Player press conference quotes: Sept. 6
Sept. 6, 2010
QB Garrett Gilbert
On getting into a rhythm during the game: I really felt in the second half I started to feel really comfortable throwing the ball and I think I started to let the ball go a little more. I think at that point it took a little bit of time for me to settle down, but I think I was able to find a rhythm. Honestly, I thought we ran the ball really well and I think we accomplished our goal of being able to run the ball consistently. Again, I think that set up a couple of pro-action passes that we were able to hit in the second half.
On his performance: We got the “W”. That is the most important thing for us. We have some stuff we can work on. We have some stuff we can build upon. Obviously, in the first game you don’t want to be there quite yet. You don’t want to be where we want to be at the end of the season. We have a lot of stuff to improve on, but again it was a good starting point and something we can build on.
On his biggest critic: I would say I am always my toughest critic. As a quarterback I always want to play the perfect game - you are always looking for that and obviously you can’t do that. There are times where the defense wins, but I would always say I am my toughest critic.
On being nervous before the game: I got a little anxious before the game. I was a little nervous. I think that was a good thing. It was something I didn’t feel all of last year, so it was good to get that feeling back going into the game. But after the first snap I got settled down.
On the first home game: It’s going to be special. As it gets closer, it’s going to be cool running out of the tunnel knowing it’s my first game. To be able to play there, to be able to go out there and start the game - it’s going to be pretty cool.
On managing the game as a quarterback: I think as long as we take care of the ball and do what we need to do offensively, we’re able to run the ball successfully. I think whenever we were able to throw it, for the most part we made smart decisions with it. We held onto the ball. We were able to get a few explosive plays out of that. I think we definitely took care of it, and I think that is definitely a good thing - being able to manage the game and that is sometimes part of being a quarterback.
On his leadership in a game: I think I still have a ways to go as far as the vocal part of being a leader. Just encouraging the offense, doing whatever on the sideline, talking to the guys, [and] making sure we’re communicating - that sort of stuff. I still have a ways to go with that, but I thought for the most part I felt I was in control and very comfortable in the huddle and on the sideline. But there is still a lot more I need to do. With our team, there are a lot of guys that have stepped up and become leaders. As a quarterback that is part of the position you’re in, so that is something I need to work on and improve on.
On what else the offense can offer: We were just getting our feet under us on Saturday - finding out where we are with the running game. There is more with the play action we can do - being able to stretch the field out - and we’re going to take a look at that and moving forward, see what works and what doesn’t.
On WR Malcolm Williams: Malcolm has been great ever since I’ve been here. He’s such a great athlete. He’s a smart receiver. We’re always on the same page and he did a really good job making plays the other day when they presented themselves. Physically, he is a very big target and [he’s] fast. He is able to make some plays with the ball when he catches it and get behind defenders.
RB Tre’ Newton
On what stuck out about the game: There were a little missed opportunities here and there. We just want to correct those. As [the] weeks move on, you just want to keep on getting better and better.
On what area he wants to improve in: I just have to stay disciplined as a runner and just make sure I stay on my pads and hit my right reads so I don’t miss any holes that the line provides. The line did a great job this past week providing holes, and I just want to make sure I don’t miss my reads so I can help the team as much as I can.
On preparing to be a starter: To be honest, I don’t really put much emphasis or thought into that. I just approach each week just trying to be the best I can be and listen to coach [Major] Applewhite and see ways I can improve. Us as running backs, we all do that because you never know when your number’s going to be called so you approach each week the same, whether you’re the starter or not.
On his secret to finding the endzone: I don’t think there’s so much a secret. I know this past week the line made it easy on me. They were opening up some big holes, so I don’t think there’s so much a secret. Running backs do get a little more hungry the closer you get to the goal line. Everybody wants to score.
On the reason for not getting stopped at the goal line: I’m not sure there’s so much a reason. It’s just having low pads, getting low and having a want to [score]. Like I said, the line opened up some tremendous holes. If you go back and look at the film, on all my scores they made it a little easier on me.
