Football

Ten Stakes | Recapping the 2019 Big 12 Media Day for Texas Tech

Let’s dive deep into the Big 12 Media Day for Texas Tech.

Stake 1 – Wells Ready: The 2019 Big 12 Football Media Days and the links can be found at this link, including the quotes from head coach Matt Wells (pdf), which we’ll parse here. You can also watch the entire press conference here:

This has been Wells’ offseason mantra:

The biggest key for us in year one is instilling our culture, building our foundation, and we always talk about it at Tech and at Lubbock, what we do and how we do it. What we do on offense, what we do on defense, our weight room, strength and conditioning with a major emphasis in nutrition, class, academics, all that stuff, but the key is to the “how” and that’s the biggest thing for us in year one is establishing the “how” the physicalness, the toughness, the discipline, mental and physical, and a lot of people say that’s culture. That’s exactly what it is, but instilling the culture and the foundation. The second thing is getting in the Big 12 season and the fight. That’s something I’m excited to see our guys do, I’m excited to coach our guys. But we’re not going to deviate from the plan to build a championship program and a championship culture and the ability for me as a head coach to bring our staff to do it the way we have done it. I have a lot of respect for Kirby Hocutt and the opportunity that he has given my staff and our program to implement what we have done over the last several years into Lubbock and Texas Tech and the inspiration that I have now that I can see it over the last seven months that you can do it in Lubbock, Texas. To see the success that we have had in basketball and baseball and track and field and you can win in Lubbock. You can recruit to Lubbock, Texas, and I’m looking forward to that we have good momentum in recruiting and also in the summer the improvements our players have made since the end of spring ball and I’m excited about that and looking forward to the season.

Stake 2 – Maybe Not 97% Tight End: One of the things that offensive coordinator David Yost said upon his hire was that he ran with a tight end 97% of the time. I tracked a couple games and that was absolutely correct. Yesterday, Wells said that he may run a two-back offense at times this next year:

We’re going to continue to develop that tight end position. We’re going to continue to recruit that tight end position, but I think there are several candidates there to be able to look at it. I mentioned Donta [Thompson] earlier, Tyler Carr, Simon Gonzalez is a young freshman, Travis Koontz is a junior college kid that I’m excited about, just got in this summer. Between all those guys it could be a committee, several of them that you see, but I think those guys are talented enough to do what we’re going to do and to be able to use all of our talents.

I think the progress of Armand Shyne, the grad transfer running back, Ta’Zhawn Henry, SaRodorick Thompson at running back, there may be times when we play two running backs and take a tight end out of the game. It is about using your personnel wisely to their talents but I certainly think that we can do what we’ve done with the tight end at Tech.

I do think there are some talented running backs on the roster, so there’s something to say for utilizing the talent on the roster.

Stake 3 – Parker Suspended, No Longer a Red Raider: Via A-J Media’s Don Williams, Wells also confirmed that defensive back Justus Parker was suspended by the NCAA for one year, which means that his career at Texas Tech is officially over. Parker sat out as a redshirt transfer, then earned a scholarship at the end of this sophomore year, and now he’s officially done.

Stake 4 – Personnel Moves: To piggy-back on that Williams article we do receive some additional information about where some players will move:

  • KeSean Carter will play on the outside this year.
  • Seth Collins was outside during the spring, but will play inside this year and should be healthy when the season starts. Collins had a broken collarbone that kept him out of the spring practices.
  • Defensive lineman John Scott, III will probably not play this year as he recovers from a gunshot wound suffered in the spring. He’s currently at home, but will rehab when he arrives later this summer.
  • Offensive lineman Demarcus Marshall broke his hand, but will still participate this spring.
  • Incoming freshman Alante Brown will start at running back.
  • Penn State transfer defensive back Zech McPhearson will start off at cornerback.
  • Cal transfer linebacker Evan Rambo will play at the outside linebacker position and said that they would transition him into the rush position (I think).
  • Louisiana-Monroe receiver RJ Turner will play at inside receiver.
  • Defensive end transfer from San Diego State Mark Brown is no longer with the team.

Stake 5 – Bowman is Fully Healthy: During the presser, Wells did confirm that the punctured lung of quarterback situation is hopefully behind Alan Bowman, and Wells thinks that Bowman can be an elite Big 12 quarterback:

There are things he can work on and fundamentals but I think you’re going to see a good quarterback. I think he will be better in year two in our system. That’s been the history of our system. But I think the motivation for him to be an elite quarterback in the Big 12 is there for him and I respect that from an individual standpoint.

Stake 6 – Basketball, Baseball, and Track and Field Success: Wells said that the success of the other programs does not put any additional pressure on him, but rather provides inspiration and confirms that his path to success is through the strength and conditioning of the players:

I don’t think their success puts any more pressure on me or our staff or our program than the pressure that was on it on December 1st, to be dead honest with you. I took the job, based on a lot of other factors and none of those were considered. I respect the question. I think it’s really good. I think more than anything it’s inspired me to see that it’s done and done the right way. Chris Beard coaches those guys like a bunch of football players. They’re tough. The emphasis on strength and conditioning and nutrition is similar to what we do. I think it’s inspired me. It confirms to me the culture that we have at Texas Tech that Kirby Hocutt has created and the whole athletic department I think is inspirational.

