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TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 28, 2012
Q.¬† Seth, how does it feel going into your second season as a starter?
SETH DOEGE:¬† It's still exciting.¬† I'm still anxious.¬† When I think about it, I get the chill bumps and still get nervous.¬† But I don't think there is much of a difference other than the fact that I feel prepared and I know what to expect going into the first game, and I'm more confident in that area.
Q.¬† How much of a sense of urgency‑‑ how much have you been looking forward to this because of the way last season went?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Shoot, ever since we ended last season, I've been waiting for this game and waiting for this week.¬† It's been a long path to it, and I've worked really hard.¬† I'm excited that it's finally here.¬† I wish we could fast forward it until Saturday, but there is still time for us and things we need to do to improve and get better and ready to play.
Q.¬† You've got some pretty good awards here.¬† Kind of personally, what are you going to do to live up to those awards?
SETH DOEGE:¬† I'm not too worried about the awards.¬† I'm more worried about the guys that sit in this room with me.¬† I know I wouldn't be on those awards without them.¬† I feel like as long as we win games and we go out there and do what we're capable of doing, then everything else, such as awards, will take care of itself.
Q.¬† How big a factor is going to be a fast tempo this year for the offense?¬† Is that something you're really focused in on?¬† If you are, what do you hope it does to defenses?
SETH DOEGE:¬† I think that's our MO here.¬† We play fast, we play physical, and we're attention to detail.¬† The reason we do play fast is to catch the defense out of position or maybe they're not lined up or they're tired and we can catch them maybe on a busted coverage or busted play call and we can get some easy yards or easy scores just out of that.
So it's definitely something that we pride ourselves on, and something that we work on period one of every practice is our tempo.¬† So it's something that's very important to us.
Q.¬† So you want to tire the defense out?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yes, we do.¬† I think that gives us an advantage as an offense because we practice it every single day.¬† We're in shape for it, and defenses that won't practice against our top offense don't get that tempo every day.¬† So once they come and play us, they may be tired or out of position, and we can catch them on something, like I said, some easy yards.
Q.¬† Everybody's talking a lot about the receiving corps and how good it is.¬† From your perspective, give us a sense of how good it is?
SETH DOEGE:¬† I mean, very dangerous group, a lot of weapons, a lot of speed.¬† There are guys that can do multiple things and guys that can do different things.¬† Marcus Kennard is a big body.¬† He can really play the jump ball well.¬† Then you have the little guy such as Jordan Davis or Jakeem Grant that can wiggle and do some things with the ball in their hand.
So we have a lot of dangerous, dangerous guys on the skill wideout area.¬† But at the same time, we need to prove it on Saturday that they can live up to all the hype that's been talked about them.
Q.¬† How intense is the competition been both at skill position and the offensive line?
SETH DOEGE:¬† It's a competition every day.¬† If you don't show up to work and perform, then you're going to get passed up that way.¬† That's just something that I think has been lacking here in the past couple of years.¬† Now that we have the depth that we can compete and jobs are up for grabs every day, it just makes us better.¬† It makes us a better football team.¬† So it's been very intense.¬† Those guys know it.¬† Those guys have to be focused and ready to go each and every practice.
Q.¬† Can you give us an idea from a morale standpoint what Eric's return has been and the way he's kind of quietly gone about his business?¬† Give us a sense inside the locker room what that means to the team and morale?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, having Eric back is a big confidence booster for the entire team because we know what he's capable of doing.¬† Me personally, I know what he went through with the knee injury and everything.¬† The fact that he's worked so hard and he's back and ready to play is just a tribute to his hard work and what he did over the summer and after his knee surgery.
As a team, we're excited about him.¬† We think he's going to be a great player, and we think we're going to have a great running game and in all the areas he can help us in.¬† And we're excited about that.
Q.¬† What are you looking to see on Saturday from Northwestern's front?¬† With their defense, they're obviously a good team, but what are you looking to try to exploit come Saturday?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Well, they're an athletic team.¬† I think they might be not as big as we would go against in a Big 12 conference game.¬† But at the same time, I don't think they're going to fear us.¬† I think they're going to come in here and man us up and bring some heat.
So those are the things we've got to be ready for and the thing that's we need to go in and practice and get better at preparing for and trying to exploit those areas.
Q.¬† First half of Texas State last year, flat start.¬† Outside of a win, what do you want to see from your team on Saturday?
