Player press conference quotes: Aug. 30
Aug. 30, 2010
On the first game: I'm really excited about everything. Getting to play in Reliant, being able to go down there and just get that first game out of the way. We're really excited as a team about going down there.
On his impression of Rice's defense and secondary: They're very sound. They're returning all 11 guys, and so they're very sound, very solid, and they play really well together as a unit.
On preparing to start and lead the team: I'm just trying to focus as much as possible, get that extra film in, get that sort of work in the meeting room and on the white board. For now, as a team we're just really focused on their defense, and I think it'll hit home that it's finally football season again come Saturday.
On Case McCoy: He's a very accurate guy and he makes good decisions. He is a guy that was very smart with the football in camp, and so that's something that you can really build upon as a quarterback.
On talking with Colt McCoy recently: Colt has always told me to just be myself and that everything will take care of itself, and that's something that I've taken to heart from him. Just to be myself and don't try to be anyone else. Do what you do and the rest will take care of itself.
On what he wants on the field: I think as a quarterback the thing that's been the most important for me is to be able to be the leader; the guy that manages the game well and doesn't turn the ball over - doesn't make mistakes with the ball. We know that we have to be very methodical and confident in what we do and we're going to be successful with that.
On the true freshmen: Well, we knew this recruiting class was very talented and they've really come in and done a great job. A lot of them have come in with a great work ethic and they've been ready to go since they got here, so again, we're very impressed with that, but we knew they had that talent.
On his improvements from last season: I think as a football player, just being able to be a little smarter with the football. Leadership has been huge for me. I feel like I've gotten a lot better in that component of the game.
On the receivers: We feel like we have great depth at that position and on any given day any guy can step up. That's very pleasing as a quarterback knowing that I have that much depth at that position, and so many guys that can do the job and have done the job.
On the opening game being in Reliant: Yeah, that's really cool. I've never actually been to Reliant so I'm looking forward to it. I've heard great things about it and I can't wait.
On WR Mike Davis: All of those freshmen receivers have a great amount of talent and have come in eager to work and have really done a great job. Mike came in with a lot of knowledge of the playbook. He has great instincts on the field, so he's someone that we're really excited about for this year.
On his leadership: I would say I'm a leader by example, but being a quarterback, it comes with the territory. You have to be a little bit vocal every once in a while and that's something I've tried to get more and more comfortable with throughout spring and summer and on into camp. I think that's something I really worked on. It's something that I do feel a little bit more comfortable with, and it's something that I still can work on.
LB Keenan Robinson
On starting the season at Reliant Stadium: I think it will be great. I've never played there since I'm from the Dallas area. In high school some guys got to play there, [the guys] from Houston, so it will be a new experience and a great experience for me playing in a NFL stadium.
On any big changes in the defense this year: I don't really think there is. It's just new faces doing the same thing, and we're still going to play Texas tough, and we're still going to play the ball we always play.
On preparing for Rice: It's always a little different with the the first game because you never know what they're going to do and they will pull some tricks out of the bag. We're just going to try and watch film from last year and watch film from [our game] when we played them a couple of years ago - try to prepare ourselves around that. We know some things that they will do, but there's always a certain few things that we're not sure that they will pull out or what kind of things they're going to do with their receivers or running backs. We're just going to prepare the best way that we can.
On Tyrell Higgins: Basically he's been doing what the coaches ask of him. We ask our tackles and nose tackles to keep the offensive line off of the linebackers and not let them come up to the second level, and all those guys have done great this summer and this offseason, working on keeping their pads down and making sure that they strike the [offensive] linemen, the guards, and the centers. Tyrell, he's done that and he's shown the coaches that he's ready to play the role that they're asking him to play.
On Jordan Hicks: Jordan's a great athlete. He's a big kid. He came in weighing more than I did, and he's physically ready to play college football. He's very smart. He picked up on the schemes very fast and he's doing whatever the coaches ask him to do and that's why he's showing promise.
