OCTOBER 31, 2000
ARIZONA HEAD COACH DICK TOMEY
On this week's game at Washington:
"I think they've (Washington) done a terrific job of coming back in games and making plays when they have had to. They have seven senior offensive linemen and a senior quarterback who really have made it possible for them to have the kind of resiliency in games that they've had."
"The last time we played there (at Washington) we handled it well. I think we handled Oregon well. It is going to be a tough environment just like it was with Oregon. The hardest thing is their team. They have a good team that is motivated, and I think they will be even more highly motivated (this week) than they've been all year. It is going to be a big challenge for us, and we know what is at stake. It's clear what we need to do."
On Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo:
"He is a quarterback with a linebacker mentality. He is a tough guy who loves to play, loves to compete and is going to beat you any way he can beat you. I think you evaluate a quarterback on his win/loss record and not on his stats because that is really what you're looking for. You're looking for a competitor, a guy who finds a way to win, and he certainly does that, whether it be with his arms or his legs. He is equally as dangerous both ways."
On Arizona's two-game losing streak:
"This is an entirely different group of players (than last year's team). These people are committed to the long haul, and they're committed no matter how tough it gets. They continue to fight, and I'm proud of the way they've competed so far. They are out their fighting their guts out, and if stuff goes wrong with personnel or injuries, we handle it. The players have a lot of great personal attributes, and I don't expect them to change the way they're playing."
"I have a much better feeling about this team than I had a year ago. I think we're trying harder to do all the things it takes to win. We're trying harder, and I think our guys that were here a year ago see that. If you think about 1997 and 1999, we finished the 1997 season with three wins, and in 1999 we lost our last three. But, guys like O.J. (Ortege Jenkins), Joe Tafoya and Adrian (Koch) have seen graphic examples of how those teams handled the ends of those two seasons. It takes mindset, commitment, resiliency and determination, and I think they see that."
On quarterback Ortege Jenkins:
"I think he'll be fine. We talked about it (the UCLA game). I don't think there is a quarterback who hasn't had an ugly game or two. The great ones have had those kind of games. I think O.J. will come back and rally. He handled it (the last game) like a champion, and he stood up there and took more responsibility than he needed to take. We all need to take responsibility, the offense, defense and kicking team. His legs really kept us in the game. With our pass protection problems up front, it is important to have someone who has the legs."
On cornerback Jermaine Chatman:
"He played a lot better last weekend, and it was by far the best game he's played all year. It is very encouraging because he did some good things against the run and the pass. He's grown a lot, and he spends countless hours in coach (Duane) Akina's office watching tape. He is playing the run and playing blocks, and he is understanding coverages and alignments. He has the physical capabilities, and now he is much more cerebral. I thought he made a big step last week. He is the kind of player who can complete a play and catch the ball when they throw it to him back there."
On Arizona's team captains:
"O.J. (Ortege Jenkins), Joe Tafoya and Adrian Koch are the captains for the rest of the season. Adrian (Koch) has done a fabulous job. I think he got the highest percentage of votes for special teams captain than anybody we've ever had, which is an incredible tribute to who he is and all that he's gone through. It is a tremendous honor for O.J. because normally a quarterback is not elected captain. We had a very clear mandate for those three guys. We couldn't have three better guys."