CHUCK, IF YOU WOULD, TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF BEING ABLE TO INVOLVE ADRIAN A LITTLE MORE IN THE OFFENSE AND WHAT THAT MIGHT OFFER?
CHUCK LONG : Well, the first thing that comes to mind is after establishing a run game, we would like to work some play action off of that. Those two things go hand in hand when you have a back like Adrian and the other backs we have as well you'd like to work some play action and take your shots down the field. It's certainly something we want to do and will be a focus for us this training camp.
From there, we'd like to get him more involved in our passing game and get the ball to him a little bit more. He needs a lot of work in that department, as far as working his hands and getting some catches, but we'll see how that goes. That's gonna be another part of training camp for us in getting ready to in getting ready to do that.
DOES HE LOOK PRETTY GOOD TO YOU , WHAT YOU'VE SEEN?
CHUCK LONG: Yes, yes. He's had a great summer. Fantastic. One of the best summers on our team. He worked hard. He works hard on everything he does. That's really a credit to him for a young guy who's had a lot of success already. It can be a very heady experience for a guy who is maybe less mature, maybe not be able to handle that as well and not work as hard, but he's worked extremely hard since the surgery he had on his shoulder. We anticipate him being a hundred percent. He is a hundred percent right now, so we feel good.
COACH STOOPS CHASTIZED US A LITTLE BIT IN THE MEDIA FOR PRESUMING THERE IS A PECKING ORDER IN THE QUARTERBACK SITUATION. HE SAID EVERYBODY COMES IN ON THE SAME PLANE EVEN AFTER SPRING. WHAT PROCESS STARTS TO DETERMINE THE PECKING ORDER?
CHUCK LONG: It started yesterday. This is a training camp that's big and all of a sudden, there's less time than you had in the spring, so players have to make their move on a daily basis.
Of course, the scrimmages will weigh heavily on who's gonna be the guy. It's not out of the question we could play two at this point. We'll see how that goes. For us as a coaching staff , we feel we have a long camp ahead of us, plenty of time, and we're gonna let that sift out the right way.
I've always felt that when you have a good race and whoever earns that position has indeed earned it and it has not been given to him. And what happens there is that quarterback feels better about where he is and he commands better respect from his teammates, which is the most important thing.
I've seen where it's a decision where you give something to a quarterback and your teammates in the huddle are going ‘Hey, wait a minute now. We had to work for our positions but this guy doesn't have to work for his'. Sometimes you get a huddle that's not on the same page that way. So, it's very important to us that we have a quarterback that earns his way like the rest of the team. Therefore, that's why it's still open at this point. And may not be determined for a while now.
WHEN YOU'VE GOT QUARTERBACKS OF THIS CALIBER, HOW TOUGH IS IT FOR GRADY TO OVERCOME MISSING PRACTICES?
CHUCK LONG: It's definitely not a positive for him. Obviously, he gets behind and can get behind quickly. There's ways to coach around that. His playbook becomes shortened when he comes back. But right now, our first priority is for him to go to class, take care of that right now and that's going to take some work. We won't know exactly which practices he'll come to and that's all up to the academic people letting him go at the right time when they feel he's OK with his class.
I THINK I HEARD YOU SAY THAT YOU MIGHT PLAY TWO QUARTERBACKS. WOULD THAT EVER BE A GOOD THING OR WOULD THAT REFLECT EITHER NOBODY'S PULLED AWAY OR WE DON'T HAVE FULL CONFIDENCE IN EITHER ONE?
CHUCK LONG: No, we have confidence in every quarterback we have. We feel like we have a great situation and it sometimes gets to the point where, hey, you have two good ones , play two good ones. That's something Coach Stoops and I will discuss at a later time if that's the case.
DON'T YOU THINK THAT, TYPICALLY, THAT'S NOT AN OPTIMUM SITUATION?
CHUCK LONG: Oh, I don't know. There's been examples of teams that played two. I remember, I dunno, was it Florida State one year way back in the early Bowden years played two quarterbacks. You know, Coach Spurrier has played two before. When you have two good ones that have earned it, if they both have earned that, then you want to play them. Keep in mind that at quarterback, we may go into the season with a number one starting quarterback.
That doesn't mean it has to end that way, either. The one last degree of separation, or the last part of his grade comes in game time situations. Practice is one thing, but some guys may step it up a notch in a game or don't or fall behind. And that can happen. You really never know about a quarterback until you put him in those game situations. And there, that's when he has to keep his job, whoever that starter is.
KEVIN WILSON: A great example of two quarterbacks was Michigan with a guy named Drew Henson and they had this other kid named Brady, who has done pretty well. And they both played. Both kinda good.
CHUCK LONG: Great example.v
COACH, YOU THINK YOU MIGHT THROW TO THE TIGHT END THIS YEAR?
CHUCK LONG: Yes, we made a conscious effort to do that. We feel like that's one of our most veteran positions on the offense. Coming out of spring we felt good about all three of them. James Moses has really had a good spring, Joe Jon and Willie.
One of our projects right now is to find that third wide receiver in our three wide receiver sets. To take some pressure off of that, it's important that we use the tight end a lot more than we have in the past and they have taken a lot of pressure off of trying to find that third wide out right now. So we're going to use him a lot more.
