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There's the snap.
It's a play action.
MacMillan rolls to the left.
Nobody is there.
He can stroll past the pylon.
Touchdown two lane, five seconds.
Left it down the court.
Top of the key drives in the paint, right hand flown off the glass.
Left side lost in that space.
Rainbows of three.
Booking MacMillan steps up.
He throws middle, caught by Makovsky breaks out of a tackle.
10 5 angles Forest.
Are you kidding me down to? Are you kidding me? Throw away, Away. Let's get a win.
Welcome back into another edition of The Willy Fritsch show, So glad you could join us recapping what is one of the more difficult games, obviously, for two lane over the past.
Good stretch here, plus, we'll look forward to Southern myths, but coach, we've talked about any number of times.
You'd much rather learn lessons from loss or from wins versus losses.
This is gonna be a tough one to swallow.
As you look back at the film you studied in the past couple of days.
What were the main takeaways for you and your crew as you try to move the page forward to Southern, Miss.
Well, we just got to do a good job converting on third down.
If we're getting third down situations, you know, it zeh execution.
You know, way didn't play very well in all three phases.
I was, you know, outside would catch interference on covering a punt one time way lost leverage and easy play on a on a a pun.
After a safety, we we let the ball bounce on a punt return and got bad yardage, you know? Then defensively we lost our eyes a couple times and, you know, playing man coverage and put him someplace else.
And it's wide, wide open throws.
And besides, the trap up the middle, you know, you know, I thought I thought we played pretty good run defense most of the ball games, so but just, you know, you gotta do for four quarters and we played a ah, good first half.
Not a great first half, but a good first half on.
They just did not play very well at all in all three phases in the second half.
I hate to ask the simple question, but I think fans that you watch, whether it's two lanes, game vs South Alabama or perhaps this game against Navy.
It's almost amazing sometimes that there can be such big swings from first half two, second half.
As you've been doing this coaching thing for a long time now, why do those sort of things tend to happen? Do you have any particular pulse on why there could be such swings from first half the second half? You know, every game is different, you know, and, you know, making adjustments.
We felt like we made great adjustments at halftime, other Navy game as well.
But then it really battles down Thio, you know, play call and execution.
You know what's what's the play call? You're putting you guys in a good spot to be successful, and then are they executing that call? You know, basically all three phases and, uh, you know, you know, if I had the answer for you, I'd, uh I'd give it thio, but, uh, it zits those two things, you know, we talked at halftime about how we were at home, hold a couple of years ago.
We were up 21 step and they came storming back.
We had to get a two point conversion to win.
And I thought, our guys, you know, uh, you know, sometimes you get out in front of you gotta have that same killer instinct on Duh.
Uh, just play calls offense to the trans kicking game, and then the execution.
And look, these things have worked in favor for two Lane as well.
South Alabama is one of them.
Last year, the Cougars got out big, and Tulane was able to flip that in the second half.
A Sfar as the quarterback position goes, Coach, what conversations have you and the staff had around that position this week? Oh, you know, we've talked quite a bit about it.
You know, Uh, Kion has done an excellent job, you know, in practice preparation, all those things.
Obviously we need we need a little bit more, uh, you know, a little better performance, Uh, from a better results.
He knows that, you know, we know it as well, and, you know, we're want to help him with all the confidence that he can.
You have and, uh, you know, he's, uh, you know, it's not because of lack of preparation.
I'll tell you that much, these guys that he prepares as much as anybody that I've ever had my career.
Andi, he's been close in a lot of regards, you know, we've actually had quite a few drops.
I think four or five drops Week one and then you know, to really key drops this last week that hurt us.
You know, when you get those and people kind of forget about quarterback a little bit because those would have been first towns moving the change.
Good things happen, but, uh, you know, as I say all the time, you know, quarterback, it's way too much credit when things go well.
There's a group of guys called the offensive line wide receivers and running backs there, too, and they get way too much blame when things don't go well because there's no same dudes and they're crying out playing as well.
So, uh, you know, you know, he knows he's got to play better.
You know? I think it's interesting you brought up the fact that he wants this so badly because that's been the sense that I think anybody around this program could have picked up over the past.
You know, 345 months watching him out at camp.
I don't know what sort of stories.
Can you tell listeners about what he's done? That illustrates how much he wants this again.
It's a results based things, so the performance has to be there.
But things that you've seen conversations that you've had, actions that he's displayed that illustrates to you is the head coach about why this is so important for Cheon.
Well, he's up here all the time.
I'd come up here every day and work and, you know, in the summer I'll be appearing on Saturday and he's gotten in the office somehow.
He's watching film and got the guys together a ton to Dio, you know, Cem, Cem, Cem pass work, you know, against the defense running routes.
You know, he just he just into football and into being the best he could possibly be.
He's been E one a couple state championships in High School of Laurel High School in the city, in a you know, he just he's a winner, earning wants Thio.
He wants to do it here. Two lane, too.
So if you guys have to make the decision, or if it comes about that, you might wanna toy around with the quarterback position, how much does the fact that this is effectively become a free year of eligibility impact? The line of thinking that you Coach Hall and anybody on the offensive side might have about how you would rotate guys? Well, it's, you know, one of the things we talked about, the guys, you know, she everybody's available to play, you know, from Game one through Game 11 S o, that's that's not, you know, gonna be an issue.
We wanna play the guys that we think put us in a It's a little bit different, you know.
Used to be the first half of the season, four games and all those kind of things.
But they changed the rules and made him much more liberal, and it's even more so this year.
But, you know, we wanna play the guys that we think give us the best opportunity to win, All right, so I'm not trying to push the ball too far down the road here.
You've obviously already told the media that Cheon is going to start against Southern Miss.
So that should be stated.
But just in terms of the development that you have seen from Michael Pratt from Justin, I be ETA from the time that they stepped foot on campus for Pratt, that was prior toe. I be ETA.
What growth have you seen? And where is their game? As we sit here today, I've seen excellent growth out of both of them.
You know, the thing is so difficult is your quarterback is a position that is unique.
You know, I could put a right corner safety if I had Thio.
