In year three, Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury is becoming a seasoned pro at Big 12 Media Days getting straight to the questions.
ON THE RED RAIDER DEFENSE
“Yeah, David Gibbs has been phenomenal. We knew that he had the track record, had the credibility coming in. Brought a different level of professionalism, accountability and discipline that we needed on that side of the ball. Couldn’t be more pleased with what I’ve seen thus far. Have a young defense still. It’s an excited group. He’s related to the players really quickly. I’m excited to watch that group continue to grow this fall.”
Kingsbury was questioned about his ability to sell defensive recruits on his program in light of the consistent changes at defensive coordinator over the past six seasons.
“I think some of it’s blind faith, obviously. With Coach Gibbs, he brings his NFL resume. He brings what he did at the University of Houston, which was phenomenal in two years there. So guys want to be around that. They want to play for a coach who has those types of credentials. So that’s been huge.
“He’s done a great job of recruiting since he’s been at Texas Tech and really excited about that class he’s bringing in. So I think more than anything, his resume speaks for itself when you’re selling recruits.”
ON THE QUARTERBACK SITUATION
Coach Kingsbury was asked about Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes, and which factors will determine his decision on who will be his starting quarterback this season.
“I think more than anything it’s eliminating negative plays. We’ve been historically bad the last two years at that position with turnovers. I think the last two years we’ve had 20-plus just in our position at quarterback.
“So whichever guy can protect the football the best and continue to take shots, take chances but protect the ball is going to be our guy.”
Coach Kingsbury added that he intended to name a starting quarterback early in camp to allow time to develop chemistry with the first and second teams.
Kliff was also asked about a certain former QB that could be leading the Sooners this fall. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on what side of the fence you’re on, Kliff doesn’t fall for the bulletin board bait.
“I haven’t really thought back on it too much. I wish [Baker Mayfield] the best of luck. It sounds like he’s doing a great job there, which I knew he would. Hopefully, he plays really good in every game except one.”
ON THE WIDE RECEIVING CORPS
Coach Kingsbury seemed quite enthused about his receiving corps and the many options they will offer his chosen quarterback this season.
“I feel like for most of the year last year, it was a group that was feeling our way around, weren’t very confident in their abilities or that they can compete in that league. I think the last three games you saw some guys that the light bulb finally turned on, and that was exciting to see.
“So moving forward, we had a great spring at that position. We have some young guys coming in that we think will push those older guys. But Dylan Cantrell, Devin Lauderdale, Jakeem Grant, Reggie Davis, Ian Sadler, all those guys late in the year made a bunch of plays for us, where at the beginning of last year seemed to be timid and played timid.
“If we can continue that progress, I think it will bode well for obviously what we’re trying to do offensively.”
ON FACING ARKANSAS
Some have Tech finishing near the bottom of the conference, others have them higher. One thing is for sure, it won’t take long to find out just how good this team can be. Kingsbury’s belief is that a victory at Arkansas on their September 19th date would be a springboard to a successful 2015 campaign.
“It would be a huge boost. That’s a great football team. We found that out last year. I don’t think our team mentally was ready for the type of physical team that came in there and got after us. So hopefully this year, with a lot of those guys coming back, we’ll know what to expect of that team of how physical they are and the quality of team they are.
“So that’s going to be a great atmosphere. It will be a great game for us. I know our players are looking forward to it.”
For more of the Texas Tech perspective at Big 12 Media Days, our friends over at Staking The Plains are doing a fantastic job covering it.