Week 1 With Larry Fedora

Larry Fedora admits it, he didn't have much fun last season. To Fedora having fun on game day means a myriad of big plays, close to 500 yards, and most of all, plenty of points. Fedora feels like he might have more fun this season with added playmakers like Adarius Bowman, Dantrell Savage, and recently re-added wide receiver Anthony Parks and his solo kidney.

Throw in a more experienced and mature Ricky Price, an improved jumbo tight end in Brandon Pettigrew, and a slimmed down, sleeker Mike Hamilton. Bobby Reid really is improved and the offensive line, while a legitimate question mark, is determined to hold up its end of the deal.

Fedora came to Monday's news conference wearing a brown polo. We'd never seen him wear brown before so we had to ask, is brown a good color for you?

"That's what my wife laid out for me," shot Fedora. "Not really, that is just what I picked up. I guess it's a good color for me. I haven't put any thought into that. I know I wear orange on Fridays. I know that."

Unlike his counterpart on the defensive side in Vance Bedford, Fedora has a decent read on what his offense will see from Missouri State. The new coordinator that Missouri State head coach Terry Allen hired was the coordinator at Northern Iowa last season for that school's run to the Division I-AA championship game, a loss to Appalachian State. Guess what Appy State runs? You're good, if you said they run the spread.

"There are some good games to watch on Northern Iowa," said Fedora. "Now the defensive coordinator, if he feels like he has the same kind of personnel to do those same things, he's basically going to have the same kind of philosophy. But as far as what you are going to get, you don't know. How much is he going to blitz? You have no idea. You may have an idea of what type of blitzes, but do they fit those guys at Missouri State? If they are looking at what we did last year. That is not what I am, but the philosophy is basically the same. The structure is there. There is still a lot up in the air until we get into the game."

How does that kind of scenario, some uncertainty impact Reid, and really the entire offense?

"That is basically what you are trying to strive for every week," said Fedora. "It is not about the defense. It is about us and how we perform and if we take care of the things we're supposed to then we'll be successful."

Along the lines of Reid, I saw a show last night where a former NFL quarterback made the statement, 'You want to make a quarterback better then make the 10 guys around him better.'

"There is no doubt," said Fedora. "If you are putting it all on the quarterback and saying it is all about him then that means you don't have much around him. When you do have guys, that takes a whole lot more pressure off the quarterback. All he has to do is just do what he does. In what we do we're not going to ask him to do many things. We are asking him to get the ball where it is supposed to go on time and run the offense. I think that is a great example. The pressure is not on him, it is really on the other 10 guys to do their jobs."

Fedora added that he feels his offense has a degree of unity that maybe wasn't all there last season.

"They are all concerned about each other," Fedora said of the offense. "They know that if they take care of their business that Bobby will take care of his and they know we'll all be successful. I don't think that any of them doubt that he is going to do it, or Corey Hilliard is going to do it, or D'juan Woods is going to do it, or Adarius Bowman. The unknown is when will it all click. It's the first game and you don't know what they are going to do and how will we adjust, all those things."

Fedora goes into this game like a chef. He has all the ingredients for his recipe (spread offense) and now he has to make sure he puts them together properly with the right spices, and cooked at the right temperature, so all the Cowboys coming for dinner leave satisfied -- and not with the indigestion even he suffered from at times last season.

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