Ah, left tackle it right guard.
If I had Thio, you move receivers around and linebackers from spot to spot.
But quarterback is just completely and totally unique.
And you've got Thio Keynes's how you, you know, evaluate quarterbacks.
You know, practice is important.
No, no ifs, ands, buts or maybes.
But it's games that really show you how guys is gonna react how he plays.
Let's talk about the defense for a second.
How do you feel about that unit and maybe specifically the back end? Because we saw at times some really nice things But at times, uh, whether it was South Alabama, we talked about Kyle Myers needing to get adjusted Some of the deep balls that Navy hit.
So the defense as a whole and then specifically the back end one of the conversations there.
You know the thing you just gotta do in the secondaries, have great eyes and do a good job of now.
We're looking at all the window dressing and, you know, you know, that hurt us a couple times on Saturday.
You know, they get a lot of things going on.
You know, they they switch receivers at the line of scrimmage in the routes, or they go ahead and switch.
You know, 5, 10 yards down the football field, you gotta be able to sort that out.
You know who your covering? You got to do it quickly and get that up a couple times and and that's That's the you know, you almost they almost make you play, man, you know, to play zone, you're gonna be a body short to play the run.
They're just gonna run it against you.
So, you know, it gives you an opportunity to play the run when you're playing man, but you got to sort those things out and and have good eyes and understand exactly who you have waited some assignment bus in that regard.
That was a position we talked about in the preseason.
How much of this is? Maybe you miss a guy like PJ Hall that could get guys lined up for Is it just These guys need to have their own personal growth.
Yeah, they gotta have their personal growth again.
It's playing games, you know, the all the practice you want, But you gotta get out there and playing the game.
Take what you from the practice field, what you learn and how you perform and do things and then do it on game day.
And you're right.
Get everybody lined up, you know, but way are not so complex that the guys you know, thinking about eight things on staff of the ball, you know, he's gotta know what he was.
Assignment is, and due to the best visibility, right, So let's talk about Southern Miss, Uh, this has been a rivalry over the years.
It's still something that you've only coached in now a couple of times.
But what sort of emotions and understandings of this battle for the bell have you developed now is the head coach.
Oh, I know that.
You know, uh, two lane in Southern Miss have played a bunch in the past.
And I think Southern Message 23 8 is out it or something like that.
They do have the advantage.
Except for last year S O.
You know, it's a big rivalry.
Obviously, we've got a lot of pride in our program and the American Athletic Conference were former members of the Conference USA that Southern Miss plays in eso.
There's a lot of pride in that regard.
We're close, you know, or an hour and 40 minutes 45 minutes down the road.
You know, I know this year is different than other years, but, you know, we're gonna start playing them on a regular basis here in a couple of years.
And, you know, I think they'll bring over, you know, 10,000 people the game, and we'll bring over 10,000 people with the home and homes that will play against them.
So it's a good rivalry.
Uh uh, mostly because of the proximity to each other, so I think probably a lot will be made of their very young 30 year old head coach.
Born in 1989 coach, he's the youngest and FBS.
He was also a division three head coach, a 26.
But before that, they've got new offensive and defensive coordinators.
If you go back to the ballgame, how much has changed from I guess It was January 4th when two Lane beat Southern Miss two this season.
Now, not only is it a new head coach, but you've got to new coordinators quite a bit different.
You know, that's that's something we gotta, you know, you know, Luckily, we got a couple games toe work off of you work off guys in this summer's well, where they're at prior toe come into their new place, you know? So we do have a couple of games. Thio.
Look at that, You know, shows you the difference is a lot of the same things in the kicking game.
But yeah, there are some Cem based things that are different with their philosophy now, how challenging and dangerous look.
Jack Abraham played pretty well in that first half for Southern miss against Tulane in the Armed Forces Bowl.
He gets banged up.
And then it's Tate Watley that comes in the second half, and Tulane has a field day against the backup.
So So Jack Abraham is a talented quarterback.
What makes him a challenge on Saturday for the Wave? Accurate just doesn't make a lot of mistakes.
I think he's throwing close to 70% clip right now, and, uh, they do a good job of giving him some easy throws.
You know, Andi, he's accurate with him, and then he runs it well enough, you know that You got to respect his ability to run, you know, you could pull it on zone, reads.
And and, uh, you know, I didn't get the Arctic is there s so help me understand to stats that seems somewhat, maybe backward.
Um, it's early in the season, so maybe that's why, but I think Southern Miss is second in the conference passing yardage.
They throw it pretty well, but at the same time, Abraham has been sacked a handful.
I think they're like second toe last in the conference in terms of the number of sacks allowed.
Eso how have they been able to be so efficient yet giving up some pressure on Abraham.
You know, you get people in your long yardage situations, and then the quarterback's gotta pat the ball a little bit, and that's when you get pressure on him, you know? So it's, uh it's good close coverage.
There's been a couple times they've done some play pass and he's had to hold the ball, you know? But the longer developing routes, you gotta be firm in your protection.
And if you're not, that's when you get the sacks.
So we skipped over the facts initially that they've got a new head coach and interim head coach.
What? Look, I know schematically.
They're probably not different from Coach Hobson, but in terms of the way that they've showed up on Saturday against Louisiana Tech, what did you notice, If anything that was interesting to you about playing under this new interim head coach against Louisiana Tech? You know, you watch the game. I was watching the T.
I watch TV copy and I watched the game trade that we get and they had a bunch of enthusiasm.
They were getting effort and being very enthusiastic and, you know, I think you know, sometimes when that occurs, you guys feel like they got a new lease on life, you know? Want to impress the new guy and show what they can dio How heartbreak.
And do you think they were against Louisiana Tech? I'm sure you've been through moments like that before in terms of the challenge that they face and how they're going to respond.
What do you expect? And how do you communicate that to your team? I was kind of both of us, you know.
Both had that heartbreaking, you know, last Saturday, you know, and, uh, you know, that was tough for both of them, you know? And that's, uh he's gonna be a key.
How you know which team bounces back on a more positive manner on, does it Quickly.
All right, Coach, I'll leave you on this one.
