In response to a post game interview with Head Coach of the Indiana Generals, Troy Edwards.
REPORTER: "You've had two very close, hard fought losses the last two games against some of the two best teams in the league. ( Warriors and the Broncos)How do you keep the players heads up after such close calls?"
COACH - "A couple of times I've asked myself what we've done to deserve the early schedule we've been given. Our first 4 opponents are all participants
of the only two Interstate Bowls. I hasn't been too difficult to keep their heads up. We've got a good group of guys. They are smart, and they can see
that we're only a little bit away from getting over the hump. We also gather confidence in knowing we were right there with the past two IFL Champions. Most importantly though, we keep looking forward. It's hard to see where you're going if your head is down."
REPORTER - "You have a veteran TB Ryan Rhodes installed now in your back field. How has his presence helped the team?"
COACH - "We were really excited this off season. We were looking forward to having our All Star running back, John Willhoite, back & hopefully healthy.
Well, right after spring practices started we found out he was moving to Colorado. We were then left with a large hole in our offense. Luckily
Ryan called me out of the blue. Ryan has really done a good job at RB for us. He's very quiet and
unassuming. I think his young son talks more than Ryan does. A guy is doing a good job, when I don't have to worry about the position he's playing. I'm never worried about our running back position. I know Ryan can do everything we ask, and do it well. The rest of the team knows Ryan has been playing for a while, and see his work ethic."
REPORTER - "In addition to the hard fought games, You've had to deal with the loss of veteran TE ERIC ROZENS, one of the best in the league due to injury...yet the offense performed quite well yesterday in the heat. How did you get past such a blow to the O?"
COACH - "It's hard any time you lose a player, for whatever reason. It was difficult finding out we lost Eric though. He's been our starting TE
for 4 years now, so he's always been there. Our offense has always used the TE quite a bit. I think there are only one or two teams that might use
their TE's as much...I'm sure Eric would tell you we didn't use him enough. Personally, I know it was tough on Eric. He had decided this year would be
his last, and he wanted to go out on a high note. He was having a great game against the Broncos before the injury too. He can say though, that he did go out on a high note. He caught a pass, ran over one guy then it took three more to take him down. That's pretty impressive to me.
We will have to deal with the adversity of losing him though. As a coach you always have to have plan B's. Rookie TE John Martin will step in for
Eric. I know he will do a good job for us. He won't be the 6'4" 225 figure out there, but I'm confident he will get the job done."
REPORTER - "Finally, your team is much better than the 0-2 start, but how do you convince younger players of this and keep them motivated?"
COACH - "It is easy to keep these guys motivated. If they weren't motivated, they wouldn't be showing up to practice every week. They all know we're
better than our record indicates. I had many of them tell me they felt better this year after losing to the Broncos in the first game than they did
after we beat the Broncos in the first game last year.
I also try to motivate them to have fun...win or lose, you've got to have fun. I've seen guys who are very successful at the game, and have won championships, but they say they lost their motivation, because it wasn't fun."
Thanks Coach for your time and candor!
**Ida rarely interjects too much personal comment, but I must in this case. I had a reporter at the WARRIORS/GENERALS game, and something was reported to me that I thought I must mention...
It was hot. And the game was close. Both teams were battling with everything they had. But what was reported to me was that on the sidelines - the concern was NOT mainly for the score, it was for the players.
Coaches were constantly checking on them, watering them down, keeping them cool as possible.
The Warriors had a player (Goforth) Who seemed woosie, and Coach Malloy as well as fans came from the sidelines to tend to him immediately..
Several General coaches were seen putting cool towels on players heads, DURING the game, during a play...
My friends, THIS is what its all about....and again, its coaches like Malloy and Edwards that make Ida love this game.
Excuse me, I have something in my eye.....
Ida said it!