On having motivation to start: I don’t know if it’s extra motivation. Our motivation comes from not wanting to let the team down. We never want our spot to be the spot that messes up or makes a mistake. We all take pride in just doing our assignments to the best of our ability.
On his feelings of playing a home game: We’re all looking forward to having our fans there and being in our home stadium. That just brings a whole lot more excitement to the table and we all look forward to that.
On playing his first home game at Texas: My first impression last year was just running out of that tunnel with all the smoke and everybody going crazy and just having the home crowd behind you. That’s my best memory from last year.
On having more leadership on offense: I guess you could put that on all of us. We all need to step up. We’re going to bring much more excitement to this game and just have more fun. Coach Brown talked to us, and [he] felt like we needed to have more fun out there so that’s what we’re going to try to do. Football is a game of passion so you have to bring that to each game.
On his running style changing throughout the years: Oh yeah, it’s changed a lot from high school. In high school you can just run wide open, you didn’t have much to worry about. Now at this level, you have to get your pads low and be able to read things a little more. So yeah, I would say it’s changed.
On being more of a power runner: Yeah, I feel like I’ve gotten stronger each season. I just try and make sure to run with both pads and read your keys and read your assignments and trust your blockers up front.
OG Michael Huey
On how the line played up front: I feel we all did well. If you put a microphone on the field you can hear us all pumping each other up. You can hear our aggression and everything.
On Cody Johnson playing through his injured ankle: It’s very respectable. It’s kind of how I was last year. Of course my ankle hurt, but I did anything I could do to help the team and I really commend Cody for that.
On his thoughts after reviewing the Rice game film: I mean it’s never as good as you think and it’s never as bad as you think. Coming out, we’re just excited that we got a win. We’re excited that we’re 1-0, [and] excited we won the opener. But obviously in the film room you see a lot we need to work on.
On what they need to work on: Just a few technical things; get you hands here, your steps here, just stuff like that.
On expecting to run the ball so much: We were actually hoping for it. We really want to emphasize that we’re a physical group, so why not run the ball? You [can] see us drive 80 yards down the field.
On tweaking the short yardage runs: Like I said, there were a few technical things we need to work on. If you fix the little things you’ll see a huge difference.
DE Sam Acho
On Jones returning kicks: We were joking around. I’ll say Eddie will do whatever it takes to get his hands on the ball. He always sees himself as a playmaker, so you never know, they might move him back there with D.J. Monroe and return some kicks.
On LB Keenan Robinson thinking LB Emmanuel Acho caused the fumble on his touchdown: I caused a fumble last week and he picked it up and returned it for a touchdown. We talked about it but while we were on the bus I said, ‘Hey, great job on that fumble I forced,’ and he said, ‘You forced?’ I was like, ‘Yeah,’ and he said, ‘I thought it was your brother.’ It usually doesn’t happen, but I guess he had his eyes on the ball and the blitz that we had was kind of [a blitz] for the linebackers to come free, so I’m sure he thought that Emmanuel had come free and forced a fumble. It usually doesn’t happen so I was a little surprised, but it’s all good.
On not capitalizing on turnovers that could go for touchdowns: It depends on the player. but it’s something that you definitely bring up. You want to make sure that we know that we have to make those plays no matter what, so you let the guy know, ‘Hey, let’s make that play next time,’ and you move on. You don’t harp on it. You don’t linger on it. You just let him know, ‘Hey, let’s make that play next time,’ and you keep on going.
On the coaches asking for more leadership: It just means [they] want everybody to be all in - everybody to buy in whether you’re on the field playing or on the sideline supporting your teammates. [They] want everybody to be there and be supportive. While I’m on the field, I have to be out there getting excited with my teammates, and then we have to have guys on the sideline who are equally as excited when we make a play on the field or a big stop or anything like that.
On players stepping into leadership roles: It’s different every year with every team. You always want to have a couple of guys up front that will lead the team, but at the same time, you need leaders at every position. You need leaders both offensive and defensively. We’re still developing leaders and we’re still working on just winning games.
