Purdue University Football Media Conference
Monday, December 14, 2020
West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Coach Jeff Brohm
JEFF BROHM: Well, it seems like I was just here last week, so we’re excited about the opportunity to play Indiana on Friday night. We’ve been preparing really for them this past week knowing that maybe that might still take place, and right now it’s just about preparing as hard as we can to see if we can get on the field and play a game on Friday night.
Q. What were you able to do last week as far as trying to prepare or keep preparing for this game?
JEFF BROHM: Well, we were on pause, so really virtual meetings was what we had take place last week, so we met virtually, trying to get better as a team and unit in preparation for Indiana. That’s what we were allowed to do, and that’s what we did.
Q. Will you practice today?
JEFF BROHM: So today we’re going to be limited in some of the things that we can do. As of right now, it’ll be masks on the field with a social distancing conditioning workout and then mask wearing walk-through after that.
Q. Is your program off pause now?
JEFF BROHM: Well, like I said, I don’t make those decisions. I know we’re going to be limited today in the work that we can do.
Q. What about the rest of the week?
JEFF BROHM: That’s out of my control, so we’ll let the medical experts take care of that end.
Q. Are you comfortable preparing for a game knowing that some of the situations that you have to deal with this week?
JEFF BROHM: Well, the situation is what it is. We’ve been preparing virtually in meetings, and we’re going to prepare today as much as we can and proceed forward.
Q. Is there any way to gauge any kind of improvement you may have made last week, or is that going to have to wait until you get on the field again?
JEFF BROHM: No, really we didn’t have any practice on the field last week. We were able to go on the field Sunday after the game and make corrections and practice the young guys, but after that we have not been on the field.
Q. Is this a situation where you might have to move some personnel around to fill some holes?
JEFF BROHM: Without question, yes.
Q. And you’re not prepared to say what positions they would be?
JEFF BROHM: No, no, not at all. I don’t want to give any information out on that, unfortunately.
Q. What kind of challenge would that present to you and everybody to have to make those kind of adjustments this late in the year?
JEFF BROHM: Well, it’s football, and things happen, and obviously this year is a little different. We’ll piece things together the best we can and get our guys out there and go play a football game.
Q. As of today, do you feel like this game Friday will be played, or is it going to be another day-by-day situation?
JEFF BROHM: Like I said, that one is — right now we’re preparing to play, and we’ll let the medical experts decide any other decisions that need to be made.
Q. Can you just in generalities, I know you can’t give specifics, but even like percent-wise how much your roster is compromised and wouldn’t be able to play?
JEFF BROHM: You know, really I can’t give that information out. That’s something that I’m not allowed to do. We’ll let the medical people divulge whatever they can and get our guys ready to get on the field and play.
Q. Can you say if staffers are impacted, if your coaching staff will be fully intact? If not, how much of your staff wouldn’t be at the game in Bloomington?
JEFF BROHM: Unfortunately I can’t give you that, as well. I’m sorry.
Q. You said you were last on the practice field Sunday after Nebraska. When was the last time you were on the practice field in full pads practicing? The week of the Nebraska game?
JEFF BROHM: You know, probably. Sunday we go out and we make corrections, we condition, we go over the last game, we watch the film. We have our young guys that didn’t participate in the game come out in shells, and we have a spirited individual section and one-on-one section and 7-on-7 and team and we get some good work in with those guys, so that was our Sunday last week.
Q. If you have to play Friday, did you feel like you guys would be prepared? Do you think it would be safe?
JEFF BROHM: Well, as you know, this is a different year. We’re going to do our part to try to make that happen. Every week is different, and this is something that — this is where we’re at right now, and we’ll deal with it moving forward.
Q. If you guys do play, would George Karlaftis be ready to go?
JEFF BROHM: I can’t give out that information. I’m sorry about that.
Q. There was a report from Football Scoop that brother Brian Brohm interviewed for the Kentucky offensive coordinator job. What do you know about that, and what do you think?
JEFF BROHM: Well, I really don’t want to talk about our staffers and what’s going on there, as well. We’ll deal with situations as they come about at the end of the year.
Q. I know you can’t get into a lot of specifics with your own team, but talking about Indiana, what do you think the biggest thing that you guys are preparing for with the Hoosiers is as far as your strategy on the field?
