Coordinators' corner: Sept. 28
Sept. 28, 2010
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On the first impressions after the game against UCLA: Well, obviously, I was disappointed. We don’t lose often, and we lose very seldom at home. I was disappointed. Understanding the game, you just cannot turn the ball over. We turned it over three times offensively, and we had five as a team. So we didn’t do the things necessary to win a ball game like that. I was encouraged by some things. I thought D.J. Monroe came in and did some nice things for us out of the backfield, and we’ll continue to try to find different ways, whether it is receiver or running back, that we can get him the ball. We were unable to stay with that the second half because of the way the game unfolded with their style of offense. We needed to throw the ball so that we could get the snaps necessary to try to get back in the ball game and because of that, we had to get away from that package of things to do. I’m disappointed, frustrated, and we have to get better. I think it’s a fair question so I’ll go ahead and answer it before any of you have to step out on the ledge- we threw under the chains twice. The first one was a situation where Garrett had to bring the ball down to the third choice. Both the first and second choices were pass the chains, and unfortunately we did not execute that area. The second one was a fourth-and-four situation. Both routes that we were trying to get the ball to were designed at five [yards]. They squeezed John [Chiles] inside, so we completed the ball but we had to leave the field. But that is my responsibility to make sure that the routes are deeper or the ball gets past the chains. So obviously that was frustrating. I thought that there were some things that Garrett did that were exceptional. Obviously, the turnovers have to get ironed out, and the execution has to be better. He completed 33 of 45, he had three balls dropped, and he saw the blitz well again for the fourth week in a row. He continues to grow and get better, but that’s kind of a recap of my thoughts leaving the field and then evaluating it several times over the course of Saturday and Sunday.
On Garrett needing encouragement this week: Well, I think Garrett, when you play his position - or you coach mine - he understands that we get way too much credit when things go good and way too much blame when things go bad. But that’s part of it. It’s been that way since I played and it will be that way when I go to the big press box in the sky. It’s just part of it. You learn it and you live with it. But I was very upbeat with him yesterday and told him the things that he did [well], because for the most part I thought he played very well.
On the unexceptional things that he did: The interception came on an eight-man drop. Any time a quarterback has an interception and he gets on the phone, I always ask him, “What did you see?” as apposed to explaining to him what I saw. Because the answer that you get when you ask, “what did you see” is telling. You never like those plays. You like them less when the answer you receive is not what happened. That’s exactly what I saw from the press box and that’s exactly what happened when I looked at it again on tape. The good thing is he saw exactly what they were doing. The bad thing is we didn’t execute and either wait for the window to open right behind him or put a little more loft, because I do think Mike [Davis] was coming into that open area.
On Garrett’s response this week: Great. I think he will respond well. He’s a tough guy mentally. and he’s a tough guy physically. so I expect him to have a great practice tomorrow and get on towards OU.
On Garrett taking the leadership role: I think that’s something that you grow into. I think that being the quarterback, obviously part of that is leadership and I think the longer you play, the more notches you have in your belt, the easier it is to become a more vocal, outspoken leader.
On making sure the offense doesn’t press too hard: Well, one of the things that we told them after the ball game on Sunday is that if you look at the goal boards that we set- and they’ve been set this way for a number of years - is win the opener, win the Big 12 South, win the championship, win the bowl game. All of those things are still available. Those things are still available and so that’s what we have to focus on to get better.
On the running game: Well, I liked obviously as I mentioned, I liked the plays that D.J. gave us. He had two explosive runs in the first half. It was a game that I think we called 23 runs total in the ball game, but I saw some things that were encouraging. But we still aren’t where we need to be.
On what he sees out of OU: I’ve seen a lot of the same things that I’ve seen for a number of years. It starts off with good athletes that play with good pad level. Obviously, [Jeremy] Beal is a guy that is a factor coming around the edge, regressing just a little bit. I thought our backs and tackles did a nice job on [Akeem] Ayers the other night, chipping their way out on several things to be able to help on him. But you know Beal is a guy that is similar. He can create problems. The linebackers are good players. I’m impressed with the way they fly to the ball. Schematically, they’re doing very similar to what they’ve done. There have been some changes. They play more head-up positions on the guard. They always used to play an outside shade on one and an inside shade on the other. They still do that. They still have a very good dime package when they go to their three-down. Variations of movement and identifying who is coming and who’s not is a problem. But it’s a fun game and it’s a fun week to get ready for.
On the blitzing last year: Well it is certainly something that you have to be aware of. Last year they went back and pulled out some blitzes that they had not used in a couple of years. We had touched on those blitzes as part of our preparation, but obviously we didn’t spend as much time on them as the ones they had used. That’s one thing that is tough in preparation when you’ve played a team for a number of years is which of those do you choose to work on the most; the ones that they’re doing now and the ones that you see in 2010 or do you go back to ’09, and obviously you have to be aware of those because some of those were very effective. But balancing your preparation during the week and what you give the players to work on is a tough call.