Our guest this week is Perry Nickerson.
I know he's a guy that you've had a lot of respect for.
A guy that helped you transition this program when you got here.
When you hear the name Perry Nickerson, what sort of thoughts and stories come to your mind? Oh, just a great young man.
His nickname is the mayor of Uptown.
And, you know, I've gotten to know his his younger brother and his grandpa and just just good family.
Could people, you know, he you know, Perry would, uh, go around and talk to all the players.
And, you know, you can share tickets if, you know, if one of the, you know, freshman, then didn't have anybody come in the ball game.
You know, you could get therefore tickets, and she was sometimes period have upwards of 30 40 people at the game.
You know, you get tickets from everybody.
And, uh, but that's also Perry.
He's nice guy, You know, everybody, but everybody likes him.
They wanted to get their tickets to them, you know, on duh.
But he'd start used to t some of the guys off because they'd be talking, got a cat and get some more tickets for this weekend, You know? God****, Perry's taken off, you know? So, uh, good young man, I met him and his gal.
His gal came this summer as well.
Nice young lady.
And he just just a really good person were so happy for all of his success.
Thank you so much for your time.
And best of luck against Southern Miss. Thank you.
All right, thanks so much.
The head coach, Willie Fritz.
And before we get to Perry Nickerson, a conversation with our resident lawyer Jimmy Organo joins the podcast in just a second.
The Willy Fritsch show here on the current is brought to you by Acadian Ambulance.
Be so topo and ho tart Motor coaches, plus the Louisiana Lottery and the Children's Hospital of New Orleans.
Alright, So chatted with Jimmy or no recently about the first couple of games here for to land some of the things that he has liked and obviously the struggles against Navy.
Plus, we start off with his history against Southern Miss dating back to the 1998 season here for Jimmy Organo.
First off Jimmy, we need to come up with some sort of name for this segment, whether it's perfect ****ysis or 12 and Exynos or something in reference to the 98 season.
But first off, thanks for jumping on with us.
Let's start with the Southern Miss serious.
What's your what's your history with the Southern Miss battle for the Bell.
I don't have a great history with other Missed.
The only the only positive, um, experience we really had in my four years was during the 98 season.
We won that game in the Superdome, uh, in in a great game.
But otherwise, every you know, a lot of pain associate it with that place.
That particularly going to Hattiesburg.
And I'm I'm actually going on venturing with my family to the game this weekend.
And I mentioned to Car Shannon, who's, uh, g A on our weightlifting staff and 98.
But he was a Southern Miss player and a sort of legendary Festina's got there.
And I said, Look, you know, I got people refusing to come because, you know, last they said the last time they came here and left a mark on, and that's been the history to uncompetitive games at that place and in the very first game, I think after the 98 season, when I was gone that Cosell postseason, they got their teeth kicked in at the Rock.
Um, in that first game in 99 as well.
Remember making the reference during the ball game a season ago that When two Lane tends to have a good season, it tends to beat Southern Miss.
I think, if you go through it, whether it's 1998 2002 maybe, and obviously last year, with two Lane going back to back in bowl games, all winds over Southern missing there.
But like you said, Southern Miss obviously has had the program history in the tradition, and I don't think two Lane has gone back to back victories against Southern Miss since like the early eighties.
So it certainly would be nice to do that this year.
I'm here to see it.
You know, we got some work to do, but but certainly, uh, would be great to see that that that is just I have a lot of respect for that program and Andrea, if anybody has been hurt most by the modern changes in college football, I think it's them.
I mean, that was a very proud and strong program for a number of years and sort of the the conference marginalization I'll call while telling was affected by it.
I think we also get positive effect assert degree with the American could be easily the other G five conferences but that the Conference USA label really hurts them.
Their talent level has slipped.
And, of course, their TV, you know, just the revenues and all those other things have hurts other myths.
And it's a shame, because that was a premier Southern program that was on it.
You know, sec, um, for years, Yes, and it's funny, actually, before we recorded this, just did a radio interview with station up in Mississippi and they asked me, How is life in theory merican treating you, Which on the flip side, is almost kind of, you know, little brother looking up to Big Brother.
Not that two lanes, big brother in this situation.
But yeah, you can sense probably a sense of longing that, uh, maybe they had wished the conference Domino's felt differently.
And you talk about the television money.
That's exemplified by the fact that this game is on stadium, which is which is not, with all due respect, an actual television network.
Not to say that it can't get a ton of streams online and all that kind of stuff, and we're moving into a cord cutting world.
But still there's a difference there.
Okay, so Let's talk actual football on the field.
Um, so Navy was tough, just, to put it mildly, whether it's talking to Coach Fritz or Coach Hall, you know some of the things that killed two Lane in that game or fairly obvious, you know, dropped passes.
Throws were not accurate for two lane.
At times, the defense got burned in the back end on a couple of throws by a team that doesn't typically throw the football like that.
Maybe you got back to the fullback diver, the fullback trapped, and it just totally changed in the second half.
I may have checked off everything on your list, but as you digested it, what were some of the If it's that greats or other things that that you left the stadium going, man, that's Ah, that's something I'm going to circle in the X's and O's meeting this week.
The hardest thing about it was just looking back because I I have not been brave enough to watch every clip.
But I'm going back and watch selected plays and you know, there's the big picture concern of what's going on.
I think the two big picture concerns come out of this game and really the first two games is our passing game.
What's going on there and and and and in our pass defense, you know, not the rush, but the but the back end coverage wise, Uh, neither of those have looked particularly strong so far, and we think that could be better.
But really, the Navy loss.
You can forget all the big picture stuff, and there's just a number of singular placing and pointed.
If any one or two of these goes another way, we win the game.
I mean, that's what the margin of error came down to, and you think about the drop.
Not a great pass, but drop by Mariana third, downplay the drop by Terek James, you know, hit him in his back shoulder pass.
But, I mean, it's inside his body.
You know, you've got to make the catch those extend driving and just the one play that has has haunted me since I've gone back and watched it.
There's the third and four, um, right before the fourth down conversion that that he had the bailout to throw tomorrow that was short of the sticks.
