Coach Parker was clearly looking to juice turnout today in heavily Purdue counties as he seeks to get re-elected as Purdue’s head football coach. Wait, this isn’t about the election? You’re telling me that Purdue’s next coach doesn’t have to go through a two years long campaign in order to get the job? I feel like that’s probably for the best. Happy Election day to all and enjoy the fresh hot takes from Coach Parker below.
Coach on No-Shave-November
I stated after the game due to No-Shave November, I wanted to make sure and hold up to my part of the deal. Cancer has affected my family, our family, and I said after the game one of those first impacts was losing Kandi's father, John "Hop" Brown, and the next guy that I would like to mention lost his life in 2003 is Wallace Dillon (phonetic), who I had stated prior to a couple weeks ago was one of the most influential men and coaches in my life, and he lost a tough fight with cancer as well.
So always want to make sure to give some recognition to those people, people that are missed, people that are still missed by their families and want to do that, so I'll continue with this look of no shave, and it's with reason.
And each and every year, we do a huge golf scramble in the summer to the American Cancer Society through Relay For Life. It's done through my wife's family, Kandi's family that they sponsor. It's a huge deal, huge event.
Coaches from everywhere I've been have shown up and friends from all over the place. So we usually, not usually, we always contribute a significant amount to that for candy and dad and in her dad's name. That's what we plan to do and continue to do. We just save that money back and push it to that.
Coach continues to give just these massive opening statements. Some highlights are below.
Last week another tough one. What a great showing we had in the first half. Certainly would be remiss to not say the second half as well. Didn't go the way it should have. You certainly would love to play cleaner, but what our football team did is found a way to have a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, and I think that's the biggest difference. I think to the court of public opinion, as well as everybody and fans, we're not pleased with the loss at all, but at the same time, with three-and-a-half minutes left and three timeouts, we had a chance to go win that football game.
So it wasn't the same. We have to play cleaner in the second half, but it wasn't the same. And we've got to continue to build on that. Proud of the guys, man. Their effort, how they're responding to this. The coaching staff, and how they've responded. They're working, working harder and harder every week and giving their souls to this thing, not knowing their futures.
And the players have been phenomenal. Their leadership and how hard they've worked and how hard they played on Saturday should be recognized and applauded, and really appreciate them. Our practice last night was as good a Monday as we've had since we've done this new thing. It was a fun time last night. We had a lot of fun.
I told those guys last night that's our therapy to be able to get out of the office and get out there around guys you care about, and run around in some cold air under the lights and get to act like kids and enjoy a great game. We're all very blessed to do this and be around this group for another three weeks. It's been a great time. So couldn't be more pleased with that and how their approach has been nor our staff.
How does Coach explain the improvement/development of David Blough?
So number one, he's been out there a lot and started gaining experience, which is invaluable. Number two, Tim Lester is a phenomenal football coach.
Is Jake Replogle back to full strength?
Sure hope so. It will be a week-to-week, day-to-day thing, and it's something we'll continue to evaluate. Obviously when he's out on the field, we're a better football team.
So you put those two things together in a guy that gets it, that's played at a high level and does a good job with him, and communicates great and does what he's done with him, I think you pair up two things that work pretty well. Their personalities match, and how they communicate match, and it's put him in a position to be very successful and do a lot of things that have allowed us to be in games.
What does Northwestern’s defense do that makes them so good?
They're really good in the red zone in making you have to throw the football, but they've got more hats there around it and those things. So I think more than anything, they stop the run, force you to throw it, and keep everything in front of them. Make you earn every first down and try to not let the ball over their head, which gives you a chance to stay in games.
What has been different between the first half and the second (this is a long answer but I found it interesting so rather than a snippet I’m including the whole thing.)?
Some things are common. The things you all see, we all see. Number one, turnovers in the second half. We turned the football over. We haven't been able to -- so on offense if you start there, we turn the football over, which never helps you. Our turnover margins in the second half compared to those teams is nowhere near where it should be where you're going to win games in the second half, so I think that's the number one issue.
I brought up after the game, your running game's always going to be a factor in the second half. Depth's going to be a factor in the second half. And again, I've never used it nor will I, but let's also remember we've played three teams with six combined losses. They're good football teams. Welcome to being a head coach.
