Player press conference quotes: Oct. 5
Oct. 5, 2009
C Chris Hall
On having a bye week: I am feeling very good. We had a weekend off, a chance to relax, get treatment and be with friends and family, so I think it was really good for our guys.
On separating parts of the season: I really like the way coach Brown breaks up the season for us. To me, whenever he says we’re done with this part of the season, to me it’s kind of like where you can take a breath and you can focus in on our next segment of what we have ahead of us. To be honest, I totally agree with coach Brown. We’ve got good opponents that we’re coming up against. No matter where you place the little numbers next to their names, we’ve got Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri coming up the next three weeks and to me, that’s all I can see.
On Jordan Shipley and what he’s been through at Texas: It was really tough because we all knew that the things that Jordan was doing on the field, he could definitely do even when he was a young guy, we all knew he had that in him. So to see him struggling with injuries early on in his career was really tough for everybody because we knew what kind of player he was. I knew that was frustrating for him. Even these things that Jordan had to go through early in his career that were tough, I could say and I’ll say for him, they’ve definitely worked together for his good. The kind of character and person that he is and the way he is playing right now, he’s doing such a great job.
On Colorado: I was looking at their front seven just yesterday and their stand-up defensive end and a couple of other guys. You see that they have really good motors, just from start to finish, just really playing like their hair is on fire. That’s really impressive to watch. As an offensive lineman, you know going up against this person is going to literally be whistle-to-whistle. You have to match and exceed any effort that they’re giving. We’re definitely going to have a good challenge on Saturday.
On keeping the offensive line consistent for four quarters: Every Saturday, as an offensive lineman especially here at Texas, you want to be physical and you want to wear down whoever you’re playing against, so that when it comes to the third and fourth quarter, those runs start going from three and four to seven and eight. We also want to keep our quarterback clean. With the great job that our coaching staff has done of bringing good character guys in here who make plays, who are great players, we know that as an offensive line, if we can give our skill guys time, good things are going to happen, so those are the things that we look at.
QB Colt McCoy
On the team’s chemistry: It’s grown. It is coming along each and every week. We understand that we have a chance to be really good. We don’t want to blow it either. We’ve got to take care of business each week and this week is all about Colorado. We had a good practice this morning and we’ll have some meetings this afternoon, but we just are really focusing this week on what we have to do to be the best we can be. Offensively, we want to play consistently again. We want to come out there and develop the tempo, play fast and to our standard and play for four quarters.
On whether he watched any football games on Saturday: I watched a few. I kind of found it boring sitting around watching football games all day. I really felt like I should be playing. I watch defenses, I watch their fronts, I watch their blitzes and see what they can do. I usually miss out on the game because I feel like I’m watching film.
On breaking up the season into segments: We’re starting our second season. It’s good for us because it brings us all back in on the same page. One of our themes this season is “all in” and we’ve got to be all in on this second part of the season because it is a tough stretc,h but at the same time, it starts with Colorado and that’s what all our focus is on right now.
On if this four-game stretch compares to last year’s against four ranked teams: I don’t know how it is going to play out, but we can only control what we can control and that’s preparing each week and getting ready, and I think it’s going to turn out to be tough. We’re on the road most of the stretch, so it’s just got to be one-at-a-time, say it over and over.
On Jordan Shipley: Jordan means a lot to our team. He’s dynamic on special teams as a punt returner. If we want to stick him back on kick returner we probably could. He’s a game changer. On offense, he plays a single receiver position, which is what Quan [Cosby] played last year, and that’s a big-time position for us. You’ve got have the ability to get open and make plays and he’s done a great job so far. He’s never going to quit. He’s not that type of guy. He’s going to fight and fight until the end. I think that he’s earned a lot of respect from our teammates and our coaches and it is starting to pay off for him for sure.
On Dan Buckner: He’s been tremendous for us, especially lining up on the other side from Jordan. I think that defenses have to start respecting Dan for the way he stretches the field, but also he blocks for us on the edge, he mans up on linebackers every now and then, so he’s doing a great job for us. I think that throughout the season, he’ll start getting double coverage and it will open up Jordan, it will open up [James] Kirkendoll, it will open up some of the other guys, and that all goes back to playing consistent. If we’re able to stretch the field with guys like Dan and Jordan and able to run the ball, then we’ll have a chance to be pretty good.
On preparing for the next game: It’s tough either way preparing for a team because for us you know you’re going to get their best shot. You know that the team you watch on film isn’t going to be the team you’re going to see on Saturday. So for us, we really break it down and make sure we understand that this is the game we have in front of us, this is the game that means the most this year because it’s right now. That’s the mentality that we have. We know we have a chance to be really good, and if we take them one at a time and play our best each week then our dreams and goals have a chance to be accomplished.
On only three home games left: I try not to think about that too much. This year I’ve really tried to just enjoy the moment. When I run out of the tunnel, when I run out onto the field, I just try to enjoy the atmosphere of the moment that I’m in because I know it’s not going to last forever. I definitely don’t let it affect the way I play or anything about the game, but just enjoying it and Saturday’s game is one more I get to enjoy.
On watching the NFL and whether he thinks about playing there someday: I really like watching the NFL, I watch that a lot. I get to see NFL looks from coach Muschamp all the time. I’m not worried about that, my focus is on this team and what we have to do to be the best we can be.
