Texas Tech Football | Monday's Presser, Gearing Up for the Longhorns

There's more than just the Monday presser in today's post so make sure and read the whole thing.  As I've maintained, I do like reading over head coach Tommy Tuberville's thoughts on Monday.  I know a lot of you probably don't read what he has to say, but I find it interesting and I think he's pretty darned honest in most of his press conferences.  I know that there are still a few of you that hang on to what Tuberville has said in the past, but you should give these press conferences a chance. 

I'm going to be away from DTN almost all day today, so please keep the comments respectful and thoughtful.  A lot of what I've written this morning is most likely going to cause some reactions and I understand that.  I'll try to answer comments later tonight, but keep it respectful, no name-calling and other stuff.

Up first, some news.

News, Notes and Links

  • Tech regents ratify six-year assignment of sports media rights to Big 12 | Red Raiders | I don't think this is big news as this is the first tier and second tier rights that I think every other Big 12 university has agreed to assign to the Big 12. 
  • Red Raiders football notebook: Corker could start | Red Raiders | I'm hopeful that WR CB Shawn Corker can make an impact on Saturday.  Corker has the right attitude:

    "You put all your hard work and effort into it," Corker said Monday. "To see something that you love and have a passion for go away, you start growing and developing in different areas. Now I have dreams to be a starting corner in the NFL and hopefully start for this team."
    Also, CB Tre Porter and SS Terrance Bullitt will not play this week and Brent Mitchem, who was at weak safety last week, will back up at strong safety and weak safety.  Also, I think that DirecTV and Fox have come to terms, so there's that.

Head Coach Tommy Tuberville

A lot of what Tuberville focused on this week was how the team and coaches just didn't play well and how this team can't show up without emotion:

So, saying that, we're not a good enough team to go out and play football. We've got to play  football with emotion. We've got to play football as coaches with emotion, and it just wasn't there. Again, we're not good enough to go out there and say we can out-execute another team. We're not even close to that. We didn't do it, so we have to get back to the emotion part. Won't have any problem this week because of who we're playing. After looking at the film, we didn't play or coach that well on either side of the ball.

I also found this quote pretty interesting in that Tuberville was asked about finding leaders on the team that aren't the main players and he said that's tough to do, but he ended that answer with what I think the real problem is, which is that the players aren't adhering to the rules of the defense and people are doing their own thing.  I alluded to this after the game, which is that I thought LB Daniel Cobb and LB Cqulin Hubert weren't in the right spots and WS Cody Davis admitted that he was in the wrong spot in the 71-yard touchdown run:

We've got some good leaders on the practice field, but right now when we get into games, we've got serious problems especially on the defensive side of the ball of everybody doing their thing, much less pulling the guy along with them. That comes from experience. That comes from success.

On the crowd:

Again, a lot of people say well, the fans weren't into it, and we didn't give them anything to get into it.

As to the comments that Tuberville made last week after the Oklahoma win, he was asked about (and the entire question was indiscernible) the fan base getting on board with what he's trying to do at Texas Tech and saying that he wants not just an offense, but an offense, defense and special teams:

Yeah, well, it doesn't hurt. We haven't had everybody on the same page. We've got a philosophy, and we stuck with it since we've been here. It's kind of like a circus. It's not a one-ring circus, it's three-ring. It's not an offense. It's offense, defense, and kicking game. We're going to do it that way. That's how you win games on the road. We won. Saturday night, we had an offense that scored points, but no way in the world would we have won that game had we played -- we'd have been out of it so quick, our heads would have spun. So I'm glad other people sound like they're deciding to jump on and usually when you win a game, they do.