DO YOU FEEL CONFIDENT IN YOUR TWO TIGHT END SET THAT IT'S GOING TO BE TWO OF THOSE THREE? I KNOW CHESTER HAS MOVED OUT THERE IN THE PAST.
CHUCK LONG: Yes, we do. Chris is a full-time offensive lineman right now, and we feel good. You know, going into the season, tight end and running backs are our most veteran. Coach Wilson has a senior group up there, but those two other groups have probably the most playing time, I would say, as a group.
And you can feel it. We felt it in spring with that group and we felt it yesterday with that tight end group. I think that James Moses is really going to have a great year, I really do. He's starting to emerge as one of our leaders and more of a go to guy for us.
AFTER LOOKING AT YOUR INCOMING WIDE RECEIVERS, ALONG WITH THE GUYS YOU'VE GOT COMING BACK, DO YOU SEE A LOT OF COMPETITION AND PUSH FOR THAT THIRD AND FOURTH WIDE RECIEVER SPOT?
CHUCK LONG: Oh, no question. Everybody talks about the quarterback position, but that is a position that is one of the most competitive right now, if not as competitive as the quarterback position. That's gonna be a fight. We're not only trying to find a third one but a fourth one. We do get to four wide receiver sets, but that's gonna be something that will probably take the entire camp and probably some games to figure that out.
You know, don't be surprised if we play one or two true freshmen at wide receiver. Get ‘em some game experience and then start making some firmer decisions as we get into the Big 12 season.
KEVIN, TALK ABOUT YOUR SITUATION UP FRONT AND HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT GOING INTO FALL DRILLS.
KEVIN WILSON: Coming out of spring, I felt good. I think we've had a solid summer. I thought we had a good winter, good spring. We're incorporating some very talented young guys. We graduated a couple of really good players. They were players that when I first got here, most of you in this room questioned that that was one of the weaknesses of the team, that we couldn't run the ball, we couldn't pass block, and now all of a sudden, it's like we can't replace these guys that most of y'all thought weren't good enough when they were puppies.
I like the fact that in my first year at that time, we didn't have but one or two seniors and we've got five seniors in this crowd. I've got four right now that are starting and are going to play significant if they don't all start. They've all played in big games and have played for two, three and going now into four years. Chris Bush has started games since a freshman, Kelvin Chaisson has over 30 starts, Davin Joseph is our best player, was our best player last year if y'all would have asked, but y'all wanted to talk about Jammal (Brown) and Vince (Carter), so we just answered about Jammal and Vince. But Davin was the best guy last year. If you don't believe me, call Jammal, he'll tell you. He was our best guy.
So I think I've got a bell cow up front that is a great leader, a pace setter. I think Chris Bush, in all honesty, is a guy that should have played more than I played him. He's so versatile, that I'd say ‘Hey go to center now ‘cause Vince is dinged up, Davin you rolled your ankle, so (Chris), now you're startin' at Alabama at right guard, hey, I don't think Kelvin is playing as well as I'd like, so go compete at left guard' and I've moved him so much that he probably, in my estimation, is as good or is better than Kelvin Chaisson.
So I feel good about those three, Chester moving in at 295. I really like what I saw in some young kids yesterday, Brandon Keith showing up and big Duke (Robinson), those are some talented big guys, Braxton and Baressi coming in. I've got six first year guys that are extremely talented and I've got five vets and in between we've got Messner and Akim (Millington) and J.D. Quinn, so it's just solid a group.
We lose experience and savvy with a Vince and a Jammal and a Wes (Sims) but our talent level is as strong as it was a year ago or two years ago.
COULD YOU TALK ABOUT DAVIN'S TRANSITION AND WHAT YOU GET OUT OF HIM BY HAVING HIM THERE?
KEVIN WILSON: As well as we might do some things with Adrian or complementing play action pass, we're still gonna throw the ball in our offense. You guys talk about the mobility at quarterback, we're still gonna sit in the pocket and throw the ball down the field and throw our quick game and our traditional passing game that's been a part of our offense for four, five, six years. So we needed to be pretty solid at left tackle. He's our best guy and he was, to me I thought, significantly better. You know with Jammal and Wes, Wes was good enough being in there, I never wanted to make a move with Jammal over there, but maybe Jammal should have started there where Wes was that cat at left and he was a solid player.
Davin by far was our best guy. I wanted to come out of spring making sure we had a good guy on the blind side of the quarterback. Will he stay there? I don't know. We're not going to have a revolving door, but if a young person is significant and it frees him to go to the right side or go back inside, maybe that plays out. That's not the plan, but there's enough talent with some of those big young pups that maybe it gives Davin the flexibility to maybe kick inside for us a little bit too.
He's big enough and long enough to be a tackle. He truly likes playing guard better than tackle, that's his comfort level. But, again, he is a 6-4 guy that plays about 6-5 or 6-6 because of long arms and girth and all that deal. Again, we just want to make sure we're solid at that left spot and by far, I think he's our premier guy out there.
Long, Wilson talk offense
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