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2010 Coaches Quick Hits

Monday July 26, 2010

Quoting Tommy Tuberville: Well, I've seen Jimmy Johnson run them off the field, absolutely, physically, run them off the field. That's back when agent's first started becoming known. Obviously, down there (at Miami), we were high-profile. The thing that they're doing now - they've got "runners"; they use former players to get back in your locker room.

I've seen them (agents and their ‘runners') around dorms. I've seen them sitting around in parking lots in cars. Of course, most of them are pretty visible. They're jacked up with these big rims.

Quoting Joe Paterno: That's one thing I've always felt good about Penn State. I have an old saying: We want your money, but we don't want your two cents. I think there are more and more people, like at Florida State, where a couple trustees got in there and said they wanted a change. That's probably happened at other places. They always dream about some savior coming in, so they start switching around.

It doesn't look that way. With the kind of money they're paying some guys they have two good years and they're up to 2 or 3 million bucks (a year). They're moving around because people are offering them more money.

Take a guy like (Michigan State basketball coach) Tom Izzo, a guy who I admire and respect. I think he's a great coach. I never thought he would even talk to the pros. I understand even he's talking to some people (Izzo turned down the Cleveland Cavaliers in June).

It's the money and maybe the challenge. I don't know why they're moving around.

I keep telling guys: "If you have a good job stick around and make it happen. Make your institution better."

You see people getting fired who have done a good job. You have a couple good years and all of a sudden someone else comes around with a little better deal and you start thinking, "If I stick around here, they're going to fire me in two years, anyway; I might as well move."

Sometimes I think that's the mentality out there.

I don't know what they're going to do. I really don't want to pick the guy.

I hope they would come to me and say: "We have it down to three people. How do you feel about each one of them?"

Once you get out of it, it has to be the responsibility of the people who are still here. I think Curley (athletic director Tim Curley) and the administration have to be comfortable with the person they pick. There are always ups and downs no matter who it is. A new guy might have some (different) ideas. He might want to change some things. If I'm hanging around or if I've had something to do with picking the guy, no.

I've said I'd like to be consulted before they make the selection. I don't expect them to give me veto power.

Quoting Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart: "It is what it is, we've got to play them. Everybody keeps talking about those first four games, but we'll be in a fight for our lives over the next eight games, too."

"Every single game is going to be tough for us. Everyone wants to talk about the first four - what about the rest? They're all going to be tough. ... I don't care if it's Nebraska or some Little League team, we'd have to work to beat them, too."

"The only difference between us and Nebraska right now is that they've been Division I longer than us. They've got a bigger name and they've had some more TV time. They're where we want to be, and the only way I know how to get there is to beat those people. Is it going to be easy? No way. But we've got to work our tails off and try to get better every single game. If we can do that, those wins will come."

"We're not going to make any excuses, I really don't care who we're playing. That's what losers do. We've got to get it done. That's what it all boils down to at the end of the day."

"Losers make excuses. Bottom line, you either (win) or you don't."

Quoting Stanford special teams coordinator Brian Polian: Yes, without getting into specifics, it is more challenging at Stanford. Obviously both places are high academic places. But I think the recruiting pool that we deal with here at Stanford is even smaller than what we had for our staff in Notre Dame.

When you beat USC, UCLA and Notre Dame in the same year that is going to get peoples attention. Let's face it, when we deal with 18-year old kids, they don't know Jim Plunkett. These kids that we are recruiting now that are 17 and 18-years old, their memories of John Elway are from when they are nine? Ten? Unless they are football junkies they don't know John Lynch or Ed McCaffrey (from Stanford). I am not being disrespectful to any of the great players that come out of here. We had the same issues at Notre Dame. The kids we recruited at Notre Dame did not know who Chris Zorich, Tony Rice or Tim Brown were. It is the world we live in.

