September 14, 2009 - by
Watch The Monday Football Press Conference Live On

Dec. 14, 2009

Jimbo Fisher spoke with the Florida State media on Monday to discuss the upcoming preparations for the 2010 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. Below is a full transcript from the press conference:

(On West Virginia’s defense)

You’re seeing a lot more three down front than you’d see.  They are a 3-3 stack team but we’ve seen it two or three different times this year – forms of it… a lot of your same principles are close to the same.  There are some different angles here and there.  But it’s still a three down front so your principles and what you do still apply.  You change some angles and reads on some things.


(Is there a best way to attack that kind of defense?)

I don’t necessarily say that.  Again, it goes back to players.  I mean all defenses, you get X’s and O’s, you have to remember the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s.  It gets back to how you are going to attack each individual player and their strengths or their weaknesses or what we feel we have an advantage on or don’t have an advantage on.  That’s still something we are having to do right now is evaluating their personnel and see where we think we can get some advantages.  And they’ll have advantages on their side so how you attack it specifically will also determine on the players and we’re still evaluating that.


(On West Virginia’s personnel)

I’ll tell you what, they’ve done a good job.  They’ve played some good football teams, they don’t give up a lot of big plays.  Some teams have made some plays on them occasionally but they’ve done a heck of a job.  I mean they are 9-3 and had a chance to be in every ballgame they were in.  They’re a very good football team.


(On Bowden’s last game and the importance of having a winning attitude)

I think it is [important] but I think that’s the way we try to go into every game.  You can’t look to say there is more emphasis on any one game more than another because you put added pressure on yourself [and there are] some things that you can’t control.  All you can control is how you play and how hard you play and I hope we had that attitude in every game we ever played in.  Because sometimes you want something too bad, and you end up not getting it because of the way you do things. Sometimes you trip your own self by trying to do too much.  We’ll play the same way as far as our attitude, our effort and the tenacity in which we play with and try to execute a little bit better here and there and make enough plays.


(On deserving to play in the Gator Bowl)

Yes, I think so.


(On how beneficial it is knowing his players as he becomes a head coach as opposed to being hired here from another school)

[It’s] much more [beneficial] because of where you are at.  Not only just with your kids but I think in the program in general.  I mean the support staff, the people around, the organization, the administration, how you do things and how things are done that sometimes when you go in as a new guy and you don’t have any lay of the land or [know] what’s going on its hard and you’ll make some mistakes.  But here you have a general idea and a consensus on what you want to do and some [idea] of how you want to change things because of how they’ve been done or how you want to leave them the same, whatever it may be.  It gives you an added advantage in the time constraints that you have evaluating that.  You can now move on and get to something else in your program.


(On the high level this program is viewed by other coaches)

Yeah, I mean there are some guys that if the opportunities work out and still could come and had opportunities to come that we talked to, yes.  [Florida State] is still a very attractive place and a lot of guys I know – and I have been fortunate to know a lot of very good guys in this business that have been very successful – that want to come back and re-unite at times and if we can, we’ll try to get things worked out but it’s still a very attractive job.


(On juggling all of this)

It’s like recruiting.  Just allot your time.  So much here, so much here.  Break your day down in organization.  Organizations structure is the key to doing it.  Making sure you do due diligence on everything you do and spend enough time.  If you don’t need sleep, you don’t need sleep.


(On background with new defensive coordinator Mark Stoops)

We were never on a staff together.  You meet a lot of guys in recruiting when you are on the road… you watch film on how a guy does.  We have a very good background.  The Stoops brothers, I’ve met them before.  [Nebraska head football coach] Bo Pelini went to school with them.  Bo grew up with them.  They all grew up in Youngstown [Ohio] together.  They all went to school together.  Bo is the same age as Mark and those guys.  I’ve known him from then and even before this.  We talked about him when [Bo and I] were at LSU together.  [Texas defensive coordinator] Will [Muschamp] has met him and knows him.  [Muschamp] has visited Oklahoma at different times.  A lot of people I knew had that background but I’ve always respected what he’s done.  I mean he’s done a good job.  They’ve taken Arizona from – I don’t know where they were – below 100 and got them up to 21st [in the country].  We played them one time when I was at LSU when he was out there.  We played against [Bob Stoops] in Oklahoma when we were in the National Championship… it’s a very good defense and he does a very good job coaching.


