Big 12 Notebook
Before we get too far, please make sure and check out Land Grant Gauntlet as they really have done a fantastic job of covering Big 12 Media Days, from the idea of limiting contact, to the various coaches.
One Day a Week. Via Land Grant Gauntlet, the Big 12 is mandating that teams only hit one day a week for practice and on game day. I very much like this idea as we’re preserving the bodies of these players that give so much. The other cool thing here is that everyone is on the same playing field and this shouldn’t affect defenses because tackling is technique, just like anything else (I think). Still, the idea that the players are saving their bodies is really the most important thing. Bowlsby also mentioned that the NFL has 11 day sof contact after the end of preseason, so this is the way that things are trending, whether you liked it or not.
Expansion Talk. Commissioner Bowlsby did mention that he felt that the majority of presidents and chancellors liked the number of ten, but there are some that don’t and Bowlsby pretty much acknowledged that.
If you’re into some light reading, you can check out all of Bowlsby’s comments from yesterday here.
Texas Tech Notebook
Videos and Audio
Audio. All of the audio from yesterday that you can handle from Double-T 104.3, including interviews with Kaster, Washington, Jackson, Matt Leinart, Kliff Kingsbury, and Dave Wannstedt.
Freshmen Receiver Spots. LAJ’s Don Williams writes that head coach Kliff Kingsbury mentioned where he sees some of the freshmen receivers playing, namely that Donta Thompson and Tony Brown are to play the X-receiver spot, which is on the left side of the field, and Keke Coutee and Quan Shorts will be at H-reciever, again, the left side but in the slot. Jonathan Giles will be at the y-receiver spot, also on the inside but on the right side of the formation. Watch out for Shorts as he may be 6-3/210 at this point of the summer. Kingsbury also said that Reginald Davis’ playing time could be affected by his arrest earlier in the spring (via LAJ).
Discipline. DMN’s Kate Hairopoulos has a really terrific article about how Kingsbury is attempting to instill some discipline into the team, discussing how Texas Tech and Kingsbury is instilling some discipline. All of this has been behind-the-scenes, which is great, and Branden Jackson also talks about how as a team they are taking discipline to a different level:
“We recognized as a team that we were very undisciplined last year,” said defensive end Branden Jackson on Monday at Big 12 media days. “It had nothing to do with our coaching. We were punished like everyone else is for jumping offsides, for being late to class. But we just took it to the next level. It’s just the way you live your daily life now.”
Organized Chaos. DMN’s Tommy Magelssen writes about how head coach Kliff Kingsbury believes that defensive coordinator David Gibbs’ defense would be confusing to opposing teams, but that the Texas Tech players will be in the right spot ready to make plays:
“Guys are going to know where to be,” Kingsbury said. “It’s about them making plays in the right spot and getting guys down where in the past they might not have exactly known there they might be based on alignments, things of that nature. They’ll know where they need to be, and now it’s about guys making plays.”
I’m not doubting Magelssen’s reporting when I write this, but I don’t envision a defense that’s bobbing and bouncing around confusing the opposing offenses. Maybe with the type of coverage and stunting some of the defensive line and coming from a few different points, but I don’t want the reaction from reading the words “organized chaos” to be this situation where the presumption will be that the defense will be an incarnation of some crazy 3-4.
Leinart Shows Up at Big 12 Media Day, Talks Texas Tech. That lede was probably mean, but I really didn’t know that former USC quarterback Matt Leinart was working for FOX Sports and so that was a bit of a surprise. In any event, Leinart talked about his friendship with Kingsbury and how it takes time to build a winning culture:
“It takes time to build a program up. You know he had some success the first year and then last year obviously was a down year. But he’s got a great, young quarterback, I think, in Patrick Mahomes and it just takes time for players to buy in. You have to recruit well, you have to have players buy into your philosophy and establish that foundation and I think he’s doing that and it’s going to take time.”
Sticking With His Guy. Via FOX Sports’ Keith Whitmire, Kingsbury said that whoever he picks as the quarterback, he’s going to stick with said quarterback and not have a quick hook. That’s good, no matter who Kingsbury chooses. Also of note is that Kingsbury wants to remove the negative plays:
“I think more than anything it’s eliminating negative plays,” Kinsgbury said during his press conference at Dallas’ Omni Hotel. “We’ve been historically bad the last two years at that position with turnovers. I think the last two years we’ve had 20-plus just in our position at quarterback.
Miscellaneous. FOX Sports’ David Ubben talked with Branden Jackson . . . LAJ’s Don Williams writes that TCU went 4-8 the year before and then won the Big 12 and Texas Tech should eye that sort of success . . .