SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Rich Rodriguez met with media on Monday and here are some notes on numerous topics he discussed:
“When we are doing well and we are doing it the way I want to do it, we’re playing faster than anybody,” Rodriguez said.
“What I mean by faster is that by the time that umpire or referee or in this case the eighth official, when he steps out of the way, we’re ready to snap the play. Our program’s offensively philosophy is built around tempo first. Not schemes, but tempo.
“We’re better and our kids are even asking us to play faster, so they have bought into it 100 percent from that stand point.”
“Use the tempo to try to get the lead and if you get a lead in the fourth quarter, win the game,” Rodriguez said. “People say it is hard to slow down. No, it isn’t. Just take your time before you call a play. It’s not hard to slow down.
“Now from an execution standpoint, it might be for our guys up front because they don’t want to wait, but our thing is to get into the fourth quarter and win the game.”
“It helps, but it is probably overstated a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “It helps because it is a national stage and because we can sell the fact that you can play on the biggest stage at Arizona.
“It always helps a little bit to win and makes us coaches and players feel better, but not as much impact as you would think.”
“It's been a good week,” he said. “Guys worked hard. I get a little nervous because they've got so much time, particularly in the evening, dinner time, from 5:00 till 10:00.
“There's a lot of places to go and eat, but I don't want them running around too many places. I think they've had that balance. I think their focus has been really good.”
“I’ve told them this is different,” he said. “Normally you would say they are all the same, a game is a game. It’s different. There are eight or nine uniformed policemen escorting you everywhere. Are you kidding me?
“Taking us to our press conference, practice, to eat. This is not normal. What they are getting and experiencing this week is different and I hope they realize that and appreciate that. I hope we are in one every year, but for our guys on the team this is the first one they have ever been in.”
“If you’re asking if I felt the need to prove ourselves, yes, but I always feel that,” he said. “I felt that ever since I started playing ball and coaching and I hope our guys always feel that way.
“Is there a little extra need to prove it after Michigan? Sure. Any time you get let go and you don’t get to finish the deal you thought you were going to get to, there is a little bit of an edge about getting it done.
“I feel really good not only for myself personally, but for the staff. There are a lot of good coaches that got fired when we got fired at Michigan and these guys could coach for anybody.”
With Rodriguez continuing to watch film, he has been able to develop numerous impressions of the Broncos.
“The tailback is a NFL guy and he should have came out a week ago instead of waiting,” Rodriguez joked. “They are very active in the secondary, they have guys that can rush the passer.
“They don’t have to blitz. Even though they do blitz, they don’t have to blitz to get pressure. They have recruited well, but their coaching staff does a great job.
“Those kids, you can ask anybody that plays them, those kids play hard, but they also execute well and that’s why they are winning so many games.
“They play extremely hard and the one thing that gets overlooked is how athletic they are. They are very, very athletic on both sides of the ball at every position.”