Texas Tech Football Scratch Pad | First Practice

We’re underway.

Head coach Matt Wells met with the media and here is your non-transcript for the day.

  • Lot better first practice than the spring, the defense knew where to line up, but the offense can go at a faster pace.
  • [Urgency about Montana State right now] We’re not asking anything about Montana State right now, we’re trying to play ourselves into better shape, there’s not sense of urgency for game week. There’s urgency for tonight’s meetings. it is the time on the field that is the most important, we’re going to go fast and there has to be great retention rate during those meetings.
  • [What is “Texas tough”] Physical toughness, develop that in January, February, June and July, you earn that toughness in days like today. Soreness, fatigue, hot, we’re trying to become a mentally tough football team.
  • [How hard the team goes is dependent the day of the week and the time of the year]
  • [New sign as you enter the building] Real simple, it is an honor and privilege, to play here, to coach here or to work here. None of us are entitled and are fortunate to play ball here, to coach, to work, and I think it is a reminder of your attitude. You are going to give to the program.
  • [Toughest thing to get buy-in] It is a challenge every year, even if you stay in the program and build it. The mental toughness and accountability, the player led leadership, trying to create buy-in in training camp.
  • [Re. high school coaches] Always welcome out here at our practices, you guys saw what I was told was a record number of coaches here this spring, all about relationships, about give and take, we learn from them, they learn from us, we need their recruits. I’m happy to have them out here.
  • [How freshmen can play] Need to pay attention to meetings, where to lineup, where they are on special teams, has nothing to do with talent, you have to be able to master the things that take no talent.
  • [Re. special teams] All of them are in the mix, it was a good first day. Didn’t kick much, the punters were fine.
  • [Re. special teams] Deepest need to come out of training camp with who is going to be the starters. I feel torn because you are nervous for putting true freshmen in every spot because they haven’t done it on Saturday, but they are talented, they just need to go out and do it.
  • Tackling circuit today, the offensive line and everyone went through it. They have to learn how to tackle first.
  • Evan Rambo is tall, long, rangy, he’s maybe put on 10 or 12 pounds.

Let’s get to some links and news.

  • A-J Media’s Don Williams writes about the specialists, including folks at kicker which is Jonathan Garibay, Trey Wolff, and Gabriel Lozano. The punter options are Austin McNamara and a transfer from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, Cody Waddell. I’d also mention that the David Yost and Keith Patterson press conferences are there as audio links and so if you want to listen to those, they’re there for you to take in.
  • InsideTheRedRaiders’ Jarrett Johnson tweeted out the new sign referenced above.

  • A-J Media’s Don Williams wrote about receiver R.J. Turner, who Williams says has been training at an outisde receiver spot:

    “He’s a mature kid. He’s an adult,” Yost said. “On top of being a guy who can contribute and play for us, give us good football plays, we think he can also be a guy in the room that you can point to — we have a lot of young wide receivers — and say, ‘This is a pro. This is how a guy acts. This is how you train. This is how you get yourself ready. This is how you play on game day.’

  • Abilene Reporter News’ Jordan Hofeditz has a nice recap and article about the start of camp, including some quotes from R.J. Turner, Travis Koontz, T.J. Vasher, and Zech McPherson.

    “Day 1 shouldn’t look like Day 1,” Turner said. “The stuff we’ve been doing, the way we’ve been preparing, if (Friday) seems like Day 1, I feel like we’re going to be in trouble as a team. I feel like we should be better than Day 1, more like Day 5 or Day 6 the way we’ve been preparing. Coach Wells and his staff and (strength and conditioning) coach (Dave) Scholz and his staff have done a good job with that.”

    One of the biggest differences Tech fans will see this year is at tight end. In David Yost’s offense, the Red Raiders will use a tight end on nearly every single play. That creates an opportunity for 6-foot-7, 260-pound junior college transfer Travis Koontz to make an impact.

    “I’m really excited, I can’t wait,” Koontz said. “It’s going to be the start of my first camp at some big-time ball … After all the weight lifting and all the running, we finally get to play ball again … We’re going to move the ball fast, run the ball well, throw it, do everything. Be a diverse offense.”

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