored a TD on special teams. He’s been a horse on both sides of the ball. Nick (Gatto) has made a lot of kicks this year. I’m very pleased with those guys. Whatever I can do to help those guys, I will.”

On the Arkansas Twisters, their QB Kyle Rowley and WR Chris Denney: They’re a very consistent team. I understand what they are trying to accomplish on offense, defense and special teams, but regardless of all that, it’s about those players. If you get guys out there playing the way they’ve been playing, it’s tough. If we can get pressure on the QB like we did last week it’s going to give us a better chance to be successful on defense. It’s just a matter of us executing in critical situations.”