Stake 7 – Let’s Get Offended Again. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this, but yesterday, I had quotes from former head coach Kliff Kingsbury where he said, and I quote:

“I enjoyed all aspects of being a head coach in college, but the recruiting, that’s the lifeblood of any program. That should be your focus. That may not have been my focus at times as much as it should’ve been because I wanted to coach the quarterbacks and be in the X’s and O’s and study other offenses.”

I’m not demanding that Kingsbury give back the money that he’s still taking from Texas Tech or anything like that and I’m not losing sleep over Kingsbury’s comments about not really loving recruiting, but it can be disappointing too. Again, not upset, but I am disappointed that the one thing that he said was the lifeblood of the program was one thing that he did not really put the effort into doing. That’s disappointing.

On the heels of that, I’m preparing to have you upset again, as Dallas News’ Matthew DeFranks asked two of yesterday’s attendees, Broderick Washington, Jordyn Brooks, and Douglas Coleman, III, the difference between Wells and Kingsbury:

Defensive lineman Broderick Washington: “Coach Kingsbury was pretty laidback with his [style], but coach Wells, he’s in your face with it. He’s getting on you [if] you’re doing things that we as a team don’t do, or it’s not up to your standards, he lets you know.”

Linebacker Jordyn Brooks: “Kliff, he’s more laidback, more talk to you, teach you the game. Coach Wells, he’s going to get after you. I respect both coaching styles. I don’t think anyone is better than the other. That’s just the difference between the two. … The old staff was more of a rah-rah type group, more hyped up, more energy-type guys. With this staff, it’s more blue-collar, more just stern type of coaching style.”

Defensive back Douglas Coleman III: “He’s more intense. He doesn’t really let anything slide. It’s hard to explain, he’s the definition of a head coach, not going to be your friend. He’s going to tell you what you need to do and you need to do it, or you’re not going to be here.”

One of the bigger complaints that fans had of Kingsbury was that he was not quick to correct. I can’t recall the number of times that fans complained that Kingsbury would not correct a player on the field during the game, but it was a lot. Based on these quotes, Wells really doesn’t let anything slide. At all. Like not even a little bit.

Matt Wells is a cliche head football coach. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but conjure up in your brain whatever a head football coach is in a very generic way and I think Wells is probably that. Tough. Hard-nosed. Blue collar. Love’em and coach’em hard. You get it.

Stake 8 – Who Is Wells? Express News’ Nick Moyle asked Coleman and Washington if they knew who Wells was before he was hired and the quick answer is, “No.”

“I actually had no clue who he was,” senior defensive back Douglas Coleman III admitted. “I had to research. My and my dad sat down, and we looked at who we had coming in.”

Senior defensive lineman Broderick Washington Jr. was stumped, too. But Wells quickly earned his respect.

“Straightforward coach,” Washington said. “Really cares about his players. And he’s out there trying to outwork every coach every day. For me, that’s a big thing because every day when I’m in workouts I’m trying to outwork somebody from another school. That’s how I approach the day.

“He does the same thing with coaches. I see him grinding in a similar way, going through the same sort of things. He’s still working to beat out every other school and that made it easier for me to get on the boat.”

Stake 9 – Multi-Media: That’s Travis Bruffy, Jordyn Brooks, Adrian Frye, Douglas Coleman, III, and Broderick Washington, Jr.:

Stake 10 – Time and Temperatures for Hosting TCU: Yesterday, TCU head coach Gary Patterson essentially said that if the Horned Frogs played Texas Tech before noon the fans threw tortillas and at night it was frozen water bottles. I was going to post the following on Twitter, but then decided better of it. It would cause me to have to interact with TCU fans and I wanted no part of that. But since I had done the work, I figured why not post it here. And I think that in only one of those games were people allowed to bring in their own water bottles, maybe the 2013 game with water being provided at the other ones.

11/18/2017 @ 11:00 Tortillas
9/26/2015 @ 6:30 pm and about 83 degrees
9/12/2013 @ 6:30 pm and about 84 degrees

This is not a new trope for Patterson as Patterson said this in 2017 in reference to the 2015 game. So, we somewhat have to walk back that it happens every game, because that’s not what he said in 2017 in reference to the 2015 game and prior to that, Patterson had only played one other game in 2013 at night and he didn’t say anything then. Anyway, here’s his quote from 2017:

“Everybody else gets tortillas, and we get frozen water bottles,” Patterson said. “It’s a lovely relationship that we have.”

Patterson smiled a little when he said that, but he can afford to smile right now.

So, Patterson is probably being a bit toungue-in-cheek, but he likes getting digs at opposing fanbases, he enjoys doing that. Would it surprise me if a Texas Tech threw something that they shouldn’t have? Sure. There are jackass fans that do dumb shit every place. I’m sure that all TCU fans haven’t been complete angels.

And truthfully, he and TCU need all of the extra motivation and help they can get, especially since TCU has such a difficult time filling up their own stadium and rely on other programs to make sure that the stadium looks full.

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