(on players getting distracted with the coaching changes)

Don’t see any.  We had a great practice.  Kids are amazing.  They put things away and go about it.  We’re being very professional about it.  We all know it’s not a personal thing.  As you understand when you’re in this business, unfortunately its part of this business that you always have to deal with – the good and the bad.  The kids have been very good and we had a great practice today I thought, especially for our first one.  I was very pleased with the energy level.  Execution at times was here and there but we’re a little farther ahead than where I’ve felt some of the other bowl practices we’ve had.  The kids have handled it pretty good.


(on input Coach Stoops will have on other positions on the staff)

We’ve talked about.  I bounce it off of him.  Guys that he’s had or guys that he thinks for a position or guys that I’ve had and we talk back and forth…and guys you work with.  I’ll ultimately make the final decision on everybody but I still will give the staff input on who he likes or what fits to him and the mold as you meet people and the personalities.  When they meet and talk to the other coaches…because chemistry is as important as anything.  Not just X’s and O’s and being a good coach and being a good recruiter but the chemistry in which you work with and how you get along with people, the same types of people and things like that.  There’s a lot that goes into it but I’ll give him plenty of input.


(On whether or not he will get a quarterbacks coach)

I’m debating on how I want to do that on the side but I’ll still probably coach the quarterbacks and call the plays.  I’m still going to be able to do that and I’ve got time allotment.  I know how I want to do it and how we’re structured.


(On the Gator Bowl being the first game of the Jimbo Fisher era)

No, it’s not the first game.  It’s not even close.  Its Coach Bowden’s game.  Always will be Coach Bowden’s game.  He’s the head coach for this game.  He makes all of the decisions and I’m the offensive coordinator.  And that’s just like it always has been and the Jimbo Fisher era will start when Coach Bowden has had his time, had his games, and did everything he wants to do.  And then I will take over when he is ready for me to do that after the game and then we’ll make our changes and move on.  And that will be our era.


(On whether the game preparation is different with it being Coach Bowden’s last game)

No.  Nothing [different] than anything we did during any of the games during the season.  Coach Bowden is the head coach.  He’s still the head coach for this [game].  I’m just in charge of recruiting decisions right now and staff changes as we make additional hires and things like that.  But as far as the game planning and all of that, that’s just like we did during the season.  Coach Bowden’s the head coach.


(on Coach Bowden during these changes)

Great.  See the thing about it, he’s been great and he and I have a great relationship.  That’s the thing that everybody forgets in this whole mess is that he and I have been friends for 20-some odd years.  He always says every time I go in there he says “You know you’re like one of my kids.”  And he says that every time we’re in there and we’ve had some great conversations since [he announced he was coaching his final game], not only about what to do.  And I’ve bounced ideas on how I want to do it and he’s been good.  And we’ve sat and just talked and had old history and old stories together and we have a great relationship.  I have such a great respect for him.  Like I told everybody, my hero is moving on too.  He was my hero – and all the philosophies and things that I have in coaching.  He and I have a great relationship and it’s been super.


(On any advice from Coach Bowden that has stuck)

“Do it your way.”  That’s the best piece of advice he’s given me.


(On Coach Bowden’s bowl formula and if Coach Fisher had used it at prior coaching stops)

We used [Florida State’s].  We did the same exact preparation.  And that goes back to our history of being around it and what we did and our success we had [at other places].  We researched… and I knew he had the most success so I called back when I was at other places and we did the exact same thing they’re doing here.


