Bill Stewart Press Conference (Updated)


Well, here’s the write-up of Bill Stewart’s Press conference today…

As soon as he got the podium, he started busting out stats from last season and comparing them to this season…

In 2009, the team had 4 400+ yd games of offense… this season, 5 400+ yd games. Gave up 24 sacks in 2009, gave up 15 this season so far. Fumbles in 2009 = 15, Fumbles in 2010 = 11. Stewart said he was not pleased with the fumbles. However, he is encouraged by the games where the team gains 400+ yards.

He went into three (3) categories the team needs to work on… BALL SECURITY, “Very intense turnover circuit, tires, bags they run through– a gauntlet!” Goes back to 2000 under former Coach Don Nehlen. FORMATIONS– motions… “young guys make mistakes…they ought not make that mistake.” PASS PROTECTION– team has 11 sacks… “can’t count the hurries…” wants to move the pocket. Stewart also talks about Jeff Braun replacing former Mountaineer (and current Washington Redskins practice squad player) Selvish Capers.

On the defensive end of the ball, Stewart talked about GETTING TURNOVERS,  top of the Big East in picks… but, he poses the question: “Why haven’t the Mountaineers stripped the ball?” He also talks about OPEN FIELD TACKLING and he not pleased with it, and he claims the defense has given up too many big plays. He said, defensively, the team needs TURNOVERS… not just causing fumbles, but actual turnovers. He finally finished talking about the defense by saying, “We still need to do open-field tackling. They get away from us at crucial times!”

Stewart went on to talk about the “TEAM” concept. Stewart says he’s CEO of this program. He did admits he needs to do a better job with coaches. He claims he grilled Offensive Coordinator Jeff Mullen, and vice-versa, as well as other offensive coaches. “We’re going to get in on the same sheet of music.” He says he is going to meet with Jeff Casteel (Defensive Coordinator) later this week. Pondering defense to make open-field tackle.

Stew refuses to point his finger at his players. “I am not a finger-pointer. Do what you can to the best of your ability and play hard. 4 games to go, WVU is 5-3. A pretty good Syracuse game nicked us. Got beat in OT. Our guys are in better shape than the team that beat us.”

Stewart then took questions and was asked about points, “It’s been a real eye-opener. Ask the players to do what they can do.” He said Pitt leads the Conference with 29 points per game, WVU has 24.5 He also said WVU has turned the ball over in the RED ZONE too many times.

Stewart then was asked about Geno running… and about Geno getting hurt. “You don’t take that hit! Live to fight another day! I tell him to slide…” He referred to Steelers player Ike Taylor knocking out Pat White, and said, “He hasn’t played since that hit!”

Wouldn’t answer the question about LSU’s “late hit” on Noel Devine altered course of season. He was then asked about Special Teams; he said that punt and kickoff returns were “absolutely terrible!”

Finally, he was asked about the criticism fans have fired towards him and the Coaching Staff and if he takes it personally, and I couldn’t believe the answer I heard:

“I haven’t noticed (the criticism), so it must not bother me. I’ve got pretty thick skin!”

Stew, you’re going to need that thick skin in the coming months!