But that third and four was, you know, in Navy territory.
And you had the right play call.
You had a counter call with Taj Spears that we had numbers on play Side s so much so that the pulling guard had no one to block.
He had a free path up to the free safety.
The, uh at worst, he misses that block.
The safety makes a tackle with the first.
Now we kill the clock some or but the play gets blown up by Diego Fat Go, uh, firing on the backside of the play in just to your better linemen.
Sincere Haynsworth and Dublin on there Block combination.
Not recognizing the stunting fired fast enough to just chip him.
I mean, if you just get hands on the guy and you, he's out of the play in your running.
It's either a touchdown at a minimum first down.
And I mean, it's like it's just the small things that when your when your when your gut punch like we were leaving the stadium Saturday, you don't really think about what you look at those on film.
And it just drives you crazy because that was right there for the taking and I know that those guys kicking themselves over, you know, just those opportunities gotta limit those types of mistakes on Do you know, if we go to exit to notice here, I'm gonna be out of my depth.
But I do know Coach Fritz mentioned throughout the course of this week that that Navy got creative in the second half when it came to their blitz packages in terms of which guy would blitz based on the way that a certain member of the offensive line would take their first steps.
I'm not saying it was revolutionary blitz concepts.
I don't want to stretch it to that point.
But they made a halftime adjustment.
They changed the way that they wanted the blitz.
And they obviously committed Ah, lot of people to stopping the run game.
And to the credit of Kenya Model Olo and that coaching staff.
They made a couple of significant changes in the second half and on it just was able to stick against a Tulane team that you know, Tajae Sphere said it probably throttled down a little bit more than they needed to in the second half.
Yeah, and you could see it they it was, but we knew going in that Navy's demon.
The scheme has built largely on confusion, and I really don't know why I'm or teams don't do this.
I know the old Southern Miss teams under John Thompson.
His defense is or like this.
It's always harder than over the line.
It's harder to me and then all of the lineman when I don't know who I'm supposed to block so you can get caught out of position and give up big plays when you're jumping around and things like that.
But Navy, what they do pre snap, they'll they'll row from odd thio, even front and vice versa.
This changes your blocking assignment, particularly a man blocking page plays those of your powers and counters and things of that nature.
Um, you know, so they do that pre snap.
But then they also do post snap.
So the play I was describing to you, they're they're taking a guy who's lined up on the outside half of the guard.
I'll save the jargon outside half of the right guard, and he is stunting he.
In other words, he's not.
Instead of rushing straight through that gap, which is happy you would expect them.
And he comes all the way across the face of the center, into the other sides.
They got the gap between the garden center, right? Right.
And then go instead of flowing with the counteraction are staying play, You know, the fake side he's shooting into that be got that was departed.
I mean, and so those are things that are gonna cause you in office a lineman to think on your feet and to pass off the defenders, you know, on instinct.
And, you know, in that situation where you're really struggling or whatever recognition if it's not right, and you don't react quite fast enough, they make the big players like we saw not to go too far off topic.
But you mentioned what Southern Miss used to do.
If I'm not mistaken where they sort of I don't wanna go too far and say founders of but they played that old amoeba style defense where the guys would just kind of be moving around before the snap.
Um, I remembering that correctly.
And and I forgot what? They don't remember what they called it.
Um, they didn't use the amoeba was the pro.
You know, when they when they hit the pro ranks, you know they got you think that's where that was revolutionized but the same principle, right? Correct where you kind of just had guys walking and meandering around the line of scrimmage and they knew where they were going and you didn't know where they were going.
And, you know, the typical response to that is to go into more of his own blocking principles.
But yeah, it's it's hard, It's hard. Thio.
It's hard to be sound against it just because you don't know where they're going to be, you know? Now, on the other hand, you can.
They can open up the huge, gaping holes if their meandering around on one side, the line of scrimmage and guys responsibilities on the other.
And then he becomes really easy to block. At times.
It just seems to me that most of the time it worked out in their favor, all right, so let's talk about the two things that you talked about there, and quite frankly, I don't want to belabor the quarterback point because I think I talked about it with coach Fritz, and to an extent, it's Cheon Just miss throws.
So to go 10 rounds on the fact that Cheon just missed throws seems like we're ba laboring the point.
So that's play that's got to get better.
Obviously, I don't think that would be saying anything that Cheon doesn't know, but I'm curious to talk about the back end defensively for two Lane.
This was a unit that I think we knew at the start of the season was going to need to grow quickly.
Ah, unit that probably had skill with Jalen Monroe had experience with Chase Kirsch in, but it also lost significant members with the carriers keys and the guy that Captain that secondary PJ Hall.
It adds Kyle Myers, a guy from Florida State that you know, probably has skill sets, but he's transitioning.
Defense is here, Um, you know, where do you begin with that back end that has bits and pieces but has struggled to find consistent play through two games? I think part of it is the and this is, uh, this is hypothesis.
I guess you would say it's not like I'm going back in confinement.
I think part of it is that missing PJ Hall factor having that understanding of where everybody's supposed to be in, lined up correctly and just sort of being confident that, you know, you're passing off the receivers appropriately, and then you you're in the right places.
Um, at times it looks a little bit frenetic back there are, has in which early in the season, less scrimmage time and all that. That's part of the deal.
Um, I expect that to get better.
I think that the talent Attn least the cornerback position will say you know, the sort of different things but the cornerback position.
I think there's some natural talent there.
There's maybe an experienced deficit that we'll get better with time.
I think there's been a tendency in coach for it this time here, where early in the season question I'm questions like, man, I don't know if we got the horses back on the back end the cover in our league and then by the end of the season the coverage is much better.
So I think we're going to see some of that now.
You know, Chase is a great team leader and chases good against the run and knows where to be.
But, you know, elite passing attacks can have taken advantage of him in the past and then his counterpart of safety, whoever it is, is just not very experienced.
But so Larry Books is gonna be out the first half, Uh, make it.
Clark is really an experience.
And then, Larry, you know, we'll see some or Larry in the second half, But, you know, that's just a work in progress that I think is going to come with game time.
