Pac-10 Media Day Coach and Player Quotes
>>Watch Commissioner Scott's Opening Statement
Washington State Cougars
Head Coach Paul Wulff
"We are all very excited to be here. Very excited about this upcoming season at Washington State. Very happy to have Kevin Kooyman sitting to my left and its great to have Kevin here. He is one of the few fifth year seniors we have on this season. We feel we are a very young team but we have some experience. We have a lot of players that will be game changers in the Pac-10 for the next three or four years. We are really excited about how we are improving in all facets of the game. I really feel you will see a much improved team out of Washington State this season. I feel like we have the best team that we have ever had since I've been here at Washington State. We have played in this building on New Year's Day at the Rose Bowl twice in last 12 years, other than Oregon and USC no other team has done that. We feel we are headed on the same path as those teams that made the Rose Bowl. We are going to take a big step.We have hired who I feel is the best athletic director in the country in Bill Moos. He has built football programs before and he is going to be able to bring us to a higher level and I am very excited about the culmination. We have great support from the administration, Bill's
experience and this young football team that we will be showcasing next fall."
On the progress of James Montgomery...
"He has been running around and is really looking good. We think he will be able to come back and play, which is a miracle to be honest. He had a combination of the compartment syndrome surgery and then surgery on his other knee with mircrofracture surgery. Don't think he will be in tip top shape at the beginning of the season, but he will grow into it."
On Jeff Tuel's growth this offseason...
"Of course we are very high on Jeff Tuel. Jeff came in this time last year about 190 pounds. He has put on about 20-25 pounds and is a lot stronger. Jeff just came in last August and he really was thrown to the wolves. We really threw him to His freshman marks were better than Drew Bledsoe's stats as a true freshman at Washington State. That is the one guy recently who started as a true freshman at quarterback. Heading into his second year at the quarterback position, he is probably ahead of them all. He still hs youth at the wide receiver position so the continuity isn't going to be as good as its going to be. He is getting a lot better and is looking really strong. We are very excited about what he will bring us this fall."
On the New York trip...
"You find out all the coaches are pretty good guys even though you don't think they are. We actually had some bonding time there. The experience was great to get there and make eye to eye contact with their media that was great. The exposure and the excitement was very evident. There was excitement in everything we did and they felt honored to have this unique opportunity and have us in their backyard. In Bristol they were really appreciative of that because they have never had a Conference do that. We have taken the right step in the right direction. We have gained a whole lot of respect from the East Coast and the media."
On the team's quarterback situation...
"Heading into fall, Jeff Tuel is the quarterback, with the option to give Marshall some reps. Jeff is the leading guy without question. I think we are going to have the luxury of having two guys be able to play for us."
Senior Defensive End Kevin Kooyman
On being picked to finish 10th in the Conference in the media poll...
"The last two season's have been really rough. You just kind of have to ignore it. We are going to shock some people and we this season. We don't really care about the rankings. It is more of a distraction."
On the team...
"We are the hardest working group out there every Saturday. We are just really excited about the season. All the players are passionate and really proud to represent Washington State. Hard work beats talent any day, so we are just ready and excited about this season."
Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
"This is an exciting time of year. We have a very challenging schedule. We have made strides over the past couple of years to earn the right to be talked about as a great team in all facets, from recruiting, to the sweat equity Rahim and his teammates have given. We are developing a culture that will carry us through those tough times when games are close. We are very, very excited about beginning the season. August 9 is our first practice and I know our guys are really excited and can't wait to get started. We are looking to keep the momentum going of UCLA football going until we are playing in this great stadium in January."
On his thoughts on the league division...
"I have a personal opinion on what's best for UCLA in terms of playing the best competition. What may be best for me may not be good for a team in the Northwest."
On his goals and expectations for this season...
