Football

No Huddle: Texas Tech Football Media Day

Kliff Kingsbury: I was only able to run through this once, it’s 22 minutes long and just didn’t have enough time to run through it twice.

Lot of experience veteran leadership, made them a stronger group and like what they’ve seen all summer. A team that’s been galvanized through the years . . .

[Strength of team] Both lines, basically everybody back, two-deep back, haven’t had that much depth and experience . . .

[How do you emphasize finishing] It’s hard to simulate game situations, making kicks at the end, we talk about finish, show them clips about how to finish and do drills that emphasize finishing, had a lot of young guys go through some tough losses and learn from those situations and hopefully get it done this year . . .

I think it is a defensive-heavy class and I think having that staff in place, a number of years has helped them, has brought stability, recruits and parents see that, the success he’s had . . .

We’ll take 25 or somewhere close to it . . .

I think you never know what will impact a young man, you try to get to know them the best you can, but you never know what will touch them or their family, so maybe it is recognizing them at a megacamp where they didn’t get recognized . . .

[New coaches] Anytime you have turnover, there’s new energy, new processes, improve the way you do something. The players and recruits feel that . . .

[Keeping West Texas kids] That’s a big deal, it’s a good class of players in this region, how recruiting has become deregionalized because of social media and players are going out of state more than they ever did, it’s important part of our culture to keep them here . . .

[What he wants from the quarterback position] I think with all the line and running backs coming back, protect the ball, make smart decisions, eliminate negative plays and lead the team, it’s a three man race, we should go two weeks, all three worked hard and now it’s executing under pressure . . .

We’ll see, I just want to make sure that I’m right on that, it could be at kickoff, we’ll see how it goes and who separates themselves . . .

[Does the team have a favorite of the three quarterbacks] I don’t know amongst the team, they are excited to see how it all plays out, they know all three are very talented . . .

[Reps for the quarterbacks] It will be fairly equal every day, they’ll just rotate equally to start . . .

[How will they bring along Zach Austin and Eli Howard] Zach Austin knows the offense inside and out, make sure he’s healthy, Eli Howard is the same way, we’ve got to get him some live football reps, he’s going to be strong and physical . . .

Adrien Cross is a scholarship player, he came to our camp this past weekend, he’ll be with the squad this year, he’s eligible to play this year . . .

[Quarterback competition] Yeah, I’ve been part of a few as a coach, you just want to give everybody the best opportunity to be successful, I don’t want to announce it too soon I try to keep an open mind and make the best possible decision, you know you have three really good players . . .

[On Alan Bowman] Just comfortability in the offense he’s a confident young man and played in a similar system, he doesn’t make the same mistake twice, he competes when he’s out there . . .

[On Kevin Johns] It’s been really good, he’s a calm voice for our offense, he does a lot of things motivational, schematics, just been a positive energy, different approach than I’ve seen in the past . . .

[Going through the Big 12 schedule] Yeah it’s pretty much every year, play everybody and it’s a rivalry every week, I’m excited to have guys who have been through and that should help us out . . .

[On sexual assault training] Our athletic department has done a really good job of making that very important to our athletes, we have mandatory training and then have three speakers during the year, and try to educate them to the best of our ability . . .

[If he will be with the defense as much this preseason] I think more than anything I won’t be over there as much figuring out the quarterback situation, I’ll still be involved and help the best I can . . .

[On play calling] I think it will be similar, I’ll have Kevin in the box, it will be a similar role. I’ll call every play . . .

[On if the defense needs to hold opponents to a particular number of points] Hopefully the offense can continue to score at a good rate, I don’t have a good number, teams are playing a different style and it’s slowing down a bit, there’s no expectation, just whatever it takes to get the job done . . .

[On graduate transfers] I think you have to be selective and make sure it fits them and the program, they’ve come in and fit in well, excited to see them in practice the first time and hope they will be the impact players we think they can be . . .