Adjani Curry when he's in at nickel? Uh, same thing, you know? I mean, he's got experience elsewhere, but not in Jack Curses scheme.
So I think we just need the game wraps.
The problem is Jack Abraham and his set of receivers present a big challenge, and you know you would.
You would rather get those reps against the less proficient passing attack, but the cards were dealt.
It's not like Jack Curtis wants to blitz on every single play, but this is mostly a man defense if I'm not mistaken.
So guys like Jana Monroe and Kyle Myers, or whether it's a safety, however, the matchups on a given play, uh, shake out.
They're gonna have to place Amanda, man and Winds of battles and be on islands there and be successful.
And, you know, I guess we sort of saw that not come together against Navy.
Where? And it's a little bit different, right against Navy with that scheme.
I understand that.
But they just ran past some of the defensive backs at times, and you lost some of those one on one battles.
And you could go back to the South Alabama game when Kyle Myers was struggling against Colbert and they had to make the switch to put Monroe on him toe win that one on one island battle, right? And and, you know, with Navy so much there's so much focus on on on stopping the run and then you're outside.
If they're guarding a slot back or the X or whoever in that Navy scheme, you're gonna be on the island and then you're looking in the backfield for the run.
So a lot of it is okay.
I'm burned initially, but I'm gonna play catch up and make me able to make the play before Ah, quarterback who is not a pass first type of guy can make a pinpoint throw now.
Credit Day Lamar's for making some throws that look like a guy who's a drop back passer, you know? You know, he put some pinpoint those in there that that hurt us.
But you wonder if jail Monroe was able to go and play in that Navy game whether he could have been initially beat, been able but able to use his makeup speed to break up even just one of the long passes again we're talking about.
The margin of error was almost non existent for Navy.
You know, you just take away one of those long touchdowns that changes the game completely.
So you know, that was a factor.
Jalen is by far our best defender, man, defender in the back end.
And he wasn't there last week.
And, you know, I suspect we'll have him back this week.
Ah, yeah, I think Jill Monroe should be full speed.
Not significant injury, but just a little shaken up and slowed him down against Navy.
And it's gonna be good, right? Because their best player, it appears, is there wide receiver Tim Jones, who has about 300 yards so far, um, as well as a couple of touchdowns.
You know, I'll leave you on this in terms of, ah, key to the game.
The question I asked Coach Hall throughout the course of the week.
The one that intrigues me some is, is the weakness of Southern Miss, at least on paper, so far has been they've given up explosive plays in the passing game.
They've been decent at stopping the run, but teams have been able to get to them through the air.
That's not two lane strength so far.
So if you're an offensive coordinator on your tryingto get creative in terms of how you take your strength and match them up against the opponent's weaknesses, how do you try to piece that together if your Coach Hall this week knowing that kind of their weakness is also something that you're not quite a strong at right now? Yeah, well, you know that that is obviously concerned, and however good they are against the run, there would be really good against the run if they don't respect the threat of the past.
And so that's something that we're gonna have to work our way through, you know, the one of the better balls Cheon through was the was the go route Thio Mike Jones, where there was interference that it wasn't called correct.
And I just wonder if if they respect him, so little are they challenge him so much that they're they're gonna play one on one man stuff without safety help whether you just give cheongsam admittedly less high percentage those, but in some ways easier throws to make and just give him some balls outside the numbers to go through it to your big fast guys and see if they can go up and make a play for you.
In other words, these receivers who have not all you know, we've had some drops but give them an opportunity to gain some confidence and make plays and make your job is a quarterback a little bit easier.
Uh, rather than, you know, reading a 34 man progression coming across the middle and all that and you know, so I think you can You could take advantage there and then the other thing is that if they are heavy man, you would think that you could get a Mario Tajae speeder than a one on one space situation where they could be the linebacker to a spot and and see if you can, uh, capitalize that way as well.
It certainly would be a good game for a Mike Jones or do Squats or one of those guys to make their grand debut for too late, that's for sure. Jimmy Order.
No, thank you so much and enjoy your time Fingers crossed in Hattiesburg this weekend.
I appreciate Andrew, Jimmy or no, of course, a member of the 1998 undefeated team, plus a member of our Tulane Sports Network broadcast crew.
Steve Barrios, the Hall of Famer from back in the seventies.
And Gus Cat Geller, sideline reporter as well.
The Willy Fritsch show right here on the current.
Brought to You by Mandeville Seafood and Crystal Clear Imaging.
We round out our show leading up to Southern Miss with a conversation I had not too long ago with the mayor of Uptown, one of the great defensive backs that have come through the Tulane Green Wave program in the past couple of years.
Perry Nickerson, You came to Tulane as I understand it at an interesting point, Um, when Coach Johnson was trying to put kind of a refocus on getting local talent into the program.
Um, how would you describe the moments when you first started getting recruited to Tulane? Obviously, you knew the program being from the area.
But when Coach Johnson and his assistants started recruiting you, what were those moments like, Man, it was great.
It was a great process.
It was a great opportunity.
Um e I thought I saw a lot more, but I went toe to lane official visit.
Man opened my eyes to a much bigger picture.
Um, and not just, you know, football wise, but also academic wise.
Um, coming out of high school, I wasn't heavily recruited.
You know, I just had, like, three officers laid off from Cincinnati, But I guess I gained notice that two lanes football camp when I ran a fast for the time.
Oh, but after that, you know, I've been in constant no contact with coaches as far like the 200 coaches.
Then they have been, uh, very helpful.
My my years, Uh, the the recruiting process.
It was ah, lot of guys from Louisiana area, you know, all that area.
And, you know, guys that I played against in high school, um, and that played in different districts in my high school.
So it was just like, you know, getting to play with those guys.
It was a win win six waiting for me and then having that great academic song school.
Uh, we just No, it just I open.
Uh, and one thing you know, my parents and grand grand parents always told me was Thio.
Get my degree, then.
You know, as some now we start to a lot going on and then recruited teams or college teams.
What did it mean to them, your friends and family To have the opportunity to keep you fairly close by the fact that they would be able to see Perry play on Saturdays most of the time, as you were looking right? You said Cincinnati.