"To be better than we were last year. I say that because I want the momentum to keep going. 4-8 year one, I was not expecting that, Last year we went 0-5 in October. We were in every game but just couldn't get it done. But we were able to find a way to right the ship and made it to a bowl game and pulled out the win, even though we were behind at halftime. All those things led to a real great work ethic in the offseason months and excitement about going forward. For the first time since I got to UCLA, we are an experienced football team. That doesn't mean we won't have an infusion of young guys that will still be key players. But we have guys like Rahim, Kevin Prince and Akeem Ayers. These guys have played and played at a high level. And our kicking game is quite possibly the best in the country. If we can be consistent on both sides of the ball, play to our strengths with special teams as we increase team speed, hopefully we can be a team who wins those games that got away from us in the month of October last year, and as we do that then we can get back into the Conference race and get back into the national discussion."
Junior Defensive Back Rahim Moore
How do you top last season...
"Doing everything I can to get better. Because it is not about topping last year. If I could, I would take away the 10 picks to get 10 wins. It is about getting me better and everyone around me better. I want to do all the things to get better and be a big contributor. This is our chance to show ourselves on the biggest state against great teams like Kanas State, Texas and Houston. This year is not about me, it is about the team."
On the top passing teams his defense will face in the Conference...
"Washington and Arizona. They do a good job with route recognition. The spread, Jake Locker and Kearse. They blend well. They are very well coached by Sarkisian. You see the points they put up. When you have a good quarterback like Jake Locker and Nick Foles. We are looking forward to it. What I have been doing is preparing our secondary as much as we can and be prepared to face those offenses to help our team win. I am looking forward to it When that time comes, may the best man win."
On changing the Pac-10 culture...
"I want to compliment Commissioner Scott for what we have done in trying to change the culture of this Conference. If you talk to people from around the country, they would say we don't play "real football" out here. Going to New York and taking the East Coast bias head-on, I thought it was a bold move. I wasn't sure about it at first, but after going through it yesterday I think it was brilliant. Only time will tell, but I can tell you having coached at the NFL level there is plenty of Pac-10 representation out there. And there is no reason our Conference can't be the best out there, and part of that is the perception and change the culture from a national standpoint I think is the right way to go about that."
California Golden Bears
Head Coach Jeff Tedford
Walking down that tunnel and seeing the green grass really puts you in the mood to play some football. We are ready to get back to camp and get the team back together. The guys have been working very hard here in the offseason. We want to get to work on a new season. Very excited about the new season. I think we have a great nucleus of guys and leaders. Some people tell me we are not ranked as highly this season as we have in the past, but we are not going to focus on that. We have to really focus on our internal expectations and competitive excellence. We feel very good, we have two new coaches that will be key to our success. We need to get better on the special teams side of things to get field position. Defensively we have a new defensive coordinator with Clancy Pendergast who a couple years ago he was on the verge of winning a Super Bowl with the Cardinals. We are going to be much better on defense. A goal for our is to really put
pressure on the quarterback. Offensively we feel like we have some fire power. The quarterback is the question of the time. We are going to have great competition at the quarterback position, but Kevin is the guy who takes the first snaps. Kevin is the active leader in the Pac-10 win wins, touchdown passes and starts. We are really hoping that his experience will really help us and translate to more success on the football field. The team has a lot of confidence in him. He has worked very, very hard and he feels that is his team. Fortunate to have Mike Mohamed here. He is a great young man. Conference leader in tackles last year. He is a great young man and will graduate in business in the fall. He has been a great representative of our program and a great leader with us."
On the parity in the Conference....
"I think there is a lot of parity in this Conference, there is no doubt about it. Last year we had five teams with the same record. Very difficult to go through this Conference unscathed. Very competitive. There is firepower on offense and a lot of great defenses. You have to bring your A-game every week to be successful in this Conference and win. There are a lot of great coaches. This is a great Conference."
On the defensive changes...
"The philosophy has changed a bit. We are still in the 3-4 scheme but we really need to get after it and be aggressive. We will be more multiple. We really need to get after the quarterback. We weren't very good with pass rushing last year, so we need to get better at that. That will help us to get off the field and give the offense a chance. Clancy will bring those concepts in with him. Our guys have really had fun with it."