First and foremost, the style of coaching, the passion that I have for it, I think is unique. I go 100-mph. I have a lot of energy. I love what I do. Really, I think that exudes when we work with the team. In terms of level of expertise, that can be debated, but I have been coordinating special teams for maybe half of my career. I have always been involved in the kicking game. It is something that I am very passionate about. I decided awhile ago that was going to be my niche and I love doing it. Some people don't want to get pigeon holed but that is what I do and I really love it and embrace the fact that I am good at it. I am very excited to be here working with these kids and this staff. A guy like Coach Harbaugh makes it very easy because he takes the kicking game very seriously. He gives us all the meeting time and practice time we need.

Memphis AD R.C. Johnson talks about Larry Porter: ''There are three things that I felt made him qualified for this position. 'One, he is so far ahead of the game in recruiting (twice being named National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com). Second, he has put together a great staff (offensive coordinator Eric Price spent time in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and defensive line coach Mike DuBose is a former Alabama head coach). And the third thing I'm pleased with is his presence and all that encompasses."

''He is well-organized. Everything is run by clockwork. You can tell he is in charge. If you didn't know better, you wouldn't think that this was his first head coaching job.''

Quoting Tulane head coach Bob Toledo: "We don't have the star players, but we have better football players when you look at all positions. We have quality depth. We're a much better overall football team."

"The theme (for this season) is to continue to get better. We have a good recruiting class coming in. We're bigger, stronger, and faster. We've developed quality depth. Even though we haven't won a lot we've gotten better. Our attitude now is that we can be competitive with more people. We need to show our progress."

"We have a lot of experience on both sides of the ball. A lot of guys have played since they were freshmen. There aren't any excuses any more. We just have to go out and perform."

Quoting Larry Porter: (on his ‘Invest in the Helmet' theme) That's not only a challenge to our team, but to the city as well. When you invest in something, you become a shareholder and you commit to it and you make sacrifices. I think in order for us to create the type of football environment that we want to create here in the city of Memphis, it is going to take everybody - players, coaches, fans, alumni, supporters in the city and just the city in general. These young men want success and they want to be successful, both on and off the field. If you truly watch what they have done so far, they show you that. As a head coach, it is our job to teach them to make that transition from a young man to a man and that has to come from within the structure of your program.

Quoting Derek Dooley: "I love it when (high school) coaches say, 'We don't have a good offensive line.' Good runners make yards. It doesn't matter who they run behind. They just have an ability to make people miss."

Quoting Hawaii coach Greg McMackin: (on the hiring of Mouse Davis as WR coach) "He's taught everybody the run-and-shoot. There's nobody who knows the run-and-shoot better than Mouse Davis. He's taught the whole country the run-and-shoot. The Colts, the Patriots, the Jets -- all of the four-receiver offenses -- have the run-and-shoot in them. He is truly an innovator in the game of football, and there aren't a lot of innovators. Most ideas are borrowed. He's had a lot of his ideas borrowed. He's energetic. He's in his 70s going on his 40s."

(on local recruiting) "What we did is identify every player in the state. We have a Junior Day, where we have the top 100 players in the state, and their parents, come in to the university. We know who the top 100 players are. (Offering scholarships) depends on how they fit in our scholarship system. Like at quarterback, we're not going to recruit another quarterback for a while. We're loaded at quarterback. We may not at corner. There may be positions that people on the outside don't realize what our basic needs are. We look at the grades. There are certain guys who aren't going to qualify. We try to be very specific. If you offer a guy a scholarship and he takes it, and he's not the right guy, you're stuck with him. We have our system, and this system has worked over my years in coaching. We know what we're doing. Anybody on the mainland who says this guy is a three-star or a four-star, they may not know that the guy just got into a fight or what his grades are. We know more about Hawaii players than anybody in the country."

Quoting Tulsa coach Todd Graham: ''There is method to going about and building a consistent winner. That's the advice I got from Mike Stoops and Bob Stoops and Rich Rodriguez. They said you are not just building for one year. Establish a program where you can experience success over a period of time.''

Quoting Kevin Sumlin: (on the three new head coaches in CUSA during media days) ''They don't know where to go, what to wear, what time to be there, when to talk, when to shut up. They should just do what I did the first year and not say a word.''