I think I understand both perspectives.  The comment about not just having an offense are unnecessary, but I think Tuberville's larger point is that he knows that Texas Tech isn't going to win a conference title with just having an offense that can score a lot (or in the case of last week, little), but he's wants a well-rounded team and he made mention of that this week as well.  This is a different sport, but I think back to the days when the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks in the early oughts, when the Spurs were winning with defense and low scoring teams and the Mavericks were winning with a high powered offense.  The Spurs were winning championships, while the Mavs were winning games and not championships.  Historically, defenses do win championships and can think of two teams, LSU and Alabama this year, that are hands-down the best defenses in the nation and are also the best teams in the nation.  I don't know if this is unattainable for Texas Tech, to have a defense that is on caliber with what most think are a championship defense, but that doesn't mean that I don't want him to stop trying.  Yes, the Big 12 is an offensive league and perhaps it would be sufficient to just have an offense that's lights-out, but I also think that the SEC part of Tuberville wants a defense that can win games for him like on Saturday and I want Tuberville or anyone else here after that to continue to work towards that goal each year. 

This is probably the naive part of me in that I really want both, but I go back to my simplistic Mavs vs. Spurs thought, which is that more times than not, a defense will not let you down and it's the reason I think the Spurs won championships while the Mavs floundered in the first round.  The Mavs experienced success when they did focus on the defensive side of things, most notably this past year.  They weren't great defensively, but they were pretty good (top 10 in points allowed).  I think this is what Tuberville is getting at, which is that the offense has bailed out the defense on more than a handful of occasions this year and he knows that there will be times when the offense fails and that the defense has to pick up the pieces for the offense and stop an opponent:

I keep telling everybody, you can't win games and championships with offense every week. Your offense is going to have a bad game. They did, and that's exactly what you get. You've got to have a defensive football team. Which they can show up every week, if guys get better and get confidence and you've got depth, but our defense has kind of lived off the offense all year long. It pretty much showed up Saturday. You've got to have a complete football team, and not half of a football team.

QB Seth Doege

I avoided this topic last week, but I encouraged you to read the transcript from last week's press conference.  I wanted to see if anyone was actually reading them and if you were, then were you also caught off-guard by this.  I'm not going to avoid it this week.  When asked who the emotional leader of this team is, Doege said this:

I think there are a lot of guys that we all kind of pass it along. It's whoever is kind of at the moment who is in the lead, who can do it. But if I had to pick a guy, Adam James can spark some guys with what he says, and get some guys going by his excitement. Alex Torres does the same thing. When he says something, you listen to him. Those are two guys that really come to mind when guys are going to spark the team a little bit.

Doege said something similar last week.  A lot of you weren't happy when Tuberville said last week that if people were criticizing Adam James that he would come off the field and let you know how he feels.  Some of you took offense to this and that's fine.  I said this yesterday in a comment some place, that I don't blame Tuberville for trying to protect one of his players.  James catches more flack on DTN than just about any website out there.  If you're at all unsure if that last statement is true, then I'd encourage you to make similar comments on RP.com or RRS.com and see what happens.  In any event, the point is that Tuberville most likely hears those comments during a game and if I had to guess, all he is hearing when people speak of James are criticisms and I do take some solace in the fact that Tuberville is sticking up for his player.  I'm not expecting you to agree with that sentiment, but I understand why Tuberville is trying to stick up for his player.

Tuberville was being a press-conference-tough-guy by making the statement that he would come up in the stands and there were internet-tough-guy comments made last week by some of you about how you'd teach Tuberville a lesson.  Obviously, it's hyperbole on both sides.

More after the jump.

But something has changed.  I don't know if James is a different person or if he has done something to earn the respect of his teammates, but it's happened.  And I don't know how some of you take to the fact that Doege, who seems like a smart person, has referenced James in two consecutive weeks as a player that motivates the team.  I think that for some of you, that's hard to compute and it's hard for me to wrap my thick skull around it, and that there must be some sort of sinister under-the-table things or deals with the devil for this to be true.  

