A lot of these quotes are from Wednesday's DTN DD, but they were after the jump and so I'm a bit surprised that there weren't more comments about the tone of head coach Tommy Tuberville's thoughts (remember, these are not quotes, but a quick non-transcript) about the team after what he deemed to be not the best practice. I suppose they stood out to me because this was the first time that I can recall a sense of urgency from Tuberville and him wanting to push his team. I understand the idea that not every practice is going to be the best practice, but he really emphasized the idea that this team cannot afford to rest. This team cannot afford to not be mentally ready each and every day.
You have to change it up, but we're adding things every day and it is the coach's job to get them mentally ready. It is all a mental game. Sometimes you count too much on what you can do physically.
For all of the times that we criticize Tuberville for not taking ownership, I think that's what he is doing here. Maybe I'm reading too much into these quotes, but he's acknowledged earlier in the spring that it is the coaches' jobs to get these players mentally ready to play. I'll be going into this a bit more next week, but I think Tuberville is alluding to the fact that last year, the defense just wasn't even lined up correctly. This year, with DC Art Kaufman, I get the sense that this was his first priority.
We don't have time to rest and need time to execute it all.
This goes again to the thought above, which is that there is no time to rest. This is pressure and I think Tuberville realizes that pressure. It is time to perform and executed. That's just music to my ears. Granted, these sorts of things will be played out over the course of the season, and it may not make a bit of difference, but right now he knows that the time is now.
Your great football teams are experienced and they mentally stay with it through practice. It doesn't come natural, like studying for an exam for 3 weeks. But we don't have time to take days off, the young guys, we have to keep piling it on, but we are still in spring practice mode. Don't try to survive, try to absorb.
I have to imagine that Tuberville repeated a lot of this to the team. He's absolutely right, this team can't afford to take days off and teaching the players, from the bottom up, that they have to keep pushing is incredibly important. Probably like a lot of you, I breezed through high school and I did pretty well at Texas Tech. I thought I knew how to study, but when I got to law school, it was a whole different game. Studying in undergrad did not prepare me for the type of marathon-like studying that I would need to do in law school and I'd guess that for a lot of these players, it's the same way. Football comes naturally to these guys and they probably didn't have to push themselves, physically or mentally for the most part for most of their careers, but I like the idea that Tuberville is letting them know that it's different now.
Freshman DL Michael Starts tweeted what the everyday schedule was going to be before school started and this team was living and breathing football:
For those not clicking on the link of the photo, this is the team's practice schedule for the two weeks of camp where there were no classes:
6:30 a.m. Breakfast - EVERYBODY
6:45 a.m. Treatments
8:00 a.m. Special Teams
8:20 a.m. Position Meeting
9:45 a.m. Pre-Practice
10:00 a.m. Practice
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch - EVERYBODY
4:00 p.m. Weight - 2 groups (Treatment)
5:00 p.m. Special Teams Meeting
5:15 p.m. Position Meetings
6:15 p.m. Dinner - EVERYBODY
7:20 p.m. Team Meetings
7:30 p.m. Special Teams Walk Thru
8:00 p.m. Offense/Defense Walk Thru
8:45 p.m. Snack
10:30 p.m. Lights out
They are spending just about all day together, as a team, working through this thing. This is what we want. We want that urgency and we want this team to be focused.
We can't afford to be in neutral, need to keep getting better in technique.
Again, focusing on technique. It has been something that that keeps coming up throughout this camp.
And last but not least, when speaking about WR Marcus Kennard and the fact that he's currently out of the two-deep, Tuberville made mention of the fact that he can't afford to play favorites. It's time to go with the players that are performing each and every day.
We don't play favorites out here, the best players will play.
I'm not totally confident in this team, the Big 12 is tough this year and I think there are a lot of good teams right where Texas Tech is at and games could go either way, but I do appreciate the sense of urgency. It's time. Preview articles for Northwestern St. go up next week. Let's see what we have.