On the freshmen on the depth chart: That just shows down the line that this team has the possibility of being very good because a lot of those guys may have a lot of experience when they're asked to play. And I've learned to be able to trust those guys, and I can count on them when we need them.
On Rice running back Sam McGuffie: I don't really know much. I didn't get to play him in high school. He transferred from Michigan. I think he's a very quick back from what you see on film. He's very fast. He's very athletic, and I just think that our scheme that we have this weekend - I think we will be able to play well against him and play well against the other running backs we face.
On the freshmen wide receivers: I think Mike Davis had a good two-a-days. I think he's been a good playmaker. He brings a lot to the table. I think Darius White has had a good camp, too. John Harris is showing some stuff, and Chris Jones has too. I think they're going to be really good in the future, either this year or next year. I think they all bring something to the table.
On helping the freshman: It's fun because I was just there not too long ago. I realize it goes by fast, and anytime I can help the younger guys out and make the team better, I'm willing to do it.
On what he tells the freshmen: I kind of walk them through it and tell them my experiences. You've got to practice hard every day. You're going against tough competition in practice, and it's going to get you better for the game.
On the talent of the freshmen: I wasn't surprised. I knew it was going to be a good group coming in. They're all going to get a shot to play and shots at making plays. We need that. We need competition every day. That makes the team better.
On what he's working on: I would say paying attention to detail, the little stuff like alignment, depths on route, hand positions for catching and timing with Garrett [Gilbert]. Focusing on the little stuff and competing against the DBs every day. I think that helped me this spring and this fall.
On preparing for the game: You just have to take it one day at a time like you're at practice.
On the secondary being confident: We're hoping to do our job. Everybody doing their own part and coming together as one, but we're very comfortable right now because we've been together for a long time. We trust each other and we believe in each other. Coach Akina has our heads straight where we're just confident that we can do our job.
On having chemistry in the secondary: It starts off the field. We have a friendship off the field, and it shows on the field, and we just know where each other are at all times and we just believe in each other.
On having freshmen prepared for their first game: It's like every freshman when they get in front of a big crowd like that, but I think once they get used to it - once they get used to the speed of the game, they're going to be good.
On playing in Reliant Stadium: The team is just pumped. Last year getting to play in Cowboy Stadium was just amazing and to play in another great venue like Reliant, it's just so cool, and we're hoping that Horns fans across the state will come support us and it will just be like a home game, hopefully.
On mixing up regular and rugby-style punts: Justin [Tucker] and I both work on both of the punts just so that we have that option. I'm not exactly sure how the coaches are going to use that, but we try to have it in the arsenal just to keep people surprised.
On starting the season in Reliant Stadium: The field is the same size. We can play anywhere.
On the confidence of the secondary: It's about the same since camp started. A couple of new guys have been filling in where we need depth, but besides that, we're a solid group.
On what's expected of the secondary: We don't feel any pressure. We all play to the same standard every week, so no pressure.
On being able to play healthy this year: If you look at last year's film to spring training to our camps and even practice today, you can see an astronomical difference. I played hurt, but I just did what I could to help the team out and help us win every game. This year I feel 110 percent. I feel like a brand new man.
On the leadership of the offensive line: Our young guys see that some of us lead by example but are also boisterous. We help them get pumped up, and we'll help each other out along the way.
On the difference in starting the season on the road: It's a game, just like any other game. I'd like to open at home but no matter where we play, we'll put the helmet on and put on a show.
On the excitement in playing in an NFL stadium: It's very exciting. It was a blast last year at the Cowboys Stadium. This year at Reliant is going to be awesome.
On the young guys who will play this Saturday: I expect all the freshmen to be nervous, but I don't expect them to make mistakes. All the freshmen had a great camp this year.
On how he prepares the freshmen for the atmosphere of game day: We take the senior leadership role and let them know, "We've been there, it'll be okay." It'll be more excitement than nerves for them.
On the improvement of the defensive line throughout the fall: Just getting more reps and practices and seeing more plays and using correct techniques, I feel like I've gotten better over time. I want to be one of the best players that has come through here.