SETH DOEGE:¬† That was one of our main issues all of last year.¬† We kind of started off slow.¬† One thing I'd like to see, and I think I can speak on behalf of the offense, we'd want to start fast and start the game the way we wanted to start it.¬† I think we do a good job practicing that.¬† We start our practices off with something very intense.¬† That way it can translate over to the game whereas soon as the ball is snapped, we're ready to roll.
Q.¬† It's no secret that last year's defense wasn't at its best.¬† You've played against them in practice now.¬† Do you see a vast improvement, mediocre improvement, a little improvement?¬† Can you give us an assessment?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Oh, yeah, with the ones, I see a vast improvement.¬† There is a lot of experience on that defense now.¬† It those guys that are older and have a vital role in that defense trust Coach Kaufman and the way he's coaching and his schemes and everything he's preaching to them.¬† I feel like the fact that they do trust their coach and want to play for him is just head over heels what they were last year.¬† I think they're a lot better and they'll surprise some people on Saturday how much they have improved.
Q.¬† Is that different from last year that they want to listen to the defensive coaches?
SETH DOEGE:¬† It goes on.¬† You can ask those guys that question.¬† But I think that they're going to play hard just because they wear the double T on their helmet.¬† But at the same time, it does help that they trust in what they're doing and trust in their technique.
Q.¬† Can you talk about the change in the kickoff rules?¬† You might now start at the 25 instead of the 20.¬† Does it make any difference to you?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, it's five yards less that we have to do.¬† It helps the offense out a little bit.¬† It might put the defense in a little bit of a bad position, but we've still got to put together a drive.
Q.¬† You used the word anxious.¬† Coach Tuberville used the word anxious yesterday.¬† Do you sense a team that's more confident than a year ago when you were standing here?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, more confident, more excited football team.¬† I think that everything that's led up to this point has been a grind for us since we didn't finish the way we really wanted to.¬† We've put in so much time and hard work since that game ended that it's exciting to finally get a chance to prove that we're not that team anymore.
Q.¬† Because the off‑season was so long and last season went the way it went, is there a danger of getting too amped up or excited for a game like this?
SETH DOEGE:¬† No, I don't think so.¬† I think you need to be excited for a game like this.¬† Those guys are excited.¬† The guys that are coming in, Northwestern State, they're excited to play us.¬† Like I said, I don't think fear us at all.¬† I think they're going to come in and give us their best shot.¬† They don't have anything to lose.¬† It's a non‑conference game.¬† So I think the more excited we are, the better we'll play.
Q.¬† Jordan Davis is a guy that seemed to surprise some people and moved his way on to the two defense.¬† What has impressed you most about him and what's made him successful here so far?
SETH DOEGE:¬† His route running is very impressive.¬† He's so shifty, and he sets up the defenders different every time he runs the route that helps him out to get separation, because he's not a big guy.¬† So the way he sets his routes up helps him out.¬† The fact that he's a reliable guy.¬† He can catch the ball.¬† He's not going to MA, which is a missed assignment, he's going to do everything the right way on the field and off the field.
He's a good dude.¬† I'm excited that he's put himself in a position to play.
Q.¬† With guys like Eric Ward being non‑contact this fall, and with Alex coming back with the knee, were you able to establish that continuity that you wanted with guys like that?¬† Did you have a good camp with them?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Oh, sure.¬† Even though they might have worn a non‑contact jersey, they were still getting pressed.¬† Non‑contact only meant they weren't getting tackled to the ground.¬† So Eric Ward has been doing a really good job getting off press and stuff like that.¬† So the continuity's there.¬† There wasn't anything bad about them not being able to be live during scrimmages or practice.
Q.¬† Can we talk about Eric Stephens for a moment and all those guys in the entries?¬† Since you know as well as anybody what they went through, did you ever pass along anything or did they ever seek you out to ask your advice on a comeback?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Torres is one of my best friends, a guy I see pretty much every day.¬† So if he ever had some questions, he would ask me.¬† Then I would just pass on encouragement because I know it's such a physical and mental grind that during the middle of the rehab process, it kind of feels like you've hit a wall, and you don't feel like you're getting better at all.¬† That's when I try to encourage those guys to keep pushing through it.¬† There is light at the end of the tunnel, and they'd really feel good about where they were once the first game came around and be ready to roll.
