Notes and quotes from Texas Tech's press conference Monday. Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury,defensive coordinator David Gibbs, offensive coordinator Eric Morris, senior defensive end Branden Jackson and senior running back DeAndre Washington all answered questions from gathered media.
Kliff will not announce the starting quarterback to the media, and it will be known “when he trots out there on game day.”
Why did Kliff keep this competition through fall camp? Simply because “he liked the way it was going” up to this point both quarterbacks have shown things that Kingsbury liked in practice and game time situations.
Kingsbury said there is an “or” on the depth chart, because both of these guys could go out and start. He likes what both of them bring to the table, and not one has a big edge over the other, it is still very close.
There will not be a quick hook according to Kingsbury, but he said if something needs to be done to get wins they will do that.
Main takeaway: The starting quarterback has been told he is the guy. The rest of the offense hasn’t been told directly, according to Kingsbury, but more than likely knows. You can tell by the smirk on Deandre Washington's face when asked if the rest of the offense knows.
Eric Morris on Tony Brown: “We started him off [behind Devin Lauderdale] there because we knew the potential that he had. He did a good job holding people off, and he has been number two for pretty much the whole time behind Devin. There have been constant battle there, one of the things Tony did was made Devin a lot better…He [Tony] made him [Devin] earn his reps.”
Morris on Cantrell: If you ranked Texas Tech’s top eight receivers, which you all have been doing, you will find that Cantrell is number one on that list and its nothing other than the fact he can come in and earned it.
Main takeaway: The competition amongst this group as made the veterans better, but you will see some fresh faces here. All of the receivers bring something different to the table.
When asked about the depth chart Gibbs reassured that “they will all play.” He said there are a lot of different depth charts out there, but it shouldn’t be taken for everything because they will rotate guys base on who is producing through out the game.
When asked about Alston being on top of the depth chart, Gibbs stuck with “they will all play.”
Gibbs said that he knows these guys have come a long way with learning his scheme and said they will get better throughout the season because the scheme will stay the same and that is what his plan is designed to do.
Gibbs will call the game from the sideline, simply because “that box is too small.”
Main takeaway: Don’t take the depth chart too seriously. Gibbs wants to see this team play underneath the lights and he will adjust accordingly. The guys meant for this system will stick, the others will have to adjust.
Senior DE Branden Jackson said the biggest difference between last year’s defense and now is the confidence. He also mentioned the maturity and the leadership of the seniors
Jackson added that when the team faced adversity last season, the players themselves handled it poorly creating a snowball effect. This year he knows they are prepared to face adversity and come out on the other side. That rest on the seniors to bring the rest of the guys up.
When asked how hard Gibbs is on the defense he responded “I’m soft.” To a certain extent Jackson said that is true. “If that’s soft then I don’t want to see mean.” Gibbs will pull an individual aside to address a problem, but Jackson said he and some other guys have been ripped in to a time or two.
Main takeaway: This defense has grown up, and the culture Gibbs has instilled they will not give up when the going gives up. That’s the difference this season.
Sam Houston State
Gibbs: “If you want to schedule a lower conference opponent, you don’t want to schedule those guys.”
Each guy that took the podium today attested to Sam Houston’s talent, and agreed that they will be a challenging team.
For coach Gibbs, he knows they are returning a lot of their offense and know they will spread out the defense and to combat that he will be rotating lots of guys to keep the defense fresh.
Jackson admitted to a little bit of trash talk going on between Texas Tech and former Sam Houston wide receiver Derrick Edwards.
Main takeaway: Sam Houston is not to be taken lightly; the team knows it and they will be a good challenge for this team for the first game.
Kingsbury confirmed that freshman OL Conner Dyer has a knee injury and will have surgery soon. He will rehab and redshirt this year, but that was expected before the injury.
Kingsbury on Nigel Bethel tweet: “He’ll be here today.” He added that they do have expectations for their players when it comes to social media and they do monitor that.