Jul 23, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Eric Ward speaks to reporters during Big 12 Media Day at the Westin Galleria. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
There's no way that I can link to every story from Texas Tech's Big 12 media day. What I will do is give you the resources and I'll tell you my top five things that I took away from yesterday and let you supplement or fee free to give your own top five takes.
At these links, you can find quotes, videos, press conference transcripts, etc. Also, I know that Texas Tech received the 12th commitment, from Justis Nelson. I'm working on that as well.
IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN | I try not to get too caught up in the literal comments. Granted, words are what we live by here on DTN, but I try really hard to just take things at face value. Aside from that, I wanted to mention that the silliness that ensued when the players interviewed each other was terrific. Eric Ward makes me laugh. There is nothing to gain from these interviews other than that they are fun and that Michael Brewer and Terrance Bullit watch Pretty Little Liars, that Tommy Mainord nicknamed Eric Ward catfish and I don't know if Ward thinks that it is because his forehead looks like a catfish or a channel cat or something, but you get the idea. Sometimes I feel like I can't laugh about sports any more. This was good.
DOUBLE THE TALENT | I think this is something that is really tough to prove, but here's what head coach Tommy Tuberville said about the defensive talent:
You need around 30 players that can go day in, day out and play in this league, and we've been about half that. But we've pretty much doubled our talent on that side of the ball. We've taken some junior college players. Most of the guys that played last year are back with us, and I think they're going to help.
Hmm. On one hand, I sorta agree with him. It's been a good while since there was a defensive player drafted, I know a lot of you agree with the assertion that this is not terribly important, but I do think it's important to Tuberville. I also think that I tend to get caught up in in the potential of players rather than what they are. With that being said, I do think there is some talent on the defensive side of the ball, but I suppose time will tell if Tuberville was able to double the talent on the defensive side of the ball. That's a really tough thing to quantify or prove other than to take someone's word for it.
GETTING AWAY FROM A DEFENSIVE PHILOSOPHY | A reporter, not sure who, asked a question of Tuberville that I think a lot of you would want to know, which is if going against the spread made him change philosophy defensively and not be as physical. Tuberville says not really, that it was more about the lack of depth more than anything else:
No, not really. We got consumed, but not having enough depth over there to play in this league. I mean, we had to move linebackers to defensive line the first year, and those defensive linemen graduated and we're looking around playing true freshmen and probably didn't take enough junior college guys. But I don't want to do it that way. We want to take a few junior college players and build it with high school kids.
So here, Tuberville admits that he should have gone after more JUCO guys in his first class, which was almost entirely high school players to help build the depth. This is probably accurate because with most coaching changes, there will be player turnover and a lot of times that depth needs to be replaced somewhat immediately. I think that Tuberville probably didn't think that he was going to go 5-7 in his second year to necessitate this change. I'd also say that I tend to believe that Tuberville's philosophy hasn't changed defensively, but the problem has been with the last two coordinators is that I don't know if Tuberville is leaving an imprint of what he knows defensively on the players. This is one of those things that I think is going to change this year. I believe that Tuberville will let defensive coordinator Art Kaufman do his thing, but this is a defense that Tuberville knows backwards and forwards. His familiarity with the defense will help him take ownership of the defense.
OFFSEASON WORKOUTS | I've admitted that I'm completely ignorant when it comes to whether or not the offseason workouts or the workouts by the team are either good or bad or indifferent. I really don't know. KCBD's sportstacular Pete Christy (make no mistake, I love Pete Christy, he makes me laugh about sports and that's a good thing) had an extensive look at the workouts and although the team is doing upper body, the workouts and lifts don't look all that foreign, but would love to hear you chime in. The stuff outdoors, with the ropes and medicine balls is the core workouts, I think, but I've also seen that the Dallas Stars utilize similar workouts, but again, I don't know. Personally, I like the workouts with the ropes, and pulling sleds because it seems that you're using muscles that can't be replicated by lifting weights. Again, I'd love your thoughts and the video is after the jump.
PLAYERS MENTIONED BY NAME | Other than the players that attended, you had TE Jace Amaro, QB Michael Brewer, WR Bradley Marquez, DE Branden Jackson, and DT Anthony Smith. I've probably missed a few players, but I think this is a pretty solid group to highlight, so here's what Tuberville said about each of them:
And then at the receiver I think one of the better players that might be in the country for the next few years is going to be Jace Amaro, 6'6", 260-pound tight end that's got great hands for us. Just a phenomenal athlete that played last year true freshman. He's from San Antonio, and everybody wanted him. He's one of those type of guys that will make us much better because of his presence as an inside receiver, a guy that can block for the run and also run after he catches the ball.
And, of course, Bradley Marquez, I think that he could be a guy that really turns it on this year. He made some plays for us last year. He's got a lot of speed and quickness playing inside receiver. Right now he's playing for the New York Mets in baseball. Last two months. I don't know how well he's doing. I'm just hoping he shows back up after those easy times. But he's ready to come back and go to work. He'll start with us in the first of August. I think he's a guy that can help make us special.
Last year I redshirted a defensive lineman. We just said, hey, we're going to do it. We're going to bite the bullet. He's going to be a great player. His name is Branden Jackson. Left a redshirt on him, didn't play him, and it's going to help us in the long run.
So we're getting closer. We're getting closer to the talent level from all three starters, the mid-guys, the second-team guys and the third-team guys. We've got a couple of freshmen. One freshman that we're bringing in, Anthony Smith, he came in a couple of weeks ago, second summer session, about 325. He needs to lose a few pounds. But he's more of what you need to find. Defensive linemen are the hardest to find in the country.
He's one of those type of guys you can tell, when he steps in the huddle, the players listen to him because he means business. And this will be a big year for him. He probably won't get a lot of playing time in terms of starts, but we're going to try to build a package for him so he can start learning for next year. Get him in as many games as we can. Put him in situations where if we need a guy that's athletic to run play action, run the ball, he might be a guy we do that with. But he's got a great future in front of him. He's got four years left, and he seems like to me he's like he's 21, 22 years old, because he came from a great program at Lake Travis that had success. You can't teach that. You've got to acquire that from a successful team, and he has been very successful in football since he's been playing.