Perhaps a couple of others as you were looking.
What were they saying to you about the family bond that you could keep? Yeah.
I mean, like I said, it was three cars, this mag niece and laid off from Cincinnati.
But I had already made up my mind because, you know, two lane felt at home.
You know, I was close to my family.
I was able to They was able to come see me on, you know, practice played games.
You know, when we was in the Superdome until, you know, we got a new stadium uptown.
Um, it was just ah, blessing and and one of the greatest, you know? Ah ha.
Say one of the greatest times in my life, you know, just to see a big group of family members in the science.
You know, what with a some type of parent.
Nicoson 17 shirt on jersey.
Um, one memorable moments when, uh, playing u l l and my after the game.
I guess my my sister sent me a picture of my dad.
Uh, ESPN is happy and celebrating on the animal on TV.
And, you know, Dad, that was, uh that was just amazing feeling to me, You know, that I have my family members always that rude for me, and, you know, I'm always support me, you know, do whatever.
Uh, well, chip will chip away at a few of those moments because I've got a couple of specific games that I wanna ask you about, but, you know, it was interesting taking through some of the research.
Um, Coach Johnson is at least credited with being a part of the reason that Ed Reed went to Miami.
I don't know if you knew that.
If that was a factor at all.
A desperate hand guy who ends up at Miami and Ed Reed obviously has been, You know, one of the greatest defensive backs of the past couple of decades was that Was that a factor to you that Coach Johnson is sitting there? He has recruited the New Orleans area.
He is a guy that understands this place.
He did help develop Ed Reed.
I mean, court Johnson always talked about, you know, God, Uh, he told the Miami, uh, hey, coached at the same time.
You know, just seeing those guys accomplishments and where they're heading.
And they went what they did, you know, at home, you know my eyes like, you know, why can I You know, I cannot be one of those guys.
Um they showed me great amount of love, you know, dark And during the process And during the time that two lane and I thank him for you know, it's interesting.
I think a lot of guys come out of high school and there's the expectation that NFL is going to be in their future.
I'm getting the sense and correct me if I'm wrong that these guys at Tulane and I'm sure Coach Fritz When he became the head coach, they opened your eyes to the possibility that it's not just Perrie Nickerson from West Jefferson High School, which is amazing.
Don't get me wrong, but it could be Perry Nickerson, NFL football player.
It sounds like they helped take you to the place where Perry Nickerson could become this type of player.
Oh, yeah, most definitely.
You know, one thing about Tulane, I could say they they help you to help you along the way and support you along the way.
And, um, instead of ah, you know, like course, Chris says.
That was a four year degree.
It's a 40 year degree, and in I believe that 100% because their time that to land, you know, you meet people, you know that you may not never know you, you know, may need in the in the future and building the resource and you know, helping around the campus and stuff like that.
You know, it's just on it's advantage.
Um, not just for life after football, but, you know, like during football as well.
You know what I mean? Bone.
They helped tremendously, and I and I love the things have gone, you know, with the younger guys.
And you know more than those guys to understand, you know? Yes, you're a football player.
But you also have to concentrate on, you know, life after football, because, you know, you never know anything may happen and you know that za rapid football.
So I really think, um no, both coaching staffs.
I had, uh, for installing it.
Yeah, for sure on talk about things that you never know what's gonna happen if I'm understanding correctly.
You came into two Lane with a bit of any problem? Yes.
Okay, So walk me through that situation and again, right? You stay close to home.
You've got your family right across in the West Bank.
How important was it to have that support system that you found out about an injury when you show up at two lane and they have to work through and you've got your support system.
Walk me through that whole situation.
Okay? Actually, so going to too late, I It all started high school.
E think my joint here.
Me being an athlete and a competitive person always find ways the, you know, they took that nobody.
When when I have to And just get through it and, you know, perform the best I could perform.
But, you know, when I got to Lane, not that I had We had one seat where I had one season where I had played one game and then after that, that was, uh, Jackson State University.
My redshirt freshman year.
Um, we decided to, you know, just reassure me and I have surgery, and during the times and the talks of that surgery, you know, I was to, like, probably won't be ableto play again.
You know, be, you know, I guess the Para Nixon eye on today.
But, you know, my whole name was in the back of my head.
I always had faith in my family and supporters always had my back and always was just, you know, support me and encouraged me toe Do what I have to do.
And, you know, every morning I woke up with motivation and faith on my mind.
So I would get up every day and for the treatment therapy.
Do what I have to do.
Go to class and, you know, after class, I do more treatment.
So every time, every opportunity I have toe, you know, on top of my you know, my knee injury I was on top of and I was here to get back, get back in the game, even at practice when those guys practicing, I was always on the sideline trying to better myself, you know, mentally, physically.
And I could remember, uh, my time when I was training with Coach Stephanie Sharp.
Uh, I was telling her like, You know, man, when I get back on there, it's gonna be some really problems on the field on I go always remember me telling her that telling coach arrived at the strength and conditioning coach, Uh, like I would just eager to get back on the feel.
And I didn't let you know.
E didn't let you know. No other words.
Get into my mind that discourage me.
Um, I just know I had had the opportunity toe put myself back on, get get myself back on my feet so I can do what I love to do.
And after my after my after that first season, you know, I came back and I felt better, stronger and ready.
Give me a moment during a game when you came back where you felt like your old football self, I would see the first game.
I think it was in Tulsa.
I was losing a couple 33 deep coverage and I had two receivers to my side and, you know, covered three.
You know, Corner has, um, basically has covered one side to feel, um and I get just remember the ball going up and, you know, I'm speaking dashing to the to the end zone because the guy was actually ahead of me and I got just remember the bug going up.
And I just turned on the speed, jumped in front of modern nowhere and caught the interception.
And, you know, gang of my team mates piled upon and after that, you know, I just was like and it's just kind of it's kind of easy, but man was just a great feeling.
And Oh, I was just at that time I had a knee brace on.
So I know a lot of a lot of a lot of guys.
A lot of teams was gonna throw the ball my way.