(On bowl preparation with this program that has led to FSU’s bowl success)

It works. [Laughter]  We treat it like a regular game.  We try to get around 14 practices and… [however] works out, seven and seven, eight and six, this one will probably work out nine and five.  We’ll do nine [practices] here and have five of them down [in Jacksonville].  The worst thing you can do… you don’t game plan always from the very get go.  Kids get tired of doing the same thing over and over.  Right now we’re trying to work on fundamentals.  Get back to the basics.  First two or three practices get back going against each other, playing fast, getting a look again, getting banged up, getting bruised and learning to play fundamental football and then we’ll inch the game plan in as we go.  It’s like anything, you get stale with things.  I think one of the things guys [struggle with] are you practice too much or you put the game plan in too early… you start doing it over and over then you say well maybe I can tweak that, maybe I can tweak that, maybe I can tweak that and then all of a sudden you’re off into a whole [different] game plan.  The timing of it and overwork – you can overwork something as much as you can under work it.  And I think the key to bowl preparation is finding that right mix to where kids can… New to kids, to me, keeps their attention.  Kids when they think they know something get bored and they drift – and I think the key in bowl preparation is to keep adding those little things as you go and then get it to where you’ve got enough of it [that] you’re getting it repped like you want and getting enough to where you can execute it.  But then don’t overwork it, don’t under work it, and to me that’s the key to coming out in bowl games.  I think that’s what is making it harder and harder.  They keep pushing these things back, the time lapses between the last time you played and the next time you play.


(On how his relationship with Coach Bowden will change when Bowden leaves)

I told him he’s going to have to buy a cellphone. [Laughter] I told him I just want to make sure I know where he’s at because I told him I’m still going to call him and bounce some ideas off him at times with different situations.  Not only for his knowledge but for the knowledge of this place and what he does.  And he said “Fine, you’ll have to find me on the golf course.” [Laughter]


(On Bowden moving away from Tallahassee)

I mean that’s up to Coach Bowden and whatever he wants to do… I think some of that comes from his history of being a head coach and taking over programs and knowing when other coaches hang around.  And I think the situations with his sons at different places when the old coach hung around and they were still there and people would run back and forth.  I think that’s the professionalism in him and that’s who Coach Bowden is.  Whatever is best for people.  He’s not always thinking of himself.  Whatever is best for Florida State to make it take its next steps and where it’s going to go and the changes it will have.  To me, it’s a reflection of the man.


(How is Coach Fisher’s way going to be different than Coach Bowden’s way)

I don’t know.  We’ll sort through that as we go.  But like I said before, a lot of my principles and values and the way I do things, came from Coach Bowden.  And I’ve learned from him over time and stayed in contact with him over time.  So there will be some similarities but then there will be some things that won’t [be similar] because as I said before, I’ve been fortunate to be under another guy in my opinion who was very good in [Alabama head football] Coach Nick Saban, and a guy who has great structure and organization of a program and builds the support systems around his players probably as well as anybody in college football and in this day in time I think [he] is on that cutting edge of doing things exactly the right way.  He and I, the way we did things at LSU, and we still stay in contact, are very similar to the way he’s doing things [at Alabama].  Some of that will be implemented with some of the same core values as Coach Bowden.


(on identity of coaches at West Virginia)

For me as a kid it was Coach Bowden. Because when I grew up, the first college football game I ever went to was a West Virginia game when I was about six or seven years old and Coach Bowden was the head football coach.


(is there a characteristic of West Virginia football regardless of who the coach is)

Yeah, I think very hard-nosed, very tough, very aggressive.  As West Virginians like to say, it’s them against the world.  They’ll back themselves up and say it’s us against the world and they’re going to come at you full force, full go.  In my opinion, they use that as an advantage because they act like its poor West Virginia.  Well, West Virginia has got a pretty good program, they’ve got good facilities and they’ve had good tradition of winning for a long period of time.  They try to make you fall into that little area.  Mentally they try to bring you into that world and get after you.  Watch them go beat Oklahoma a couple years ago, watch them beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl a couple years ago with some of the good teams they’ve had.  They’ve had great success.  They’ll lull you into that [mindset] but they’re going to be tough, hard-nosed, very well-coached, fundamentally sound, and will have much more skill than you’d anticipate.  They can run.