I think the good part of that is that with Gibbs going in his 4th year, he’ll get them going where they need to go, we’ll have some new ideas with Coach Johns, that should keep rolling in the right direction . . .

[On the bye week] I think so, I think it was after week 1 last year, I think it falls midway, probably when you need it, do some self-scouting and finish out strong . . .

[On the indoor practice facility] The functionality has been great, just having it all December, they’re in here throwing, running and doing foot ladder, been great for the current roster . . .

[On the uniforms] We’ll have a throwback and maybe something else, I haven’t finalized it, Zane is working through it right now, but we’ll definitely have a throwback . . .

[On Clayton Hatfield] I know he’s fired up to feel healthy he worked his tail off, he kicks all of the time on his own and I’m excited what he can do his senior year, I know he’s excited to get out there . . .

[On playing non-conference games later in the year] Yeah, when I was at A&M we had that, it didn’t affect us one way or another, I don’t really have an opinion one way or another . . .

[On running the ball more] We’d like to be able to, that’s when it has been the most effective when we can lean on those guys, if we can run the ball, then we’ll do that, if we can’t we’ll throw it . . .

[What Tre King needs to do this year] I think he has to stay healthy, be durable, carry it 15 to 20 times, last year he wasn’t able to finish games . . .

[On Da’Leon Ward] He’s reinvigorated he appreciates what he almost lost, running well, finishing his school, handling his business, DeMarcus has had big games, should really help our quarterbacks . . .

[On playing Texas A&M] That’s a fun game for our fanbase, looking at our schedule, it’s set for the next 10 years, so I don’t know . . .

[On going to Metallica] The tickets are fairly expensive, so hopefully I can afford them at that point . . .

[On giving one running back the ball the most] I think you want one guy to be the bell cow at that position, they get in a zone and get in a roll , but we do a bunch with two-back sets, we’d like to get a majority of the touches to one guy and then have those other guys spell them and be effective . . .

[On not having experience at receiver] Look at the history of the program, somebody steps up and people want to play receiver here at Texas Tech, it’s not a lack of talent, we just had guys get to NFL camps, I feel great about the depth that we have and yeah, those two guys, T.J. has grown up and has the physical attributes that you want, Antoine has moved around, there’s lots of guys who have played a lot of football around here . . .

[On the quarterbacks succeeding] Yeah, I think so, whoever it is going to be will have veteran players around them and we feel confident in our play calling and we try to put those quarterbacks in position to be successful . . .

[On the freshmen receivers] They are very athletic, they can play on their athleticism, very explosive group, talented, everything that you want, it’s just about the mental aspect of things now . . .

Here’s Adrien Cross (5-10/195) a safety originally from Brunswick, Georgia, who played two years at Hutchinson Community College and earned Honorable Mention NJCAA after recording 35 tackles, 14 pass break-ups, and 3 interceptions. His 24/7 Sports profile has Cross as a two-star back with a 79.05 composite and had offers from Arkansas State, East Carolina, and Eastern Michigan. How this works out is always interesting, a player that obviously hasn’t signed anywhere and it’s August. Here are Cross’ highlights.

Kingsbury said that he’d still call plays, which is what he said all spring, so I don’t think that this should be a surprise. Johns said during the spring that he’d be upstairs and Kingsbury has always maintained that he would continue to call plays. I’m guessing that Johns biggest influence will be the formations that the team utilizes and the plays that are run. Kingsbury also mentions the motivational aspect that Johns brings and I remember Johns mentioning that when he was first hired.

A-J Media’s Don Williams has a notebook with additional quotes from Kevin Johns and offensive line coach Brandon Jones. A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. talked to freshman Jack Anderson (who we’ve never heard from before) and his transition to year two after starting as a true freshman:

“I wouldn’t say it was much validation,” Anderson said. “Coach Jones set that as a goal for me at the start of the season. So when I got it, it was more like I felt I made him proud. Which is hard to do with him. I felt collectively, we had a good season and that I did my part in that. I guess you could say it was validation that I did my part.”

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