On whether he has a favorite NFL team: I kind of have quarterbacks, I don’t really have teams. I guess if I had a team it would be the Dallas Cowboys because they have kind of been my team my whole life living in Texas. I like several quarterbacks. I’m obviously a Tony Romo fan. I’m a Peyton and Eli [Manning] fan because I got to spend some time with them this summer. I’m a Drew Brees fan. I guess I have to say I’m a Mark Sanchez fan now. We’re good friends. I talk to him all the time. I like watching the quarterbacks in the NFL play because the defenses come at you from every which way. It’s not easy on any Sunday.
On whether they’ll stay with a four-back attack: As long as we’re getting our yards and staying on the field, I don’t care who does it. I think all of those guys for the most part are pretty much healthy now. Being able to have fresh legs and rotate in and out is going to help us down the stretch.
DT Lamarr Houston
On Colorado: On film they look pretty good. I’m sure they’ll be prepared and I’m sure (Colorado) coach (Dan) Hawkins will have a nice package set up for us on Saturday. I know that they’re a smash mouth football team always. They mark off the play action. Once we get the ball rolling on that and try and make them one dimensional, I think they’ll end up passing the ball more.
On UT’s defensive line: So far we’re doing pretty well, we’re doing what coach Muschamp wants us to do. If we can keep accomplishing our goals for every game I think we’ll be just fine.
On possibly wearing something for Breast Cancer Awareness month: Talking with coach Brown, we’re looking into doing something with breast cancer awareness. My grandma died of lung cancer, but you know cancer is cancer, so we’re just trying to make people aware of all the different kinds of cancer out there.
On what he told the high school guys: You’d be surprised, it’s really the same thing here. You’ve got to work every time you go out there. They slipped up a little after winning their first three and started feeling good about themselves, and it’s the same thing at this level. You know you can never think, “Oh we’ve arrived,” and I think they listened. This past weekend I guess they had a late drive to win the game.
On Colorado: I got to watch Colorado on Thursday and they have a really good team. Their record doesn’t show how good they are. They’re going to come in here and play a really great game. They’ve got some guys on defense back from last year that love to fly around, they find the football and they’re really physical up front, so it’s going to be a really good challenge for us.
One thing we always talk about as the offensive line is strain. We’re always looking to strain our block and hold our block as long as we can until the last second. We have such a great running back committee that whoever is in there, if we can just strain the hold on the block for just a few more minutes, they’re going to find that crease and get through. In the red zone, it isn’t about whether we pass or run the ball. I think we’re 100 percent in the red zone right now, so that’s a pretty good stat to have, but so doing something right but we can always improve. The main thing is that we get into the end zone.
S Earl Thomas
On Colorado QB Cody Hawkins: We know we’re going to get his best game because everybody plays us well. We’re not going to try to do anything that we’re not coached to do. We’re going go out and execute the game plan, nothing besides that.
On what he focuses on when he watches games: If it’s a team we’re playing I just try to look at the quarterback, to see if he’s looking the safety off or looking at the receiver he’s going to throw to. Most of all, I just relax, stay off my feet, have fun and watch the game.
On how different it is to watch games now in college versus high school: It is very different now. In high school you just watch with your friends. It is a business now. You take it as a business now and really pay attention on what to helped you succeed when you play that team.
On what he gains watching college game: Everybody looks like they are about even and the game can go anyway. You don’t like to take any plays for granted and finish the game. Anything can happen.
On how the secondary will handle Colorado: We know it is going to be a physical game. They are going to try to test us and see if we can tackle. We’re going to try to hold up and just game tackle. Just have everyone run for the ball as a group in the secondary. We know they are going to try to pound the ball, try to control the game, so we are just going to try to hold up back there.
On building off the defense’s four interceptions versus UTEP: It is just a confidence booster going into this game. It was great for everybody to get a knack for the ball. At practice, with the ball carrier, we all think about just trying to strip it out of his hands. I think just carrying over from practice to the game. It’s helping us out a lot.
On how the secondary has changed from last year: Everybody has just matured from last year. I think that year under our belt has helped us tremendously.
On the tough upcoming schedule: The next few games are going to be difficult. Everybody’s going to play us hard. We’re Texas, and everybody’s always going to play us hard. We’re not going to take anything for granted. We’re going to take it game by game and try to win them all.
WR Dan Buckner
On Jordan Shipley: Jordan takes a lot of the tension off me. I don’t know if I do the same for him yet, but hopefully that’s what I’ll get to. Jordan demands a lot of attention when he’s on the field. It makes my job, as well as all the other receiver’s jobs that much easier to get open.
On having Jordan Shipley give him advice on the flex position: It’s a lot easier when you have someone who’s already done it and been successful doing it to show you how to do it. It’s made my job that much easier.
On the upcoming schedule: I’m not looking on to the next four games. We’re just looking at Colorado right now. You can’t look ahead to next week because that’s when this week might jump up and bite you.
On his chemistry with Colt McCoy: As time goes on, we’re gelling more, we’re ready to play, we’re fired up to do whatever we’ve got to do for Texas.
On Colorado: I feel like they’re a lot better than their record shows. They’re a good team. They blitz, we’ve got to be ready to pick up their blitzes and things like that. If we’re not ready to play, then they can beat us. If we turn the ball over, anything can happen. We’ve got to be on top of our game and ready to play.