Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Each week Coach Leach and a few of the team captains take time out of their busy schedules to hold a weekly press conference for the media. Come inside to read quotes from this afternoon's press conference.




Head Coach Mike Leach

On his biggest concern with SMU…

"The biggest worry with them is that they play well together. They play real hard. They don't seem to give up any big plays. They are just a good football team that is emerging and has progressively gotten better. I have heard all this talk about UTEP and TCU. SMU beat both of them. I think they are really well coached and have been for quite some time. I just think things are falling into place for them."


On coming out of a long camp period…

"I always worry about that coming into the first game. I kind of think college's view is a little skewed. Now they have extended how long camp lasts, so it is a little over a month before you play anyone other than yourself. I think that is a little too long."

On previous SMU game…
"The way that game ended was much production of nothing. People go across the field and there are words. There wasn't much to it. I didn't feel like we played real well that day. I certainly would like to have a better showing than we did last time. We did not play very well, and I think they deserve a lot of credit for how they played."

On Tech's offensive ability against SMU…
"I don't know if we can score any points, but we will find out. We have had some good practices, and we have done some good things. But we have yet to see if we can score any points. We will see what this group has to offer and what they do. I think we have had some good practices, but then we have had some where I think we should have got more out of it. We will see what that all adds up to. Regardless of win or lose, there will be a lot of work to do following the first game."

On Brock Stratton…
"Brock has always been a real sharp guy. He leads by example. He personifies a level of commitment and work ethic. As a coach, you look out there and you notice you appreciate some guy getting after it. It is apparent that they do a great deal. Brock has always been one of the main guys around here. He is perseverant in the way he had to come back from his injuries. The way he has stepped up was pretty hard. He was elected captain in an overwhelming fashion. I think they do appreciate his efforts. He is exactly the type of guy that needs to be one of the leaders of this team."

On the toughness of his players…
"I think that they have given their all to an extent. I have seen a level of softness. I have a handful of guys that could be considered complacent. I have a handful of guys that have worked hard in the off-season so business is taken care of. This begs the question that maybe all the other teams worked hard during the off-season too, so all you are is equal to them. I have seen some instances where they lose focus. I think our captains are the best group of captains that I have had since I have been here. I think some guys in this group need to understand the team concept of being out there everyday and paying your dues on the field – in practice and at a high level."

On his team's vocal leaders…
"I think we are about average. I don't think that a vocal leader is just some guy screaming. I think sometimes it raises a level of energy and tempo. So I think there is a little bit of a value to it, at least in the short run. It works for some, but I doubt it works for all. Part of leading and raising energy and tempo is vocal. You certainly need some of that."





Senior linebacker Fletcher Session
On SMU's quarterback…
"I really haven't watched much film on this guy, because he didn't really play last year. We have heard a lot of really good things about him. We know that he is mobile and has a good arm. We really don't want him to hurt us too much with his legs, and we really don't want him to hurt us with his arm. We are going to scheme real well and keep him in the pocket a little more."

On this year's defense…
"I think the defense as a whole is better than what we were last year. As a team, beat-wise, I think we are ten times faster than we were last year. Also depth-wise, we have more people at each spot. So if someone were to go down, someone can step up and help him. Last year it wasn't like that. If someone went down, we were in big trouble. We would have to move people around that weren't used to playing certain positions."

On being named a team captain…
"It really has not set in on me yet that I'm a team captain. I just feel like everyday you have to go out there and try to be more of a vocal leader. I am just happy I am a captain. They gave me the power this year to be one and hopefully I can lead them in the right direction."

On breaking into the season…
"When you go through practice, it is the same schedule everyday and the same individuals. I am tired of beating up on my own offense. I am ready to beat up someone else's offense."

On replacing any vocal leaders …
"None of us are really that vocal, but everyone knows how to do their job. We don't talk a lot, but we talk on the field with our performance."





Senior linebacker Keyunta Dawson
On the defense…
"I feel that we have a great defense. We have a lot of team speed. We have a lot of young guys that came in and proved that they can play. They had a great off-season. As a team, we have a very mature team, a very good core group of guys."

On being a team captain…
"I am very blessed to be named captain this year. I feel that it is a great honor that my teammates chose me and the others to be captain. I feel like the mentality and identity of the team is determined by the captains. I feel like we have a good group of guys this year, and we will have a good season."

On SMU's abilities…
"We understand that SMU is very dangerous. Two years ago they gave us a very good game in Dallas, so we just want to be prepared as much as possible. Every team throws in something that you are not used to seeing. We try to be prepared for anything."

On starting the season…
"I always said that the hardest part is off-season for me. I just feel like once we get into the season, things go a little bit easier. I am ready to beat someone else and see a different jersey."

On the defense's personality…
"I think we are more aggressive this year. We have a lot of vocal people on our defense. Our coach (Setencich) always talks to us about celebrating as a team, but it is more about knowing what you have to do. We might be more aggressive, but you won't see a lot of yelling. But we will have fun out there."





Senior wide receiver Joel Filani
On SMU…
"Going out for the first game you never know exactly what everyone is going to do. I think that is the only thing that scares us: is not knowing what they are going to do."

On players missing practice time with injuries…
"I'm not concerned too much. I have been here in the summer working out with Graham (Harrell) and Chris (Todd). We are definitely on the same page."

On being ready for game time…
"I will be all right. I'm definitely going to give it a go. I was kind of banged up but we are getting it right. I'll be ready for game time."

On being a team captain…
"For me it is an honor. The team voted me as a team captain. The guys they voted are great guys, such as Brock (Stratton), Keyunta (Dawson) and Manny (Ramirez). They are all great guys as far as a whole."


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