(on West Virginia fans doing what they do)

It’s because they love West Virginia.  It’s a true love and I’m from there, so I know how they think and what they do.  Like I said, I’ve always had the same mentality.  They’re not scared of anybody.  They are hard working people who have fought their lives.   They’ve been coal-miners and farmers and there’s not a lot of huge industrialization.  It’s a very hard-working, tough state.  People take a lot of pride in who they are and what they are as people.  They don’t take a backseat to nobody and they’re a bunch of great people.  I’ve got to fight three-fourths of my family [laughter] they’re all up there. 


(on how tough it was to not pursue the West Virginia job)

It was very tough and I’ve said this before, the biggest reason is because of my family.  The time with my mother and I’ve been away for so long, she’s 71 years old, and knowing your grandkids and all that but then again, like I’ve always said, [West Virginia] is a great place but [Florida State] is one of the places I dreamed of having and I think its a very special place and a very special job and I’ve always said that.  I was a Florida State fan years ago before I even met Coach Bowden.  I liked it and liked what he did and I kind of followed him from West Virginia here and he was probably the reason so.  I met him and was fortunate enough to play around him with the family and got to know [Florida State].  This is a very special place too, you can do everything you want to do here, you can achieve everything you want to achieve, you’re in a great town, you’re in a great atmosphere, you’re in a great state that does it and you have loyal fans and people who love the game.  [Tallahassee] is where I want to live and raise my family.


(on advice from Pelini and Muschamp)

We talk all the time.  They’ll ask me about offensive guys and I’ll ask them.  As coaches in the world, you network yourself.  You always keep a running list of people who you think are outstanding coaches either way.  I don’t always ask them about guys [on a certain side of the ball], I ask him who’s doing a good job against you?  Who’s got a good scheme?  Or [who do] I want to talk to?  Or learn new ideas and how people are attacking different things.  And they’ll ask me the same thing – who’s doing a good job.  We always constantly talk.  First of all, we’re friends.  And second of all, we have a great respect for what each other does and we always try to keep that network going so you can always have guys in which you can hire and bring into your program or you can go talk to or learn from in every way, shape or form.  But I talk to those guys quite often.


(on the possibility of landing Stoops even though he was coaching for his brother)

You’d be surprised.  Sometimes because guys want to branch off on their own and become their own head guys just like Mike [Stoops]’s was [working under his brother] Bob [Stoops]’s.  They move and do the things they’ve got to do.  I’ve met him before and his knowledge of the state – he coached at Miami, coached at South Florida – he’s recruited here and has done very well coaching and I’ve always respected what he did.


(on going head-to-head in recruiting with new running backs coach Eddie Gran)

He and I have been in south Florida for a long time against each other.  He’s always done a good job and always done an outstanding job at special teams.  When we were at LSU and he was at Auburn they were a pain to go against.  That was a great special teams.  His backs always played well.  He had Deuce McAllister, John Avery, Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Brandon Jacobs, Heath Evans and a bunch of other guys at Auburn.  His special teams were great and he’s recruited great.  He is a great position coach, great special teams coach and great recruiter.


(on media’s portrayal of academics and how it affects recruiting)