And one of my coaches Cool deed.
Used to always tell me you're ready.
They come on the outside, you know, turn.
So I always had that mentality, like, coming my way, be ready.
And, you know, I pushed it every game like that.
So we know that you finished your time.
A two lane with 16 career interceptions.
That second all time for the Green Wave.
Do you have a favorite? One or two interceptions, Perhaps That come to mind throughout the course of your career? I have.
They had a game in Houston.
I actually caught two in that game.
I had one, I don't know how did it but the quarterback was scrambling, and I guess he was trying to throw the ball out of bounds, and they were to close out of bounds.
Um, and I somehow called it.
But one thing about turning doing a 3 60 twist.
And when I called it, I didn't I didn't know, You know, I still have one feeding about, but I try my best to just get my feet in the bounds.
Uh, everybody started celebrating, so I went with it and I thought to myself, And then I looked on the jumbo trying and like, that's an exception.
That's an exception.
And then, you know, later that game, you know, the close game, the game on the line and Houston was was in the red zone.
They need to score toe, win the game.
And I remember just me is playing in the back of his own.
I was just reading the quarterback eyes and I was coming, my man.
But then I saw the core by looking at the open guy.
So I just took a chance.
I dashed Dog broken front, that guy, and he threw it and I caught interception, and I was.
So when I caught that exception, I was thinking about Stone.
You know, E ran into one of my teammates and at that time, like, you know, just get down, you know, you got down on the ground and we want to get everybody.
The whole team just can't jumped on, had a dog pile.
Uh, and they were really fun for being over those times like that.
It's just, you know, just unexplained.
But like I feel on the field off, I think that was your senior season.
Oh, junior senior season coach Fritz was a coach Fritz at the time.
No, no, it was It was my sop****re.
No, it's my freshman.
My redshirt freshman year.
And back off my injury.
So and, you know, my my My whole thing was I know I could have had more career and exceptions, because when I look back at my my second year on coming off, you know, all American question.
Yeah, I kind of got in place.
And that's one thing I learned throughout.
You know, my career.
Never get the place and then never get to be hated.
And listen, Thio, you know, with the media trade you had and stuff like that, you know what you wanna be driven and continue to be yourself.
Continue how That work ethic.
And when I look back at that, I watch Ah, lot of games.
Why? Opportunities to catch interceptions.
You know, I dropped interceptions.
Made the long reads and stuff like that.
Like those things just played in the fact of me being **** into big.
Uh, but, you know, that's all in the past.
And I learned from him on and, you know, the last couple of years, I you know that my my head right and finished the season finished those seasons with with number, In a sense.
All right, so you know, I'm fascinated, and I know it's difficult for guys when they go through what I've talked to any number of guys, especially at Tulane, you're going to go through at times, coaching changes, whether it's a position coach that changes or a head coach that changed.
You went through one, obviously, with Coach Johnson and Coach Fritz.
I know you've developed a good relationship with Coach Fritz, but give me a sense of what those times air like for a player, you obviously keep things very positive.
How do you navigate change, which is always difficult.
You You always wanna have that positivity and the energy course.
Fritz bought what? It was positive.
And, you know, you could feel in it.
Um, you could say you could do everything.
The energies, you know, And he always gave gave off a great vibe to me and the team, Uh, along with his coaching staff as well.
You know, um, morning, some good three coaches.
And throughout that transition, No, I still have, you know, you know, mindset of me.
Just continue being myself and continue doing what I'm doing.
Um, and just, you know, just buying.
Just just I guess this is going with the floor.
What? What? What's going on? Well, at the same time, no, no, to land wouldn't hire, uh, code that didn't know what they were doing.
So I know throughout that transition, Dad.
Oh, we know, You know, we gotta do We have to do, man.
Sure enough, cause first put players in great positions, you know, not just football, but like that football.
What do you remember from some of those early team meetings with Coach Fritz and his staff? Some of the messages that they tried to make sure that they conveyed to you at that time? I remember every team.
Me here, coming.
That thing sparked up with some energy.
Uh, every time you come out of nowhere.
You wouldn't know where he'll come from.
An you just Yeah, e.
And then, uh, you know, that really woke up everybody for those early means, Uh, and still have the wave. Don't beat the wave.
Thing going When he first showed up, we always had that philosophy the way it don't beat the way.
Because that end of the day, um, your biggest competition of yourself, you know? So, um, they had a couple of games where we saw results, so I would sell being ourselves.
Well, I think that's a great philosopher.
And you know, not just football also.
Like Like I said in school, off the field.
You wanna, you know, you wanna be wanna be prepared for whatever happens.
You know, outside of football.
Who gave you the nickname? The mayor of Uptown? A former teammate of mine.
Jordan selling? Um, yeah.
Uh, it kind of came.
I don't know where I came.
I guess I was I was I was big.
I was doing something great at Tulane, you know, I was I would just keeping their culture alive of of the defensive backs that came apart of That was a part of me that was a part of him, George.
Suddenly torrential dolls.
You know, they're strolling with those guys.
No, I was there on my first my first year with those guys that on E.
I learned a lot from, you know, and ever since then it just, you know, that that name is to go.
And I just I ran with it because I was I was like, a top defensive bag in the in the in the country.
So, you know, it was great to have that that representation for too long.
So the mayor of something is just someone that comes with tremendous infectious energy is always smiling at whether it's their professors or the fellow students as you go to the dining halls.
That must have been what it was like to follow Perry Nickerson around campus, right? I mean, just a bunch of smiles.
The professors were happy to see you all that kind of stuff.
Shaking hands, making friends.
That's the deal. Yes, of course.
11 thing I love about two and I go around campus and I would love to everybody, actually, everybody the same treat everybody with respect and, you know, if you know, like I know, like, if you could go toe any of the off the staff members, the employees, the janitors, I treat them the saying And, you know, I approached them with a nice smile.
How you doing today? Um, you know, I made him laugh.
I make him feel good.
And I had great professor that that I had, uh, you could walk around campus and you asked my previous professor and janitors around like they'll tell you like, I'm just that happy guy that you know that just love and have them bring that that positive energy for everybody, you know, because you never know how you can affect someone thing, you know? So that begs the question to me.