On what would constitute a successful season for the Bears...
"A success will be to go to the Rose Bowl. That is what we are here for. We are going to work our hardest to reach our full potential. It used to be 8 or 9 wins was a good season. People were satisfied with that. But that is not good enough anymore. We have to get over that hump. We have a burning desire to go to the Rose Bowl. Our fans do, our coaches do, our players do. We are going to go out there and work our hardest to reach our goal. I wouldn't go and say that if we lose a game or two and don't make our goal that it's a failure. I am not putting that on our backs. We want to reach our goal and have fun doing it."
On the NY trip....
"I was a proponent of it. I thought it was a great idea. Hats off the Commissioner Scott and his team for putting on a class trip all the way. I thought it was very productive to get out there and get the Pac-10 some exposure on the East Coast. To be able to shake hands and put names to faces, I think that will help. Spending time with the New York Times and going to ESPN, I thought it was very well done. I thought it was great."
Of course when it came out that the Pac-10 was involved, I was very interested. I want to see how it is aligned. I really want to be able to play the Southern California teams every year, but everyone wants that. So I think its great that we are growing our Conference and making it more successful."
On the renovation of Memorial Stadium...
"The stadium renovation is going great. There is a huge structure there. It is very impressive, we are very excited about it. It has been a long, drawn out precess, but it is finally almost here. The people at AT&T Park will do everything they can to make it feel like a football stadium. They are great partners. We are looking forward to that."
On defensive end Cameron Jordan...
"Cameron does have great potential and ability. What is going to help him in the new scheme is if we are rushing four or five, he will be able to get to the quarterback. He is very gifted." "I think there is quite a bit of star power in the Pac-10. Mike Mohamed sitting right next to me is one of them. There is a lot of fire power in the Pac-10. I think the Pac-10 has plenty of talent.
"I think the parity will increase. I have a lot of respect for Colorado and Utah. Not only athletically but they are a good fit academically. It will just improve the competition. They have great facilities, great culture. This will help them to recruit and expand their California footprint."
On losing Jahvid Best...
"I think the key is to stay balanced. We will never be successful if we are one dimensional. We need to create the depth at running back, which we have always had when our running game goes well. We need to have some young receivers step up and change some of the play calling to put Riley in better situations to get rid of the ball more quickly."
Senior Linebacker Mike Mohamed
On the expectations...
"No, not really. I am aware of the preseason accolades but my main focus is the team. I want to win the Pac-10 and play in the Rose Bowl. It doesn't really affect me. I just need to get out there and have a great season and help my team as much as I can."
On USC's sanctions...
"It is definitely tough for the players, especially when all this is coming down on them when they didn't have a part in it at all. Definitely tough."
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
"Wish it was August 9. We are ready to get started. Owen and I look at the beginning on the new year as the beginning of camp. We are going to This is a strong man Conference and the strongest team will win this Conference. There is not a lot of finesse teams in the Conference. We really embrace that. We are intensely trying to benefit our football team. Our goal is to win the Conference championship is our only other goal other than treating people in a first-class manner. We are trying to put our best players on the defensive side of the ball. Everyone is open to moving to the defensive side if needed. Owen will start at fullback on offense and the middle linebacker position on
defense. He is the perfect football player. He is a tremendous worker. The idea is to get him on the football field as much as possible. He has embraced the idea of playing on defense. That decision is big. If Owen was to be hurt, we would have two starters lost. We are aware of that and will assess that as the season moves on. The rest of the football team, we feel like we have a great quarterback. And once you have a good quarterback, then you need a great defense and a kicker that can kick field goals. We are trying to bolster the offense around Luck and get the defense strong and the kicker Nate Whitaker can hit field goals. Our running back [Toby Gerhart] graduated and we
have to replace him. We have about six guys out there that can fill those shoes. I found that nothing motivates guys like playing time so we will see who will help us the most to win. The lead blocker for those backs will be Own Marecic and I truly think he is the best at that in the country and I really think our quarterback is the best as well. I understand there are some other coaches in the Pac-10 who would say that as well and they definitely have the right to say that because there are great players in this Conference."