I don't know James and the only things that I've ever read about James is what I've read in the transcripts from his deposition.  Other than what his teammates say about him, this is all I know and this is all you know (unless you know him personally).  I'm not going to give him a pass for his past transgressions, but I also can't ignore the fact that he may have changed as a human being.  I also don't believe that last week is any sort of vindication or anything like that.  That's a bit much for me and I don't believe that a person is vindicated by performing for one game on the field, that doesn't compute either.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you chose to "boo" James on senior night, that's certainly your right.  If I were there, I'd just be quiet, much like the silent scare, and not do anything.  For me, he is not worth the emotion of a cheer or a jeer.  I just want this chapter to end so I can move onto talking about football things on the football field.  I know, that's a crazy thing to consider.  I know some of you think that it would be incredibly easy for Adam to just come clean about everything that happened or didn't happen, but I don't think that story will ever be told.  I understand what you may want, but realistically, I just don't think it's going to happen so I guess that I think that wishing for something that doesn't seem likely is a tough thing for me to spend my time thinking about.  I said this yesterday (in another comment somewhere), if you're looking for vindication, then I think the only satisfaction that you'll get is if the Supreme Court of Texas allows for Leach to seek monetary damages and throws out Texas Tech's sovereign immunity defense (I do not know the likelihood of this) and then it goes to trial and a jury will make a decision as to whether or not Leach was wrongly terminated.  If I had to guess, I think that this is the problem that most people have, which is that Leach might not have his day in court, although I suppose that Leach could go to trial anyway and just not seek monetary damages.  If this were to happen, then I think eventually, especially here at DTN, these issues would eventually pass, but because those that do feel that Leach was wrongly terminated, then you're left in this state of limbo where there really isn't an answer for the time being and that's the frustrating part.

And I also think the notion that James is only playing because Craig James has Tuberville under his thumb.  Maybe I'm reading Tuberville wrong, but I don't get the feeling that Tuberville is under the thumb of anyone especially Craig James.  I think the reason why Adam is playing is because he probably knows the offense better than fellow TE Jace Amaro right now.  Amaro is just a freshman and supremely talented.  But other than running back, it's incredibly difficult to make an impact as a true freshman.  That's not just at Texas Tech, but really everywhere.  It's just tough to make an impact as an 18 year old kid playing against players that may be 3 or 4 years older than you.  I think that if you were to look at the 2011 recruiting class, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bunch of players who are making huge contributions (other than at running back) to their respective teams, no matter how talented those players are.

I know that these are rambling thoughts and they probably don't make a ton of sense.  I apologize if they don't.  The biggest thing for me is that I the constant back-and-forth of Leach vs. Texas Tech vs. Craig James vs. Adam James vs. the Texas Tech administration wears on me more than you might ever know.  It probably shouldn't, but it does.  So let's get back to some quotes.

Doege also said that there was a players-only meeting yesterday:

We've already addressed it. We had a team meeting yesterday, a players' only talk. So we addressed it. I think guys are refocused. I think that game refocused everybody. Just knowing that if we're not ready to play, anybody on our schedule can beat us just like we can beat anybody as well. I think as a team we're ready to roll, ready to practice, and ready to prepare for the Horns.

I think it's encouraging that the loss on Saturday was meaningful enough to the team to stop down and address what they need to correct.

DL Donald Langley

It's sorta funny to read Langley's comments, especially when he tries to name the UT running backs (hint:  he can't).  Here he is talking about the Longhorns:

Texas is a good team. Texas is a good team. They have a real good O-line. They have some young guys at quarterback and things like that. So really we just have to do our job as the defensive line in the front seven with the four defensive linemen and the two linebackers and basically the DBs. We have to go out there and be more physical than they are. We just have to play our game and do the best we can. At the end of the day, it's going to be a battle. It's a rivalry game. Everybody's going to be watching us so, we have to do our end to produce.

On the Texas running backs:

Their running back, I know they have the young guy Charles Brown or something like that. They have a young guy that plays for Texas. I know he's a good running back. I know No. 2 for Texas is real good. He had a couple of kickoffs returned for touchdowns and he's fast and loose. So we have to break down. All 11 guys got to rush to the football because those guys have the ability to make you miss and great quickness. Like coach says, we have to hunt together. So all the guys have to have their head on football.

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