Cougar Football Quotes From Media Day 2001

Aug. 9, 2001

Photo Gallery From Media Day 2001

Coach Dimel's Quotes:

Coach Dimel on: The large number of players challenging for the quarterback position this season
"That's a good way to put it too Russ, going into camp now we don't feel like we have to use anybody. And that is a good thing we feel like Kelly has done everything with no disappointments from spring at all. So we feel like none of the freshman or Junior College players have to play for us right now. They will play if they had gotten themselves to a position to where they passed Kelly up, that is something that we do not for-see happening, but if it does happen that is a good thing."

Do you run the risk of being so competitive among yourselves that you wipe some people off when you are supposed to be competitive with the other teams?

Coach Dimel on: whether the starters will get in enough reps in practice to be ready for the games
"We have to start making decisions about who we think the best players are and we have to make sure that those guys are getting enough reps so that they are ready to go. We had our team picture today and we have 25 defensive backs on our team right now and I think that 23 of them are good enough to play for us this year. So we need to figure out who the best ones are and get them the reps, and like you said you want to make sure that they are getting enough reps. That is a big concern for us. We just had a staff meeting to figure out how to get everyone the reps they need to be ready to play."

Where do you predict Carlos Jones to play?
"Right now we have Carlos working between our free safety and our weak safety. We are trying to decide which one would be the best for him so we have been rotating him between those two spots."

On when he will decide the final three quarterbacks:
"By next Tuesday, we have a scrimmage Tuesday at Robertson stadium at 9:30 in the morning. By the end of practice that day we will have our one, two and three quarterback decided by then and the other ones will be put at other positions or red-shirted."

What were the team's goals for the season?
" Right now the thing we are doing is attacking one game at a time. The biggest goal is to get to the Rice football game and play that game the best that we can play that game. Then take each game for what that game is worth in the big picture of things. But in the broad scope right now we are taking these first four games on, that is as broad as we are going."

How are things looking for you as you move into your second year now?
" All of the organizational things are going much better. I feel so much more comfortable about our football team understanding what everybody expects out of each other and about the unity of our football team."

On recruiting and putting Houston Football on the map within the first four games.
"That is where the Georgia and the Texas games come in. These games we want to go out and show people that we have made tremendous improvement in our football team and we want to show that we can play at the national level too!"

Coach Dimel on conditioning in the heat.
"The biggest thing that I have talked to the players about it pushing fluids, that is a crucial thing, pre-hydrating and making sure that they are getting enough liquids. During our first two freshman practices only two players lost weight everyone else gained weight or stayed the same, and that was after two hours in the Houston sun that is not easy to do. We are taking all of the precautions we can as well a administering breaks throughout practice."

How crucial do you feel your running game is?
"You know I think that it is going to be the heart and soul of what we do. It is going to be how effective we can run the football. We aren't going to run the football on every step. We are still going to throw the football a lot, because we have talented receivers and also quarterbacks that can throw the football. We have to have the mentality to be able to go at other teams with our running game."

On pre-season ranking
"We would be foolish to pick ourselves up high because we have not earned that. That's why I picked us lower. We have a lot of players that red-shirted last year or got hurt that are going to help our team a bunch. I like that role of the underdog this year. I love that role because I think we need it right now. I think we can take care of business on the field through hard work. I think there is a lot of concern in the rest of our conference that we can do some special things this year."

Player's Quotes:

On feeling pressure as the new QB and in being in Division I rather than junior college
"I don't feel that there is any pressure on me. All my job is is to just give them (the receivers) the ball and they're going to make the plays. If I just get it out to them, they're going to make the great plays. I don't feel there is any pressure on me to win the game or to make incredible plays."

On keeping himself from looking over his shoulder and the pressure of making the perfect play
"I think I have to worry about what I can do and not worry about what the other person is doing. Any time you start looking behind is when you start messing up, so I'm just going to worry about what I can do."

On his confidence coming out of spring drills knowing he came out as the lead starter at QB
"It definitely helped me out a lot. It's a big confidence booster knowing that the coaches are behind me and my teammates are behind me and believed in me. Getting that spring under my belt is really going to help me out."

On what the team is doing to enforce that he is the leader of this team
"I just feel like they follow me and that they're going to have to follow me in the battle. I mean, we're going to start battling here in about three weeks, so I feel like they are behind me."

On Houston's offense scheme and his adjustments and learning of the offense
"It's very simple. It's a completely different offense from last year. Last year's offense was a little difficult to pick up when I first got here. This year it's a lot more simple and Coach Dimel has done a great job."

On feeling like he's just holding the position until the "other" guys show up in the fall
"No, not at all. Like I said, from the beginning and in the middle of spring, Coach (Dimel) told me the job was mine and that it was mine to lose. That's the way I have approached it."

On the competition at QB and if he and the newcomers converse
"Oh yeah, we're very friendly and joke around. We're up here all day long in meetings and things, so you have to get along and you better get along."

On if athletes, when they are fighting for jobs on the team, adjust to the competition with their teammates and if it is easier for them
"I think so, but I also think it depends on the person. Some guys look over their shoulder and I think that's when they stumble. Any time you start looking behind you is when you're going to make mistakes. You just have to0 look forward and have confidence in yourself and your abilities."

On playing in Houston and being older than many of the other guys as a transfer
"I'm definitely excited. My family and friends can watch me play and that's a big play...I feel a little older than the guys some times. These guys coming in that are freshman, or some of the quarterbacks coming in are 17 years old. I look at them and realize what I felt like when I was 17 and how much I've grown up since then."

On what he's learned from traveling throughout his collegiate career, in playing baseball and football
"I think it's made me stronger and more able to compete for the job when I got here. Everywhere I had gone and joined the team and try to win a job, so when I got here it was nothing unfamiliar."

On the strength of Houston's receivers and his learning the offense in being surrounded by them
"I know when I first came in, Orlando (Iglesias) really helped me out a lot, and he didn't even know who I was. I was just a walk-on and he was real nice and helped me out. That's great when you have someone who has been here for four years help you out. Plus, knowing that no matter where you throw the ball they are going to go get it makes my job a lot easier."

On Houston's offense
"Without a running game, you can't win, so it's all on the running game. We have a great offensive line, a little older, wiser, and stronger this year, and the running backs did a really good job in the spring. All we have to do is block. We have to be a little bit more physical, but the receivers are getting stronger, too, and we're working hard, so it's going to be okay."

On looking forward to the first game against Rice
"I'm looking forward to every game. Rice is going to be kind of strange because that's the game I got hurt (last year), but thank God we're not on turf this year. I just pray that I can make the whole game without getting any injuries."

On the team preparing for playing Texas on September 22
"It is 'right there,' but right now we're focusing on Rice because they beat us last year and one of their players made a comment about how they had better athletes and so on and so forth. We want the bayou Bucket back and there are a lot of bragging rights when you play against Rice. So., right now we're focused on that game and then we'll take care of preparing for the other teams that we'll play."



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