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Quick Hits: Leach, Jerry Kill, Jon Embree, and Harbaugh

Mike Leach felt good about his interview with Maryland, but didn’t have much to say about the process: "I don't really have much comment on the process or any of that. I think Maryland is a good job and I think my record speaks for itself over 10 years. Clearly no one's got a graduation [rate] that even approaches 80 percent, which is what we had at Tech.”

“When you get into a deal like this you don't know all the characters involved and what their motivations are and what they're looking for. It's kind of like there's a certain amount of mind-reading if you're guessing what exactly they're looking for. I've got 10 years that speak for itself. We won 85 games and lost about 40. Won more bowl games than in the rest of their history combined."


Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill has interesting way of explaining things: "There's nothing special about me. There are high school coaches who could do my job just as well, I really believe that."

"People ask that about me all the time -- can I adjust to the Big Ten? I'm more worried about continuity, and about sticking with what works. People need to understand, it doesn't matter what level you're at; the principles are the same. It's still football."


Colorado head coach Jon Embree explains his recruiting philosophy: "I'll go get a player from there (outside the region) if he recruits me. So if it's player X and he's saying I want to go to Colorado and he comes out here on his own on an unofficial (visit) at some point and he shows he is truly interested, yeah, I'll recruit him.”

"But I'm not going to go out there looking for those guys because you fly over a lot of good players to go get this player. Then what do you have to show for it? You're wasting resources. You're wasting time. Then you get a kid who comes out here and he's dealing with being homesick, he's dealing with it being different. It's a different culture and all that stuff."

"That's what I've told these guys on the staff. If we ain't selling his jersey in the bookstore, then we shouldn't be wasting our time on this guy. That's how you've got to look at it. That's me. That's my philosophy."


In case you missed it, Jim Harbaugh wasn't in the mood to answer questions about his future:



Randy Edsall talks about leaving UCONN for Maryland

Randy Edsall just wrapped up his introductory presser at Maryland.  We thought the highlight of the presser came when AD Kevin Anderson responded to a question about not naming a big-name that would create buzz on the east coast.

Anderson emphatically responded, “I would say, ‘We got a damn good football coach here.’  The reason why I know is because of I have a bunch of friends that know football and I’ve gotten a bunch of emails from them. There is no question in my mind that I hired somebody that is going to win.”

Edsall explained, “I came here to win championships.  I am a coach and I want to win at the highest level.  Every year, our goal is to win the ACC championship.  If you don’t, there’s no sense for me to be here.  There’s no sense to coach.  Every place I’ve been, we’ve won.”

Edsall added, “Life is about opportunity.  You can’t be afraid about winning championships.  You can do that here at Maryland.  You can’t be afraid to talk about it and say it.”

How did you tell the UCONN team you were leaving?

“I tried to do the best I could, given the situation.  I would have liked to have seen those young men to tell them.  I thought to do the next best thing and got on a conference call before the announcement, there were probably 40 of the kids on the phone and I tried to express to them that certain things happen in life.  I tried to explain to them that they will opportunities to do what is best for them and their families.  I told them I loved them and wished them good luck.”

“It's tough because there was no way…our kids weren’t on campus.  They don’t go back to campus until after Martin Luther King’s birthday.”

How do you plan to increase the fan base?

“The way you do it is you become visible.  You go out and speak.  You go spread the message and spread the word.  You have to get out into the community.  Winning is a big part of it, but there are other parts as the head coach that I have to do as the head coach and I plan to do that.”

Edsall closed the presser by talking about future scheduling.

“We’re Maryland.  We ain’t playing 2 for 1’s.  We are Maryland.  We don’t have to bow down to anyone.”


Charlie Weis explains his situation, no mention of happy hour party

Charlie Weis is not too happy with reports of a rift between he and head coach Todd Haley.

"I almost get offended when people say that. But this decision had absolutely zero to do with relationships in Kansas City.’’

“When you’re the boss, you’re the boss. When you’re an assistant, you’re an assistant. He’s definitely the boss and I’m definitely the offensive coordinator. I think we had a very good understanding of what our roles were without any reservation.’’

