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2010 Coaches Quick Hits

Monday July 19, 2010

Quoting Dan Hawkins (on early morning practices): "A lot of teams are going to it. Oregon does it that way. Northwestern does it. San Jose State does it. Players get up and lift weights at 6:30 a.m. anyway. The other thing is, the balance of classes is in the afternoon. Instructors don't want 8 o'clock classes. Academically, it will give our players many more opportunities to take classes, from late morning to afternoon, all the way to evening classes. The other thing is, the players were fired up about it. They want to get up and go to practice and get it over with so they can get on with their day. And we'll always have daylight on both our practice fields (including the one without lights). All those things made sense. And we're getting a lot of calls from a lot of other people who said they are thinking of doing it."

"You see it in pro sports: Winning begets winning. And losing begets losing. Particularly when you don't have a well-established culture, that becomes much more rocky. But I don't think our guys ever cashed it in. And they played pretty well late in the season against Oklahoma State and Nebraska, two pretty good teams. It comes down to making a couple of more plays a game and then things start rolling."

"We've got to get better in the kicking game, obviously. We've got do a better job of avoiding turnovers. We have to do a better job in the running game, on both sides of the ball."

Quoting Dan Mullen: "I think a lot of recruiting's relevant toward population. I know we have, per capita, one of the best recruiting states in the country, we just don't have tons of people in Mississippi."

"I think that is the biggest momentum that you've seen, that these young kids are now saying, ‘This whole program, from how the players are developed, how they play on the field, the results of the game, to the crowd size, to the stadium excitement, to the big-time atmosphere - all of those things are going in the right direction.'

"And that makes it a very attractive place for them to come play."

"It's just as hard to hold on to commitments. Everywhere you go. If guys are committing to you, you're hoping their word is good."

Quoting UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck: "I think that, not just here, if you don't have a head coach to close the deal, you're working with a deficit."

Quoting Joker Phillips: "My first response is that if you are going to look, then we are going to look. First we try to make it where we change it from a soft to a hard commitment, but we also have to take care of Kentucky."

"We have a program to run and sometimes we have to tell kids if they want to look, we have to look and do what is best for the program. There are no hard feelings. We just have to take care of this program. That's No. 1 for our side."

"It is a different world. Commitment means you know who your competition is now. If somebody commits you know who the competition is and sometimes not much else."

"If other guys committed to other places are soft, we continue to recruit as long as we know they are soft. If they are hard commits, then we go away. If we feel like a kid is putting feelers out there, we have to keep recruiting just to protect ourselves just like the kids feel like they have to do."

Quoting Syracuse running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley: "Some coaches forget that they played," Wheatley said. "When one of my players walks into the room, I can generally guess what's wrong--I've been down that road. Not just about X's and O's, it's about caring about the person. One of the great things Gary Moeller did for me is caring about me as a person. Can't get to the football player without getting to the person."

"Let me put it this way, and I'm going to get a little "political" here: Even if a guy comes in and goes undefeated, wins the Rose Bowl, even a national championship, that doesn't make him a Michigan Man. I can't give that name away so easily."

"I don't care if you were brought in from the outside, unless you've been there (Ann Arbor) a certain amount of time, you can't be a 'Michigan Man.' Is he one now? No. But, I believe he is making strides to get there. He's a passionate guy, believes in Michigan, in Michigan football."

Quoting Auburn AD Jay Jacobs: "Really and truly, if you can play all eight SEC games and win the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta, win those nine games, at the end of the day, nobody ever looks back upon who those non-conference games were, because you're playing for the national championship.

"And so if you go back and look at the SEC schools that have won the national championship and review who their non-conference opponents were, which we've done, it resembles a lot of what we're doing schedule-wise."

What the challenge was in 2004 was that USC and Oklahoma started out the preseason 1-2, and I believe we started out 17th. And we worked our way up, and USC and Oklahoma never lost."

"So for us to jump them would have been something odd to have happen anyway, if one of them didn't stumble. And they didn't. ... There's some debate about those preseason polls. But the strength of schedule hasn't kept us out of the national championship. It was the fact that three teams that year went undefeated, and we started out so low compared to the other two."

Quoting UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham: "My philosophy when you have freshmen, it's just like when you have rookies. We're going to put them in there early and evaluate them and find out, first of all the best position for them this year, and how they can help, and what kind of role they could have for this year. We'll start that once we get going with those guys, and we'll evaluate all those guys."

"I don't mind playing young players. My philosophy is you play the best players. It's a production business meaning that defense is about making plays so we're going to evaluate the guys. The big thing with me is we're going to evaluate productions and also loafs, making sure they're running to the ball."

Quoting George O'Leary: "Offense may put people in the seats, but defense wins games. We are going to have a defense that's aggressive and plays very stingy."

"It is time for Rob Calabrese to take the reins and get things done the way we like to. He has all the attributes you want to see in a quarterback. He can throw and run and has a good head on his shoulders."

"The key will be the offensive line. They have to have a good year."