2007 Pac-10 Media Day - Coach/Player Quotes
July 26, 2007
WASHINGTON Head Coach Tyrone Willingham
General Remarks: 'It is a pleasure for us to kick off the Conference this morning because as the Commissioner just said, the Pac-10 plays one of the most demanding schedules in the nation and I think we have all of those tough teams on our schedule. We don't think there's anyone that has a tougher start than our first three games, but we also think our Conference schedule is demanding. Syracuse is an important game for us to play on the road, and then we have to turn around and play against Cinderella darling Boise State, followed by Ohio State. There is no question that it will be very challenging, but it is an opportunity for us to go out and prove ourselves.'
On being picked to finish ninth: 'Is it a fair assessment? I don't know, it's never crossed my mind. It is important where we finish at the end of the season and I think that some years ago, projections had been slightly off as far as who finished where. But we are excited. The team is starting to understand the character it takes to be a champion.'
On USC: 'You have a very positive situation when you have a nationally dominant team, as well as a Conference that is as competitive as we will be this year. I said this when I came back from Notre Dame, I think the teams have gotten better and you have to be prepared to play your best games no matter who you are facing each game. It is a very competitive Conference.'
WASHINGTON DE Greyson Gunheim
On the season openers: 'It is a challenge, a big opportunity for us to play three big teams in three huge games. We are excited to go out there and prove how hard we've been working this summer.'
On if there are any teams he is looking forward to facing: 'I think the Conference is so competitive, every game if you don't bring your 'A' game, you are in a lot of trouble. Games go down to the last second or one big play. I think we are the best Conference and I'm really excited, I love playing the big games.'
STANFORD Head Coach Jim Harbaugh STANFORD QB T.C. Ostrander
General Remarks: 'It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here, we are tremendously excited to get this season started. I guess the only issue is that now I have to make good on all those promises I made during the interview process. So, here is the plan. We are relying on seniors to lead the way. We have a group of those committed seniors at every position. Also in our plan to win this year at Stanford is to win on defense, that is our number one goal. We are putting as much talent on the defensive side of the ball as we can and loading up on that side. The three things we want our players to do is to play hard, play hurt and play to win. The love of the game must be genuine and a lack of earnestness will eliminate any man from a football team. We will work like dogs and have fun doing it. Football tests a man's courage and it becomes a brotherhood and a love. I want these guys to expect to win and they must earn the right by how they prepare. One day at a time to improve the culture of our team.'
General Remarks: 'When coach Harbaugh came in, we committed to turning around the losing culture that we've had the past couple of years. We are looking forward to starting camp in a couple of weeks.'
STANFORD QB T.C. Ostrander
On any added pressure of turning things around: 'I don't feel any added pressure because I've always put pressure on myself. It has been a blessing where I've grown up and to be in athletics. I don't look at it as any added burden because the quarterback position is hard enough. Any outside pressure I don't focus on.'
WASHINGTON STATE Head Coach Bill Doba
General Remarks: 'We are looking forward to the year, these senior guys want to win. We have excellent leadership and have had good summer workouts. Offensively, our strength is in Alex Brink who is about to break every school record this year. He knows more about this offense than I do. He has a good, solid receiving group. Defensively we have to find a couple of corners. Our front is solid, our linebackers are solid and our kicking game is solid. It is a tough Conference. USC obviously is the cream of the crop, but the rest of the league is a toss up. The key is staying healthy.'
On taking over the defensive coordinator duties: 'I really looked at our staff and realized I had a lot more time on my hands. I will tell you I had more fun this spring coaching the linebackers and coordinating the defense than I've had in all four years. We'll be good because we have good players. But at the same time I've always coordinated by committee so it's not a one-man show.'
WASHINGTON STATE QB Alex Brink
On the quarterbacks in the league: 'Like coach Doba said, the defensive backs will have a tough time because guys like John David Booty and Nate Longshore are going to throw the football and you have to do as much as you can to control the football. I'm looking forward to playing against those guys.'
On his receiver Michael Bumpus: 'I've been around Michael now for four years so we have a real good relationship. We have real good chemistry. I think our receivers are the best in the Conference and the work we have done this summer will only improve that chemistry we have.'
ARIZONA Head Coach Mike Stoops
General Remarks: 'We are very excited for this day and for our football team. When you look at the entirety of last season, to win six games shows constant growth in our program. To win some of the games we won, after what our kids went through and then to win our last three road games was good for us. But we didn't finish the way we had liked too. The loss against Arizona State cost us a lot, including a bowl game. Hopefully that will have an impact. Our expectations are much different going into this season. The way we persevered last season, winning against top teams, I think that gives us some legitimate confidence and our work habits really match those expectations. Our attitude matches our expectations. We are healthy, we have great experience coming back, it is by far and away our most experienced and talented football team.'
On the new spread offense: 'We are going to implement the whole system. Our biggest challenge will be in utilizing the personnel we have on our team. Whether we go four wides, three wides, we'll have to see. I think the system gives us a unique protection of our quarterback. If we keep Willie [Tuitama] healthy our chance of winning goes up dramatically. All of those things are important to our success.'
ARIZONA CB Antoine Cason
On Spencer Larsen: 'He brings an intensity to the team. He is a likable guy and he pushes everyone on the team to work as hard as he does, especially this summer. He is a great leader and I feel that Spencer Larsen is one of the most underrated linebackers in the league.'
ARIZONA CB Antoine Cason
In inconsistencies in the program the last couple of years: 'That was a big key of ours that we tried to get away from. We were practicing a lot better later in the season and that helped. Last year will carry over to this year and we will be more consistent as a team.'
On being a corner against nine returning QBs: 'It's a great challenge to know that everyone is coming back. It brings the best out of me as a player and the best out of them as a player. I like the challenge against every receiver in this league.'
ARIZONA STATE Head Coach Dennis Erickson General Remarks: 'I was looking at the press guide before I came in, reading my biography and it started to look like an obituary. As I was thinking about who I wanted to bring to media day I realized the strength of our football team is our offensive front and I decided to bring Mike Pollak. We have five offensive lineman out of six that have already graduated, it's unbelievable. When you talk about a football team and you talk about the strengths, the biggest part of it is the offensive front and I feel pretty good about it. Mike is a heck of a football player. Our running game is strong too. For us to be successful we must be able to run the football and obviously that starts up front. We have some wide outs that have potential, but they are unproven. Defensively it is more of a question mark. You can not win without being good on defense. We have some good athletes, but we need to get better, play on the edge and have a strong mindset. Our weakness there is depth. Our corners have to step up. I'm very excited to be at ASU. The thing that has changed a little bit since I was at Oregon State is that everybody is even. Everyone can beat everyone. It'll be fun. I know two fight songs and I'm about to learn a third here.'
ARIZONA STATE C Mike Pollak
On the shotgun formation: 'It hasn't taken me that long to get used to the shotgun, but Rudy [Carpenter] loves it. He did it in high school so if that helps him I'm all for it.'
On having eight home games: 'As a senior I am looking forward to being at home. You get that advantage of not having to travel, playing in front of your home crowd and playing in the heat which we are used too.'
OREGON Head Coach Mike Bellotti
General Remarks: 'It's great to get the chance to play more football. I think the way last year ended fueled some thought about what we need to do differently this year. I think we will be very similar, with some tweaking in mode and tempo in the way we play our game. Tom Osborne will join our staff to beef up our special teams. That was very important to us, especially given what happened late in the season. We turned the ball over on special teams which hurt us. The core of our offen