Q.¬† Because you waited so long for your turn and this being your senior year, what do you want to accomplish most individually here as part of this team?
SETH DOEGE:¬† I just want to be known as a quarterback that led this team to a Big 12 Championship.¬† I have some personal goals, but those don't matter to me as much as winning football games here.¬† And I want to do it for the guys that are my teammates, and I think we deserve it.
When it comes Saturday, I think we need to realize how much hard work we've put in and all the things we've done together, and kind of let it loose and not worry about the past or the future.¬† Just live in the moment and play football.
Q.¬† From a fun point of view, in the locker room before a game, this is game day, what is something that you do that gets your mindset?¬† Personally, what do you do?
SETH DOEGE:¬† It's kind of embarrassing, but I listen to dub step, but not just any dub step.¬† It has to be some chick singing it.¬† I don't know who the chick is and I don't know what the song is.¬† But it has to be a chick singing dub step music.¬† I don't know.¬† It's weird, but it gets me going.¬† So I kind of keep it fun.¬† I dance around with the guys.¬† I don't want to be too serious.¬† I want the guys to know I'm relaxed and confident.¬† That's how I try to approach game day.
Q.¬† We asked Seth in the beginning how much he was looking forward to the season.¬† You guys on the defense tried to talk a little bit about how excited you are to finally get a win.
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† It was really exciting, man.¬† The fact of the matter of what happened last year is really a confidence booster.¬† As far as how we've been playing in fall camp, we don't look at it as negative.¬† All we can do from there is get better, so there is no way to go but up.¬† So as a defense, we're ready to get out there and show what we're capable of doing.
Q.¬† Can you talk about the improvement of the defense just from the start of fall camp to where you are today in terms of what you've seen?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† I mean, at the start of fall camp, we were pretty confident.¬† The biggest change is technique, just trusting in what our coaches tell us and trusting in each other, really believing in each other and going out there and playing for one another as well as the coaches.
I felt like we didn't have a lot of that last year.¬† Lot of it last year was a lot of thinking and kind of just hope to go do the right thing and hoping not to mess up and worried about things.¬† This year we've transitioned from the beginning of camp to the end of camp where we just trust each other and we're going to go out there and play for each other.
Q.¬† Why do you think this year's scheme will work better than what you guys ran last year?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† The biggest thing is really just the run stop.¬† The run stop scheme.¬† They're able to put more people in the box, so that leaves the corners to go out there and do work on the outside, and we have more confidence in our corners and abilities.¬† So really it's just being able to really just run and doing run stops.
Q.¬† You and Cody talk about what you want to accomplish as seniors?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, Big 12 Champions.¬† That is the goal for the entire team and especially for us.¬† It's something that we haven't accomplished here at Tech.¬† We want to take it, without a doubt.¬† We don't want to leave any doubt.¬† We want everybody to know that we took it, deserved it, and we earned it.
Q.¬† Joe Walker's program, how well has that gotten the defense prepared?¬† You guys are going to have to go.¬† Just like Seth was quick, fast, two‑minute‑type offense almost every play.¬† The conditioning part off‑season, how did that go for the defense?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Good.¬† He really works the legs.¬† So as far as being conditioned in that way, it's not really a time when you're just fatigued or anything like that.¬† He's really great with saving our legs and then pushing them when they need to be pushed, pushing us beyond.¬† The majority of the thing is that it's mental, so that is something that he really focuses on.¬† Even though the fact that you might think it's extra hard or you may feel like it's extra hard and your legs are too tired to do something, it's more the fact that you thought that way or thinking that way that hinders you from achieving more.¬† His workouts are great when it helps us prepare for the season.
Q.¬† When we see an offense like theirs, our defense is going to be prepared?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Definitely.
Q.¬† You guys talk about the chain gang and being together.¬† Can you talk about how that's giving the defense identity and how it's helped you guys?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† It's given us a strong identity.¬† We break out on it.¬† It's something that I felt like in the beginning of camp, we were trying to buy into it.¬† Some people weren't feeling it.¬† As camp continued to go on, we started to believe it.
We're a chain gang and we work together.¬† It gives us something to build on and something to thrive on and trust in each other and trust in what we represent and want to represent.
