Kirk Elder, OL
MOOD AT MONDAY PRACTICE
We were frustrated. We wanted to win that game. But we've got to put that behind us and we've got to focus on Baylor. We're going to get their best game of the year so we need to prepare accordingly.
WHAT WENT WRONG ON THE OL
I could sit here and give you an in depth analysis of what happened but I would hang some stuff out to dry and it would add to the cloud of negativity swirling around us.
Guys weren't overconfident, or arrogant, they dind't quit, we didn't underestimate them. It was a case of we'd go 10 for 11 instead of 11 for 11.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE NEGATIVITY
What else is new??
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEG
Last year I came in after the tech game and I went off on some folks. This year, the only thing that matters is the guys that you play with. That's all you have.
When times are good, you're going to have people with you. But that's not what this game is about.
Aggies are a very proud group. It doesn't matter if it's soccer or equestrian. Aggies take pride in success and when they don't have success they get pissed. They don't come say it to your face. I've never had an Aggie come to me and bad mouth me to my face.
I'm not going to beat up someone for getting in my face.
I thought Aggies take care of other Aggies
GLAD EXHIBITION SEASON IS OVER?
THOUGHTS ON BAYLOR
They just don't like us. They don't care for us. It's just Big 12 play. You'd have to ask them I guess. They just don't like us.
JORVORSKIE'S LACK OF CARRIES AGAINST MIAMI
I wouldn't say (that Miami was taking away the dive).
I don't worry about that stuff. I just have to do my job.
WAS MIAMI BETTER THAN YOU THOUGHT THEY'D BE?
I expected to be playing a bunch of thoroughbreds, and that's what I got. I was impressed watching film and impressed playing them. You've got to give props to them for the way they came out and played and the coaching staff.
I really think we had a good week of preparation. I really think we did. We came out there focused. We came off the last game and practiced hard. I really don't think that was the case.
After the Tech loss last year, everyone was pissed at us and it's the same thing this year. It just goes to show you that in this business, you only have the guys you play with and the coaches that you play for. That's all you've got.
STEPHEN MCGEE, QB
GOT MIAMI OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM?
Coach has been preaching to us whether we won or lost that game we've got to put it behind us. In football, whatever happens in the week before, you've got to put it behind you.
HOW'S TEAM REACTING?
Everyone was disappointed. It really wasn't any one part of our team that played good. It's a great opportunity for our team right now. IT's a tough time when everyone doubts you and hates you and curses your name. We've got to come together and face adversity. Your character gets revealed in tough times.
It's easy to lead when things are going good, the question is, how are you going to lead when you're team is 3-1 coming off a disappointing loss that you feel like you could have won. Those are questions we will be able to answer this week in practice and how we play.
HOW DO YOU KEEP NEGATIVITY FROM AFFECTING YOU
It's so tough. Everyone wants to be so negative, and that's just the way that life is. When you choose to come to a school like A&M you juust have to deal with that. You can either let it eat you up or you can be a man and go out there and lead your team and encourage them like you always have.
As college football players today, you have an amazing opportunity to learn about football and life. We're in that position that we've got to dig our feet and move forward and push on together. Hopefully we'll be able to do that.
ANYTHING THAT CAUSES SELF DOUBT?
Hopefully before you ever come to a crossroads where everyone doubts you you've been out there since you were 3 years old and you know how good you are. You know in your heart how good you are. You're going to go out there and bust your tail. There's nothing we have to prove to anyone outside our team.
FEEL LIKE YOU LET EACH OTHER DOWN?
We never quit and we were never playing hard. It came down to execution. We turned the ball over and we weren't doing the little things right. The things we did wrong in the game, we can correct, we can get better at. Effort, togetherness and fight, those are things you can't coach.
ANYONE SAID ANYTHING TO YOU?
As the QB, when you win, they're going to tell you a lot of good things, when you lose, they're going to tell you a lot of bad things. People have voiced their opinions to me, but there aren't any opinions that I listen to except my coach and my teammates. Outside of that, no one understands what we go through and how hard we play and those kinds of things. It's all relative.
You've got to move on and understand it doesn't matter. The minute we start listening to that stuff and believing what they say we're just going to move backwards. It's not going to help us beat Baylor at all. If it's not going help us beat the bears, what good does it do to listen to it. Coach Fran knows what we have to do to win. We know what we have to do to win.
