Connect with us


Notes On Mike Gundy’s TCU Press Conference



Oh man, this one was a doozy! Coach talked TCU, J.W., the homestretch, X’s and O’s (and Jimmy’s and Joe’s), and divas.

Opening Statement

• “That was a good win for our team. We had a good practice last night. We talked to them about refocusing today on TCU.”

• “It should be a great game, I’ve watched quite a bit on them. They’re very talented on defense, they run well. I think part of the year they were beat up a little bit but they’re getting back at full strength in my opinion. Like most games for us in conference, it ought to be an exciting game. We’re going to need every day of preparation.”


• “TCU is very good in the ‘score-zone’ – down inside the eight-yard line. So, we’ll really have to work hard and put our heads together to come up with a good plan when we get into that position on the field.”

• Do you think they’ll run Kenny Hill more than Tech ran Mahomes? “They have. Originally Kliff started out running Mahomes quite a bit. From an outsider looking in and watching tape and getting a feel for it, he’s protecting him more – which I would too. Mahomes is running differently now, not taking the hits he was a year ago, which is obviously smart for him.”

• Does TCU coming off a bye week put you on alert? “You have more time to study and prepare. Health-wise, for us, fortunately we’re in decent shape. Our bye week we had a few weeks ago – we needed a bye week.”

• How does Doug Meacham having J.W. on the sideline impact this game? “For them, I think it’s an advantage because J.W. knows all of our signals. I know Gary’s a nice, clean, honest guy, but I would think at some point he’s going to be interested in how much J.W. knows about our signals. But they know a lot about us, we know a lot about them. The game’s going to come down to taking care of the football and being sound in special teams. And, I’m sure both defenses are concerned about limiting big-time plays.”

• Did Meacham (or maybe J.W.) text you or did you talk to him this week? “Did I? No – I don’t talk to anybody during the season. I see him every once in a while at a game or something, but I’m not a big communicator during the season.”

• Do you see J.W. as a D1 coach? “I would think he would do very well. He grew up eating breakfast with a guy that’s one of the best high school coaches in the history of Texas football. He’s a gym rat, loves the game. I would think he’d hang around for a while, probably get a start somewhere at a smaller school then before long be at our level.” Can we get “gym rat” on the next Bingo card?

On the Homestretch Compared to Last Year

“We are healthier on defense. Last year, the teams we played at the end of the year were really good football teams. I didn’t feel like we played as well as we could have defensively but we were beat up a little bit. But, we’re healthier, so overall I feel good about where we’re at as a team. We were able to get out of the last game without getting anybody injured. Their focus has to be to finish strong. Fatigue can be an issue at this point in conference play.”

• “There’s so much parity in our league right now that it’s just a matter of the teams that stay focused, and obviously make the plays – take care of the football, so on and so forth. But, I do feel better about where we are right now than where we were at this time last year.”

• Are they looking ahead to Bedlam and a Big 12 title at all? “Each week I talk to them about the importance of focus and fortunately we’ve had big wins. Last night, I said, ‘You’ve gotten to a point where you’re 9-1…” (No hesitation – no explanation) “…and you only got here by busting your butt, overcoming deficiencies, finding answers, practicing hard and preparing for the next game. They buy into that. This team, from a chemistry standpoint, has come further in the last month and a half than any team I’ve ever seen.” That’s cool to hear!

• But then, there was this…“Now, we’re not good enough to even look past tomorrow’s practice, and TCU, in my opinion, is a considerably different team now than they were even three weeks ago, just from an outsider looking in. They’re healthy and playing pretty well and it’ll be a great challenge for us.” And maybe “outsider lookin” in’ on the card, too?

• Where does that team chemistry come from? “I don’t know. If I knew, I’d bottle it up, sell it and retire. We talk an awful lot about ‘beating the guy in the mirror.’ The guy in the mirror is the one that gets all of us.”

How Defenses Have Had to Evolve in the Big 12

• Defenses have thrown different packages at you this season. Do coaches change much? “In our league, the two guys – really three – that are pretty much set in their ways are Coach Patterson, the Stoops Brothers, and, obviously, Coach Snyder’s group.” (Refers to the “Stoops Brothers as one guy!) “They’re making adjustments, each one of them. Coach Patterson’s probably come out of his shell more, in my opinion, than any of them.”

