Co-Defensive Coordinator and Outside Linebackers Coach Mike Smith was on Double-T 104.3's Tech Talk on Friday. This is your standard non-transcript, a close approximation of the conversation, but not the actual quotes. I don't ever rewind and go back. Just typing. Go listen to the interview and check it out.
[Talking about raising money for Jennie Bailey.]
Jennie Bailey, raising money for her. She is a mom to al of the guys on the staff, she's been through everything with us. We did that for her. Great turnout. Over 300 women there, shows how excited people in this town are. [Jokes are had about Wallerstedt breaking it down on stage to Ice Ice Baby.]
[Talking about that final game against Cal.]
Cal had a good football team that year, Aaron Rogers, Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arrington, it was always big to win, probably one of the biggest bowl games Texas Tech has won. Just how close you are with your teammates, with Sonny and Trey here, one of those things you'll always remember. I'm ready, coaching in the NFL, with this recruiting stuff, which I love, but I love football. You can see it on everyone's faces. Excited to show Lubbock what we have. Got a taste of it in the spring. Going to be exciting.
[Who is better than you realized?]
Pete Robertson, Pistol Pete as we call him, we knew he was athletic, he played defensive end and thought he was out of position, Pete is one of the most athletic guys on the team. Tough kid and it means something to him, he wants to be great. One to keep an eye on. Terrance Bullitt wants to be great, didn't play much last year, he wants to be the real deal. Will Smith probably had the best summer of all of the guys on defense. All of the guys really bought into everything and understand what it takes to be great.
[Talk a bit about landing Andre Ross.]
It was a big get beating OU and TCU. He's an athlete, 6-4/235, can fly and run. We have to teach him our defensive system, there is no doubt he should be on the field. Pete has the edge because he's been here knows the system. He might have the edge right now, going to be a battle. There's not one position that you can say this guy is our starter, except for Kerry Hyder. I think we have really good depth. With Andre, and looked at the Big 12, guys like him rotating in all of the time, they are both going to play 40 to 50 snaps a game. Branden Jackson is going to play a ton in this defense.
[How many pros do you see on this team?]
I like to go through a season, I've seen a lot of talent. Ross at that size and can run, he should have a shot at the NFL, but how is he going to handle himself. I've seen talented kids not make it, it is the Will in the man not the skill in the man. Guys like Wes Welker train their butts off. Kids aren't working out as hard as they used to be. It will be interesting this offseason.
[In terms of prior coaches, who did you learn the most from?]
Really, the guys that I coached with, I take something from every coach. Rex Ryan comes up with crazy schemes, he found the perfect formula and get after your butt, but the players love him. He found a way to break it up, might show baby pictures on a Friday, Trevor Price, had a baby picture of him with tiny jacket. Name a certain defense after a player, even guys that were backups, made everyone in the room feel a part of it, to me that's pretty big. Learned something from all of the guys in the room, some coaches are set in their ways and not change, but need to always be listening.
[The players were asked who the coolest coach and and they said it was Mike Smith.]
A lot of it is that I can relate to them, I saw how Rex approached players, now I'll get after them, I made some phone calls this morning. I'll celebrate with them, I love football, I want them to succeed in life, with some coaches they aren't really with them when they are done. We'll always have relationships. Just be myself out there. I'm not fake with those guys either, they are all the same, be one way, they know what they are going to get, nothing change when I recruit them, there's no grey area, don't sweep anything under the rug.