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D Hazell - 7 24 13

D Hazell - 7 24 13

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Published by Marc Morehouse

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Published by: Marc Morehouse on Jul 24, 2013
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05/14/2014

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visit our archives at asapsports.com
 
D Hazell - 7 24 13
 
1
 An Interview With:
PURDUECOACH DARRELL HAZELL
  THE MODERATOR: We're joined byDarrell Hazell.COACH HAZELL: Good morning toeveryone. Let me first start off by saying howproud I am and how much of a privilege it is to bestanding here as the Boilermaker head footballcoach.I've been here for about seven months. There's a few things I'm certain about. And one othose things is that Purdue is an excellentacademic institution.We just popped into the top 50 in the worldin academics, and there's 17,036 schools thatwe're compared against, and we're in the top 50.So we're an excellent academic institution.Second, we have a coaching staff that I'mproud of and that they all have the vision to changePurdue football to where it needs to be. And I can'tbe more proud of my coaching staff.And, third, we have a great group of youngmen who are committed to the cause and thecause is to make Purdue football special on thefootball field in 2013. So we're excited to getstarted next week. We open up practice on August3rd and then we kick off the season againstCincinnati on August 31st, but I'm very excited toget started. THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You said you and your coachingstaff has a vision to change Purdue football towhere it should be. Where do you think thatshould be, and what is it going to take to get tothat level?
COACH HAZELL: One of the first thingsthat I said to our team, very first team meeting onthat Sunday night, was Purdue was always a teamthat's perceived in the middle of the Big Ten.Never up here, never down here.And I told them it's going to take a lot of work but we're going to climb ourselves out of themiddle and we're going to put this program onnational prominence for a long point in time.
Q. Coaches have a lot of people whohave influenced them to get to where they are,hodgepodge. But I wonder about your sixyears at Ohio State, maybe what you can sayabout that, what kind of stuff you'll take intoyour job at Purdue?
COACH HAZELL: I've spent seven yearsat Ohio State and Coach Tressel was a biginfluence on me, the way I do things today. There's a lot of great values and just his demeanorthrough the course of my time there wassomething that you can take from and the greatdecisions that he made on game day, when thosebullets are flying, it's a chaotic moment. I learneda lot from Jim Tressel there at my seven years atOhio State.
Q. Just wanted to ask you your thoughts on the offensive line, what do youhave to see there? What has to happen?
COACH HAZELL: We evaluated theoffensive line for 14 practices, and I think that frompractice six on I thought they continually got better.We still have a lot of evaluation to do there. I thinkthere's about seven or eight guys that I think thatwe can count on.We have to be able to create some depthearly in the season by putting those guys out thereand because you know at some point in time we'regoing to lose a guy throughout the course of theseason.We'll have to try to create some depth but Ithink there's enough capable bodies for us to begood. We're going to try to keep it as simple as wecan, for those guys and the communication isabsolutely critical, for those guys and it starts withour center, Robert Kugler.
Q. You talked a while ago aboutmoving, changing perception of Purduefootball, what's the key to getting it to the top?What have you identified as what needs to bedone?
COACH HAZELL: I think it all starts with
July 24, 2013
 
 
 
visit our archives at asapsports.com
 
D Hazell - 7 24 13
 
2
 your self-image. How we see ourselves. Andthat's where it all starts, because if you don't seeyourselves as a champion, no one else is going tosee yourselves as a champion.And then you have to put the work in.Obviously we want to change our image. We wantto be a tougher football team. We want to be asmarter football team and play with greaterdiscipline.
Q. You've looked at the films of your team from last year. You kind of want arecount on the Ohio State game, is it still kindof hard to believe that you lost that game?
COACH HAZELL: Well, there was a lot of close football games that Purdue lost, and wetalked quite a bit in the spring about finishingfootball games. Everything you do you have to beable to finish.And I hope that the mindset of our coachesand what they've done and what they're continuingto do that we'll be able to finish games this fall.
Q. You were talking about getting outof the middle of the pack. How do you feelabout your roster this year? Do you feel thatyou have the talent to get there? How long doyou think it would take to rebuild this programand get to where you guys want to be?
COACH HAZELL: I'm very fortunate that Iwas able to be in this conference for seven years.So I know quite a bit about the conference. I'm notsaying I know everything but I know quite a bitabout the conference. There's not a great difference betweenteam one and the last team in the conference.What I do know is that the preparation that goes inand being able to get your A players to the gameeach and every week, then you've got a chance.And you've got to find a way in those criticalsituations to make a play.And I think we have enough good playersto be able to make those plays.
Q. Your team last year had anincredible turnover margin, did you doanything in practice to get that incredibleturnover margin?
COACH HAZELL: That's probably thenumber one component to losing football games isturning the football over. And everybody on ourteam is responsible for that, from the quarterbackto the offensive line to the running backs to thedefensive back who picks the ball off.We have a great responsibility to Purduefootball to take care of the football. That was oneof the key emphasis on turning this programaround.
Q. Can't get out of here without aquarterback question but how will you goabout picking your starting quarterback?
COACH HAZELL: We have a nicequarterback battle going on. We have a senior inRob Henry, and Danny Etling, a true freshman thatcame in. Competed extremely hard. A third guythat can get himself back in the mix with AustinAppleby. But we'll give them equal reps. One guywill run with the ones in one group, in one drill, andthe next drill the other guy will run with the ones.And in about two weeks after we start practice,we'll make a decision and have that guy haveownership of our football team going into our firstgame.And I think it's obviously critically importantbecause number one component for that guy is totake care of the football. Number two is to get usin the right place, number three to be toughenough to stand in there on third and five and takea shot.And we need a big play.
Q. You turned Kent State around prettyquickly. What in your mind besides self-image,when did you see that sort of like get into their eyes that they believed in themselves and whatdo you see in the eyes of your players rightnow in that regard?
COACH HAZELL: You know, we madesmall changes since we've been there. Andanytime you can Foster morale within guys, I thinkit supports the things that you're doing and thedirection that you're heading.So anytime we can make small changes,whether it's a visual change, whether it's a pat onthe back, I think those are the things that will helpyou win football games in the long run.And I thought the maturity of our footballteam, when you bring guys in and they handle thesituations that are going to happen throughout thecourse of a year that you can't plan on, when youhave a mature football team, that's when you knowyou've got a chance.
Q. When you were an assistant at OhioState, how much back then did you think about

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