Had a quick question-and-answer session with head coach DeWayne Walker following practice last week. Here it is....
On expectations this year
It’s just being competitive. Everybody can talk about bowl games, everybody can talk about winning seasons. I don’t think we’re to that level yet. We got to worry about getting games to the fourth quarter and trying to figure about winning games in the fourth quarter. We can’t worry about that other stuff. Once we’re able to start getting more competitive and getting games into the fourth quarter and winning some of those games, then now you can start talking about the other stuff. But we got to prove that we’re competitive first.
Is there any additional pressure on you going into Year 3?
I think I’m maturing more as a head coach. I think I’m understanding more my situation. I don’t make those decisions. All I can do is try and improve this football team and try to put this program in a better position than it was in when I got here. I’m just worrying about taking one game at a time, improving, and whatever happens from there, happens.
Will there be improvements on defense?
The one thing I want more out of the defense is we got to be more blue collar. When you look at our offense, the offensive line, our receivers, our quarterbacks — there’s talent. There’s enough talent. Now they have to execute and they have to be productive. But on defense, I want 11 scrappy guys that are going to play together and play as a total defense. And I think we have the capabilities of being that way. I think, and we should, be improved on defense.
How about the assistant coaching staff?
I love coach (Doug) Martin. I think he’s brought a lot to the offense. I think guys have a good working relationship. I think the staff is getting more comfortable with each other. Everybody knows there roles. We have two strong personalities on both sides of the ball. I know I’m more animated this year. I’ve stepped my game up in that area just because of a lot of offseason self check and really taking this team, they’re going to respond to my lead. I like how they’re responding so far. I just gotta make sure I eat three meals a day and keep the energy going.