So after every single football game, there's always the gathering of families.
Um, what's the Perry Nickerson gathering of family after a football game at Tulane? Because you had so many people show up because there was so much positivity.
I mean, how much space where you guys taken up outside of Yeoman Stadium, And it was funny because every every game before, like I would recruit to you way before the game.
E recruit for Wait three a week, four tickets.
Net those tickets from week one.
You're taking your teammates tickets because they don't need them.
And you dio right, right and man, like being from New Orleans.
I know I had a lot of family that that would love to come see me play, and I just wanted to give him the opportunity to come, you know, watching play and part of, you know, they're part of the celebration.
Uh, and just having that motivation toe pass down toe, You know, I have a lot of cousins and and I have siblings, and I just want them to experience a great time, you know, being more division to those people on kids.
Uh, and when I used to look in the stand, I used to see you. Bye.
I remember one game.
I probably had at least 45.
Think it was one section.
We're just one section well for me and Thio.
Look back on it, man.
I'll go set up a lot of ticket.
What does a Nickerson and your family and friends? Mardi Gras celebration look like? Where is it? Give us the vibe.
Oh, we always tend to celebrate my eyebrow, you know? And I have a gathering in my grandmother's house, but they have, ah, special period that that is called like, non top.
And that's a Melges under the bridge.
Um, and that's where a lot of my family come out and celebrate, you know, parade, um, have crawfish balls.
Spacewalks? Who have kids completely.
Oh, you know, they have a type of seafood.
I'm allergic to seafood, But you're allergic to seafood.
That that was stating for a New Orleanian.
Yes, that is e just be like, man.
You know, Can you even be near it? Because some people that are allergic need to keep a pretty good distance.
Can you at least be around the crawfish boil? Yes, I can be around it.
I'm actually like I guess it is like the shellfish I'm allergic to because I can eat fish.
I guess it's like a chemical or something like that.
What are a dumb booth? Z o z? That's unfortunate.
Uh, for you, for sure.
Hey, I'll get you out of here on two last questions.
First off is the defensive back thing that you were talking about. Rights.
Elaine has started to develop this really nice reputation off producing defensive backs.
Whether it's you, Donny Lewis, Bo Pete gets drafted by the Chiefs this season.
Uh, first off, any particular reason you think this has started to develop in And what does it mean to you as you start to watch these guys find success, man, it means a lot, you know, just the whole world that that we put in, you know, from when we first get there and two lane being a small school, you know, you know, other than, like, a less you Alabama, you know, some of those schools that produce a lot of draft picks.
It means a lot to me, you know, just to be ableto pave the way for guys like that.
You know, I see those guys growth and guys before me seeing my growth.
And, you know, just keep that legacy and movement going.
And I just, you know, I just love to be a part of things like that.
Give two lane, Um, get to land that exposure.
Oh, and to know that is one of the great programs at the college football.
Any particular reason why? Whether it's Coach Fritz, the assistant coaches, I don't know.
It just becomes a reputation.
Um, I feel like as players, we, we we bind together as players and, you know, yes, we have the coaches to lead us, you know, in direction.
But at the end of the day, you know, players spend most time with each other.
We owe building that relationship with each other and, you know, just starting that mindset and each other.
So I would say it just it just came from, like, the player perspective, you know, because and you said, you know, you know, I went to transition, but from the whole, you know, old coaching staff of the new Putin stand.
You know, we all you know, did the same thing and putting them putting a great amount work and, um, just paved the way for guys like me.
Uh, you know, GOP, um e I know it's going to continue.
I know we have some great great corners that, like killing my well uh, Willie Langham.
Uh, so, I mean, is the ever mansion of steak.
I feel like, Well, let's keep it going here.
Last question for you. Perry.
So you've been on the roster with New York? Seattle in Jacksonville? You've shown tremendous resiliency so far in your young NFL career.
I know I'm new to New Orleans, but one of the things that has struck me about the city is there's so much heart.
And there's so much resiliency within the city of New Orleans and everyone that's from their your resiliency and your NFL career so far.
Do you feel like that comes from in part whether it's your family, whether it's the culture of New Orleans as well, coming from New Orleans.
You know, you you'll go through a lot of stuff and a lot of obstacles, and, you know, all those things make you you know it.
This creates, ah, competitive Brazilian nature, and I just feel like, you know, at at the end of the day, can't can't nothing stop because making out of New Orleans is very hard and, you know, because you can easily be distracted by different things, different activities.
So I stayed with that strong minded mentality and stayed on the course and focus and just going through those rules transition from team to team.
You know, I had days where you know I was down, but always remember where I came from.
And, you know, I got back up and I did what I had to do toe to myself in a position Thio to execute and be on the team.
And, you know, it's something.
Then with NFL, you can't change like, you know, coaching staff and, you know, man your staff and you know, all that type of stuff.
So there's some things you can't control, But you can always control your attitude, your work at it and, you know, just continue doing what you do.
And I know from me personally, like I know that I would be I would I would be on the team and I would be one of the best players on the team.
And, you know, I just keep that mentality and, you know, have a big heart.
And wherever I go, I know that I'm gonna be Perry gets into the mirror of time.
That's a good spot to end it.
Thank you so much for your time.
Best of luck this NFL season.
We're certainly proud to have you.
I know Coach Fritz is for sure is part of the two lane family.
Perry. Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you. Thank you. I love y'all.
Two lane family rollaway blasting.
So from head coach Willie Fritz to Jimmy York, noted Perry knickers, it appreciate everyone jumping on the program here this week.
Don't forget, our coverage of two lane in Southern Miss begins on the Tulane Sports Network from their field I m g College at 12 30.
Central kick off at 1 30.
You can always listen on 1041 the spot in the greater New Orleans area.
And if you're outside the region, you can always listen on the tune in Radio App.
Broadcast time from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
My name is Andrew.
Out of thanks so much for listening to The Willy Fritsch show on the current and we'll talk to you from Hattiesburg and the Rock on Saturday