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WATCH: D.J. Eliot Orange Bowl PC

Florida State Defensive Coordinator Press ...

Stream provided by the Orange Bowl.

  • Chris Nee

    Eliot said that as soon as the dead period began he focused on helping FSU prepare for the Orange Bowl. Prior to that time, his focus was on recruiting for/with Kentucky. He said there hasn't been much down time at all and he racked up a plethora of air miles.

    This post was edited by Chris Nee 16 months ago

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    On Mario Edwards Jr., Eliot said that he fortunately came in behind three very talented defensive ends, but said that he may be the most talented of the bunch.

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Eliot compared NIU QB Jordan Lynch to USF's B.J. Daniels. He said he is extremely athletic and active on his feet.

    This post was edited by Chris Nee 16 months ago

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Eliot said preparations have gone well. He praised the focus of the team.

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Eliot talked about the last three years being tremendous for him at Florida State. He talked about the joy he had working with his players. He said he wanted to finish this season with a win, end on a high note, before he went to Kentucky full-time.

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Eliot said that some of the early practices since the Florida game were about skills and not focused on the gameplan for the bowl game. He said that period is important for the young guys.

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    "Florida State has been a great experience for me. It is one I am going to cherish forever. I want to finish this thing off right. That is why I am working so hard to do that. I have always looked at Florida State as a place where they weren't lucky to have me, but I was lucky to have Florida State. That is the way I approached work every day."

    "Coach (Jimbo) Fisher took a chance on me. I was a young defensive line coach at Rice that did a good job in my interview. So I tried to repay him every single day with my work."

    "My players mean a tremendous amount to me. I want to make sure I finish this thing off for them. They bought in early to what we were doing and they have been very successful. They have always respected me and done exactly what I have told them to do. I wanted them to know I was going to be here until the end for them as well."

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Eliot on their offense, beyond Lynch: "We are conscience of more than just one player for them."

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Eliot sang the praises of Bjoern Werner. He said that he is great at taking things in and applying it in a game.

    "He never ceases to amaze me on how much he can improve and he has done that his whole career."

    Eliot also praised Brandon Jenkins and Tank Carradine, but he said that Werner is truly a student of the game and continues to improve.

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    I think D.J. is going to be incredibly successful and will be a head coach in the next decade. He is an incredibly sharp guy who knows X's and O's and is a solid recruiter.

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Transcript of his press conference:

    THE MODERATOR: Coach, you've now been here for a few days getting ready for the Discover Orange Bowl. How are preparations going for your team?

    D.J. ELIOT: Preparations are going very well. The players are focused. The guys have been working hard. We've been able to get after it pretty good in practice, and we're very excited about this opportunity.

    Q. Can you liken Jordan Lynch to anybody and just how daunting is it to get ready for a guy that can obviously do a lot of different things?

    D.J. ELIOT: You're right. He's a rare player. He's got 1,700 yards rushing and 3,000 passing, and it's tough to compare him to anyone. But from the quarterbacks that we've played I'd say he's most like probably B.J. Daniels at South Florida, very athletic, a guy that can make you miss and is very active on his feet.

    Q. Can you talk about the decision process of staying back and coaching FSU in this game, and why was that important for you?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, you know, the last three years have been tremendous for me at Florida State, and obviously I have such great memories and worked so hard, and my players mean so much to me and the opportunity that Coach Fisher gave me, I really wanted to finish this thing off on a high note, and I wanted to do everything I could for the program, the coaches and the players to make sure that we finish this season with a win and continue to do what I can throughout the rest of this week to get us there.

    Q. Could you just talk about preparing a game plan? Georgia Tech you had a real active role in preparing the game plan, too. Was that different than during the course of the season? Was it a collaborative effort?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, Coach Stoops has been the defensive coordinator for obviously the last three seasons and has been the head guy in preparing the game plans for us the majority of the time. With Georgia Tech I had a little better feel for those type of offenses, so I was in the lead that week in preparing the game plan and calling the defense. But it was an active role by all the coaches. There wasn't just one guy that was a part of any of our game plans. It's the same this week. It's an active role with all the coaches involved for this game plan, these preparations, as well.

    Q. Northern Illinois was alluding to that early on in practice they'd used a lot of the young players, kind of bring them along a little bit and say, okay, this is how we're going to do it, almost get them ready for next year. Do you guys do something similar?

    D.J. ELIOT: Definitely we did. We had some practices early that were not designed for game plan practices, they were just skill development practices, and we made sure that our young players got a lot of reps in those early practices.

    Q. And with the coaching changes how has that affected how you approach those practices?

    D.J. ELIOT: It hasn't affected me any differently. I'm still working for Florida State and that's been my approach, and I'm doing everything I can as a coach and as a coordinator to help this team be as successful as they can.

    Q. Just wanted to ask about what these last three weeks have been like? Obviously going up to Kentucky, back and forth a lot, trying to get the game plan obviously for this bowl setup.