 It’s huge.  I can’t comment on things that happened before we ever got here.  That was before we were ever here and I don’t know the circumstances behind it and the people [that were involved].  Hopefully as we get out there and recruit, check character and check grades.  That’s one of the things with the NCAA, they limit you as a head coach from going out.  Now our time is getting less and less.  So how are we going to know more about a kid if we have less and less time?  It’s going to be more due diligence and I think we have to do it to where we get the guys here more on-campus on recruiting days, junior days, camps, all of the different avenues so we get to meet a young man, coach a young man at camps, see his intelligence level, talk to him and talk with the people around him.  It’s huge because young men who don’t do very well in school usually don’t do very well on the field.  They all say that but is the young man who was in that article – how did he do on the field?  He had six catches here in one year.  Is that right?  Wasn’t that what he had in his first year here?  He had six catches.  So how did that relate over?  Why would I want a guy who’s not going to be good in the classroom because I have to teach him the same things on the field.  Today’s football is a different animal.  You can’t play with guys who can’t learn.  The old days of saying we’re going to line up like we used to and run four plays and this guy can run and he can’t learn… you can’t play like that.  Guys have to have intelligence, they have to have the ability to learn, and the more we’re around them and the more we see it, I don’t want guys who don’t want to go to school.  If they don’t have ambitions to be better and grow in life and do whatever, even if they love football more than they love school.  I love football more than I love school.  I mean I didn’t love [school].  But I knew I had to have it to get what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, and what’s wrong with that?  We can help educate the world that way.  The thing that makes me upset about ESPN, about when they do that, is that athletes graduate at a higher rate than a normal student who comes into school.  And you’ve got one out of a zillion that it happens to and they want to put that out there.  They don’t talk about the other stories and the high graduation rates on the other end and that they graduate higher than a normal student.  And go through their day and what they have to do.  When they get a chance to do that it’s good.  We’re going to recruit guys with character and with intelligence and we’re going to do it the right way.  We’ll win games with talent.  We’ll win championships with character.  That’s the way we’ve got to go about it.  Character and intelligence.


(on recruiting)

I can’t comment on specific recruits.  I think our coaches work very hard.  The importance in hiring coaches, you always say “well can a guy coach” or “can he recruit?” Well why can’t he do both? At the level we’re at right now at Florida State University we should be able to hire coaches who can recruit and coach and be good people on and off the field.  That’s a sign of what our staff is doing and we are working very hard and trying to put in the hard work and do what we have to do.  And we’re selling a good product.  This is a great place.  Just because we’re not on top right now doesn’t mean it doesn’t take long.  Like I’ve said before, history has proven in this state, that if you work and you do it, even though the other schools have had their time, if you do it, you can get back up there relatively quick.  Now I don’t want to set a timetable because we have to learn to do things and do things right and get other players and coaches.  You have to recruit them, develop them, and then we’ve got to get them in the game to see them perform on the field.  There are three stages to this thing.  Hopefully we think we’re on some good guys and we’re trying to recruit well but we’ve got a good product, a bunch of coaches that work and hopefully we’ll have some more.


(on freshman quarterback E.J. Manuel and the pressure of starting a bowl game)

You don’t worry about, it’s a game.  To me, after you get that first hit and things go on, and E.J. settled down in [the Florida game] and started playing pretty well as it went on and did some things.  You have to forget about that.  Sometimes we put that in their head and we’ll make them think that way.  We’ll put in their head that this is a great opportunity for you to go show the world what you can do and maybe he’ll be one of those guys that will win four bowl games or whatever it may be.  It’s an opportunity.  Don’t look at it as what are you going to do wrong.  Don’t look at the glass half empty, look at it half full.  Now what can I achieve as a freshman guy in my first start on a bowl game on New Year’s Day.  Look at it as an opportunity and don’t worry about it the other way.


(on time for Manuel to get comfortable with a few weeks to prepare for bowl game)

We will and we’ll make sure we do things that [Manuel] can do.  The changes [Manuel] makes now won’t be drastic.  It just doesn’t happen that way.  It takes time, especially at that position.  It takes more time.  I was pleased.  He did some things out there today that I didn’t see him do before we [took a break for exams].  I think he’s just settling back down.  The time I think will help him.  In other words, I went through that in three weeks.  Bang, bang, bang.  Now sit back, look at what I did good and look at what I did bad, evaluate a little bit and then go about my business.  I think that’s been good for him… and I’m anxious to see that myself.


(on difficulty of the coaching transition and the most challenging part of the process)

It doesn’t matter how difficult it is for me, it’s about Coach Bowden.  Out of respect for him, that’s my job to figure that out.  I don’t think it has been [a challenge].  I think the key to it is who are you?  I was an offensive coordinator and that’s all I wanted to be.  I wasn’t trying to be something else.  So I handled that.  Like I tell the kids, control what you can control.  I can control being the offensive coordinator and recruiting the best players.  Now, the transition and trying to do that, categorize it, know who you are, and don’t worry about things you cannot control until your time is there.  I’ve had plans of what I’ve wanted to do for years.  I don’t spend all my time doing that.  I think just staying in the moment of who you are at the present time and trying to do your job the best you can do it.