GARY DARNELL, DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Because of my tenure in football, one of the things I understand is that football is a microcosm of our society. There's a lot of lessons taught and a lot of lessons learned in the collegiate experience. There was a day when the world wasn't transparent there were lessons that you taught about toughness and knocking people down.
Now everything is out there and
Our guys prepared as hard as they could. Somewhere between the locker room and field it didnd't happen that way. They didn't play as well as they could or should have. Now it's a matter of what comes next.
Part of our reclamation of this next game is how we move forward. Our guys will move forward as will our staff, we have to take it as a lesson learned and move forward.
THE WAY THAT LOSS HAPPENED IT WAS A DIFFERENT TYPE OF LOSS?
It can be that way if you let it. That's my point. The most important thing in these kind of situations is us.
We can talk about Baylor this week and you can say every accolade you want to say. Next week we're going to say the same thing about the next opponent. We're not selfish, but it has to be about us.
We're our guys disappointed, yes. Were they confused
I've never been ahead that many plays and they continue to make first downs.
One thing I could hang out hat on, there was two minutes left to go in the game, they broke away on a long run and Henry Smith was sprinting down the field trying to make the tackle. They were playing hard.
STOPPING THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR
In one of the early games when they were hitting us with draws and screens. When you get in that trap, it takes 2 to 3 weeks to get out of that. We play our linebackers deep. When someone pops a draw or screen on you, now you've got to start working your coverage. You start putting calls on the linemen other than just rushing the passer and you lose your rhythm. You have to win that a few times and that goes away after a while.
On the third and four or up, you're ahead on defense. Usually you can match up, and we were matching up but we'd be a half step short. Those are the kind of things that you think you're going to be okay.
We need to have played better on the first drive.
GIVE UP ANYTHING ATHLETICALLY WITH THE LINEBACKERS?
I don't know what you're point is. Any defense in America has two inside linebackers. If we were a man coverage team, you'd have a problem there, but we're not a man coverage team.
It's a fine art playing in front of coverage. Speed doesn't have a lot to do with it when you're underneath a zone coverage. It takes a lot of work. If you're a man team, it's a different story.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A MAN TEAM?
I've never been with a great team that was a man team. At University of Florida, we had the No. 1 defense in the country and we probably didn't call 25 man snaps all year.
What I've seen over time, for consistency, if their man is better than you're man, you've gota problem. When you're a zone team, you always control your own fate.
GETTING ENOUGH PRESSURE ON QB?
Close. On third and 13, we tipped the ball, but they caught it and made 14 yards. We always want better, but I don't think that was the issue the other night.
Once you get past the first drive, they only made one or two third downs the rest of the night.
TALK TO BENNETT ABOUT LATE HIT?
Every league in the country when you met with officials this year, they said late hits on the QB would be flagged. If you're close you're going to get it. The numbers will be way way up this year.
EXHIBITION SEASON OVER?
That's why you have conferences, but in today's society, there's no small games. Ask Nebraska about playing Ball State. They all count.
The next three teams we play scored 130 points this past weekend.
Who's really important in this thing? It's us. We understand that, and that's the only thing we can control.
They're going to move the ball around. They feel like they're much improved since the TCU game. Now the rest of the players are playing faster with confidence.
LES KOENNING, OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
We need to play better we need to coach better, we need to move on.
JORVORSKIE IN MIAMI GAME?
The game dictated a lot of that. In the first 11 minutes, we had 6 plays. We tried offensively to neutralize their DE in the run game. You could see they were doing some things to take away the dive.
We were trying to get first downs. Where our deficiencies occurred were on first downs. It put us in long situations.
WOULD YOU AT LEAST GIVE LANE A SHOT NOW AFTER SEEING THE FILM?
WE thought we had a good game plan coming in. Their two DE were really good players and we thought we had a good plan to equalize those guys. When you get behind the chains and you get in those third and long situations. Those aren't good times to try (giving the ball to Lane).
The one thing about Stephen, and I say this over and over, he'll do what it takes to win football games. That's what it takes to do and that's what we like about him.
WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT AGAINST MIAMI NOW?
We thought we had a good plan. Hindsight is always 20-20.
