Stoops Pac-10 Media Day Comments

It is getting ever so closer to the start of football season. Next week fall camps open up and on Thursday the Pac-10 held Media Day. Coach Mike Stoops spoke with the media about Arizona's chances this season.

Opening Remarks:

"Sometimes over the lat two years it has been a little bit uncomfortable, but our team has made a lot of improvement. A lot of things have to happen to allow your program to win. You go through stages. We went through another one of those stages and that was to play a lot of people close, and just not getting it done.

"I thought for the most part we competed well week in and week out. We lost five games by seven points or less. Even though they were losses I think our team gained confidence. Before you can beat those teams you have to learn how to play close. I think we did that.

"The kids understand there are certain things we need to do better to win close games. You have to have a team first mentality to win. It is easy to be individuals. That is something we work hard on as a team. To wing you have to have a team first mentality. When you don't win it is easy to be selfish and think about yourself. Those are things we talk a lot about.

"I think this team is making a tremendous amount of improvement.

"You have to have a great defense to win. I think our defense will be greatly improved. We have added some personal and we have nine starters back.

"Willie gives s a chance, and Adam Austin. We are going to be good at quarterback."

On the difficult schedule:
" You can't worry about things that are out of your control. The schedule has been set for the last four or five years. We are not a team that buys out of games. The schedule is set, but it is not conducive to turning the program around. We have played a Utah team that went 13-0 and Wisconsin who was 9-0. We come back and play Utah on the road and lose. We have not had a schedule conducive to gaining confidence early.

"We need to play more consistently and be more mature. We have been thorough a lot of tough lessons over the past two years. We had the opportunity to win a bunch of games. I think our players are starting to realize we have to do things better. We need to be mature and quit beating ourselves.

On instant replay:
" I like to have some control and to be able to challenge a play. I think some plays there are game changing plays. One or two play can mean a great deal during the course of the game. To have some say in those matters is okay. It is constantly changing game. I guess we are trying to stay up with the times. I am not going to worry about that too much.

On where the team will be improved:
"Defensively we have a chance to be better than a year ago. We have nine starters and I think they will all be better. Our recruiting has a chance to bolster this team. With the offense the emphasis is based on Willie It is nice to have a guy you can trust up there and get it done. Willie is a guy who can handle it. Offensively we are searching for our identity to see what we are. We have never had a quarter back we can build around, and for the first time."

On Chris Henry at running back:
"Chris Henry has some unique qualities. He is 230 pound, he runs a 4.4, he needs to keep polishing up his running skills. He is a quality running back. He has gotten a lot better. This is the first time this is his job. It is a little different. I think it is critical we get Chris up to a good start."

On Adam Hawes:
"We are counting on Adam to have a terrific year. For the fist time since he has been here he is totally comfortable with everything going on around him."

On being picked sixth in the media poll:
"I don't put much stock into that. It is just a piece of paper to me. I know what we are capable of doing. We are going to go out and try to win them all. We have a chance to compete week in and week out. "The games are played on the field. I think people respect the way we played at times last year. We showed we could play at a very high level and made too many mistakes." "We have some pieces o the puzzle and have gotten them in place and come out of camp healthy, we will be fine."

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