So how long until Weis joins that Gators?  According to Ray Lewis #52, you’ll see him in Gainesville by Monday.  Weis says he’ll be with the Chiefs as long as the organization is alive in the playoffs. 

Since the Chiefs host the Ravens at 1 pm EST on Sunday, Weis could join hundreds of coach at the FootballScoop Coaches Happy Hour at the convention on Monday night at 5 pm in Dallas.  You never know.

Weis didn’t mention the happy hour, but he did explain, “I’ve done it before. It was even worse then. I was recruiting from 8 to 11 every night but working up until 8 and on until 2 afterwards to do my job with the Patriots.’’


Stanford assistant Greg Roman describes Bud Foster's defense

Stanford assistant head coach for offense Greg Roman had some interesting comments leading up to the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech.

Roman explained that one of Stanford’s themes on offense is, “It takes all eleven.”

Roman said, “We’re going to do whatever we have to do to be effective at running the football.  That’s one of our themes.  ‘It takes all eleven.’  All eleven guys on offense are very involved in running the football, probably more so than other teams.”

Asked about the west coast perception of Bud Foster’s defense, Roman said, “I don’t think their reputation is geographically limited.  I remember when I was coaching in the NFL and I was evaluating an offensive player, if I had a chance to watch them against Virginia Tech, I made sure I did.”

Roman had an interesting way of describing the Virginia Tech defense.  He was very complimentary of the Bud Foster's defense.

“The thing that stood up to me was that they are always going to have eleven sets of eyes on the ball on every single play.  They are always watching the ball, always rallying to the ball.  Their secondary has really stood out with their ability to make plays on the ball.”

“I would say their secondary as a whole is extremely talented in a sense that they have shown really good instincts and ball skills.  I think Andrew would agree, you can’t just throw lollipops up there against this secondary because they are going to come down with it.”

"We go into every game saying that we are going to player harder than the other team.  And that's going to be a given.  It's a goal of ours. Obviously against Virginia Tech, that's going to be a challenge because they play so hard.  We're going to really have to amp up our game."

Here’s the 24 minute video of Roman and Andrew Luck answering questions from the media:  


Quick Hits: Bielema, Tubs, Mullen, Saban, and Dantonio

Bret Bielema says TCU is the real deal: “The truth will come out when they play in the Big East and play those teams week in and week out.  I don’t think they are a Cinderella team.  They’re really good.”


Tommy Tuberville says Texas Tech doesn’t have enough speed: “We’ve got to have more speed. We don’t have enough speed on this team on either side of the ball to win a championship. Obviously, we can win games, but that’s not what I’m here for.”

“It’s not going to happen overnight. We’re still a few years away from getting the type of personnel here that we need, but that has nothing to do with the effort these guys are giving. We won eight games this year on a lot of effort. They weren’t going to be denied.”


Dan Mullen riding the momentum after 52-14 win over Michigan: “The nation saw us play and win on January 1 and against a great program in Michigan. This is the foundation of big wins to come.”

"We went from average to good and now we want the ability to go from good to great. Next year it'll be more than nine wins for us, and that's something we're going to start working on (Sunday).”


Nick Saban says his players paved the way for success: “I think it was a first-class performance from start to finish. We asked the players to focus on taking advantage of their talent today and have enough poise to do it for 60 minutes in the game regardless of what they had to overcome. We wanted to define this team as winners and I think this season defines this group as winners.” 


Dantonio says based off 49-7 loss to Bama, Sparty doesn’t belong in Top 10: “All I can tell you is that prior to the season not many people picked us to win 11 games. We inched up there and we're in the top ten. Do we belong there based on this football game? No. But I think we can play better than this. You have to take it for face value what it is. It is what it is, and we got to move forward, so that's what we'll do. We'll recollect ourselves. We've got an outstanding quarterback back. We've got a nucleus of great players back and that will do very well for us here in 2011.” 