ANY THOUGHT OF PUTTING IN JERROD
NEVER CONSIDER THAT?
No. I'm very pleased with Jerrod's progress. He's coming along, but he's still learning and we feel real comfortable with Stephen McGee.
EVER USE HIM IN A COMBINATION
Right now he's still learning and growing each week. As he gets better he'll get the opportunity to play more.
I've talked enough about Miami, let's talk about Baylor.
Jordan Lake – He's the Big 12 player of the week last week.
They're primarily an 8-man front. They've been giving up some yards in the throwing game and in the run game they're pretty stingy. We'll have to exploit those areas.
Sunday we went out and worked fundamentals. That's what it comes down to and that's what it's going to come down to this week.
DENNIS FRANCHIONE, HEAD COACH
ON THE "EXHIBITION SEASON" COMMENT
That was a joking remark about conference and non-conference. I probably was taken out of context.
MOOD SINCE THURSDAY
We're fortunate Sunday. The guys had a couple of days off. That was good for them mentally and physically, especially getting back as late as we did on Friday morning.
Sunday was kind of a bonus practice for us. We were able to go back and work on ourselves, fundamentals, blocking, tackling, some things we wouldn't normally do. They worked hard and they're anxious to get to conference play. It's going to be a tough game, all of our games with Baylor have been hard-fought games.
PLAYERS PLAYING HARD VS MIAMI
They played hard all the way to the end. I was proud of them. They fought hard. We didn't play well and things didn't go well. They played at a high level and we didn't and the guys continued to battle.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVITY
Other than my 20 minutes with you guys, I don't have to deal with it a great deal. I stay busy working and taking care of this program and doing everything I can with the players and coaches. That's what I wrap my time up with. That's where my focus needs to be. It's 2007, that's the way college athletics are going to be sometimes. I don't get myself too concerned when I'm getting pats on the back or the others. I try to stay focused on the things that are important and I have control over.
I've told them many times when you chose to play at this level, you're going to have to deal with that. You just have to be a little hardened and stay focused on what's ahead.
LOOK AT MIAMI GAME AS A BAROMETER FOR WHERE PROGRAM IS?
I never sat around and had thoughts in that manor. I knew it would be a tough game. I knew it would be tough to go on the road and play, but I didn't gauge anymore about that being a barometer than
JORVORSKIE'S LACK OF CARRIES
Did Les address that with you?
YES, HE SAID HE'D DO IT EXACTLY THE SAME
I don't know if you'd ever do everything exactly the same. They had two outstanding DE and one of the ways we hoped to neutralize them a little bit was with the zone read. We didn't get the ball to the edge and do as much with it after that as we hoped we could, then we got into difficult down and distance situations and behind and didn't get to some power things that we probably would have in a different situation.
Certainly wish it would have played out a little differently than that.
Their defensive ends are great athletes first. We tried to read them a little bit more than block them at times.
They took Jorvorskie and Stephen kept and we didn't do a good job on the permiter of making some things happen.
ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO JUST GIVE IT TO LANE?
We had a lot of those thoughts all week long and it just didn't work out.
Baylor is playing good, they're confident, they've won three in a row. They always play well against us. I think this will be another one of those games that we've had the last several years.
ANY REASON WHY THIS GAME HAS BEEN SO CLOSE LATELY?
I can't answer for them about that. I know it appears that they're fired up about playing in this game all the time. We're pretty close together, so that's probably a little part of that. Both teams have played really, really hard. No matter what, Baylor has elevated their game and played really good against us.
We didn't see him a great deal in the game last year, just a little bit towards the end. Really didn't follow him a great deal after that. Sometimes you watch a team afterwards because their offense is similar, but their's is different. He had some ups and downs last year but he's grown and matured and seems to be in command of what he's doing. I'm impressed with his arm, and his feel for the rush and where to move and getting the ball off in rhythm and in time.
TEST FOR SECONDARY?
IT's going to be a test. They're throwing it pretty well.
SECONDARY PROGRESSION THROUGH FOUR GAMES
I don't think any of us are satisfied with where we're at, and we're going to need to improve quick in the next three weeks. There are a lot of offenses in this league right now and not as many defenses right now. We're going to need to play better to keep the game in control a little bit with our defense.