(on contract status)

We’re dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. About ready to do the I’s and cross the T’s, we’re right at the verge of it.


(on how to successfully recruit despite not having an entire staff in place for next year)

Work.  Work, have a plan and talk.   Recruiting is about relationships and listening.  Everybody wants to say how much you talk.  Listen.  What do people want?  How do you do it? And how can you help them get there?  I hate to say this but how can I help you go where you want to go and where are we going?  Try to lay out the plan of what we’re going to do, how we’re going to do it, where do you see us going and how do they fit in?  And they tell me what they want back and where they want to go and what they want to do and we try to work it out to where it’s at… and some guys it doesn’t [work out].  You say listen, you may have to wait a little bit… you never promise them anything.  You promise them opportunity.  That’s the thing you do.  And again, like I say, we’ve got a great place to sell.  Our staff does a good job I think.  We have good people on our staff.  I think we have a lot of good guys that are fun to be around.  I think they’ve done a good job of getting relationships, we have a good product to sell, and then where they fit in to what we are trying to do.


(how do you succeed in the face of the adversity in recruiting)

Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.  Show them.  Show them with work ethic and what you’re doing and how diligent you are, how persistent you are, the way you pursue them, the way you talk to them, and you do it on a consistent basis day in and day out and you don’t change.  Because you believe in what you do and how you’re doing it.  It’s just like our players.  Like I tell them, we’re going to show you how much we want you by how we go at you, by how hard we go at you and the consistency in which we do.  Ask the people we’ve recruited before, that have played for us before, do we do what we say?  Research us.  Let them do it.  Be persistent on what you do and believe in what you do.  We’ve got a great place which I believe we do.


(on being surprised seeing Saban and Muschamp in the BCS Nat’l Championship game)

No.  They are two great defensive football teams.  It’s funny how that always works out when you get to the end.  I’m an offensive guy and I say it all the time, you look at the end, when all the marbles are on the line, it’s always the guys that play great defense that always seem to be playing right there.


(on when he hopes to have his full staff in place)

Hopefully by the time the first of the year comes around.  When we get back after the bowl game and be able to hit it running, hopefully we should be done by then.  Hopefully during this time and over the holidays we can finalize things.  I’m hoping.


(on being in limbo with everyone else on Coach Bowden’s future a few weeks ago)

It’s not limbo.  Like I told everybody, if he comes back I’m the offensive coordinator and I’m fine with that.  I have no problem with that.  That’s why I was hired and that’s what we were going to do so I didn’t worry about it.  As crazy as that sounds, I was fine with that.  We knew it; we made the contract and everything else so that’s what I was going to do.  And then when it changed, you had to get your feet right and get a couple days to get your bearings and move on.


(on whether he has addressed the team as the future head coach)

No.  Nope.  When I become the head coach I will do that.  I am not the head football coach and have no intentions of doing that.


(on whether he has addressed recruits as the future head coach)

With recruiting, they know.  With the new recruits coming in they know because I will be their head coach.  And they know that.  That’s how we perceive it when we are calling and talking.  I think it [helps].  I think it does for them as far as what they are saying and what we are getting, just because of clarity.  Because like you said, people were saying in the background “well he’s never going to be the head coach.”  But that’s the name of the game.  You have to counteract those things.  That’s not a big factor.  But for them, it has given them some clarity in what they are going to do.


(on current staff that won’t be here next year)

They are the coaches at Florida State right now.  They’re still the position coaches, the coordinators; everything is going to be there.  They are Florida State.  [I] have great respect for them, who they are and what they are and we wish them nothing but the best.  Unfortunately, it is just part of a business that you have to make decisions with leadership.  It’s been very good, everything has been very professional, and we’ve worked very hard.  We still talk, we still smile at each other, we went to a Christmas party yesterday at Coach Bowden’s house, had dinner together.  But people who are in this business understand that sometimes that unfortunately, that’s part of it.  And it shows you their character and who they are and what they are and why Coach Bowden had them on his staff.


