Big 12 Coaches Teleconference: Week Three

Monday morning brought the third Big 12 Coaches Teleconference of the season, and Head Coach Turner Gill was there bright and early to answer questions on everything from the play of Jordan Webb to prepping for Friday's tilt with Southern Miss. Phog.net is here with the quotes.

On rebuilding the team's confidence after a tough Week One loss:

I think our staff and I just came together and really just evaluated each and every one of us as a staff member first. Then we just put together a plan of what we need to do to really get our players to build in what we're trying to get accomplished.

We just thought they played hesitant. We turned up the tempo a lot more in practice, and I think that transpired on Game Day.

On the selection of middle linebacker Justin Springer as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week:

They definitely recognized Justin Springer, but I think our whole defensive football team really actually should get all the credit too. Justin is the leader of our team and a captain, but man the whole defense played well. It means a lot for our program just to get recognized.

On how preparation for Southern Miss is going, with the shortened week:

I think the preparation is going good. I think the main thing is we've got to get our guys here, again, (to see) how they handle prosperity. That's part of the process, the teaching with us as coaches to players, and players to players.

I think the big thing is we've gotta improve in some areas. Obviously we had a good football game, and there are some still some areas where we need improvement. I think one of the big areas from an offensive standpoint is we've gotta make sure we do better n our short yardage. We haven't done very well in the first two ballgames, whenever there has been third-and-one, fourth-and-one, or third-and-twos and that aspect of it. So that's really one area we need to improve on.

Then I think we just need to continue to improve on our kicking game. We've got to continue to get more explosion plays in our return game from that standpoint.

On what he saw in Jordan Webb that prompted him to name the redshirt freshman as starting quarterback prior to Saturday's game:

We chose him to be the starter, I think it came about unfortunately because of the poor performance that we had on the offensive side of the ball. It really was not strictly the quarterback, it was everybody included, including us as coaches. We just wanted to do something that was different. It was a close race between those two guys, of course Kale Pick and Jordan Webb, in deciding (who was) starting for that first game.

And so we just thought that it was good to give him an opportunity to start and see what he could bring to the offense. He definitely played extremely well, and he brought some plays that were made by him. He did some smart things, throwing the ball away when he had to and things of that nature. So he did a very good job and we're pleased, and obviously we anticipate him continuing to get better.

On the emotional swing from a disappointing loss in Week One to an exhilarating victory in Week Two:

I think the big thing that really we're so proud of in the whole situation here, as we all know in life your true character gets revealed when adversity hits. I think this is a great example of our coaching staff and our players, that they know how to handle adversity. That's when it's all revealed, and so the character got revealed.

For me, I'm so blessed to be a part of this group of guys. I love this type of people when they can respond like they responded, in a great way. The coaching staff I've really got to give a lot more credit to, and also the players.

On the resurgence of tight end Tim Biere after a rough season opener:

We just said one thing to him and then we moved on. We're trying to teach our staff and obviously our players that we're not going to spend a whole lot of time on negative things. We'll get it corrected and then we're gonna move on.

That's part of what we're all about and our mission, is to learn and press on toward your goals. That's what we're all about, and that's what he did. I'm proud of him to come back, and again he's a guy that's going to be very important for our football program both on and off the field.

On the performance of freshman running back James Sims in his college debut:

There's no doubt that I'm proud of the way he played. He responded in a great way. Obviously we needed a boost on the offensive side of the ball, and we decided to give him an opportunity to see what he could do in game action and he responded in a tremendous way.

I think you saw how, in a sense, I think he's really the guy who lifted the spirit of our whole football team. Just because of the way he ran, the way he did things in a physical way. He took care of the football and he made some exciting runs. And again he played with great confidence. Now he's just got to build from that, and again he will continue to be a vital part of our offense.

On the challenge of shifting gears so dramatically from facing Georgia Tech's option offense, to the hurry-up spread passing attack of Southern Miss:

I think it's going to be good that we've got a veteran staff, as far as Coach Torbush and the whole defensive staff being able to get our guys to respond. There is going to be an adjustment, but again you still have to know where to line up, you've gotta do your assignments and you've gotta play with great effort. You've gotta execute your techniques.

If our guys continue to play fast, play physical and then makes plays, then I think we'll be in pretty good shape. We just want our guys to continue to get better each and every week.


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