McGee Previews FIU Game At Media Luncheon



Oct. 7, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB head football coach Garrick McGee spoke with reporters at the team's weekly media luncheon on Monday. 

McGee discussed several topics, including changes on the defensive staff and the direction of the program, at Monday's event. 

This week, UAB travels to Miami, Fla., to take on FIU at the Panthers' Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium. Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 6:30 p.m. CT, and will be televised on CSS. 

For more information on the UAB football team, follow the Blazers on Twitter (@UABAthletics) and on the web ( 

Head Coach Garrick McGee

Opening comments…
“The first five games of the season our defense has given up 481 yards per game. Time of possession has been an issue. We spent most of our offseason addressing defensive issues we had last season. We felt like the recruitment of the personnel we had coming in, the offseason work, emphasizing turnovers, emphasizing team speed, and emphasizing the details and fundamentals would help us going into the season. But after five games of the season we are giving up 481 yards per game, we are last in defense in Conference USA and those numbers are not acceptable. We expect better, and I am not going to just stand around and continue to say that we are going to keep doing what we are doing and we are going to get better at it. I don’t think that’s fair to our fans or our student athletes, so effective immediately Jimmy Williams, our assistant head coach, is going to take over responsibility of defensive coordinator. I have a lot of faith in Jimmy. We worked together at University of Toledo. We won a MAC West championship together on the same staff. If I’m not available, Jimmy is the one to address the team. He understands the principles, the values and the emphasis on fundamentals, and that is important to me. “



On Reggie Johnson’s new role…
“He is going to still be working with our linebackers. Reggie is a very good football coach and a very good friend. He has been around the block in this business, and he understands the way the business works. This business is about winning and production. It is a tough business, and when you aren’t getting the production, you have to make changes.”

On changes in personnel defensively…
“We are going to look at some different guys on the field. Jake Ganus is our most productive player. He is pretty much the quarterback of the defense. Derek Slaughter is another guy who is very productive on the field. Shaq Jones was out there this weekend as a stand-up outside linebacker, and he showed his length. The guys that are productive are the guys that need to be on the field, so I think there will be a change or two. We are going to look at a couple freshmen on the defensive side of the ball.”

On Jimmy Williams…
“He is very demanding and detailed. The reason that Jimmy was the first guy we hired when we got the job here is because me and Jimmy spent a lot of time on the phone before I came here communicating about how to manage kids, how to lead kids and how to get kids to do what you need them to consistently. He will be very demanding, and he will be very good at communicating to the kids. He can get them to understand the plan and to transfer what we practice on game day.”

On the direction of the program…
“The reason I think the program is moving in the right direction is because there are so many people who are really down about us losing games. When lost to Vanderbilt, an SEC team that has been to bowl games, I felt our fan base was down. That showed me that the expectations of the program are growing. We don’t expect to lose games like we lost to Vanderbilt. We definitely don’t expect to lose games on our home field against FAU regardless of what has happened with our past record against FAU. We expect to do well, and our fan base expects to win.”

On junior CB Jimmy Jean playing offense…
“He is arguably the fastest guy on the team. When you have someone with that much ability and speed , and since J.J. Nelson is not available, you try to find another person who can fill that void and create chunk yardage for you. That was our thinking with Jimmy, so I think there could be a role for Jimmy to sneak out on the field and go after big plays for us because he is just so talented.”