Coordinators' corner: Nov. 9
Nov. 9, 2010
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On why he belives the practices have not been translating into the games: The practices have been good, there is no doubt. I will agree with everyone who has sat here before me. The last two weeks have been outstanding. I think sometimes the kids are trying so hard to play at a level that is perfect and you can’t do that no matter how hard you practice. There are going to be mistakes in a game. We’re letting them compound once we make one. The biggest thing is we have to take the practice execution to the field.
On if the team is confident: They have great energy and played extremely hard the other night. We scored two touchdowns at the end. The kids were fighting to make sure we would get in and that’s what is going to help pull us out. The players, the way they’re working and their attitude are the reasons that we’ll pull through this and come out of the other side.
On what he said to QB Garrett Gilbert during the game: We talk between every series. He had a couple of situations where the ball was tipped, both of the slant balls. One was tipped up in the air and the first throw of the second half was moved by the defensive lineman’s arm. It didn’t knock it up, but it just took it off course. That is just part of playing that position, and that is going to happen. The other thing we talked about is the [turnover] right before the half when [Gilbert] came back to [pass to] Mike [Davis]. The things we discussed on the headset were: one, it was first down, two, we had two timeouts left. Mike did have a step on the safety and it wasn’t the decision but more of the ball placement of where the ball had to be thrown where Mike makes a play where he’s laying out for the ball. Those are the kind of things we talk about at the end of every series - whether or not it’s successful or we moved it two or three first downs and kicked - we always go back through the series and on what we saw for this play or this play.
On whether he can tell how a QB is feeling by his voice through the headset: After 38 years it is really no different than talking on the phone. Usually you can tell its bad news before they ever tell you what it is, and that’s usually through the tone of the voice. I can hear certain things, but I wasn’t hearing any panic or frustration. Me and Mack [Brown] did talk about in the fourth quarter about giving Case McCoy a shot. In fact we did have Case get up. [McCoy] wasn’t ready by the time we had gotten the ball back. Once we had gotten the drive started, we thought the best thing was to let Garrett finish that drive and that drive ended in a touchdown and we didn’t get the ball back.
On how he feels Gilbert is handling the situation: I have seen [the quarterbacks for Texas] all go through it. From Major [Applewhite], Chris [Simms], Vince [Young] to Colt [McCoy], I have seen them all go through periods of this and it’s not a fun time. It is one of the things we talk about during recruiting. Being the quarterback for Texas there are some awful good things about it and there are some awful tough things about it. Recruits never quite understand what you’re talking about until they’ve lived it. The things we talk about are you just have to keep working. Who are you going to sanction is one of the things I talk to the quarterbacks about. What opinions are you going to sanction, because everybody has one. So you need to be selective about whose opinions you sanction.
On what he says to Gilbert: I say all of those things that you would think. After Sunday’s film session I always keep Garrett, as I did Colt and the other [quarterbacks] and talk about more specific things. A lot of times it’s not just football. It’s attitude. It’s handling good. It’s handling bad. It’s handling the media. Those kinds of things. There are a lot of things that we always visit about after the film on Sundays.
On the decision to not replace Gilbert: Mack [Brown] and I discussed it, and we wanted to give him a chance to work through it and go back out. As I mentioned, we did talk about it but we felt that we needed to stay with Garrett. It wasn’t a 15 minute conversation. It was typical of headset conversations. It was quick and that was the decision we arrived at.
On who makes the decision to change quarterbacks: Personnel are always the head coach’s decision, but he relies heavily on the coordinators and the position coaches at every position.
On TE Dominique Jones: Dominique started off defensively, and we moved him over to tight end and he’s been soaking in there and is now playing in our goal line set. He is one of those athletes that has a great hip snap, great flexibility. We are excited about the things we have seen. The other night we ran a play on the goal line, and he was wide open and that was the first touchdown for him. Dominique has been working really hard, and I think he will continue to grow at that position in more and more time. I can see him over the last part of the season getting more snaps and part of it will be practice and seeing how that goes.
On getting problems corrected: It’s hard to put a finger on turnovers. We start every fall count with what wins and loses ball games on both sides of the ball. Turnovers and explosive plays, as what we have talked about from this chair many times, are the key. Getting them on defense and preventing them on offense. From an offensive stand point that is an area we have got to do a better job of. Along with third downs, staying on the field and the red zones - those are the areas. Turnovers are the things that are the easiest to point to.
