Mike Martin on playing better, on dropping back into coverage, on Big Will and Roh, on a 4 man rush vs blitzing, on the EMU rushing attack.
Question: Are you disappointed in the defensive lines performance or do you think you guys held your own to this point?
Mike Martin: “I’m not happy. We have a lot of improvement to make across the board. All the guys including myself have to improve and get better and if we do that than we’ll be better as a unit and we’ll play better as a defense.”
Question: What do you think are the biggest issues?
Mike Martin: “Everything that goes into playing defensive line, we just have to get better at across the line, technique, just focusing in on our assignments, everything. We just have to be better focused especially at the start of games. We can’t come out slow and starting drives we have to make sure that we start fast and finish fast.”
Question: Do you think coaches are having to call more blitzes because the front four is not getting a whole lot of pressure in passing down?
Mike Martin: “No that’s just Coach Mattison’s scheme. We can get a four-man rush or we can bring in the blitz and whatever he decides is what we’re going to go with. I don’t think that is something that is decided off our performance is just what he decided to go with.”
Question: Playing next to Big Will Campbell in the Notre Dame game. What did you see out of him and did you feel like he was playing at a different level than you had seen him play in the past?
Mike Martin: “Yeah. He did a good job of coming out there and stepping up. Coach put him in a big time game, big position and he came through. We need that out of all the guys, be able to step their game up in big time game situations. I hope he continues to get better each week and I’m looking forward to seeing him play this weekend.”
Question: Can you talk a little bit on the swing of emotions thinking that maybe the game was lost on a defensive stop that didn’t get made and then having it turn around so quick?
Mike Martin: “I think that is just how football is. It is the game of it. We never gave up and we just persevered through adversity and we do that well as a defense. When they had sudden changes, whether it is a turnover or whatever it is, coming out with excitement on the field and ready to play.”
Question: Did you think it was over with 30 seconds left?
Mike Martin: “We never thought it was over. None of us on the team, there was never any doubt in our mind. It is not over until the clock reads out 00:00.”
Question: What are you seeing in the first couple of drives of each game because you’ve played really well in the second half but gave up touchdowns on both opening drives?
Mike Martin: “I think that we have to come out with more intensity possibly, being more focused. I think it is a few things kind of that we need to get better at with opening drives, so we have to make sure that we eliminate that because that’s a problem. We can’t start out slow. We have to start fast and we’ve got to finish with intensity and finish fast.”
Question: How much does going against Michigan’s offensive prepare you for other really good offensive lines like Notre Dame?
Mike Martin: “Our offense does a great job with giving us a look. Also with the scout team, everyone does a great job with duplicating with the team that we’re going to be playing the upcoming week and what they’re going to do. Going against Denard Robinson and the rest of the offense is great for us as a defense and gives us great competition during the week.”
Question: Eastern Michigan is rushing for 331 yards a game I think it is, what have you seen from them that has been so successful and how do you stop them?
Mike Martin: “They’re a very well coached team and they play together as an offensive line. Like I said, they’re very well coached and they have a mentality that they are going to run the football. As a defensive, we have a mentality that we’re going to stop the run. That’s one of our main, one of our first goals, so it will be a good football game and I’m excited for this weekend.”
Question: Coach Mattison has asked you to drop back into coverage a couple of times in the first couple of games. How comfortably are you doing that and would you rather just rush the passer in the greater scheme?
Mike Martin: “Whatever coach thinks is going to be best for the defensive to be successful at, I’m all in for. Something I’m now comfortable with was dropping back since I’ve been doing it since coach has gotten here during spring ball and fall camp, so it is something I’m very comfortable with. As well as the other guys, we’ve had a few guys just getting used to it just in case coach wants to throw it in there. That is something we’re all comfortable with and whatever coach thinks is the best thing to run for the upcoming week is what we’re going to run.”
Question: How many picks have you gotten in practice?
Mike Martin: “I think just the one.”
Question: Do you know anyone on Eastern’s team, do you keep in touch with anyone of there from high school or anything?
Mike Martin: “No. I know Mike Hart is coaching the running backs over there. So obviously I have a pretty close relationship with him just because he has been over here to play here and everything so that is kind of funny.”
Question: Have you and him gone back and forth at all this week?
Mike Martin: “No I have not talked to him at all this week.”
Question: Once in a while you see a guy taking a peek at the scoreboard, have you caught yourself looking at all as the game is going on after a play or something?
Mike Martin: “Yeah I look up there. It’s cool just because of how big it is and how clear it is to be able to see. Those things are amazing. Yeah on the sideline just glance up there. It is easy to see when the offense is up there. We can sit on the bench and just clearly look up without having to stand up and actually look at them play. It is helpful.”
Question: Did you and the captain’s feel any need after the Notre Dame game, the high of that game to kind of not have any hangover from that game; preparing for Eastern, it is not the same type of hype obviously?
Mike Martin: “We’re on to this week. Notre Dame, that game is over and we’ve moved on as a team and every game is important for us as a program. Eastern is a well coached, good program and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for them. That’s something that we focus on all week.”
Question: That sounds really easy to say but really, I mean after on Sunday didn’t you have a little bit of craziness after that game?
Mike Martin: “You’re going to enjoy the win for one day and then it is on to the next day. Monday is our off day. The guys come in and watch film on Eastern and then Tuesday is our first day of the week to work, which was yesterday, so we’ve been on to Eastern.”
Question: What do you see from Craig Roh, he’s been pretty absence from the box score, but is he doing things that wouldn’t show up there?
Mike Martin: “Yeah. Defense is 11 guys playing. He does a great job of playing within the scheme and making sure that the defense does well. I had a guy coming up to me talking about his (Roh’s) stats. I don’t know personally, but from what I’ve seen him do in practice, he’s been doing a great job and coach has no problem with him or any issues. He’s out on the field and he’s playing.”