JEFF BROHM: Well, they’ve done a very good job this year. They’ve been opportunistic. Their defense has played lights out. They’re aggressive. They attack from all different angles, give you a lot of different looks and create a lot of turnovers, a lot of havoc. We’ve got to on offense figure out a way to move the ball and get a few chunks here and there and then find ways to make some big plays, so that’s going to be the challenge, and that’ll be a great challenge for us, so we’re looking forward for that opportunity.
On the other side of the ball they have a good running back. They have a new quarterback that takes care of the football. They have a solid tight end and two really good receivers, and they spread the ball around and take care of the football, and they’ve won some big games this year, so right now they’re riding a lot of confidence and they feel good moving forward, and it’ll be a great challenge for our team to play a team that’s playing very well.
Q. In the past you guys have struggled containing mobile quarterbacks. How do you prepare to contain a quarterback that has wheels?
JEFF BROHM: Well, I know their starting quarterback got injured and they’re on their backup quarterback right now. Really playing defense is about being sound, knowing the calls, being aggressive in our approach, getting to the quarterback, trying to create turnovers by knocking people back, and this quarterback is going to — he knows who his playmakers are and we’ve got to make sure that we cover guys up, we stop the run and we find ways to pressure the quarterback.
Q. This might be a little early to ask this question, but with the one-loss threshold out the window this year, it’s conceivable that in a couple weeks they might have to fill out the bowl schedule by inviting a lot of different teams. Is that something you would be interested in doing, playing in a bowl game if the opportunity presents itself?
JEFF BROHM: Well, we’re not looking down the road. Our goal is to get better this week. Our goal is to find a way to win. Our goal is to try to find a way to get a W. I think if we do those things, normally decent things happen. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we want to put our head down as coaches and players and make sure that we’re working as hard as we can to figure it out and to go out there and compete and play hard and give ourselves a chance to win.
Q. You’ve got signing day coming up this week; how have you balanced the number of players you want in this class but also knowing that you have some seniors that might want to come back? How have you managed that in trying to make everything line up as you look ahead to 2021?
JEFF BROHM: Well, we’ve had some communication with our seniors. At the same time I don’t want to take away from what we’re trying to accomplish this year and finishing the season as strong as we can. I want our guys to play hard and play to the end. That’s really going to be our goal all the way until the last game is over.
With that said, yes, we feel good about where we’re at recruiting-wise. We think we know what we have, what we need to get. Obviously recruiting is never over, so even though signing day is Wednesday, we’re going to be very active in our approach. We’re going to do our due diligence and make sure we turn over every stone, and anybody that we think can help our team at certain positions, we’re going to be active in recruiting them.
I think every year it’s different, but you’ve got to assess your team at the end of the season and see where your weaknesses are and where you can get better and how to get better, and we want to continue to do that. We’ve been studying that since the last week and making sure that we’re on top of everything that’s going on and making sure that we’re going to do our part to improve our team.
Q. Do you have a pretty good idea of what seniors want to come back? I know you want to wait until after the end of the year, but do you have a general idea of what that number might be right now?
JEFF BROHM: Well, we have a general idea. At the same time, I think every person is going to wait until the end of the season to say for sure what they want to do and make those calls based on what’s best for them, and we’ll support whatever decision that is.
Some guys will want to come back and play, other guys may want to move on, and we’ll balance that, and I think we’ve got a good feel for it right now. But we don’t really want to press the issue until we’re fully done with the season, that we’ve done everything we can in order to try to win, and then once that’s over, we’ll address with those guys in more detail moving forward.
Q. Do you anticipate this off-season being more active in the transfer market?
JEFF BROHM: Yes.
Q. If I’m a senior and I want to come back, do you have to take me?
JEFF BROHM: Well, you know, this is a different year, and I know that we want to work with all of our guys, and if our guys want to come back, we want to try to support that as much as we can. Every situation is going to be different. Exactly what is the rule on that? I’m not exactly for sure, I just know with us if a senior wants to come back we’re going to work with them and try to make it work. Is someone wants to move on, we’re definitely going to work with them. We don’t have a big senior class, so I don’t think we’ll have as big an issue as maybe some other teams, but we’ll deal with it individually and we’ll make sure that everything is communicated and we do what’s best for them.