Big East coaches speak out

The following is a sampling of statements made by Big East head coaches Wednesday morning at Big East Media Day at Giants Stadium in response to questions by various members of the media.

Bobby Wallace, Temple

*On what DL Dan Klecko has meant to Temple the past three years:
First of all, let's start with his dad, Joe, who was one of the best players to ever play at Temple, a pro player for many, many years, and for him to feel comfortable to send his son to Temple to play football was a great compliment to the program. And then Danny of course has talent and character and the way he's handled himself, very low key, doesn't expect priviledges because of who he is. I told them in his kitchen, him and his dad, that he wouldn't be treated any differently than any other player on the team and I think his dad was really excited about that and respected that and that's the way it's been. And now Danny's through the years worked and I think he's an All-American candidate. He's a tremendous football player.

Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia

*On strengths and weaknesses:
Probably coming as a strength, which was the opposite last year because we were unsure, is the offensive line. We have a lot more guys that have played football than last year, we have one starter returning and four or five guys that have played a lot of football. I think our front on defense, our linebackers and our starting three d-linemen, should be a strength. Concerns would be our secondary particularly, we lost three starters there, both safety positions. Concerns are our wide receivers because we'll have several newcomers that will play. Obviously a concern for us is at quarterback, we think Rasheed [Marshall] can do it, Danny Embick and Charles Hales will give us depth. But our production at that position is so important to our offense that if they can play like we think they're going to play, we'll be tremendously better.

*On confidence:
Well you get it obviously when you win but I think you also get it when you play well. And the kids know pretty much when they're playing well and when they're not. First it's in Miami, at halftime, we were upset because I think we were down 17-3 but had played well enough that we thought we could have at least been tied. Our kids know when they play well, when they're executing and doing those kinds of things.

Tom O'Brien, Boston College

*On the Eagles' loss to Miami last season:
Even though the Miami loss was a crushing loss, when you can get that close it makes you think that maybe you can achieve some things. With the loss, there was carryover on the downside, we kind of survived Rutgers after that but it caught up to us playing Syracuse, we just ran out of gas at that point. But to their credit they came back and went down to play Georgia, a lot of good athletes on that Georgia football team, and were able to win that game and get ourselves ranked.

Larry Coker, Miami

*On UConn: The things that Connecticut does they do first class and they do extremely well and I anticipate the football being exactly the same. What they're like this year, I don't know. We play them our fifth game so we're going to have time to look at Connecticut, study them and know more about their team. They'll be new to us because we haven't played them before. I see them, I don't know if it's this year, but I see them being very competitive in the future.

*On games that, on paper, should be won:
Well when you're at Miami, you're at Ohio State, you're at Oklahoma, there are certainly teams on paper that they're perceived that you're going to beat and beat soundly. To give you an example last year, Troy State was one of those on paper, but you look at the video, as coaches we don't perceive it that way. We were in a very close game at the half. We end up winning the game by a fairly decent margin but they're a good team. All these perceptions sometimes are just on paper and that's why I'd rather play a quote on quote name team than a team maybe that doesn't have quite the name but maybe has the players. because you look at the NFL, you look at those rosters, they're not all from Miami and Notre Dame and Florida State. They're from all sorts of small schools, Division I-AA...they have good players and that's something you have to realize as coaches. when we go to Tennessee, that will be easy, that will be fun, win or lose we're going to know what we're in for. Florida A&M comes to the Orange Bowl well perception's going to be this should be a win for Miami. Florida A&M's beaten Miami before, and to go undefeated, we've got to win the first game.

Greg Schiano, Rutgers

*On whether the landscape of college football will be changing:
I don't know what's going to be happening conference-wise, I just worry about our conference, and our conference is fine so that's what's important to me. I do think that the change in the landscape of college football continues to be with the 85 scholarships, that has more and more effect every year. That's why you see teams that get better faster, you can't make too many mistakes in recruiting now with 85 scholarships.

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