PRINCETON, N.J. – Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Pete Mangurian fielded questions during the Ivy League’s Media Day Teleconference on Tuesday morning. Below are a few highlights from the Q&A and the full interview can be heard HERE.
“History tells you that your second season is when you make your biggest jump in a new program. Your players understand what you’re looking for and develop a work ethic.”
On the offensive line
“Our offensive line was young when the year ended. Our emphasis was to get bigger and stronger. We did that. We clearly have a philosophy of not carrying extra weight. That hasn’t changed. It’s something I believe in. It’s worked for me before in this league and I still think we’re going to stick with that no matter what. I think it takes a little time for a line to gel, but I think that’s a position that our younger guys have a chance to contribute.”
On the quarterback position
“Trevor McDonagh is the only quarterback on our roster that has had anything close to significant playing time in our system. He did a good job in the spring and he’ll be the starter going into camp. Hank Trumbull is the other returning quarterback and knows our system. Our newcomers are Brett Nottingham and Kelly Hilinski. Both have been here over the summer, worked hard in the weight room and have done as much as they can do, as far as learning the system, and preparing for training camp. Obviously, Brett brings a lot of experience from Stanford. You know he’s not a first-year just learning the ropes. He’s been there, he understands things, but he still has to learn our system and be able to execute what we’re trying to do. Kelly Hilinski is a big kid with great throwing ability and we think he’ll fit in well, but he’s a first-year and has a lot to learn.”
On the secondary
“Probably one of the most competitive positions on the field. Carter and Mingo are the old guys. Reim and Thaxton at the corners, along with Cahal and McCarthy, who also saw playing time. We moved some guys from offense and that’s something you go through after you’ve been somewhere a little bit longer. You find good places for them to play and where they have more opportunities to help you. We’ve got some big guys that can run with (Bruce) Grant and (Kal) Prince moving over to corner and safety. We think (Jared) Katz, (Nicholas) Annabi and (Brock) Kenyon, who are freshmen coming in, will be able to compete at the safety spot. So, we think that will be a competitive situation and we’ll put some young players in there and give them their opportunities.”
On the mindset heading into training camp
“I think, overall, we’ve created competition at every position. I think that was one of the biggest challenges when we got here. There wasn’t enough of that. I also think we’re bigger, faster and more explosive than a year ago. We’re looking forward to camp. Everybody’s gone home now for a couple of weeks and hopefully everyone comes back energized as we get ready to go.”
“We looked at the things we didn’t do well, but I still think that we are in a position where we need to worry about what we can do and what we do best and not get distracted with what everyone else is doing. I’m not saying we don’t game plan. We’ll do whatever we need to do to win each particular game, but I think the emphasis for us is we know our players better, we know our system better and we’re physically farther along than we were a year ago. We just need to find a way to make plays in critical situations. Situational football and fundamental football, those will be the keys to who we are.”
On incoming junior QB Brett Nottingham
“The offense Brett was in and the offense we run are pretty consistent. He’s a pocket guy. Not a guy that’s going to rush for a bunch of yards. He has real good pocket movement and awareness, but he’s not the kind of guy that’ll rush for 400, 500, 600 yards in a season. He’s a good decision maker and can make all the different throws. I like his personality. We went through the whole process, met and spoke with his family and I was very diligent about ‘is this the right guy to do this’ because we don’t really have a big history of transfers at Columbia. Coming from a great program (at Stanford) and his background and all the things he’s accomplished and the way the young man handles himself, I thought he was the perfect fit for us. He’ll have an opportunity, but he needs to learn our system. It doesn’t come over night. It takes time. I know he’ll diligently work at it. We’ll see how it turns out and we’re not going to make any conclusions until things are proven.”
The Ivy League also announced its preseason media poll on Tuesday. Penn was selected as the favorite, followed by Harvard and Brown.
2013 IVY LEAGUE FOOTBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
First-Place Votes in Parentheses