Coach Art Briles Tuesday Quotes

Baylor head football coach, Art Briles, met with the press on Tuesday. Here are quotes from his Tuesday press conference as the Baylor Bears prepare to travel to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners.

Art Briles'

Opening Statement:

"You know, there are a couple of ways to look at it. I guess we are through touring the country. North Carolina, Connecticut, Lousiana, and Ohio. So, we are back in our neighborhood, backs home, and ready to take care of business on our home turf. It is good to be in conference with our visions all in the same direction."

On preparing for Bradford or Jones at QB for Oklahoma:

"We are going to have to play well regardless of who the quarterback is. Sam [Bradford] is of course the Heisman Trophy winner so his resume is pretty full. Jones has done a really good job since he has been in there. Both of those guys are good football players surrounded by good people. Whoever is on the field we have to play up, and make good plays against. So it really doesn't change our preparation."

On if this is a good time to take stock and see where you are as a football team:

"I don't think so because we haven't done that. I don't think there is any stock to take. What we are trying to do is to become a better football team. You know, become an established program. So, if we are looking for stock, there is not a lot there. We have got a lot of learning to do, and a lot of growing to do. We are going to have a lot of opportunities to do that over the next few weeks. So, it is good to get into conference play. Like I mentioned, we are in our neighborhood. We are where we are supposed to be, and where we are at. Now, we have got to prove our worth. "

On how big the special teams plays were last week and Phil Taylor's impact in that area:

You know Phil's done well, and Jason Lamb got two of them the other night. It's always big when the opponent's think they are going to get points and suddenly they don't have anything. It's definitely a momentum-builder, it is a game changer, and it is something that our guys are good at. Hopefully, they will continue to do that throughout the rest of the season."

On the status of Blake Szymanksi and the decision on who to start this week at quarterback:

"I would tell you if I knew. I really would. I think I will know more at about 7:00 o'clock this evening than I know right now. We will just have to see if he is able to throw and go through practice today. He did not Sunday, and I think threw a little bit yesterday on his own with the trainers. But we will have to see how it goes today."

On Nick Florence's performance last week:

"I was impressed with his composure. I thought he played very composed, very intelligently, very aware, and really stayed within himself. He didn't try to do much, protected the football, and gave our team an opportunity to win. Which is what you should do at every position, but it glares a little more at that position. So, from that standpoint everyone is saying, ‘Are you surprised?' Surprised? Not really. Because when you prepare you have an opportunity to have success, and he prepared awfully well."

On if the approach changes with Oklahoma coming in with two losses:

"I think they are still a very good football team. They played a tough non-conference schedule. I mean, you play BYU, that is a good football team. They have been good for a long time. You want to go back to 1984, National Champions. Miami University, I think they have a lot of respect nationally. Good, good football program. So, you jump out there, regardless of who you are there is a chance you can get bit every so often. Oklahoma is a very, very talented, very well-coached, physical football team. We understand that."

On how to prepare for the environment in Norman:

"You know, the good thing is that a lot of our guys have been there. A lot of our coaches have been there. With our coaching staff, everyone has been there at one time or another with the exception of one or two of our guys. And then, most of our team members. The thing about taking our team in there is if you are prepared mentally, and if your focus is right, and your vision is correct, then it doesn't matter what is going on on the outside as long as you are taking care of what is going on in the inside. Our job is to go win for 100 yards, for 60 minutes regardless of what is happening all around us. So, if we are focused on what we are doing, it should not be a factor."

On if Jay Finley is 100% and the possibility of Finley and Salubi as a 1-2 punch:

"Well, we hope he is 100%. Jay is a really strong, tough downhill runner. That's a phase we are really going to welcome back into our offense. 100% means you are completely healthy. I don't know if he will be completely healthy Saturday. I think he will be from 85 to 95. But we will just have to kind of wait and see. He is a guy that brings another dimension to the table for us offensively that's needed in a lot of situations. Salubi, as we know, has done very well the last couple of weeks. He has filled in nicely, has done a good job. He has brought a little different flavor to our game, and Terrance [Ganaway] has done what we have asked him to do. So, all those guys, they are just grinding and trying to help us win. That's what it is all about. You get an opportunity, you take advantage of it, and you help the football team win."

On what the ‘Wildcat Formation' is called at Baylor, and whether coaches were pleased with results: "Well, we actually call it the ‘Bearcat', but as far as production, not really what we anticipated. We really had a few more things that we didn't get to dictated by the flow of the game, score of the game. So, whether we get there or not before the season's end I don't know. But we do have some other things stored up if we ever need to get to that part of it."

On Oklahoma's defense:

"Not really just defense, you know, last year they had one of the most productive offenses in the history of the game. They take a lot of pride in being a sound football team all the way around. And they have done it for a long time. Coach Stoops has done a tremendous job since he has been there. I think he came in either in ‘99 or 2000, and they have some history to rely on a little bit. They have been a pretty solid program for a number of decades. They certainly haven't faltered in any fashion. Those guys on defense are good football players. They are really good football players that are assignment detailed, play with a lot of effort, play with a lot of attitude, and quite a bit of confidence."

On whether you measure your team against a team like Oklahoma:

"I think every team in the Big 12 has to measure against Oklahoma. I mean they have won 4 out of the last 5 Big 12 Championships. The other one I guess is Texas in 2005. So, yeah, like I say, we are in our neighborhood. We are looking for a pickup game, and we can get a pretty good challenge just walking down the street, rolling the ball out there. We are not going to have to travel far to find people to measure against."

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