I told my family that I hope they don't start booing when I come in later. I appreciate the warm welcome, that's for sure.
How would you access the team's progress through fall camp.
We've got a lot better in a variety of ways. I think the understanding of how we want to practice, the effort, the toughness. Every single day, I think there is a life lesson that we want to give the guys from a leadership standpoint. I think we've grown a lot and come together in a lot of ways.
Does that mean we're good enough yet? I don't know, we need to play, but I can really see improvement. You can see guys that have made good changes in their lives and started to be good participants on the field.
It was fun to have the freshmen in from a depth standpoint. That helped some of our veteran guys who were taking probably too many reps.
Have some of your questions been answered?
Some of them have and some of the answers are really good and some of them aren't.
We're not a very deep football team at certain positions and that's scary. You have one guy go down and you're scrambling to make sure you can do some things you want to continue to do.
I think we added some very good depth... in the short period of time we had to recruit we've improved at running back, wide receiver, we improved at defensive back and at linebacker, even offensive line adding two junior college guys helped our depth. But, at our tackle position we're still pretty devoid there and it's an area that we're going to have to cross-train a bunch of guys.
Thoughts on practice:
We practice hard. Our goal is to make practice harder than a game. We want gameday to be fun and free, for those guys to run around and really if they play the way we want them to play, to sense that their opponent hasn't practiced the way they have and then they can sense that satisfaction that they can finish them.
The way we practice is different, and it takes time, especially in the heat and humidity that we have. It's challenging.
You have a new turf, how big has that been?
It drains 20 inches of rain an hour, so we could have practiced today. The offense probably would have had a horrible day from a throwing and catching standpoint, but we could have still went out there and ran routes and did what we needed to do.
It's been great, as long as there isn't lightning we're getting good work in.
How have your veterans embraced the change?
I think a lot of them have... at first it was hard on all of them and it should be. I think any coach is going to do everything he can to make sure his players enjoy his company. Everyone has a different way of doing that.
I know that our guys know I'm going to give them my best and work hard for them, and that's all I've ever asked in return from them, their best. They say I'm a player's coach, but I'm sure they'll tell you that I also get after them pretty hard.
My main goal is to make them the best them that I can make them.
What has the quarterback competition been like?
Both of the guys have worked really hard. That's been the fun part, just seeing them compete everyday. They both have tremendous work ethic and attitude.
Pete in the spring was trying to learn and Brandon in the fall was trying to learn. They both have different skillsets.
I think Pete is a really good leader and has earned his teammates' respect, and Brandon in a short period of time has made some really good friends on the team and fit in nicely. You wouldn't know going into our lockeroom that he just got here in July, I'll tell you that.
I think in any offense having two capable quarterbacks is important, and I think we have that. We have that competition right now.
Thoughts on the Leadership Council:
Really what they are is an extension of me in the locker room... to be my voice. They know how I want things done, and their teammates respect them or they wouldn't have put them in that position.
Also communicate with me on things and for them to communicate with me on things when I want their pulse. I know it's a group of guys that will have the voice of the team.
Thoughts on team's health:
I think our strength coaches do a tremendous job. Unfortunately a lot of times injuries are because guys don't eat right or drink a lot of fluids and pull muscles.
We did lose Logan Winkles unfortunately for the season, and one of our freshmen, Kenton Gibbs, had a non-contact Achilles injury, so we've lost two guys. You hate it for anybody, that's a bad part of sports and both of those injuries will hurt our football team this year, but we'll get both of those guys back down the road.
How are Josh Taylor and Bra'Lon Cherry doing?
Bra'Lon is doing really well. Everytime we scrimmage, he's a gamer. I think he shows his best during a scrimmage and that excites me.
Josh Taylor I knew would be a winner.. I knew that he would be one of those guys that just has it. He has a lot of things, he needs to get bigger and stronger and improve his body mass, but I love his attitude and work ethic.
Thoughts on his current freshmen.
We're going to play a lot of freshmen. I don't know if that's because we did a really good job or didn't have a lot of depth.
There are some very talented guys here right now that hopefully when the lights come on and 63,000 people are going crazy they don't freak out.