Sark and Nick Holt jacked up after manhandling Nebraska

Early in the season, Nebraska finished with 533 total yards in defeating Washington 56-21 in Seattle.  The Huskers actually had three rushers top 100 yards on the ground.

Last night was a different story in the Holiday Bowl.  UW manhandled the Huskers, limiting Nebraska to only 189 total yards in the 19-7 win.

Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt said, "They were embarrassed the first time. And they just said it wasn't us that first game. We weren't ready to play. I didn't get them ready to play. But they were ready to play (this game), and this is what happens."

UW running back Chris Polk went 11 carries for 59 yards in the first matchup.  Last night, Polk went for 177 yards on 34 attempts.  That’s pretty stout.

Sark explained, “I think we are playing the brand of football that we always thought we could. It just took us a little longer than maybe we all wanted to. But we are running the football and playing defense, and it's a physical brand of football and it's something we always wanted to play and we are just there now."

After the game, Sark said, "We're on our way."  He later added, "Exactly where we're going, that's for us. We don't have to tell everybody our map. They'll beat us to the treasure before we get there. But we're moving in the right direction."

"Through it all, our defense was fantastic, really responded to the challenge. Great plan by Nick (Holt) and the guys. Just proud of our offensive line and our running game to create some movement and control the football game. All in all, it was a fantastic effort."

Washington AD Scott Woodward must be proud of the coaching staff.  Woodward said earlier in the week that UW has changed dramatically from the “physically inferior and mentally scarred from losing” group that Sarkisian inherited just two years ago.

UW finished 7-6 on the season.  

Derek Dooley reacts to Chaos - Part Two

Derek Dooley had a sick feeling when the clock hit zero in Nashville.  He had been there before (in Baton Rouge).  After chaos PART-TWO, the first-year head coach wants to see a 10-second run-off rule implemented in the college game.

Following the 30-27 (2OT) loss to UNC, Dooley said, “There were a lot of opportunities before the end to win the game.  Anytime the result doesn’t go your way, you ask yourself, ‘What could you have done differently to change the outcome?’  And there were a lot of things there, especially down the stretch.”

“Well, I thought I had seen it all in Baton Rouge.  But once you think you’ve seen it all, you hadn’t.”

“It’s why they have the 10-second run-off rule in the NFL and we don’t have it in college. And we should probably get it.”

“It was chaos again.”

“When they ran guys on the field for the field-goal unit, the rule states that the umpire should step over the ball and allow a substitution to happen.”

“I don’t know.  Maybe there wasn’t enough time to do that.”

“What do you say?  There will be a lot of things that will be brought up for discussion on game management and end of the game management and end of the game rules.”

Interesting stuff from Brent Pease, Bronco Mendenhall, and Dan Mullen

Brent Pease says he wouldn’t be going to Indiana if Byran Harsin was set to leave Boise State: "If I did know he's moving on, I wouldn't be doing this, but I don't know right now."


Bronco Mendenhall praises his quarterbacks coach Brandon Doman, says “He’s my guy.” : "I love Coach Doman to death. He's my guy. He has developed me into what I'm doing right now. I can't say enough good things about that guy; it's kind of like we were made for each other. He's a tremendous guy and a tremendous coach; I really rely heavily on him. He still pushes me harder and harder. It's almost as if when I'm doing better, he's going to be pushing me even more."

"Coach Doman, is really, in my opinion, the one that is responsible. Coach Doman is not only so helpful in helping Jake develop and reach his potential--which is going to be amazing when that happens--but his relationship that Jake has with Coach Doman is one that will surpass any I could ever have with any of our players."


Interesting quote from Dan Mullen: "There's no secrets around here and I kept (Scott Stricklin) informed. I never had, really, any interest in leaving here this year."

“Really excited with the direction the program is going, with the leadership of Scott and within the athletic department, and with Dr. (Mark) Keenum. The vision they have, and the vision I have, everybody’s on the same page. We see a great future at Mississippi State, and we’re going to do some great things.”


Clemson defensive ends coach Chris Rumph jokes with running backs / special teams coordinator Andre Powell: