Ben Goren and Ryan Fish were at Big Ten Media Days. Here’s what we heard from Pat Fitzgerald at the morning session.
- Fitzgerald talked a lot about how he hoped that there would be separation in the QB battle going into Kenosha. There hasn’t been.
- Fitzgerald went on to say that he’d prefer to have the situation wrapped up by week one, but if there still isn’t a clear frontrunner, he won’t force things.
- Fitzgerald on if he’d be open to a two-quarterback system: “We gotta win football games. We gotta do whatever it takes to win football games.” He also joked that he’d be open to a three-quarterback system if that was the best option.
- Fitzgerald said that his life changed when he could drive. There were no more details as to why this was the case.
- Fitzgerald talked a lot about how he’s going to be relying on youth next season, saying there may be more young guys than ever. Garrett Dickerson was the youngest guy specifically singled out, which makes you think that we’re going to see more two superback sets with Dickerson and Dan Vitale.
- An official injury report will be out before camp, but Fitzgerald said that Christian Jones might be “on a pitch count,” but should be good to go. Great news.
- Fitzgerald talked a little bit about Northwestern needing some more explosive plays. Said that in past years, bubble screens with one or two blocks would spring the big plays for NU. It seemed like he was saying Northwestern would do more more of that kind of stuff rather than pushing the ball downfield.
- Fitzgerald specifically mentioned Solomon Vault and Warren Long as big play guys out of the backfield, Dan Vitale at superback, and Miles Shuler and Christian Jones at wideout, who he said is a mismatch both in terms of size as well as experience.
- Fitzgerald, when talking about the true freshmen wide receivers said he “loves them in shorts” but that when the pads come on, it may be a little different. Didn’t single out any of those guys as head and shoulders above the rest, but we think that you’ll see at least one, maybe two of them get playing time.
- In typical Fitzgerald fashion, he talked about how one of the biggest adjustments for him going to college was being away from his mother. Today’s kids? Being away from their girlfriends. This isn’t the first time we heard that (from Inside NU).
- Somewhat unsurprising, but Fitzgerald seemed unwilling to talk about the unionization issue at all. He said every team has its own distractions and that he’s “just not getting into those discussions anymore. The focus is just on the team.”
- Fitzgerald recognized that NU hasn’t been able to win close games during the past two years like they have in previous years. He says that’s a point of focus for the team this year and that it’s about doing the little things and building trust. “We’ve had way too many self-inflicted errors that have cost us… the past two years we haven’t been ourselves. And that’s on us, as coaches.”