Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio




July 31, 2007

On coming to Michigan State:
"What I have tried to say since I've come to Michigan State is that change affects everybody. Change is tough. It has a way to make you go through some trials and tribulations and it's the same way at Michigan State. Now we are very, very excited about the actions of our players and the attitude of our fans and we're excited to see where we are at come August."

On Arthur Ray's return:
"He is going to try and come back to campus and go to school in September, but he may back it up to January. We'll find out as we move forward. He wants to play football again, maybe in a year and a half, maybe a year, maybe two years. We don't really know, but the attitude he has displayed as a person throughout the entire process is unbelievable."

On his philosophy as a coach:
"I think where it starts is during the first play of the UAB game. It all depends on how we handle ourselves when we have success and when we have failure. There are going to be growing pains as we move forward, I understand that. But we need to play with three things: we need to play with great effort, great toughness, and we need to know what to do. And if we do those three things, which are the three things that I've really been about as a football coach here, we will be successful."

On defense:
"We won't accept a soft defense. Where I've been and where I've come from, we played well on defense and I expect that to continue. Our players believe in what we have and what we are doing right now. Our defense will be predicated on pressure, on attacking in space and attention to detail."

On the kickoff rule change:
"I believe that when they changed that rule, it had a bigger impact on the game then they had thought. Now there won't be as many kicks into the end zone and you will have to run five more yards to cover. The ball will be coming out quicker and more effectively. I'm a little bit of a defensive coach so I wasn't really in favor of the change. You will need to have great speed and it will make it more critical for teams to have a kicker who can put it in the endzone."