On why more teams don't have players playing on both sides of the ball...
"We have done it with some other players, where they would play some snaps on the other side of the ball, but you don't see guys attempting to start on both sides of the ball. But other teams don't have a guy like Owen Marecic."
On Mike Mohamed's interception to seal the win for Cal in last season's Big Game...
"That pretty much sealed the game for Cal. We definitely had our chances to win that football game. There is nothing as bad as walking off that field without the Axe. But he made a great play."
On the running back situation...
"Two key guys wont be there this year, the tight end Jim Dray and the running back Toby Gerhart. There is no games, no politics, whoever is practicing the best will get to play."
On the NYC trip...
"It was really a great experience to be back there. But this here is the main event. I answer questions as they come. Can I say that I will be the head coach of Stanford for life? I cannot say that. If the creek don't rise, I will be. But you never know."
On quarterback Andrew Luck...
"You look at Andrew and you wonder what makes a youngster that good. You know it has some to do with mom, dad, God, he has such talent. He has tremendous arm strength. He is as accurate as any quarterback I've seen. He is athletic and can run with the football. He rushed for 400 yards last year. He is a brilliant kid, not just book smart, but also with football. We are glad he is on all team. "
On the different division possibilities...
"That seems inevitable. Its going to 12 teams and there will be the Conference championship. For myself and the team, our goal is to win the Pac-10 championship and play in the Rose Bowl, no matter the format."
Senior linebacker/fullback Owen Marecic
On if he played both ways in high school and how he practices both positions...
"I did go both ways in high school and a fullback and a linebacker. During a practice, the offense and defense will scrimmage at the same time against the scout teams. So there is plenty of time to get practice on both."
On not sustaining, on keeping to get better...
"It is kinda like working in the weight room. You set a big squat max and you are pumped. Maybe that was last year. We had a lot of success, but we have a lot bigger dreams than that. We have to work really hard to raise the bar to the next level."
Head Coach Mike Stoops
"We are excited to get the season started. It has been a great couple of days, "Flying here from New York. It has been a great experience for Nick [Foles] and for the other players. There are so many great players in this Conference. These guys were humbled by having the ability to represent an entire conference. We begin next Thursday on the football field. I think we have an excellent football team. I think we have had a great off-season. Looking at our strengths, looking at the quarterback position is a great place to start with the strength of this team. Last year that was a little bit of a question mark for this team and a lot of people questioned our ability in picking us preseason eighth, but
we finished tied for second and went to the Holiday Bowl. This is a team that I thought really achieved some good things last season and I think the loss in the Holiday Bowl really humbled us and fueled us in the off-season. We realized how quickly things can disintegrate if we don't do things right. I think we are eager to get back out on the field and correct some of those things. Defensively will be our challenge, replacing three really quality linebackers. I feel like we have talent there now the key is to make them productive players in this league. That will be the key for us. I feel very strong in our position and I know we will be able to compete in this league at the highest level. We
have done it before and we are looking forward to getting out there and doing it again."
On the team's line-backing corps...
"We have some talented players. Brought in two junior college guys, highly recruited, I feel very confident in them. Our young players are going to have to step up and be players for us. That will be a key element to our team but we just need to get out there and see what we have. We will just have to work hard at that. It's different in practice then going out and making a big play on third down on a Saturday. We will have to work hard at it. We have always had a good defense and I don't see that happening."
On the wide receivers...
"Juron Criner is the number one guy. He has to be that beast of a receiver outside who can make all the plays. I think he is just starting to scratch the surface of being a true number one player on any level. We are going to have to go to and lean on him. He is maturing. Travis Cobb has excellent speed. David Douglas will be a guy we need to get more out of and will step up. Gino Crump, a walk-on player from West Virginia that we feel very strongly about."
