Monday's press conference had some interesting comments from the head coach.
He says the quarterbacks are listed as "or" on the depth chart because the one set to start on Saturday gives us the team the best chance to win right now but he feels he has two starters. When I heard that, I felt like he is already setting up is excuse for when he pulls the starter quarterback for bad play and puts the other in. However, later in the presser he said "There won't be a quick hook." So obviously I can't figure this quarterback thing out and it seems like the media guys can't either, because the quarterback position was by far the most discussed topic of the press conference.
He said last week there wasn't a benefit to naming a starter prior to the first game but I feel like that would give the quarterback confidence. I understand internally he may be giving the starter a lot of confidence but getting up and watching your coach tell Red Raider fans "This is our guy!" has to give him a huge boost. He did say late in the presser that he has let the starter know he is starting, so at least one person outside the coaching staff knows. Honestly, I don't care if a coach doesn't want to announce to the media his plans but I just don't like the flip flopping.
Kingsbury says he wants to see three things from the game: discipline (penalties and turnovers), energy and excitement for teammates when they make plays. He continues his theme of penalties and turnovers. I really think we need to see good things in those departments starting in game one based on how much he has harped on them this offseason.
He said Mike Mitchell will play but that media put a bunch of expectations on him. Very interesting comment in my opinion. Having not played a live football game for two years, it makes complete sense that he would have a long way to go, but I haven't heard Kingsbury mention the expectations angle before.
He said outside of Tony Brown and Breiden Fehoko, Keke Coute, Donta Thompson and D'Vonta Hinton have the best opportunity to play as true freshman. He said there may be others but these were just off the top of his head. I am excited about watching this freshman class grow. They have a bright future especially with the 2016 class we are bringing in behind these guys. The future is very bright!
As far as place kickers, he said he wants to give a few guys the chance to handle kicks over the next couple of weeks and then go from there. He said they are making kicks in practice but they want to see them in live action. I am a bit concerned by the way he talked about the kickers. There wasn't a lot of confidence by his words. I hope I am reading too much into it.
As far as the offensive line goes, Conner Dyer is injured and having surgery. He is a definite redshirt this season. He didn't go into detail about the injury itself. Hopefully Conner has a healthy and speedy recovery. The right side of the line is unsettled based on his comments. Be on the lookout for players rotating in and out on this side of the line. He said they want to find the right combination on that side and it is currently a work in progress.
You can watch the full Kingsbury press conference below. David Gibbs also spoke at yesterday's press conference. I will recap his comments in tomorrow's Raider Read.