On the best part of being on the team: My favorite part about playing here is just the players. The guys on the team. I was talking with Keenan earlier, we always joke around and we always hang out. Today’s my birthday, so I’m having a dinner and a lot of my teammates are going to be there just to hangout with me, and it’s really just the fact that you get to enjoy it with your friends and with your teammates. I know a lot of guys when they get to the next level it’s more of a business, but here it’s just like you’re still playing football. You still want to win, but you get to hang out with your friends and have fun and just enjoy it.
On the best part of playing at home: Just the fans. I love the fans. I love being on campus and anticipating the game. The Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the game - everyone on the campus is just so excited for the football season. [They are]excited for the first home game - the home opener - and just the buildup to it is so much fun and coming out of the tunnel is always, always amazing.
On the game against Rice: We know we played well, but we know we could have done better. We always want to play to a standard at Texas. We always talk about playing up to a standard and we feel like we didn’t do that last week but we moved on. We’re working on Wyoming now, and we’re going to work on playing fast and physical every day.
On Keenan’s first half: It was unbelievable. Keenan won - I think - the college football player’s top defensive player of the week or something like that, but he played great. He’s a great player so you’re going to see a lot more of that from Keenan.
LB Keenan Robinson
On having a game under their belt before playing the home opener: It makes it a little bit easier. Still, we have to go out there and focus on winning game No. 2 at home. We do not want to disappoint our fans. We still have to make sure that we dominate, and we want to make sure we make the people in orange happy.
On telling the freshman what to expect: We tell them to just expect the crowd. It will be something that they have never experienced before. It is even more than they have seen on TV. They just need to be ready because things are going to be fast, and people are going to be flying around. Just be ready when your time is called to make plays, and when we go out there in front of 100,000 people, do not be scared.
On the defense's physical play: That is something we pride ourselves on--being physical and tough. It does not matter what position you play. Our defensive backs are making hits like a linebacker would. On returning a fumble for a touchdown against Rice: It is something that I have always wanted to do. I have always wanted to make plays here. Last year, I did not have any turnovers or forced fumbles or anything like that, so I am just happy to finally come around and get something on my side. I am happy that I was able to be in the right place at the right time because the ball was just sitting there, and I was the first one to get there. Anyone could have easily picked it up off the ground. I saw it sitting on the ground and just swooped it up and made sure that I got into the end zone.
On the interception he made: I saw it and I did not really have much time to think. I just wanted to make sure I got my body in the air and use the back of my pads to keep him off me and get some separation. Obviously, I wanted to be able to knock the ball, but I was able to get enough hands on it to bring it in for the catch.
On the defensive leaders: Sam [Acho] and Eddie [Jones] are the two guys that are really vocal on the defensive line. They are both seniors, obviously, and that is what is expected of them. On the secondary, A.J. White and Blake Gideon have lots of starts under their belt, and those guys are pretty vocal. I try to be a leader when I can. I am more of a guy that likes to lead by example, so that is what I try to do.
On Wyoming: They are a team that likes to spread the ball out and throw it. The good thing about them is we saw them last year, and they will be doing the same things. They had a whole bunch of pocket movement last year, and we expect to see the same thing out of them this year. They came out with sometimes four receivers to the side, which is kind of unusual, but we are ready for the things that they are going to do. They do a quick-tempo offense, so those are the things that we are going to be working on this week in practice.
On DE Eddie Jones: He has gotten a lot better. He is a guy who when he came in was very athletic. He is one of those guys who every year gets better. He is a really smart player, and he competed in the offseason to make himself a better player.
On the first half of the Rice game: We were not mad or frustrated because we knew that as a team we would pick it up. We knew that once we picked it up out there and gave our offense a shot, that things would definitely go our way someway or another.
On Rice's long touchdown pass before halftime: It kind of frustrates us a little bit, but the thing is it is football. Things like that will happen, and they are going to happen. We were lucky that that ball got batted down, but it is something that you just have to go with, and we were lucky that that play did not happen later in the game where it could have beat us.