On the play of Adam Grant...
"Adam had some difficult times at the beginning of his career. The first three years of his career were taken away by knee injuries. Last year he came on and was one of our premiere players. He is much more polished and stronger. We were very grateful to get him back."
On the team's recent success....
"I think we have had some successful seasons. But we want to take the next step. This is going to be a competitive season, with the balance of teams. We play seven home games, five of those in the Pac-10. Things have to fall right to win championships. We are not as deep of a team as last year, but we are a strong team."
On expansion and possibly playing his brother...
"That would never be a situation we would never look forward to. That is not something we would ever do intentionally. Bob is going to have the great experience of playing Mark [Stoops], and just talking to him its going to be a difficult situation, but sometimes this happens. Hopefully we can play him in the Rose Bowl or the National Championship game."
Junior quarterback Nick Foles
On his trip to New York with the other quarterbacks...
"They took four of us to Bristol, Conn. and to New York and it was a unique experience for us. It was neat being around them. Every team has a great quarterback in the Pac-10. It was fun going out to the East Coast and spreading the Pac-10. It was just neat being around them. They are all great guys, very humble. You can tell they are great leaders on their teams. We talked about football a bit, but it was just fun hanging out with them. They carry themselves very well."
On the receiving corps...
Losing Dean was tough, but we will have guys step up. Juron is just a play-maker and he is even better this year. You have David Douglas, Travis Cobb and Gino Crump."
On how he feels this season with his experience...
"It is a lot different. I got to start nine games and I have that experience under my belt. We have a offensive strategy set up. I have confidence going into the off-season. As a quarterback I am a leader on and off the field. You have to do the right things."
Arizona State Sun Devils
Head Coach Dennis Erickson
"We're excited about this football team. We lost some starters but we have a lot of guys coming back. I think Lawrence Guy is one of best defensive linemen in the country. Vontaze Burfict had a great spring. He didn't get any penalties. You don't want to take a lot away from him because he's such an aggressive guy." "What's exciting to me is how much better we're going to be on offense. I hired a new offensive coordinator, Noel Mazzone. We are doing all the things that are happening in college football right now. We had a lot of fun in the spring. Guys are really enjoying what we're doing." "We have two quarterbacks who competed in the spring. Brock Osweiler is probably as talented as I've had at that position. Steven Threet played in big games when he was at Michigan. Those two are competing. Both are good football players. I haven't made a decision on
what we're going to do yet." "We finally got some depth on our offensive front. Guys that had to play as freshmen and sophomores are bigger and have more experience.
Our skill is the best since I've been there.
"Thomas Weber, who won the Lou Groza Award two years ago, shows you what happens when you don't have a kicker. Last year, he pulled up right before we played at Georgia, and we missed three field goals. He's a great player and a great character. You don't see many kickers come to things like this."
On the impact of East Coast trip on the media
"We got to spend time with the media there. It did make an impact. People know who you are. The ESPN trip to Bristol was an unbelievable experience for us. I really believe it's going to help our league when it's all said and done."
On determining the starting quarterback
"You'd like to name one before the first game, but you never know. The good thing is that we have two good quarterbacks and that will help us as the season goes on."
On the addition of Utah and Colorado in the Conference
"Those are two great TV markets and two great programs. I like the idea of splitting into two divisions and having a playoff game. College football is all about big games. Every game in our league is big, but to have that game and decide who's going to the Rose Bowl is very important."
Senior kicker Thomas Weber
On his injury last year and recovery
"I just wanted to do whatever I could for the team, whether it was coaching Bobby Wenzig, our other kicker, or helping out on the field.
After the season I gave myself some time to rest and was determined to get back to the way I can kick."