So, again, we'll fight it, and I'm all good. Believe me, I sleep good at night when I finally do go to sleep. But there's reasons for everything. Our depth, our turning the ball over, them being good football teams, and us not being able to respond on defense very well to those sudden changes. You look at us when those sudden changes have happened, within three plays something bad has happened right after it as well. We have not handled the sudden change very well and given up big plays afterwards that turn into scores. That's a huge factor in it too.
So in a nutshell, we can't turn it over and when we do or something bad does happen, we need to handle it a little better on defense, get some stops and not let it turn into points instantly and I think that will help us. Again, this half, I thought in the second half of this game we finally got over the hump, didn't lose our breath, so to speak, came together and had a chance to win the football game at the end of it.
So we've got to continue to be better in every phase, and when we do that, our confidence level will grow as we get into fourth quarter games with a chances to win.
How has this team managed to stay positive and have fun?
I think those guys have appreciated an honest man's work toward the approach and said, hey, let's go ahead and have fun with this. And there are several teams, we talked about it last night, there are several teams in the country right now in the same position we are or worse. We've still got three games left, plenty to play for. Going down the stretch and finish with something to be proud of. There are a lot of teams fighting to be bowl eligible and have something to finish on.
So I think in knowing that you're not by yourself, why not lay it out there, have fun with it and see what you can come up with these last three weeks and see where we're at. But there's a lot to build off of. I really believe there's been a sense of energy and an approach to these three weeks that they know and they can put their hands on and say it's different. I think you guys can too. I do. I think it's there. I think our fans see it.
If the right circumstances arise would Coach Parker like to stay at Purdue? (Again, long answer but one I think is of interest to most of the fans.)
Yeah, I mean, tough question, no doubt. But my family loves it here. I've loved working here. I believe in this place. I believe in the community. I believe in how we've been treated here. You know what I mean? All those are reasons to obviously want to move forward here if something happens.
I'm also realistic in it. There are a lot of things we don't know. And that's hard to imagine, and for the most part I've done a really good job of trying to keep that out with the advice of a lot of great people around you. That's all we can do.
So kept that part out. It's hard, because you've got a staff that you're trying to do that as well. Take care of that staff because at the end of the day we know in three weeks there's a lot of uncertainty, and that's hard. I don't care what you say. That's a hard approach to being able to look at families and kids and your families and all those things and say, you know, we're probably going to be looking for work in three weeks. That's tough. But it's reality. We'll keep on facing it.
There's worse situations, but this is tough in relative terms to our staff and for me personally, but certainly, why would I ever -- I've been happy here. This has been a good job here. I've certainly enjoyed coaching the men that I've gotten the chance to coach at this university here, and I would love to move forward if it fits right in those things. But I'm realistic about those odds.
How does Purdue do a better job protecting the QB?
Something you're always looking at is trying to give guys help in what we're doing in our protection plan, and we'll have to continue to do that not only this week, but the last two as well, to make sure we take care of guys and put ourselves in position to protect and get our best players the football. So it's something we're always looking at.
Does Coach Parker still read Twitter?
Not that much. I don't go through it as much as I used to. The biggest thing is because of recruiting is at a stand still right now for the most part. So not as much. But you see the pop-ups and the notifications and the adds where it's like, oh, Geez, that's about right.
But it has been awesome to deal with and see and smile at and those things, because I get it. Everybody's fans. I get it. I understand it. But I certainly haven't been staying up at night, rolling through it, writing notes and crying myself to sleep over it either.
Coach on DeAngelo Yancey and his production so far this year.
You certainly wish that his receptions would be higher. But his productivity is one up. Averaging 20 yards a catch, I think he has seven touchdowns right now. Us being better around him in what we've done in the pass game has probably allowed him to get away and not be bracketed as much as he was last year. And it's given him a chance to be a seven-touchdown guy.
There’s a whole lot there, and a whole lot that wasn’t included. These have just become much more readable since Parker took over. I’m not sure I walk away with more information about the game plan but you do get a sense of everything going on around the team a bit more. One final note, go vote. Not discussing politics or trying to start a fight just go vote. Even Coach Parker agrees.
Q. Did you vote today?
GERAD PARKER: Not yet, I'm getting ready to go after this. And I will not reveal who I'm voting for.