Sept. 10, 2008
On Hurricane Ike: First, I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with everybody on the coast. Eighty people lost their lives on the islands as the storm came through and it's obviously a very, very dangerous storm and something that is really critical in all of our lives. We're preparing for a football game, but it would be wrong of us not to say that we want everybody to be safe and healthy and happy and hopefully their homes will stay good. I was at North Carolina long enough to know you never know about these storms, you don't know where they're going to go, you don't know when they're going to turn, you don't know what they're going to hit and where they're going to hit. The worst thing any of us can do is expect it not to come and someone not be safe and protected.
President Powers and DeLoss (Dodds) have an awful job right now because they're trying to figure out a storm that even the weather people across America can't figure out. I know everybody, Texas, Arkansas, both administrations, would like to play at 2:30 Saturday. That's what we'd love to do and that's what we're planning on doing, but it's much, much bigger than that for President Powers and DeLoss, because they have to make decisions based on safety, security, what happens after the game, what about hotels, what about parking, closing the roads down in the state, where would the evacuees stay, how crowded does our city get, what about our police force. There are so many different things that have to go into this that it's a very, very difficult decision. I'm just like you right now, I haven't been told anything, so as far as I'm concerned right now, the game's being played at 2:30 on Saturday and that's what we've told our players to prepare that way. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with people on the coast as it hits, and the most important thing is that everybody comes out of this weekend safely and then hopefully we can have a good football game, as well.
On Vince Young: I have been in communication with Vince. Anybody that knows Vince here knows how competitive he is. He set a very, very high standard for himself, and when he doesn't feel like he reached that standard at that moment, he does get disappointed. He's fine, he's moving forward, he's been booed before, he's been criticized before and his worst moment here was his best moment because after he played so poorly against Missouri, he never lost another game. Anybody that thinks Vince Young's not competitive and he won't be back and he won't step up and he's not going to compete and get that thing turned around doesn't know Vince Young. He'll be fine and we're pulling for him, can't wait to get him well and get him back out on the field.
On Chris Simms and the Tennessee Titans: Great for Chris to have an opportunity, and Chris and Vince are really good friends. So it will help Vince, I think, that Chris is there, and those two can be close and pull together. There are a lot of Longhorns on that team that will help Vince as well. Bo Scaife and Chris were best friends, so I think it's a good spot for Chris. I'm glad to see him get another opportunity and I'm glad he's there to be around Vince as well.
On the communication he has had with AD DeLoss Dodds on possible adjustments for Saturday's game: All DeLoss has done with me is just ask my opinion on some things and really and truly, he is in the most difficult position of anybody in making this decision because of the unanswered questions out there. I think more than anything else, he's trying to figure out what the options are, and then he has to talk to so many different people to make sure those options are really viable. Then he would come back, and he's so gracious, and he would ask Arkansas, he'd ask me, he would try to make sure it was the best for everybody, and in this situation it's very, very difficult to have the best for everybody.
On what he has told the team in regards to playing Saturday: Chip Robertson said it best, our equipment manager, today in the staff meeting. He said, 'Coach, could I give a suggestion about philosophy?' I said, 'Yes you may, Chip,' and he said, 'The only thing I would say is if we play Saturday and it's 70 mph winds, I would take the wind.' That's the best I've heard all day, and that's what he told the players, if we play Saturday Chip's got something he wants to tell you and he said, 'Whoever's the captain, take the wind.' I think that is fair. We actually told our guys this is a good test for us because we played at 9 (p.m.) out in El Paso and everybody thought it'd be a problem. We said, 'If we call or text you at 6 tonight and say the game's at 9 tonight, you be ready to play. That's all we can tell you. Be ready whenever it comes up. If we have to change, if we have to adjust, both teams will have to adjust. If it's really windy and rainy, both teams will have it two quarters, so let's not use any of that as an excuse, let's get ourselves ready to play and go out there and have fun regardless of when and where the game is.'
On the running game and stopping the run: There have been some concerns about our running game. You always look at running game and protection and stopping the run and trying to rush the passer early in the season, because you don't have a lot of games to prepare for that stuff. We're not concerned about the running game. The other night (UTEP) had eight guys that were blitzing up the middle every time. We're concerned about scoring 42 points. We thought that was good. We'd rather come out of the game balanced, but we're not going to be stubborn enough to run into eight when they've got one covering one outside and ours is better than theirs. I think that would be very foolish. Defensively, we felt like we did not stop the run as well as we wanted to early, and we felt like it was because we were playing some zone, but we've got to stop the run in zone. We've really worked hard on a mix of man and zone this week, but doing a better job up front with our front seven of stopping the run so we can play more zone and get more disguised and get more mixed.
On Arkansas QB Casey Dick: Casey Dick is a really good quarterback. He's an older guy, he's been around a long time, he's savvy, he's smart and he gets the ball in the right place and he's hard to fool. You've got to try to do things to disrupt him as much as you can.
On how often he contacts Vince Young: I text Vince a lot. I text all those guys, every time they do something good or have something bad happen to them. Our staff stays really close to our pro players, and it's really important to us. I actually texted him whenever the report came out, probably Monday night. I texted him immediately and Cleve (Bryant) and Greg Davis had already texted him by the time I got to it. We wear him out with texts, and he texted me a few minutes ago as I was walking off the field and said, 'I'm doing fine, everything's ok, things got a little exaggerated and let's move forward,' so I'll try to call him tonight.