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 Texas Tech's defense…

"I think they really did some good things. They were really put in a bad situation by offense and special teams both. They did a good job of battling their way out of it. Keyunta (Dawson) scooping that thing up was a big part of the one drive. I think they did a really good job of hanging together. We played in a kind of steady fashion, which I thought was good for an early game. We had a level of consistency which I thought was good. We have to improve on plenty of things too, just generally improve all together and become a better team this week."

On the focus of practice leading up to the UTEP game…
"It is fundamental things. The most important thing the offense does is block; the most important thing the defense does is tackle, so certainly that. We went out there and played a pretty good tempo in spurts. There were periods that I thought we had all 11 playing together pretty well, but then there were periods where we were a little bit dormant. I would like to get through that. I think it is an ongoing process that you try to improve on and focus and play with a high level of intensity for as long of periods of time as you can. I think we proved we can do that for short periods of time, and now we need to try to do that for long periods of time."

On Graham Harrell's play…
"I thought he was pretty poised. For a first performance, I thought he was as poised as anybody I have had. He needs to operate faster."

On concerns against UTEP…
"They are a good team and have done some good things. They are really well coached. They have been to bowl games the last couple of years. The biggest thing will be us playing well. I do not have a lot of control over what they do, so we need to make sure we play as good as we can."

On UTEP head coach Mike Price…
"I think he has done a great job. I have known him over the years, and he is a really good guy. I have been impressed with what he has done scheme-wise for years. He has always been a guy that has been pretty open with other coaches, just one of those that is a good person in the business. He doesn't have a bunch of errors. There were times when he was really rolling, and he wasn't one of those guys that wouldn't shake your hand or talk to you in the lobby. He has done a really good job. They have taken UTEP some places they are not used to being, and he has been a big part of that."

On Tech's secondary versus UTEP, who threw four interceptions last week…
"I hope they do good. We will find out. I don't know specifically how those picks took place. Occasionally picks are bad throws by quarterbacks, sometimes a receiver does something, or sometimes there are unfortunate, unlucky bounces of the ball. We will have to see. Hopefully we get some picks."

On the first road game…
"They are a good team and well-coached. We have to play well. They are going to improve this week and we need to too."

On distribution of passes and Robert Johnson's reception record…
"We got it into a lot of people's hands. There were a lot of people that touched the ball, so it thought that was good. I was actually surprised that that was the record. I thought it might be around 18 or so, but I was happy for Robert (Johnson) that he got it. Robert has been on the verge of something like that. He has always been explosive, but now he is more consistent. He is where you expect him to be, and the ball is thrown where he expects it to be. It is just everybody working together and his experience and the people around him. Everyone is used to one another. It has raised a level of consistency there."

Manuel Ramirez, OF, Sr.
On the difference in blocking for first-year starting quarterback Graham Harrell compared to last year's starter Cody Hodges:
"No disrespect to Cody or anything, but it did feel a lot more comfortable just because Graham is a lot more patient and he's more of a pocket passer than anything else."

On the communication between the offensive line and Harrell:
"I think it went pretty well, we had little mishaps here and there but I feel like that's just part of having new starters at a couple of positions. Overall though I feel like we had a pretty good communication."

On the chemistry of the offensive line:
"I think the chemistry has been there for a while just because we have four returning starters on the line. Louis Vazquez and Ofa Mohetau showed that they are able to play at any given time and I thought the communication and chemistry was pretty good."

On the performance of running back Shannon Woods in his first career start:
"It felt good because I felt like in this first game we ran the ball more than we ever have in the first game of the season. Shannon really showed that he is mature enough to go out there when he is needed and produce. I think we averaged six or seven yards per carry so that's pretty good for his first start."

On what improvements the team can make going into this weekend's game:
"Overall as a team and not just as an offensive line, we need to improve on the penalties we had in the game. I think a lot of them came as a result of the new 25-second rule. We only had one delay on it but it caused us to hurry up and get to the line and that resulted in the mistakes with the false starts and some of the miscommunication."

Joel Filani, WR, Sr.
On the team's first road test at UTEP this weekend:
"I think it will be a good game. Like we said, it was a good starting point this past week, we had a lot of young getting in there to play and they did really well. I think as far as that is concerned, it was a good confidence booster and we'll be ready to play."

On if he is excited to match up against a UTEP secondary that allowed 275 pass yards to San Diego State:
"A little bit. Obviously we're going to pass a lot and I think it will be a good challenge for us to see if we can continue to produce on offense and continue to make plays."

On his comfort level with Harrell at quarterback:
"I think it was good; I was pretty comfortable throughout the whole game. I thought it was a good starting point as far as just getting your feet wet and being out there. A lot of the young guys played really well. Eddie Britton, L.A. Reed, Todd Walker all stepped in and played really well so as far as them getting ready for the next game, I think they're ready to go."

On the play of receiver Robert Johnson in the season opener:

"Robert's been playing great. He's been moving around really well and making a lot of plays so I'm just happy he's out there making plays. I'm just ready to get out there and start making plays too…All week he'd been practicing well and he was excited to get out there. They left the middle of the field open a lot and he got a lot of balls in the middle and he made huge plays. It's a credit to him for making plays and to Graham for getting him the ball."

On the performance of receiver Edward Britton in his first collegiate contest:
"I thought Eddie B. stepped up huge. Throughout the course of the game he was patient and when he came in they gave him some opportunities and he made big plays. That block down the field was just amazing and it sprung that touchdown for Danny [Amendola]. It seemed like he was calm out there and relaxed and he made a lot of plays, so it was good to see him step up."

Fletcher Session, LB, Sr.

On UTEP's QB, Jordan Palmer
"The first game of the year a lot of people make first game jitters.  Everybody gets better as the season goes on.  Eventually, quarterbacks do to and hopefully he will to, just not against us."

On UTEP's offense
"They do a lot of things.  Especially number 21 (Johnnie Lee Higgins, Jr.), we see he is their go-to receiver and with their running backs they have a one, two punch.  They can do a lot of things with that."

Brock Stratton, LB, Jr.

On what to improve on
"Obviously, it is always an issue for the first game of the season is that we have to tackle better.  We have to wrap-up.  They mentioned it to us at halftime that we need to do a better job at swarming the football as defense.  The first series is a little rocky for us, but I think as we went on we got more comfortable and did a better job at swarming as a defense.  Those are definitely two issues we need to improve on this week."

On UTEP's Offense
"They do a lot of things well.  (Jordan) Palmer comes from a good line of quarterback and he has a good knack for the ball.  They run the ball well, they pass the ball well.  We haven't had a good chance of seeing a lot of film on them yet, but they have a good offense at UTEP."

Keyunta Dawson, LB, Sr.

On UTEP's quarterback
"He looks good to me.  We are going to have to be prepared for him, just like we would for any other team."

On UTEP's offense
"It looks like they pass more than they run, but you don't know which way they are going to come at you.  We are going to have to be prepared for both."

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