On getting to see everyone play this Saturday: It's great because we've all been working hard, fighting for spots. coach Muschamp is not going to give us anything and coach Brown pushes us to excellence every day.
On Tyrell Higgins' improvement: He's been working hard all summer. Whatever position the coaches want him to play, he's playing it. He's all over the place doing a great job.
On how many snaps he will get this year: I'm not really worried about it. I'm just excited to play. We've all been working out all summer and in the fall camps, so however much they want me to play, I'm ready to play.
On playing close to home this weekend: I have a few people coming - my dad is coming and I think my uncle is coming. My mom likes to watch the game on TV so she'll be watching from there.
On the younger guys on the team: I'm really impressed with some of the younger guys. I think they have done a great job in this camp - grasping everything and going out and just playing.
On talking with the younger players: We talk about how it feels to come out of the tunnel, just how that feeling is. The first time you come out, it's something special. That's probably the thing we discuss the most. They always want to know what it's like. I always say I can explain it to you, but unless you feel it, it's just something you have to feel on your own.
On opening in Reliant: It's going to be really fun to play in a professional stadium. I hear it's a great stadium with a beautiful atmosphere, so I'm really excited to travel out there and do that.
On being a starter this year: It is a little bit different. Last year I played more on the outside so this year moving into the middle, it's going to be a little bit different, seeing things from a different side of the game. Coach Muschamp's done an incredible job of preparing me for that and so I'm just excited. I'm excited for what the season holds in store, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to be in the middle and see things from a different perspective.
On the linebacking unit: The linebacking unit is really fun. It stems from coach Muschamp. He does a great job of getting us ready and this year being his third year and my third year under him, everybody's a lot more comfortable in what we're doing. We don't have to think as much, things come a lot more naturally - which is good. We're just all friends on and off the field - we hang out on and off the field and that should really help with our chemistry when we're on the field.
On having success this year: We can be as good as we want to be, we just have to work each and every day, and we have to make sure we stay focused on the task at hand. Coach Muschamp always says you either get better or you get worse every day and if you stay the same you got worse because somebody else got better. We have to strive each and every day and we can never get complacent with where we are.
On LB Jordan Hicks: Jordan came in very excited. He knew he had a chance to play, and he came in ready to work and ready to learn. He's obviously very naturally athletic, so between his intelligence and his natural athleticism he has a good chance to be a very good player.
On RB Cody Johnson: Cody is a workhorse. He's a big load and he's moving with it. Cody works very hard in the off-season. I know he stayed on the squat rack; he stayed working on his explosion doing power clings and other things of the sort. He's very safe with the ball. He doesn't really turn it over and doesn't really fumble it at all. He's just a hard runner. He always keeps driving, and I noticed that at practice. After one hit he always keeps his legs moving and he always keeps his legs turned so he's really good at getting yards after initial contact.
On starting the first game on the road: It's different because it's something I haven't done before, but football is football. We're going to be playing at Reliant [Stadium], and we're all really excited to get out there and play. Football is football.
On the work ethic of the defense: We have worked really hard, and we are going to continue to work hard. One of our mottos is to lead the nation in effort, so we are going to continue to do that every day that we practice and in our preparation.
On the impact of young players on the team: You just have to keep them focused. They don't really understand what it's like to be on this kind of stage, but the main thing is just to keep them focused. They are all great players [and] great athletes, but I'm sure they're getting anxious waiting just like we did. You just have to keep them calm [and] keep them focused on the task at hand.
On Rice: Their offensive coordinator was at Kansas, so it's probably going to be a little similar to the Kansas game. They also have some great players at Rice as well; they have a great running back and a couple of different quarterbacks that do different things. So it'll be interesting to see how they come out. We don't know too much about them right now, but as the game goes on we'll see more and we'll adjust based on that.
On his pink shoes: Kheeston [Randall] and I were in Dallas a couple of weeks ago and we saw them and thought we might as well do it. We also have had quite a few people in the Texas family that have been struggling with breast cancer, so that is another reason why we got them also.