Bill Doba Thursday Press Conference Quotes
April 22, 2004
Spring summary...'We accomplished many goals this spring. We improved our offense. We found a couple of cornerbacks that can play. At defensive tackle, Steve Cook played for us a lot last year and he is our guy there. We got a lot of good work done. We improved throughout the spring and the work ethic and attitude was awesome.'
Decision at quarterback...'At quarterback, we are going to go with Josh Swogger when we start fall camp. A young man named Alex Brink is right behind him. It's no different than our situation at running back where we have Chris Bruhn, but Allen Thompson is right behind him. Everyday you have to earn your spot and continue to perform.'
Brink's opportunity to compete for the quarterback job...'Josh is our quarterback if he earns that position. If he is struggling then we will go with Alex Brink. Like I said, it's no different than at running back where if Chris Bruhn is struggling we will go with Allen Thompson. We put a lot of pressure on the kids at quarterback, the media and the coaching staff, and it should be no different than any other position. I don't want to have a two-quarterback offense. That is very difficult.
'He has a shot. If Josh falls on his face, he will have a shot. Everybody has to earn their spot. There aren't too many guys pressing Will Derting at middle linebacker, but he (Alex Brink) will have a chance at the starting spot.'
Do the players feel pressure to have another 10-win season...'Yes they do. In my meetings with the players, it's a goal for them. They want to continue to have that success. They enjoy bowl games and the notoriety. We are a young team but we aren't real inexperienced. There are a lot of guys that have a lot of good playing time. They are excited about the offseason and they are all trying to get better for the fall.'
Did Swogger's appointment as captain impact decision...'No it didn't. We decided that before the voting. It just kind of reaffirmed what we thought in the first place. Josh is a very good quarterback and he did a good job for us last year and I think he will be a great one for us this year.'
Reasons for quarterback decision...'There are several reasons. One is his (Swogger's) performance this spring. I thought he played well. Two, he has had experience in critical situations. He played a lot last year when Kegel was hurt. Both of them (Swogger and Brink) graded out pretty close as far as grades throughout the spring. He has a little more experience and I think he is the man to lead us through preseason.'
Comparing Swogger and Brink...'Alex is a more mobile quarterback. He is very intelligent and makes good checks and reads. He doesn't have the arm strength that Swogger does, but he has enough arm strength to win. We are lucky to have two kids of that quality here at Washington State.'
Using a two-quarterback system...'I don't want to do that. I want to have a quarterback to build the offense around and if he is having a bad day, it is great to have a backup. I think both will have a chance to compete for the job.'
Difficulty of decision...'Yes we did (struggle with the decision). They are both really good. It will be a fun fall. We discussed it with Coach (Timm) Rosenbach and our offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller. Alex is a redshirt freshman and Josh is more experienced. We will start the fall with him and see where it takes us.'
What Doba is looking for during the offseason...'I would like to see our guys in the weight room. Meeting with the players, they have a great attitude. I think we have some leaders in guys that aren't captains like Adam Braidwood. He is always asking when the young guys are lifting because he wants to lift with them. There is a lot of pride in our football team. Offensively, we improved as the spring went on and there is a lot of pride there also. I just want to see them work hard and be here and keep that team chemistry. Right now, we are a tight team.'
Kicking game...'Graham Siderius has had some really good practices and has had some that aren't so good. We have to be more consistent. We are lucky to have Kyle Basler around to punt and get us out of trouble. Our kicking game will be solid.'
Who will be in attendance for workouts this summer...'Almost everybody. We give them the month of May off. They go into Dead Week next week and finals after that. There are required dead periods even in lifting and conditioning. They aren't required to be here in May, but some of them will stay and work on their own. The majority of the kids will be back for the second summer session which begins June 7, and they will be here until the end of July. It's a good eight-week program and I think most of them will be in attendance.'
Offensive line...'Riley Fitt-Chappell is the guy at right guard and the other guard is a toss-up between Pat Afif and Bobby Byrd. That is a concern of ours. Our two tackles are solid. Nick Mihlhauser had a great spring. I think he could be one of the best centers in the conference next year. He has really improved this spring. The tight end position is solid with Troy Bienemann, Cody Boyd, and Jesse Taylor. We have a couple of running backs and a couple of quarterbacks that are battling.'