Mizzou head football coach holds game week presser

Missouri Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel media address for Mississippi State game week.

Mizzou Media Day Quotes – Head Coach Gary Pinkel

Pinkel talks about his team before playing Mississippi State this week


Opening Statement

Good afternoon everybody, I appreciate you all being here.  I’m dressed in coaching gear because this is not our typical press time, but certainly glad that you’re here.  We just came off of- well, first off, we’re a healthy football team for the most part, so that’s really good.  Secondly, the bye week schedule I think was good for our players.  It’s the longest time we’ve ever gone since I’ve been here without a bye.  I think they’re nice to have.  Actually, nice to have a bit earlier because of the grind that you go through, all the preparation and just the continuous efforts that those require.  So I think we got to break from the grind a little bit, I think we got a jump in academics, which I think are real important.  Then I think also we got a jump on Mississippi state.  They’re a very, very good football team.  That’s kind of where we’re at right now.  We also had Marcus Luttrell who, lone survivor, spoke to our football team and did really a great job.  He’s a Navy SEAL, I think a lot of people are familiar with him.  So I thought it was really good that he did that, I think on Wednesday.  So that was a good deal there.  We’re certainly excited about playing this week. Thursday night game, national TV.  We’re excited about that.  We’re playing a very, very good football team.  Mississippi State’s playing really well.  They’ve got one of the best quarterbacks in the country, playing at that kind of a level.  Good receivers.  We’re playing a very, very good defensive football team.  Very good up front on both sides of the ball.  So, they’re very well coached.  So we’re going to have a great challenge there, but we’re certainly very excited about it.  Our fans, hopefully our fans do a great job Thursday night.  Make The Zou the kind of place it is and can be, and that’s certainly our responsibility to do that also.  And shout out to the Royals tonight, good luck to them.


On when the team will look at reinstating Maty Mauk

We’ll just, at the end of the season we’ll look at it.


On the impact of the offense not having their starting quarterback

Well, I think anybody, anytime, anywhere around the country, us or anybody, you lose your starting quarterback, that obviously affects your football team.  Bottom line, you’ve got to overcome it.  We have a young player that’s playing, and he’s doing a lot of good things.  It puts a remarkable amount of pressure on a young player that was playing high school football.  At the end of the day, we don’t asterisk anything, we don’t have excuses.  Our job is to go win football games, and it really doesn’t matter.


On if suspending Mauk takes pressure off of Drew Lock

I don’t know.  I wouldn’t know how to, I think that they’re friends, I don’t know that that weighed on him a lot.  I think what he wants to do is he wants to get better and keep improving.  I think that’s what his focus is and I think he learns things every day.  But I really didn’t think of it in that respect, so I have no idea.


On what changed between Tuesday and Sunday, regarding Mauk

That, I don’t ever.  What I’d be doing if I’m telling you is things that I don’t ever do.  All my players trust me that I don’t ever talk about disciplinary issues since the day I got here.  So if I do that, I know you want more information, but that’s why I don’t do it.  I’ve been very, very consistent.


On if it is disappointing to reverse the decision after reinstating Mauk on Tuesday

I’ve been doing this for a long time.  I’ve been a head football coach for 25 years.   I’ve handled discipline problems the exact  same way I’ve been doing for 25 years, it’s very consistent.  What we did here is exactly like I’ve always done it.  That’s what we do, that’s what we believe.  We don’t overlook things, we don’t cover things up.  We do what’s right.  A lot of other places would find ways to get the problem solved without doing what we do, but we don’t do that at Missouri.  I’ve never done that, I never will.


On if quarterbacks are held to a higher standard

There is no question, the quarterbacks are held to a whole different standard than everybody else on the team.  There is no question about that.  The responsibility, you’re going to touch the ball 75 times a game.  We’re going to hand you the keys to the car.  That responsibility is huge. It’s a lot of pressure, especially nowadays more than ever.  There’s no question about it, they definitely have a higher standard.  They know that.  That always has been communicated with them.  That’s the nature of the position.


On if the situation with Mauk will be a distraction

First of all, you have to overcome the distractions.  You’re going to have them.  You don’t like self-inflicted ones, there’s enough things.  Having a bunch of serious injuries are distractions to a team.  There’s no question about that.  But you don’t like self-inflicted ones that tap in internally.  It’s just the way it is.  It doesn’t matter.  You’ve got to overcome them. 


On the importance of keeping disciplinary issues private

Because when I talk about very serious things publicly, my players don’t have to worry about me going into detail about them.  Okay?  Most of the guys, it never even comes up, 95 percent of them.  Five percent, it does happen.  It happens all around the country.  They trust, and their parents trust, that I’m not going to discuss all these personal things, and I won’t do that.  I’ve never done that, and really for those reasons.


On if he was planning on playing Mauk this season

I’m not going to discuss that.


On team goals during the bye week

Those are those things I said when I started.  I covered all those different areas.  I thought we got a lot done.  It’s interesting coming off a bye week into a Thursday night game.  It’s just unusual, that’s not the norm, so organizationally-wise it was different.  But I think we accomplished the three main goals that we had.


On keeping the team on course amid quarterback controversy

Well, things happen.  You don’t want any problems.  You don’t want any problems.  Every coach in America will tell you that.  We want no problems.  But it happens sometimes and you have to overcome them.  That’s just the way it is.  That gets back to the distractions, same thing.


On what the coaches communicate to the players

We just communicate with our players.  They know what’s going on before you do because they trust that we’re going to get them information and they’re not going to look on their phone and all of the sudden see that something happened.  We try, it’s very important for us to do that.  My guys don’t get sideswiped.  They know what’s going on, so we communicate those things most all of the time unless someone’s jumped ahead and we didn’t know about it.


On the high number of dismissals and suspensions for the 2012 recruiting class

I don’t know.  I think we talked about that the other day.  It’s something we’re going to look at, just go back and look.  We have a very extensive evaluation system, and we cover a lot of different things in the tough questions that we ask.  Is he dying to be a great player?  Does he have great toughness?  Does he have any personal problems that have a negative effect to a football team?  Has he ever been arrested?  Ever been involved with drugs?  We go through a lot of things, a lot more than a lot of people do in our evaluation system.  Our evaluation system’s very good, so we always go back and evaluate everything.  We’ll probably go look at that.


On balancing player with privacy with suspensions

Again, that’s just private.


On if the defensive players feel they have to be perfect to win games

Well, I don’t think they think that.  I think they just play hard.  They have a lot of confidence.  They’re tested this Thursday night, for sure, but it’s nice to be playing that kind of defense with that kind of effort.  Correct me if I’m wrong, I think we’ve given up 3 touchdowns in the last three games, total.  I believe that’s really difficult to do against the people we’ve been playing against.  But, in the same token, what coach [Barry] Odom talks to those guys about are things that we’ve got to do.  If you have an offense that is struggling, you get turnovers that can drastically change football games.  You know they’ve done an excellent job, but I think you’re always trying to make yourself better.  I think that’s really kind of the focus.  We never arrived, we haven’t arrived, but yet offensively we have to score.  There’s a sense of urgency on that, and we’re aware of that.


On how the team approaches the long bye

However the schedule comes out, that’s how I review it.  That’s how we do it.  They set the schedule, I show the players the schedule before March.  Explain it, show how it plays itself out.  It’s November now.  For us, that’s a different deal there.  I also talk to them in the first meeting we have in August and we just kind of go through the whole schedule.  The non-conference games and how important those games are.  The importance, obviously, of home games.  The importance of winning in November.  In November, that means winning for different reasons sometimes.  Sometimes it’s to compete for a championship.  Sometimes its to get into a bowl game.  There’s many different reasons, but at the end of the day November’s a really big month in our business.  I think that’s how we talk about the schedules.  We don’t say this is a positive situation or negative situation.  It’s just the way it is.  That’s why we’re working hard, to compete against those guys.  That’s the approach we take.


On if he’s concerned with how keeping discipline issues in-house appears to the media

No.  Never.  I care about my players.  They’re like your kids, okay?  If you’ve got three kids, you’re going to go out and have a little meeting in your front yard and you’re going to tell them all the stuff that your kids did wrong?  You protect your kids.  They’re your family.  We do the same thing here.  We protect our family.

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