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Head football coach Sam Washington on the Aggies bye week: “Looking back, I thought it was a very productive week last week. We did a bunch of fundamental stuff. We started back at ground zero. We’re trying to get back on track and do the little things right and well. I thought the guys responded very well to our practices.”

 

Coach Washington on the Charleston Southern game: “Looking back on Charleston-Southern, it was a tough ballgame. We started very slow. That was a major concern for us, but we seemed to be able to get it on track in the second half. We found some gaps and some holes available.

 

Coach Washington on Jah-Maine Martin’s performance: “The young man Jah-Maine Martin did his thing. He rushed for 299 yards in a fabulous way. Two of those touchdowns were just remarkable. The way he was able to elude and still take it the distance was very impressive and (running backs coach Shawn Gibbs) loves when things like that happen.”

 

Coach Washington on the Aggies conference opener, Delaware State: “Our first conference opponent is a very worthy opponent. Don’t be fooled by their record. I will say this, (Delaware State head coach Rod Milstead) has gotten this team very prepared. They play harder than the Del State from recent years. We’re looking forward to the challenge and we’re ready. I’m just going to say it like that. We’re ready. We’re going to do what we do, continue to do chicken, keep it simple, and play hard.”

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Coach Washington on DSU’s defense: “Defensively, their all over the place. They do a lot of disguising and they blitz a lot, a whole lot. They give you different fronts. It’s multiple fronts now, so we have to be very disciplined upfront, keep our eyes up, and get a hat on a hat.”

 

Coach Washington on getting healthy during the Aggies off-week: “I thought the bye was very timely. We needed this time to heal some. We had quite a few kids banged up, but no one injured. I think Derrek Williams is the only kid that will not play this coming Thursday. Everyone else can play and we’re looking forward to getting out there. We could not have picked a better time to have a week off. As far as the extra time, I think it’s going to help us next week (before the Norfolk State game). Playing on Thursday gives us a couple of extra days to be in the film room to prepare for next week.”

 

Coach Washington on what the Aggies worked on during the off-week: “Pass defense. If I had to choose one thing to work on, it would be pass defense. That’s an area where we lack and that’s an area where we’re focused. I think once you get into it, you start playing and start scheming, rather than working on fundamentals. We base ourselves on fundamentals and nothing else.”

 

Coach Washington on Mac McCain III’s availability: “He’s not injured. Let’s go there first. He’s recovering. I think we will see some of him to a degree. How much is yet to be seen. We plan on sticking him out there and allowing him to get his feet wet again.”

 

Coach Washington on what the Aggies defensive backs worked on during the bye week: “A lot of it was fundamentals. Eyes were in a bad place. We were looking in the backfield too long. Our hand placement was not very good and we're taking false steps. Those are the small things that will put you in a good position or put you in a bad position. We were making bad decisions there.”

 

Coach Washington on the Aggies offensive line: “They played very well together, and they played hard. That’s what you want most from an offensive line. They were very physical and got to the second level. They have that will and determination to get downfield and make blocks. There were blocks made for Jah-Maine 15 yards down the field. That’s a thing of beauty.”

 

Coach Washington on the grade he gives his team after three non-conference games: “C. I’m tough. We did some things well and we did some things not so well. There’s room for improvement. There’s two of them sitting over there, I’m not going to dare say B or A. I think we are on the right track, and we do have a great foundation to build on. That’s what we must do. Get better each week.”

 

Coach Washington on covering Pro Football Hall of Famer and wide receiver Jerry Rice at practice when they were teammates at Mississippi Valley State: “A piece of cake. You might want to ask him about that. Honestly speaking, I was two years ahead of him, so I had a little more experience than him at the time. But I tell you what, you knew right away he was special because of his approach and determination and will. As a freshman, you knew something was special about him. One of the ways that I judge a receiver is how well he blocks. He would block you to the ground. He gave great effort in doing so.”

 

Coach Washington on comparing Aggies wide receiver Elijah Bell to Rice: “There are some similarities, but I think Bell is bigger. They are both very aggressive. Bell will block you and enjoy it. We know he catches the football and runs very disciplined routes. There are some similarities.”

 

Coach Washington on Bell getting the first down to clinch the CSU game: “That's indicative of what I’m speaking of how physical he is. He caught that ball and we needed two more yards. When he put his shoulder down, we got three. That’s the kind of stuff as coaches you can’t draw up. That’s his determination and will to do something special. I say it all the time, football players make football plays. He’s a football player.”

 

Coach Washington on seeing Delaware State on film: “I’m impressed with Del State’s effort. There was a time in the recent past, they didn’t play hard and they would give up. That’s not happening anymore. They believe in the coaches and the system that they are playing in and they’re giving them good effort. They’re trying to win. It’s visible.”

 

Coach Washington on penalties: “I always stay on penalties because it’s about discipline. It’s very important that we stay poised and calm. We don’t need any superheroes. We just need to play well, hard and physical football. I think if we do that, we’ll be fine.”

 

Coach Washington on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC): “We played non-conference so long, I have yet to see anyone in the conference. It’s kind of early for me to make a judgment. But I think the conference itself is very healthy. Every team is getting better. I see some growth and progress from everybody. That’s why it’s very important that we continue to grow. We will see how it ends at the end.”

 

Coach Washington on playing Thursday-night games: “This one I like. I think in particular because of the week off. It is perfect for what we do and how we do things. They can be annoying if you have a game on Saturday like Del State. They played on Saturday and they have to travel on Wednesday. That could be tough. That’s a long travel too. Ride that bus!”