Sept. 4, 2012
RB/WR D.J. Monroe
On what he has done to be a better player this season: I took a lot of pride into this past offseason, us in general as a team did. We decided that we wanted to be faster and stronger in all phases of the game. We took it more serious. We took it into consideration as everyone being on time, everyone finishing their reps, everyone being accountable and making no excuses unless it came to a family issue or something like that.
On this being his time to get more touches: It will be exciting, but it is not about me right now. I love Texas with all my heart, and it is about winning. I would rather leave here with that great bowl game we played or possibly getting back to the national championship. I will be happier and more excited about that than worrying about me getting all the reps.
On what drills he did to make his hands better for receiving: From catching tennis balls to using the little spark ball with the swirls that are green, red and blue to keep my eyes focused. I tried to catch 100 tennis balls with [Strength and conditioning head coachfor fotoball] Bennie [Wylie] a day. He would not throw a football, he would throw a tennis ball to me while I ran my swing routes and my slants. It helped me focus, and I had to make sure it was one of the things I got better at.
On sharing playing time with freshman RB/WR Daje Johnson: The guy is good. He is very fast. I think he is up to where me and Marquise are. I would love to see anyone play. Speed is speed and if we got it, use it. I am all about winning, and that’s what it is with us right now. It is all about winning. We are brothers. I take him under my wing and [say], “This is how I do it. I don’t know how you do it but this is how I ran the package.” If it is my package, he backs me up in it and if it is his package, I back him up in it. There is new stuff that the coaches come up with and we just emphasize if it is his package I need to learn it too, and if it is my package he will say, “How do you run that swing?”
OG Mason WaltersOn the Wyoming game:
I thought we played physically the whole game. That was the best thing about it. Unlike last year at times, we would go out on the field see something and have to react. This time I think our game plan was good originally, and then after the coaches would communicate changes to us to counter what they were doing as far as what we were doing. We have to respond to that quicker and that is on the players, that is on us. The coaches came to us and said, “Hey, they are doing this and they are doing that. That is how they are trying to beat us. Make these adjustments.” We have to be able to do that quicker.On the mindset offensive line coach Stacy Searels has brought:
The biggest thing I have seen from it is it is more competitive everyday. I think that is a take from his personality, and it has kind of rolled down hill. We have taken it upon us for everything we do from watching something in the film room, to something on the practice field, to something in the game. We are competitive in everything we do and we want to be the best. On how sophomore C Dominic Espinosa did against Wyoming:
He did good. We made out well across the board, but no one graded out 100 percent so we all have something we can get better at. On what you have seen from New Mexico:
They are athletic. They have two D-tackles they brought in from Illinois that look really good on film. They look fast. I think that is kind of overall their defense looks fast. We are going to have some challenges for us. They are going to be good, and it is really going to be a great challenge for us here on Saturday. On how the blocking schemes change when you face different teams:
We have done so much in camp against our defense that I don’t really notice it anymore. You just fall into it naturally. With the three-technique I am doing this and with the one-technique [ I am doing that.] I have done it so many times that I don’t [think about it], and I think that is the case across the board.
RB Joe Bergeron
On senior RB D.J. Monroe’s touchdown: We always tell D.J. to run big. We all know what he can do in an open space. Gotta get in there and put your head down. We always tell him, “Run like you’re 230 [pounds], 250, something like that. Run like [former FB] Cody [Johnson], basically.”
On the running backs: Really, you know, we’re all kind of equal in a sense. But we do have different styles. I’d say more with me and [sophomore RB] Malcolm [Brown], we’re more speed and power. With [freshman RB] John [Gray], you see more so now, he’s more speed. But he does still have a little power. I’d say we all just are similar. But it’s kind of hard to tell what’s different for everyone.
On if he tries to run over people: I just run the ball, really. You have to have a different mentality when you have the ball in your hand. Just the mindset that nobody can bring you down. No one person is going to bring you down. Just whatever you need – if it’s a first down, a touchdown or whatever. Initially when you get the ball you want five yards. That’s the mindset you have to have.
On D.J. Monroe’s progress: I wasn’t surprised. With D.J., if you tell him to do something, he is going to do it. We saw it more during fall camp. We were telling him, “You know D.J. you’re going to win big this year. We see it. You’ve packed on some weight. You’ve got some muscle.” So he kind of uses that to his advantage now. He’s not afraid to dip his shoulder. I enjoy watching him run like that. It excites me.
On the season opener: It felt good. It felt good to run against someone besides your own team. It’s always fun, all the preparation you go through in fall camp and in practice, it leads on to the field. You can see that it’s your time to have fun. But as well, put everything that you worked on towards the game.
S Kenny Vaccaro
On the season opener: It was fun. I really didn’t get as many licks as I wanted to. But it was fun just to fly around a little bit.
On his interception: You know, I had deep thirds. And I just kind of came off the numbers and made a play. I don’t know. I just felt it. I probably wouldn’t have made that play a year ago.
On needing to start faster: We need to start fast. We’re supposed to be a dominant defense. Honestly, we’ve got to get all those things corrected if we are going to be who we say we are.
On improving communication on the defense: We’ve got younger guys back there, so – it was me too. When I was younger I didn’t talk confidently and loud. Because when you talk loudly, you’re confident. You know what you’re doing. So basically, we need to be loud. And make sure our hand signals are right. We’ve got it. It will be fine.
On playing against an option offense: With the option team it’s going to be more assignment-oriented. You’ve got to be disciplined or any type of team can beat you. We know that we have to read our keys and keep our eyes in the right spot.