OT Britt Mitchell
On Saturday’s game: I think we had a great start - the whole offense in general. I thought we ran the ball very well. There are a lot of things that we need to work on, but they say that you make the biggest jump between your first and second week and I think we started off very well.
On what the team needs to improve on: There is just a lot of small things. It’s mainly just little things that all have to come together to work.
On being a “meaner group”: I thought we played with a lot of intensity and I tried to let [Rice] know that we weren’t messing around.
DT Kheeston Randall
On the defensive tackles: They are great. For most of those guys, it was their first time to have any significant playing time, especially Tyrell [Higgins]. I feel like he did well. It is going to be a work in progress. I know he is going to get better every week, which we all are. I was really excited for all of them.
On DE Jackson Jeffcoat: Jackson did really well. He did pretty much what he was supposed to do with his lineman assignment and just had fun.
S Blake Gideon
On improving the team’s play: We do have very high expectations for ourselves, individually and as a defense. There’s a standard that’s been set around here defensively for the past few years that we have to live up to, and we’re trying to surpass this year. We always are expecting more from ourselves, I think, no matter how we play. I would say that we did leave some things out there, but they’re all very fixable mistakes.
On having good flashes throughout the game: We did do some things right, and we have to learn how to build on those and don’t let the same mistakes happen twice.
On speaking with the defensive backs about not creating turnovers: Freshman year, all that was expected from us was to knock down passes, but know we’re expected to finish plays and in [these cases] we failed to finish those plays. Until we do that, then that burden is going to be hanging over us so we’re [ready] to get back out there. That’s the tough thing about football, you have to wait seven days before you can even get back out there and prove otherwise. We’re anxious to get back to practice tomorrow and start improving on our mistakes.
On improving the leadership on the team: I always take that personally. Obviously, when coach Brown sees something, with all of his experience you’re going to listen. I took that personally. I don’t see myself as somebody that’s going to sit back and let things happen, so I guess that does make me a leader. I can assure you that we’re not going to have that same problem for the rest of the year.
On the Wyoming offense: To be honest, I don’t know [what they remind us of]. Last week we played Rice and that’s all the film that we’re watching. Yesterday we finished up with Rice - finished up that game Today’s our day off and tomorrow the only thing that’s going to be on our mind is Wyoming. I don’t know much about them right now, but I know that they can move the ball and they can score so it should be a fun game. It’s going to be a challenge for us, especially to come out and improve on those mistakes that we made last week.
WR Malcolm Williams
On coaches wanting players to become more consistent: I do take it personally because I know I’ve worked hard to better that and it’s just a work in progress. I just have to keep going out there and working on it because that’s really all I can do.
On what areas he wants to improve in: It was probably just a number of things - just my all-around game - it wasn’t anything too specific. I just have to get better at everything pretty much - just go back to square one and have fun and work on everything.
On his catch on the long pass in the game against Rice: It felt great because during that part of the game we hadn’t really thrown the ball too much down the field, so to get one down the field I guess it kind of helped us open up and relax.
On throwing the ball more as the season progresses: I hope so because I play receiver. Blocking’s fun but I love running down the field and trying to catch passes so that’s pretty much what I want to do.
On the playbook being simple: It really didn’t feel like that. I just think we were really just trying to bring them in a little bit because they weren’t really trying to press us and force us to pass the ball, so if that’s what they’re going to give us, we’re going o run it down their throat until they try and make us pass it and when we pass it we have to execute that.
On QB Garrett Gilbert’s first start: I think he was really comfortable back there. He showed real maturity back there so I’m really impressed with him and want to see him do better this week.
On the leaders of the team: [Gilbert’s] the unsung leader because he is our quarterback, but at the same time he doesn’t have to be the only leader out there. There can be a couple of guys that can step up and have a voice. He’s the unsung leader, but I feel like we have a couple of people that can step us and just help the offense out.
On other leaders on offense: Some of the lineman, [Michael] Huey and some of those guys, some of our big guys. Right now it’s like me, James [Kirkendoll] and John [Chiles], since we’re the older receivers. Sometimes we voice our opinions and try to help the offense keep rolling. It’s just a combination of pretty much the whole offense.