Q.¬† Did you pass around the chain during camp for a good practice performance or does that start when games start?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† That starts when the games start.¬† We didn't do that.¬† It was just a matter of getting everybody to truly buy into it.¬† I feel like that's the biggest step we've taken so far.
Q.¬† Do you think that your goal of winning the Big 12 Championship, does that hinge on the defense really turning around from last year's performance?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† I think it's an all-around game.¬† I think special teams included, sidelines, we have to have enthusiasm on the sidelines.¬† We have to keep each other pumped up throughout the game.¬† When the defense goes out there and makes a play or a stop, the offense has to thrive off that, and when the offense scores, the defense has to thrive off that.
So overall, it's a matter of everybody going out there and doing their part.¬† Especially the defense based off of what we've done last year.¬† We have to improve.¬† I feel like we have improved and we're going to show and surprise a lot of people.
Q. ¬†So you expect to be in the top 20 in defense?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Rankings really don't matter.¬† I expect for us to go out there and win.
Q.¬† Do you see a big difference in the guys in front on that line?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, yeah, you see a huge difference.¬† They're more confident in each other.¬† They're more aggressive.¬† The aggression is crazy right now.¬† It's ridiculous.¬† In camp you saw a lot more throwing people around.¬† It really didn't matter if they were on our team.
I just enjoyed the aggression and seeing them come downhill and stopping the run.¬† They really worked on stopping the run.
Q.¬† What is the Northwestern State offense look like?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† They look like a lot of run, 22 personnel, 12 personnel, and 11.¬† They do some 10 personnel, but they're more with the run game, powering it, two tight ends.¬† From what I've watched, they like to use their tight end and like to throw deep balls and that quarterback will let it go.¬† So that is something that we have to be aware of, just not giving up big plays.
Q.¬† How much pressure does this defense put on the opposition?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† I can't tell you that.¬† You have to ask coach about the game plan.¬† All I can tell you is we'll be ready.
Q.¬† Do you have like Seth a game song that you do before the game?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, I remember the song that you told me about, so I'm going to listen to that (laughing).
Q.¬† You're playing with your fourth defensive coordinator in four years.¬† Is Coach Kaufman's system more confusing or simpler?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† It's not more confusing.¬† I would say it's about the same as last year, but a lot less intense.¬† He's really relaxed with it.¬† He gives us the call, and we go out and we play it.¬† If there are corrections that need to be made, he'll correct them.¬† Other than that, it's whatever we see, he lets the players go out there.¬† We've been here for four years.¬† Me and the safety, Cody Davis, he trusts we'll make the right calls because we've been here so long and playing so much.
Q.¬† Right before camp started, you talked about how Coach Kaufman had given you more control in terms of call the defenses and getting everybody lined up.¬† Has that forced you to be even more kind of in tune to what's going on with the defense and being even more sort of quarterback of that unit?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Definitely, I enjoy it.¬† I like it.¬† I may see something on the field that Coach Kaufman may not have noticed or something like that.¬† If I feel it's the right call to make and it works, then it works.¬† If it doesn't work, he'll correct me and we'll go on from there.
But I enjoy the fact of having the opportunity to really just have control of the defense along with Cody Davis and the communication.¬† I feel because of the communication, that's going to make the team that much better.
Q.¬† You've had a lot of competition between offense and defense throughout fall camp.¬† Did that help you guys get through this year, the two‑week stretch of camp there?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† Definitely.¬† Defense, actually.¬† We've done some things that I haven't seen here in a while.¬† We've done some things throughout camp that were just really, I'm not going to say surprising for us, but may surprise some people.¬† Some spectators and things like that.¬† But, yeah, that competition, the competition level was extremely high and we were able to show up and participate in it.
Q.¬† This has kind of been the talk of the off‑season, but what have you seen out of Will Smith?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† He's good, man.¬† He's a baller.¬† He's ready to go at all times.¬† I'm confident in him.¬† I love having him in the middle.¬† He's aggressive.¬† He's good at reading, and at the same time, coming downhill, he's going to make plays.¬† He's a playmaker.
Q.¬† We talked to Seth about offense.¬† What do you think about your offense coming into the season?
D.J. JOHNSON:¬† I'm confident.¬† I've always been confident.¬† They've been a good offense for a while now.¬† I feel like this is the year that they have a chance and an opportunity to be a great offense, as long as everybody stays healthy, and as long as they continue to trust into the system, Doege continues to lead and others continue to follow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports