On Dwight Jones:
"He's back to going full speed for the first time maybe in the middle of last week. He returned and is doing all of the drills that the rest of the receivers are doing, trying to learn all of the offense and kind of getting back into the flow of it, but he's doing a nice job."
Do you think he might play Saturday?
"I have no idea."
Do you expect to play six or seven freshmen every year?
"Every year is going to be different, to be honest with you. Historically, there's going to be some positions that it's going to be extraordinarily difficult for a freshman to come in and play. Sometimes it's in the offensive line. There are always rare exceptions. Sometimes you'd even say in the defensive line that they're not going to come in and be a marquee frontline starter. As high profile as Marvin Austin was, it took him a while to acclimate himself into the scheme and to learn what to do.
"But every year will be a little bit different. I think that as we grow this program, we hope that they will always be six or seven freshmen that are talented enough that they can come in and make a difference. I talk to all of our freshmen that the decision of whether or not they play, and whether or not they red-shirt is [based on] two factors – I could tell them one thing and injuries could change that in one week, and the other factor is, can they help us win? If they truly are a factor that they can go in and do something that gives them a role that would make a difference in us winning the game, then we're going to play them."
Some coaches look at red-shirting players in terms of playing a certain number of snaps per game –
"I think you look at it more in the big picture, from the standpoint of how many snaps they would play over the course of the year. I don't think you look at it by game. If they play 200, 300 [or] maybe 400 snaps over the course of the season…
"But by the same token, I'm not sure that if a kid doesn't play as a freshman, four years from now, what's the likelihood that you might out-recruit that particular kid? I tell the team this, I'm not concerned about 2011 or 2012. This is about 2008. We want to win as many games this year as we can. We'll worry about the future when the future gets here."
On the defensive tackes:
"We expect them to play well. They bring a certain level of experience. Certainly, Aleric Mullins, Marvin Austin… Tydreke Powell is probably the least experienced of the group, but we expect him to come in and be able to play. We already talked about Cam Thomas, so that gives you four guys that we've got a lot of confidence in that we won't really care which of the four are in the game at the time.
"They're good players. They're all slightly different. Cam is a bigger, more powerful massive guy, where Marvin and Tydreke are probably a lot faster. Aleric is probably the quickest at shedding blocks and getting off blocks of the four, but any combination of two of the four we expect to go in and play well."
On using the season opener versus McNeese State as a springboard:
"Just to start the season off with a win is most important. I feel like we'll want to score a lot of points this year. We don't only want to win this game by 30 points. I want to come out and just have that mentality of killing the ant with the sledgehammer, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to try to go out and win big."
On the preseason hype surrounding this program:
"That's always a plus, but we always see the game as an opportunity. And as for people saying good things about us, it's just an opportunity for us to get that spotlight on us and now we have to make that light shine. There [are] a lot of eyes on us right now, and that's why we have that mentality about the ant and the sledgehammer. We're just going to try to obliterate teams."
On not looking past McNeese State:
"I just try to think about our team only. What can we do to get better? We just try to focus on ourselves rather than looking at opponents each and every day. We just come in and focus on what we can do better."
On where this team is right now:
"I think that our potential is limitless. I really do. I think that we have great potential. And potential is a scary word, and I hate using potential, but it's only that right now. We haven't played any games, and we've only got a couple of more days until this first game, so it's going to be a one game process. I think we can be as good as we want to be."
Is this team to excited for Saturday night?
"I would be afraid if we weren't amped up. I think that we have to play with a furor. We have to play with reckless abandon. I think that offensively, those guys have done a great job this fall. They've gotten us ready, and I think we've gotten them ready. We're all just ready to go out there and hit somebody besides each other."
On the team staying injury free:
"Playing and practicing smart is one of the biggest things that we have to do. [We have] to take care of ourselves in practice. You read every day on ESPN and all of the other websites that people get hurt in practice, and we can't afford to lose people in practice. Depth is very tough in college football to obtain, and when you lose 2-3-4 starters, it puts you way back. So we've been very lucky this training camp to come out injury free, for the most part."