On his favorite memory about playing at home: My favorite memory was my first touchdown here. That was against Missouri my redshirt year. It was crazy because it was a play that usually doesn’t come to me, period, so I was like the last, last read behind the running back read. It just happened and was a great play, so that was probably my best memory.
On what he tells younger guys before playing at home for the first time: It’s going to be the biggest atmosphere you will probably ever be around. There are not many stadiums bigger than ours, so it’s something that you will want to cherish.
LB Emmanuel Acho
On how the linebackers played against Rice: I thought we played well. I think we made a couple small errors here and there on the zone read. We didn’t defend that as well as we would’ve liked. Overall as a unit I thought we played very well. We played with a lot of passion, a lot of excitement and we played real fast out there. When we were given the opportunity to make plays, I thought we capitalized. We just tried to have fun out there and tried to produce and I thought we did that.
On what the linebackers did best: I feel like, not a tangible thing, but just maintaining calm out there. Coaches always say expect the unexpected. We went out there and they did some things we weren’t overly prepared for. We just maintained our poise and stayed calm out there and made sure the line was intact and in order. [We] made sure the defensive backs were straight on the calls, and we just went out there and tried to execute to the best or our abilities.
On what the coaches expect out of their players: Coach Brown wants us to play excited and have fun. That’s what he always says. He wants us to play with a passion. We have talent. We just have to go out there and enjoy what we do. It’s a game. As long as we go out there and we’re having fun in what we do, then he thinks we’ll do well. He doesn’t want us to go out there and be dry and not have a good time. He says to play with excitement and play with passion.
On if they had enough passion on Saturday: It’s a starting point. It’s a building block. We definitely need to improve. We definitely need to go out there and be more passionate. The passion also comes from making plays. You can’t be passionate about giving up a big play. We have to continue to execute and be proud of our work.
On DE Eddie Jones: Eddie is a great player. He’s funny. He’s a funny guy for sure. Everybody knows he can pass rush. He has some great pass rushing moves. He has a wide variety of moves. He keeps offensive linemen off balance. We see that a lot in practice. It’s good to finally see him - he was fully healthy in the spring and now he’s fully healthy in camp and just see him go out there and make a play and be happy about his work and get excited. He’s fun to watch.
On the missed interceptions: I feel like it happens. It’s a part of the game. It’s kind of like the tipped pass they caught for the touchdown before the half. It’s a part of the game. When you get a play like that, you would like to capitalize on it. You would like to catch it and ideally take it back to the end zone. Things happen. Coach Akina always says, no matter how good or bad, put the last play behind you. In that situation, it wasn’t the best of plays, but you move on - you play the next play. You can’t dwell on it. Hopefully they [will] get another chance and hopefully they [will] capitalize on it next time.
CB Aaron Williams
On the pressure of those catches: Deep down inside we know that that was a catch we were supposed to make and that could make the difference - putting points on the board or it could be a game changer.
On comments about the game: The young guys came out at the end, and had a little game experience. We felt like we played physical as far as hitting hard. We’re working on physicality as a defensive team, and I think we’ve accomplished that.
On advice for the freshmen in their first home game: We emphasize to them that there’s going to be 101,000 people out there. When you’re on the field you aren’t really going to recognize that, but Coach Brown’s right. They aren’t freshmen anymore. They went through two-a-days. They came in early. They’ve been here a whole year, so basically they’re pretty much sophomores to me. The guys that just came in - we helped them through two-a-days, they went through two-a-days with us, they go to the same meetings, they go to the same practice. We understand they’re young [and] we understand they’re going to make mistakes, but you just have to go out there and play. Coach Brown has faith in you, and that’s why they put you out there. You have talent to be out there with us.
On his experience with being a young player: I had the help of Ryan Palmer and Deon [Beasley]. You just have to relax and just have fun. If you don’t have fun playing out there, something’s wrong with you. You’re going to be tense and you’ll be thinking about a lot of things. But as soon as you start thinking about all of those things, you’re going to get into the “oh, I can’t drop a pass” or “I wonder why I’m doing this coverage. “ You just have to relax and just do what you do best.