(on staying at Auburn after changes were made to head coach Terry Bowden’s staff)

Yes.  I stayed because [Terry Bowden] left in the middle and they made me the offensive coordinator right in the middle of the year.  Now that happened on a Friday night and we had a game on Saturday.  Now that was scrambling. [Laughter] Now that’s not part of the business; that was a little bit different.  But we dealt with it and won the game.  Had a good offensive game, moved the ball and scored points but we didn’t change a lot of things because I was so involved with play-calling anyway at that time in what we did and how we did it.  I installed a lot of it myself.  I always say in this business, never say never in this business.  No matter what it is about anything, anything can happen.


(on whether or not he’ll name an offensive coordinator if Fisher is calling plays)

No, I may name a guy, coordinator to do things.  But I’ll call the game.  I’m going to call the game.  I’ll have a large input on the quarterback and how we coach him and what we do and I may at certain times have a guy look over him if I’m having to do some administrative things but the majority of the meetings and everything we do and how we do it, I’ll still do it.


(on talking to junior quarterback Christian Ponder being happy that Fisher will continue to coach him)

No we didn’t really hit that yet.  I’m just on him about his rehab.  Making sure he’s rehabbing.  [Laughter]  But we had discussed it in the past and I had always said that.  E.J. and him, I was still going to coach them.  I still want to do that… We’ll see as things go on but right now that’s what I’m continuing on doing and that’s what I’m going to do.


(on importance of this practice period not just for the bowl game but next year too)

It’s huge.  Like we told them today.  Don’t come with the idea of “I just have to get through another practice and get to the bowl game.”  No, this is a spring practice.  You have 15 then and 14 here.  It’s another spring and as seniors, use it for your development to get better so that when you go to the combine or go to a workout or whatever you have, you’re getting better and working on your techniques and hands and all of the things you have to do.  And you young guys, you get 15 extra practices.  Each year.  Who do you want to be when walk out of here?  You have to look at it as a developmental time, not just a game time.  And its extra time for me to continue to get better and don’t wait until you are a senior to say I am going to practice hard.  I just had that conversation with them after [practice].  Develop yourself.  Get better.  Get better in some aspect of your game every day and treat it like a spring practice as you’re getting ready for a game.


(on how many defensive line coaches the team will continue to have)

As we hire different staff members that could change or not but there could very easily be two guys up front because Mark [Stoops] does coach the back end.  If you hired a different coordinator who didn’t and he likes coaching all four guys, you may hire a GA or somebody there.  Or depending on how you do the linebackers you could possibly hire another front guy.


(on offensive line coach Rick Trickett’s opportunity to interview for head coaching jobs)

I’ll let him speak about it – that’s up to him.  But he was excited about it and it was a good opportunity.  It was a good job… that was back in West Virginia where he was from and [had] some ties.  I’m not totally [sure] if they’ve named anyone or not but I’ll let him handle that.


(on Trickett looking for a job)

No, no.  I mean to be a head football coach?  I mean he loves it here but anytime you [have an opportunity] to be a head football coach at a Division I institution.  I mean I would never stand in anyone’s way of progressing and trying to move on and better their career.  Just like our assistants here, I hope we hire guys that people want.  I want to hire guys that people want.  I mean because that means we’re being successful.  People look at change like “oh my gosh, somebody is leaving,” but okay, that means you’ve probably done pretty well, somebody is using him to progress and go, and why can’t you get another good guy.  And sometimes change is good because it still stimulates new ideas and what’s going on out there in the world.  It always brings in a new little blood of how things are changing and how somebody else does something that may give you another edge.  Because if you sit and keep doing things the way you’ve always done them, somebody is always passing you up.  And that stimulus of new ideas is good.

Related Articles