We've had our moments, but we haven't quite put it all together or sustained it all as well as we can.
THIRD DOWNS ON DEFENSE
The other night, that opening drive we just missed getting the QB or holding them by a little bit. I don't know if there's a pattern for why. We've looked at it and analyzed it, ubt I don't think there's anything that we've though, ‘if we can just fix this, we can fix that.'
After that (first drive) they didn't get that many percentage wise. That first drive they were perfect.
AGAIN, ASKED ABOUT THE EXHIBITION SEASON COMMENT
I didn't mean those games weren't important. I just meant it was a different part of the schedule. I think it was important, but I don't think there are any games that are as important as Big 12 games.
We don't have the benefit of exhibition games or scrimmage games. They all count. I still think that conference play carries a bit of an edge to it. I think guys are familiar with each other and they look forward to it.
FIRST GAME WHEN GOODSON'S ATHLETIC ABILITY COULDN"T TAKE OVER. WHAT DID HE LEARN FROM THIS GAME
I think Mike is in a continual learning cycle on all of that. Hopefully days like that help reinforce what you're saying that he needs to rely on more than just speed and athletic ability. Watching tape, seeing cuts, understanding what blocking schemes can develop for him.
Even on the smoke draw sometimes Mike loses patience and wants to bounce it outside. He couldn't do that on Thursday night and against the good teams it's even harder to do that. He's four games into his sophomore year, so you can't say that he own't keep learning how to play that position.
ANYONE YOU LIKE HIM TO WATCH?
Reggie Bush is a good example for Mike to look at a little bit. The more he can be a student of the game, the better the chance that he's got to understand where seams will develop for him.
Ladanian's sophomore year, he didn't see all of this either. As his junior and senior year wore on, he started to understand that a little better. Hopefully Mike will continue to do that too.
HAS JERROD JUST NOT EARNED THE TRUST YET TO GET OUT ON MEANINGFUL POSSESSION
He's not ready for that if we're trying to win the game. He may be forced into that situation but we don't have to place him in that situation yet. Our mission is to win and play the best players to win and right now, that's very clear who that is.
We've given Jerrod some reps and some game snaps and that's helping him to learn, but he's had a handful of the offense compared to what we need to run. Could that change? Yeah, you hope it does change where we could use him down the road.
IN PRACTICE FOR EVERY 33-YARD TD PASS, THERE ARE BAD PLAYS?
Those are starting to be more minimal. His level of consistency is rising, his level of understanding. But he still has some of those plays that you don't want him to have. He's turning the corner on starting to narrow those down.
HARD TO IGNORE HIS SUCCESS
You have to keep in mind when he's done them, who he's done them against. Certainly you acknowledge his success. Even in his success the other night, he did some things that weren't as good as it needs to be.
HOW NERVE RACKING IS IT TO SEE OL RUNNING IN OPEN FIELD ON KICKOFFS. NEED TO CHANGE THINGS?
Cody needed to put both balls around the football and know he's not going to run for a touchdown. The last 33 seconds of the first half were a nightmare.
Our return team has been pretty good and Cody's been a big part of what we've been able to do. WE've got what we call a sky team and maybe we should have put them in in that situation.
SAY ANYTHING TO HIM AFTER HE CAUGHT THE FIRST ONE
I didn't say anything to him.
STILL CONSIDERING GOODSON AS A RETURN GUY?
Yeah. I think we're fairly well set there right now.
CONCERNED ABOUT STEPHEN'S HEALTH?
I'm always concerned about Stephen. He took a far bigger beating on some drop back passes than he did on the run.
DEVIN GREGG, DB
Baylor loves to throw the football and they're ranked up there with the passing game. We expect to see them throw the ball and do some of the same things that Texas Tech likes to do. It will be a big game for us.
BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR THIS STYLE OF OFFENSE
Because of what they like to do., they like to cross guys up. They're hard to play man against, but there are times when you can do that and be effective.
The media is what it is. It's necessary, but this isn't my favorite day of the week and this isn't my favorite time of the day.
ON FRAN'S EXHIBITION COMMENT
We still have everything in front of us that we want to accomplish. If we win the Big 12 South, and win the Big 12, we're still in a BCS game, win or lose against Miami. We have to put that behind us.
Tuesday Media Luncheon Insta- Bits
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