On the penalties: Most of that is not being reflected in practice. Now, obviously in practice you don’t have the same noise or the same urgency in terms of what’s fixing to happen to you. But we aren’t seeing a bunch of offsides and those kinds of things - things we call administrative penalties -in practice.
On winning against OU: Well winning is what athletics in general is always based on. We have great respect for their program and what they’ve done, and it’s the next step. Regardless of what happens, we have to get ready for the next step after that. Obviously, like I said, it’s a big game, it’s a fun week. It’s one of those that everybody in both states looks forward to.
On this week being tough: Well, I think it’s an easy week to have focus because of what happened last week and because we’re getting ready for OU. As I’m sure Mack said, we have a 24-hour rule where we evaluate wins and losses for 24 hours and then we put them to bed and try to get on to the next week.
On Mack Brown calling it the coaches’ responsibility for the loss against UCLA: I think he’s exactly right. We say that the players are a reflection of the coaches. It’s one of the things that we have in the general staff room, and I think there’s a lot of truth to that. Are you getting what you’re coaching? Are you getting control? Are you getting route depth? Are you getting steps? Are you getting what you’re coaching out of the players? And part of coaching is are you asking your players to do something they can’t do. That’s another part- that schematically you want to do the things that fit their abilities the best.
On putting players in the right spots: Certain guys can do certain things better, so maybe we’ll have to do some things to make sure that, in the passing game for example, this guy gets more of these types of routes than this other guy. In the double teams, maybe this side is a better double team than this side. Everybody is going to have to do it in the course of the ball game, but you try to feature wherever your strengths are.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
On Oklahoma’s offense: They have a lot of balance. The two things that jump out at you are the two playmakers. DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles are outstanding players. They do a great job of getting them the ball in space and letting them make plays. They’re a balanced offense like they have had in the past. They want to be able to run the ball and also be able to throw it. Play action – get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands especially early in the game. They do a nice job with their balance.
On Oklahoma QB Landry Jones: He’s completing over 60 percent of his balls. He’s accurate with the football. He’s taking the ball to the right spots. He’s getting rid of the football when he needs to. Those are the things that jump out at you as far as his progression from last year to this year.
On the defense against UCLA: We didn’t tackle very well. When you play a running team, you’ve got to tackle. You’ve got to leverage the ball right and you’ve got to tackle. Some responsibility issues in the option game hurt us. We gave up some big plays because of that. Some gap control issues at times, [and] some misfits at linebacker. It was a combination. You don’t put your finger on one thing when you give up that kind of rushing yards. It’s a multiple thing. We’ve just got to do a better job of preparing our players.
On what the defense could have done better: We need to answer the call, especially the first drive of the second half. That was disappointing. I think that you’ve got to give UCLA some credit. They did a nice job running it. There was nothing different from the first half to the second half from their standpoint or ours as far as how the game was approached or called. We made the same plays in the first half that we didn’t in the second. It’s a little frustrating from that standpoint. We’ve got to do a better job of motivating our players and getting them in the right spots.
On moving on from a loss: Kids are pretty resilient. They move to the next day, next minute, next second pretty readily. As a coach you can’t let one win or loss affect the next week. You can’t get too high or too low and stay pretty much on even keel. We’re in game plan mode right now for the next game. That’s where we are.
On the importance of the Oklahoma game: It’s always pivotal. It’s OU. It’s a big week. This is very important to The University of Texas, the Texas people, the Texas fans and our football team. We need to go up there and play well and win the game.
On if playing OU will give them team extra motivation: They should be motivated anyway, regardless. Certainly playing OU gets you more excited, [and] more bounce in your step. I told the players yesterday that the tough thing about football is you’ve got to wait a week. Basketball you’re able to go out on the court the next night, and baseball you go out on the diamond the next day. You’ve got an opportunity to erase some of that memory. [In] football you’ve got to wait a week. You’ve got to move forward and learn from the mistakes. I think you learn from a win just like you do a loss as far as one game to another.
On Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray: He’s a very explosive guy. When he sticks his foot in the ground and comes out of a cut he tears up some grass. He’s explosive. Breaks tackles. He’s mobile in the open field. Catches the ball extremely well. Very good in protection. I think he’s an every down back in the NFL. If you look at all facets of his game, he’s very good at a lot of things.
On Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles: He’s got separation speed. That’s the first thing that jumps out at you. He’s very good with the ball in his hands. They do a really nice job of getting the ball in different places, lining him up in different spots. You’ve always got to have great awareness of where he is. He’s really electric with the ball in his hands.