NOTE: The press conference starts roughly 70 seconds into the video.
Opening Statement “Pleased with our fellas. They have worked hard for eight months. Lots of practicing, but practicing is not the game, as we all know, so I am really pleased with how fast they started. The first quarter was really, really good on both sides and all three phases. To get some more explosive plays on offense, get the deep ball going a little bit, we figured those guys would stack the box up pretty good to stop the run, which most do, so you have to be explosive in the passing game and that was taken care of for the most part. I am proud of our defense for getting turnovers, lying around and playing high-level defense. It was good to get out of the gate fast, especially when there are so many unknowns – unknown staff, unknown players – all those kinds of things.”
On having John Ross back and how that impacted the offense “It meant about 21 to 28 points. John is as fast and explosive as they come so that is a nice weapon for our offense to have. We want to give the other guys a chance to develop because it can’t just be the John Ross show. People will figure out how to slow that down fast. I think it is really nice to come out of the gate and make some plays there so that people have to pay attention to that closely. We do have some other fire power and that should help balance some things out I think.”
On how much the unknowns played into things “Well I just think the unknown of even like how our defense would respond from being off for a long time. Different style of offense that we really haven’t seen. You just don’t really know the opponent. Just all those types of things. They ran a couple plays where we were like ‘what is that?’ Looking like they are going to run it but then they pull up for a little pop pass that we really hadn’t worked on or seen. We almost made a play on it, but they made a nice play. Just a lot of those types of things. Their number one (Janarion Grant) is an explosive player and they were trying to get him the ball. We rallied and did a good job. I thought Tristan Vizcaino did a nice job on kickoffs, not giving them a bunch of opportunities. If you keep kicking he ball off to a guy like that, he is going to get something done as you could see late in the game he was starting to get a little rhythm returning these kicks, so I thought (Vizcaino) did a good job.”
Better to get the first defensive stop or the first touchdow on offense? “I think it was just really nice to get them both. The defense swarming and knocking them back and then to come back and striking on a big play. I thought Jake did a great job because it is not really part of his progression unless he gets a certain matchup, so he saw the matchup and took advantage of it. I thought he threw three really nice deep balls where the ball was turning over and giving those kids a chance to run under them. One left his hand a little flat and even superman John Ross cannot run under those when the balls are thrown too flat. Jake quickly adjusted and threw the ball like he was supposed to and it was good for us.”
Were there any plays Browning checked into that he wouldn’t have had available to him last year? “Without question. There were a handful of others that he left alone, that he needed to leave alone because they weren’t showing a different look. He sees a lot of things and I thought he did a pretty good job.”