• “When you get really good quarterback play, I would think being on that side of the ball just gets discouraging. I feel like some defensive coaches in this league feel like they have to be less predictable when there’s the type of quarterback play we’re getting in this league. You’re just seeing coaches that are traditionally set in their ways have to make adjustments.”

• Robert Allen asked about someone from Mike’s era asking about defenses and “reading routes” on his radio program: “It’s quite a bit different now than it was back in the 80s – defending the pass. That would be like comparing a vehicle made in 2017 to a vehicle made in 1985. The features just aren’t the same. In the offenses we see in this league, most of the time there’s going to be four wide receivers out, 30 percent of the time there’s going to be five wide receivers out, if you’re including the running back. So, it’s very difficult to route-read.”

About Running Mason

• “The fewer hits that all these guys that play this position can take, a lot better off whoever’s team they play for is going to be, in my opinion. J.W. was able to take a lot of physical contact off of Mason last year because of the 3rd-and-short and goal line plays that he was in.”

• “We’ve made a few changes and Mason’s been included in that – you guys have seen him run the ball. He wants to run the ball more. I’m not real excited about him running the ball more. But, when you get into a condensed area on the field, numbers play a huge role in trying to score.”

On Washington and the Offense…and Recruiting “Divas”

• Has Mr. President done anything differently since the KU game? “We have run the ball a little better. I think Chris Carson has added to that cause. He’s given us some more carries, and with him and Hill both being healthy right now, it’s taken a little bit of pressure off James.”

• Is this a “diva-less” WR corps? “Obviously James gets a lot of publicity. But, Chris Lacy’s been fantastic…and Jhahuan Seales…of course McCleskey’s hit some big-time plays. We haven’t had any issues with guys thinking they’re not getting the ball enough…and the quarterback’s doing a good job of spreading the ball around. We’ve got fantastic play from Lacy and Jhajuan Seales from a toughness standpoint. Part of that’s that chemistry I was talking about. And it has an effect on people – like my 12 year old, the one I argue with about hair – he told me after the game his favorite player now is Chris Lacy. That’s the effect that he has on our team.”

• Have you had diva receivers in the past? “Sure. And it makes it more difficult. That’s just part of the game we live in today – there’s so much hype that’s built up around certain players, you want them because if you have enough of those guys you’re pretty good. Offense is about ten unselfish players and one guy making a play – that’d be the guy with the ball.”

• Does that impact recruiting, trying to balance between sheer talent and the “team guy”? “Everybody leans toward talent. Because ultimately, at the end of the day – you know, you hear people talk about the ‘Jimmy’s and Joe’s and not the X’s and the O’s.’ Coach Sutton – Eddie Sutton – used to say it’d be tough to win the Kentucky Derby with a mule. But, you also have to have guys who are willing to buy into the system, and do all the other things. I was visiting with a guy the other day about Coach Sutton. He’s as good an example of anybody of having a couple really good guys, and five or six others who will play the system. And, in recruiting, we look for that.”

• How’s Larry Williams? “He’s doing good. He’s supposed to be out there moving around this week.”

On Vincent Taylor and the Defense

• NFL scouts say one thing about VT is his joy in the game. Is that underrated? “I think the NFL has changed somewhat in their evaluation of prospects. The Commissioner is pretty adamant about players that are going to compete at that level having character. They want the image of the game to be good and clean and fun. For us, in college, it’s still a game. We want guys that want to go out and play for all the right reasons and have fun. Vince does a very good job of understanding our philosophy.”

• Is he becoming the most dominating inside guy you’ve had here? “He’s up there with as good as any player we’ve had that’s been inside for us.” So, yes? “He’s come a long way; he’s made great strides in the last six months. He’s another guy that, a year from now, could really position himself to make some good money and have an opportunity to play this game another six or seven years.”

• Do you expect Whitener back this week? “Yes.”

Closing Notes

• Zach Sinor was a quarterback in high school: “During Spring ball, whenever that was, I saw him throwing it around one day and he throws it pretty good. If we were smart, we’d probably have a fake punt with him throwing the ball. But, it’s kind of like with James Castleman – the season’s not over yet.” Indeed!

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media