On tackling: We have a little thing called “Hard Hat” and it’s whoever has the biggest hit of the game. I thought I was going to win it, but Kenny Vaccaro, he’s a head buster. Christian Scott, we all know that since he’s been here he’s a hard hitter. The fact that we have the “Hard Hat” award just gives us that competition of being the physical team. We want to be that physical team every week. Before people even look at us on film, we want people to be like, “Oh my goodness, we’re playing the Texas defense, the most physical team in the nation.” We felt like one of our goals was to be physical and I feel like we did that. Kenny just had one heck of a game. He is just hitting running backs, receivers and [hitting] lights-out. I have never seen somebody do that in my life.
On the defense: We have potential. We aren’t there yet. Each week we have to do better. Week one, we’re going to have mistakes. We’re going to look at it, and in week 2, we can’t have those same mistakes. If we have the same mistakes we had in week one, Wyoming is going to come here ready to play and if we aren’t, we have a chance to be beat and we aren’t going to let that happen.
On Wyoming’s passing game: We just have to be ready for it. I love teams that throw the ball. Our whole secondary and our D-Line love teams that throw the ball. If they run the ball, we’re going to be ready for that, too. Coach Muschamp’s scheme is that we’re just going to go out there and play.
On the leadership of the defense: I mean, Sam [Acho], Blake [Gideon] and me are the leaders of the team- guys will come up to us. But there have been days where I’ve had a bad practice and I have freshmen come up to me and talk to me. We have guys that step up every week. Even the young guys will come up to the older guys and say, “Hey, that was a bad practice but tomorrow we can’t have that bad practice.” I feel like everybody is filling that leader[ship] role.
DE Eddie Jones
On the first home game: I will be really soaking it up; walking down that aisle to go touch those horns before we go on the field. I think it will be a really emotional time for the seniors walking down that tunnel this weekend.
On what he wants to do on the field: Whatever my role is on the team that is what I really want to do.
On Rice not kicking deep: We kind of prepared for them not to kick the ball because we have a lot of speed back there and we know what those guys have done in the past. We prepared to catch those sky balls and if they’re deep enough and low enough then we can return them, but if not then we just fair catch them and take the ball wherever it is placed.
On what he needs to do when the ball is kicked to him: I need to make sure I secure the ball. The main thing is having control of the ball. Whatever I do with it after that, just make sure I get the offense on the field and maintain that position.
On the defense: We did really well. We still have some things we need to go back and go to work on. We started yesterday, going back to work. We enjoyed our win for the most part, but we went right back to work yesterday. We’re going to study film tonight and we can get back to work tomorrow.
On his biggest improvement: Being a team player. I think I got a bit selfish at times. That is the biggest thing in college football to be able to play as a team. Coming from high school and everyone being the best out of their high school, you still think you’re the best when you come into college. But everyone is equal once you come into college and once you leave college to go into the pros, everyone is equal at those stages. Sitting back through my injuries gave me a lot of time to think of what I was doing as a person. On and off the field - what I was doing with my teammates and what I was doing to perform on my game at my greatest.
On his high energy with teammates: I like to jump around and have fun. If you don’t make this game fun, it’s not fun. You have to have fun with your teammates and enjoy one another.
On the freshmen: All of the freshmen did well. They have been working really hard all summer long and throughout the spring - all of the ones that came in early. They’re going to be a good class coming up. If they keep the work ethic that they have [now] then they are going to be a really good class.
On DE Jackson Jeffcoat: Jackson is probably one of the fastest players I have seen since I’ve been here with ball get-off. There are some things that he has throughout his game that he teaches me and Sam [Acho]. We have to take those things and learn from one another - what I can help him with about my game and what he can help me with about his game.
On learning from other teammates: It’s a family - we have to learn from one another. If you can’t take things aside, I think that’s where the ego comes in. If you can’t put your ego aside and learn from one another then we’re not working to get better. We’re all working to get better each and every one of us, and whatever we can do to help the next person that is what we’re going to do.