On what he would have done differently Saturday: We went into the game that the mixture [of] run-pass would probably be similar to Baylor. We would probably be somewhere around 50-50. That is how we went into the game. Obviously we wanted to start the game emphasizing the run. I think 13 of the first 19 snaps we ran the ball. Then each game takes on a life of its own. We had to get away from that and start throwing the ball.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
On this OSU team being similar to how it was in 2008: [In 2008] it was the same situation: Dez Bryant on the outside, Zac Robinson is very accurate, Kendall Hunter in the back field, [and] Brandon Pettigrew as tight end. They had different blocking surfaces than they do now, but a lot of the same issues you deal with when you play an offense like this.
On getting CB Aaron Williams back: It is tremendous, regardless of Chykie Brown[‘s situation], which is very disappointing being a senior and getting hurt. That is a tough deal. But Aaron is a very good football player for us. We are excited to get him back. He’s a play maker and we need to have some guys make some plays for us in the throwing game in the back end. [It] is going to be huge for us.
On Kansas State making Texas one-dimensional: I don’t think you ever put your finger on one thing and say this is what happened. We outnumbered in the box. We had as many people as we could get down there. We have to fit the runs a little better and tackle a little better in some situations. We’re in some tough situations in the game, and we just have to answer the call and that’s the bottom line. That’s the way the game happened, and you look back on the game schematically and you could have changed here and there. And you have got to force field goals in those situations.
On why the practices have not translated into the games: I do feel like we have prepared well. The players have done a nice job in the meetings and carrying it over to the practice field and in our walk-throughs and our preparation on the game day. That is something we have discussed as a staff to have our players more tuned in and more focused to start the game more successfully.
On Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon: He attacks the ball. That is the first thing that jumps out at you on the tape. As far as the jump balls down the field, he is a very physical player. He wants the ball thrown to him. He attacks the ball in the air, but he runs after the catch. He is a bigger receiver. They list him as 6’1”. He can play 6’3”. He is a big young man. He is a guy that really goes after the ball, and he does not drop the ball. So when the ball is thrown in his direction, whether it is vertical down the field or in the short intermediate passing range, he has a very effective run after the catch.
On defensive effort: I think the effort is there. It’s easy to say after a loss, “Well, they didn’t play hard.” That’s the cop out. We just need to push forward with what we’re doing, and Sam Acho is having a great year. I think we have gotten great production from Emmanuel [Acho] and Keenan [Robinson] inside. We just need more productive play in other spots, consistently. It’s not really productive – it’s consistent play defensively right now. That has been the problem of our season. [It] has been consistency and performance. There have been some positives things that have happened and I’m not a big a stat guy and I could really care less, but as far as total defense is concerned when you’re giving up 260 yards a game, there is a lot of positive in that. We have not played well in situations as far as giving up the big plays we have given up in some games. We have not always played the run as well as we would like to sometimes. I think it is more consistent play in different spots of what we’re doing right now.
On the biggest problem with the defense: I would love to wrap it up in a little present and say it is one thing, but I think it is a broad scope of things in different games. Whether it be the run game or a third down in some situations. We were good at the third down the other night, but we weren’t good at the run [game]. I don’t think it is a thing that you put your finger on and say, “This is what it is.” I think consistently play better across the board. Prepare the players better across the board, and that is what I plan on doing.
On OSU being similar to Texas Tech because of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen’s time there: Dana is a guy that does an outstanding job. He really is committed to running the football. He is going to get the ball to his playmakers and Kendall [Hunter] is as good a playmaker in college football. He is going to make sure [Hunter] touches the ball a lot. That has been a little more favored in the run game as opposed to when you play Tech. [They] are going to make a huge emphasis in running the football, and they are very effective in doing that and they can do it at a high level.
On Texas CB Carrington Byndom: He came in the other night and he was called on and he played good. I am very pleased with his production. He is going to be a very good player. He is very smart, talented and he’s just got to get into the weight room a little bit and beef his body up a little bit and continue to mature. I am very pleased where his progress is, and he is far ahead of the schedule for a freshmen defensive back.