A: It is different because Jacory is an experienced quarterback. That is why we went to a two quarterback system. Now you have a veteran quarterback that has played. You do not worry about it now. You have a quarterback that has done it. He is ready to take on that challenge.
Q: How has the offense responded to new coordinator Mark Whipple?
A: Fine, great, no problem.
Q: What changes with two new coordinators?
A: The only thing different is terminology and how you use players. It is all verbage. How you use people is going to be a difference on defense and offense. They have been working hard since they got here and we will get those things down.
Q: Jacory talked about how much his shoulder hurt in the Emerald Bowl. How hurt was he in that game?
A: Honestly he was probably seriously hurt, but knowing Jacory is a competitor, it probably wasn't as bad as what he assumed it to be because he threw some deep balls. He did some things in the game. It shows that as a quarterback he went in that game and proved to the team that no matter what happens I am going to be with you guys. I am going to prove I can win the game.
Q: How do you challenge Taylor Cook now as a backup?
A: The difference first year to now is depth. The numbers make a big difference. Taylor knows that no matter what happens, if he has a bad practice, you have Cannon Smith and A.J. Highsmith right behind him. So he can not just say I am number 2 no matter what because with that attitude you may become No. 3 or No. 4. It is the same situation at other positions. The running backs, you can do a lot of good things at running back because you have to compete in practice or the next guy comes in. The same thing at receiver, defensive line. When you have those situations, now guys understand every day you have to go out and get better.
Q: Do you feel like the players understand everything they need to now?
A: The seniors have done a great job. Randy Phillips has been around a long time, Jason Fox, Chavez Grant, Eric Moncur and Dedrick Epps. Those guys have been here three years. They know the heartaches, ups and downs. This summer they did a lot of senior things together, said what we have to get done, the problems, who they have to talk to, pull in as a group. It is important to have that kind of senior leadership. This program has always had that.
Q: Javarris James was less productive last year. What do you expect from him?
A: A big season. He has done a great job of getting himself ready. Me and Javarris talked this off-season, we looked what he did his freshman year. He was 207, 208, real quick. Then he gained weight. He was weighing 218, 217. It was good weight, but he was nicked up a lot. He's cut his weight down now. He's faster, bigger and stronger than he's ever been by losing weight. He's doing well. We expect great things.
Q: What does a healthy Colin McCarthy mean to the defense?
A: Oh, a lot. You look at what Colin has done when healthy and he really helps on defense and special teams. Big hits, touchdowns, blocked punts. He could have played this spring, but we wanted to get him ready for the season. He was upset about sitting out the spring, but I am looking at the big picture on what he can help us with as far as leadership, be fresh, ready to go.
Q: What have you done to improve the run defense?
A: Well, we're a lot older. A year of experience will make us a whole lot better on the defensive front. Last year we had to play freshmen all across the defense. This year we have a lot more depth. We always had some guys banged up last year who return and will help us a lot. I expect to be a lot better vs. the run.
Q: What do you think about the first four games?
A: I can not control the schedule. Those are made for TV. We just have to play. You can play Oklahoma early, play late. Either way, you play them. You have to play good teams. The last couple of years we ended the season with two road games. So whether it is at the start of the year or the end of the year there is always going to be a tough part of the schedule.
Q: What does the return of Eric Moncur do for this team?
A: He brings a lot of leadership. In addition to how much he helps on the field, he can be just as valuable as a leader. He is a big help for our run defense also. At defense end, we have a lot of freshmen and sophomore's, Eric gives us a leader there.
Q: What do you expect from Allen Bailey now that he has settled in at DT?
A: He has had to move around a lot because of depth issue on the team. Now he is at a spot that he feels comfortable and we feel comfortable with him at. He is going to help us out.
Q: Do you have the depth you need to pull through the first four games?
A: We still have some depth issues. We still have some holes we have to fill . We have receivers sure, but they are sophomores. If Eric Moncur isn't the starter, we have sophomore teamed with another sophomore. Now that does not mean we can not be a lot better than last year. We have a lto of game experience which will help us a lot this year.
Q: What can you expect from Jimmy graham?
A: One thing I saw from watching him today, he is not afraid. When we get in pads, the difference is how he'll respond. It's the 30 pounds added on, how he gets on guys. He has a chance to help us.
Q: Is DL the strength of your team?
A: I do not know. We have some pretty good running backs. We have some guys who can catch the ball. I can not make that statement.