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, I think I broke a record on airline miles. But no, it's been very busy. You know what I mean? It's been very busy. I've had a lot of responsibilities on both ends, and there hasn't been much downtime at all. I've still got a task at hand, so I'm still in that mode, that work mode. You know, it's been exciting, but it's also been challenging to manage two jobs. But I'm fully committed, fully focused on winning this game and doing whatever I can.

    Q. Obviously you know what your future is, but as far as you guys have come these last couple of years, how important is it to you personally to end this on a winning note?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, you know, Florida State has been a great experience for me, and it's one that I'm going to cherish forever, and I want to finish this thing off right, and that's why I'm working so hard to do that. I always looked at Florida State as a place where they weren't lucky to have me but I was lucky to have Florida State, and that's the way I approached work every day. Coach Fisher took a chance on me. I was a young defensive line coach at Rice that did a good job in an interview, so I tried to repay him every single day with my work.

    My players mean a tremendous amount to me, so I want to make sure that I finish this thing off for them. They bought in early to what we were doing, and they've been very successful, and they've always respected me and done exactly what I've told them to do. So I want them to know that I was going to be here until the end for them, as well.

    Q. Obviously with all the attention paid to Lynch, what do you think of the rest of NIU's components from the line to the receivers to the backs?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, obviously they're a very good offense. They've got great numbers. They've won all but one game, and there's other weapons besides Jordan Lynch that we're going to have to be prepared for. They've got good speed, and their offensive line is very effective. They work well together. So you know, we're conscious of more than just one player for them.

    Q. Bjoern Werner, Coach Fisher has talked a lot about his instincts and just his feel for the game is different than a lot of football players. Could you talk about that. Do you still see those things that surprise you even this late in his career?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, you know, Bjoern is a player that - you have certain players that you can give them a certain amount of information, but they can only apply so much, so you have to be careful on who and what you give to certain players. But Bjoern is one of those players that he can take in anything you give him. You know what I mean? And he can apply it in the game. So he never ceases to amaze me on how much he can improve, and he's done that his whole career. Brandon Jenkins was the same way and Tank Carradine has played well for me, as well, as well as other defensive ends. But Bjoern is one of those guys that's a student of the game and continues to improve.

    Q. You guys have obviously had a lot of change there at the defensive end positions this season with the injuries to Brandon and Tank. What's the resiliency of those guys been like especially with Mario coming in and having a chance to play throughout the year?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, they're a very tight group. They train together in the summer, they meet together even when I'm not with them. They always had the approach that they were going to be the best in the country. That was always their approach and their mentality in everything they do. When we lost a player, it was the next man up mentality, and the younger players like Mario that have stepped up, he takes on that responsibility.

    Q. You'll have to excuse my ignorance here. You mentioned both Kentucky and the capacity you're in currently, balancing the two. Can you go into more detail in that? Are you doing anything for Kentucky right now, or are you solely in a Florida State capacity and keeping it in the back of your mind?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, fortunately for me from a focus standpoint, this is the dead period in recruiting, so there aren't a lot of recruiting responsibilities that I can do right now. So I've been completely focused on preparing Florida State for the Orange Bowl, and that's where all my time has been.

    Q. Before the dead period started, how did that work for you?

    D.J. ELIOT: Before the dead period I was mainly committed to recruiting for Kentucky. But so was the Florida State staff at that time. They were committed to recruiting for Florida State, and then the practice preparations started just about when the dead period started.

    Q. With Mario, you just talked about Mario and the way he stepped up in the Georgia Tech game. What do you see for him? You won't be coaching him, but just how was his progress this season and what do you expect from him going down the line?

    D.J. ELIOT: His progress has been tremendous. You know, fortunately for him, he came in and was behind three of the best defensive ends in the country through training camp. So he was able to learn from those guys and see how those guys operate, and I think that that's made him a better player. He's extremely talented, maybe more talented than all of them, and I think he's got a very bright future at Florida State.

    Q. You obviously had a big hand in not only bringing some of the ends to Florida State but also sustaining them and maintaining them when they got there. What is it going to take for FSU going forward to get those kinds of D ends to continue to come to Florida State and continue to produce?

    D.J. ELIOT: Well, you know, fortunately for me, in recruiting some of those defensive ends, Florida State has a rich history of defensive end play. The program - funny thing you may ask that, when we led the country in sacks a couple years ago, somebody asked me if I broke a school record, and I'm like, that's harder than leading the country in sacks. There's so many great players here, and you always have that to sell at Florida State.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

    This post was edited by Chris Nee 16 months ago

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • I remember being impressed during his first interview when all the new coaches spoke to the media. Seemed like a guy that could relate to his players but was very straightforward. His work has proved itself and was the reason Markus White made a turnaround.

  • Big fan of DJ! He will do well and id love to have him back some day in some capacity.

  • So DJ was essentially the DC for the GT game........interesting.

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