Head Coach Steve Sarkisian
"Growing up in the Pac-10 and Southern California and watching this great conference, I think this event is fantastic. I think it's indicative of Larry Scott and his aggressiveness. I think this conference is headed in a tremendous direction. I'm excited for our football program because I think we're on that same wave." "We are obviously led by a tremendous senior quarterback in Jake Locker who has all of us primed for a fantastic senior season. His work ethic on and off the field is tremendous. The leadership he provides on the offensive side of the football is huge for us." "On the defensive side, Mason Foster is a fantastic player. We've got the senior leadership to bring the young guys along to do something pretty special. That doesn't mean you go out and win every game, because this is a very difficult conference and there's a lot of parity. That doesn't mean we don't have great football teams. We have great coaches and tremendous players." "Our challenge is to take that next step. As we move towards the season and the Pac-10 Conference and the Race for the Roses, it is going to be an exciting time."
On the importance of Northwest schools to be playing in Los Angeles
"The most important game is here on January 1. That's what we're all trying to get to. We all recruit in the Southern California area. We'd all like to be playing down here so our recruits can play in front of their family and friends. Whether it's in Los Angeles, Seattle, Pullman, Corvallis or Eugene, we need to win. That's the ultimate goal."
On coaching against USC head coach Lane Kiffin after working together at USC
"It will be extremely competitive. Lane and I are still great friends. He will do a great job at USC. It will be fun to see each other on opposing sidelines. Hopefully we get to do it for quite some team against each other."
On quarterback Jake Locker's decision to stay for his senior season
"I thought we all handled it very well. We really tried to get him to a point where we could educate him and ultimately let him go make the decision. He's physically gifted. He's a better human being. The humility and loyalty he has is something we try to embody in our program. How he handled the situation is indicative of who he is."
On the value of a quarterback like Jake Locker in the Pac-10
"Historically in this Conference, the teams that have won Pac-10 Championships or have been in that race at the end have had veteran leadership at that position. Ultimately, if you really want to win a Pac-10 Championship, you have to find a way to win on the road. We will take the advantage of having that senior quarterback who has been in those environments."
Senior linebacker Mason Foster
On defensive coordinator Nick Holt and what he means to the defense
"He brings intensity and enthusiasm to our defense. As a defense, we embody his personality. We understand what he's trying to do with the defenses in his blitzes. I am looking for great things out of our defense."
Head Coach Lane Kiffin
"It really has been an exciting last three days. Commissioner Larry Scott has really branched us out and taken us to the East Coast. It's an exciting time for us at USC and an exciting time to do it. " "To get back on the field, it is the best time of the year for us. Over the last couple of weeks, for all the Trojans to come back in these times and continue the championship runs speaks volumes of USC and the USC family." "Matt Barkley handles himself with great class and composure. One of the reasons he will have a great year is because he's changed his whole body. He'll be much quicker. He'll make better decisions."
Where are the team's strengths and weaknesses?
"I feel good about our defensive line. Depth in general is going to be an issue. We have to be extremely intelligent and smart. Seven of our 10 coaches have NFL experience. We're going to have to be NFL-oriented because of our situation. On what can be improved upon following the run of success under Pete Carroll "We've got to make sure in our recruiting process that we're not just signing the top guys, but making that the bottom of our class are really strong."
On Kennedy Pola's impact
"To have him back on our staff just lit up Southern California recruiting. He's even better than he was before. It's a great opportunity for us to bring him back home."
Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley
On considering transferring following the sanctions
"It never entered my mind. I've always wanted to go to USC. I wouldn't give up anything to go anywhere else. To get a degree from USC is huge."
Transition from Pete Carroll to Lane Kiffin
"One of the greatest things Kiffin could have done is open up the competition between Mitch (Mustain) and I. I've noticed a change in Mitch this off-season. It made me a better quarterback and kept me on my toes. Taking nothing for granted made me improve this season."
Oregon State Beavers
Head Coach Mike Riley
"We're proud to be here and represent Oregon State. We're looking forward to the season. I have appreciated the work ethic of our team. We had a good off-season and spring practice. We're making the transition at quarterback. Whenever you make the transition at that position, there are a lot of questions. I'm excited about Ryan Katz who will be the starter as we go into the season."
On the New York trip
"It feels like a new era. There are a lot of aggressive dynamics and positive thinking. I
thought the trip was outstanding and well-organized. The press conferences were well-attended. The ESPN experience was good for all our Pac-10 teams."
On senior center back James Dockery's return from injury
"Because of his commitment to come back from his injury, the team recognized this and that's one of the reasons he was elected captain."
On not having highly ranked recruiting classes, but being successful
"We don't feel like we do more with less. We think we do a good job of evaluating players. We don't care about the number of stars when coming in, but about the number of stars they have coming out. I feel fortunate to have time in a program. Time and continuity of the teachers in our program are good for our guys to develop. I've always had that vision of having a program that is long-lasting so guys have the ability to feel comfortable growing in the program."
On new starting quarterback red-shirt sophomore Ryan Katz
"Ability-wise, he has a wonderful arm. He can throw all the passes. He is pretty much unstoppable, so I don't think he'll be intimidated by anything. He has two years of experience in the program. The transition always provides a mystery. Jacquizz (Rodgers) and the guys are going to have to give Ryan a lot of support, but he's going to be good."
On senior defensive tackle Stephen Paea considering leaving early for the NFL
"Stephen did the process of coming out to the NFL absolutely right. He is relatively inexperienced in football. This is only his fifth year of football, and there's still a lot ahead of him. He is a tremendously hard worker to go with about as much explosiveness as I've seen out of a big player. He's also a smart guy. He can learn what we're doing and utilize our scheme to his ability. He's one of the best players at that position that I've ever coached."
Junior running back Jacquizz Rodgers
On playing front of his family when Oregon State opens the season at TCU
"It's going to be great to play in front of a lot of family and friends who haven't seen me play since high school. For me, it's about going into that first game and starting the season on the right note."
On senior center back James Dockery's return from injury
"James Dockery is one of the vocal leaders on our team and leads by example. He is doing a great job and giving our team the extra play-maker we need."
On not having highly ranked recruiting classes, but being successful
"We develop players as they get older in the program. Every player who comes through the program gets better. We have a good coaching staff that coaches players on technique and all the things that help you become a better football player."
On what the team needs to do to play in the Rose Bowl in January
"We are going to take it one game at a time. We can do it because a lot of guys bought into staying in Corvallis and working over the summer."
Head Coach Chip Kelly
"We're excited to be back here. This place is a special place. We're excited about the upcoming season. We've got 18 starters coming back on both sides of the ball. It's Year 2. We've changed some things in how we practice. Our players understand what we expect of them. We think we're going to have a pretty good team this year."
On the quarterback situation
"It's always a question mark when you lose your quarterback. We have two competent players in Nate Costa and Darron Thomas who will battle it out in preseason camp. Both are prepared and worked really hard for it. All of our offensive line, receivers and running backs are back. They will have a supporting cast around them."
On the Oregon defense
"We are athletic in the defensive side of the ball. Our defensive staff takes advantage of the athletic ability that we have."
On being chosen to win the Pac-10 in the preseason poll
"Preseason rankings don't mean anything to us. The great thing about our game is that it's played out on the field. There isn't a week off in this league. The teams that win in this league are the teams that keep their play-makers healthy."
On the offensive line and its importance to team success
"As our offensive line grew as the season went on, we grew more explosive. We started to hit our stride. We like to play a lot of guys on both sides of the ball, but the key has always been our offensive line."
Senior defensive lineman Brandon Bair
On the versatility of players in the defensive system
"You have to have guys who are athletes. We have to know every position on the field so we can be put in any of those spots."
On not getting credit for playing good defense
"All that matters to me is being successful. You don't have the ball all the time and the cameras aren't on you, but you're just as important."