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December 28, 2010
Q. (No microphone.)
COACH BUMPAS: Last year, Tyler steps in, got two weeks practice, he's our starting safety for the whole season. Then this year, because of injuries, Crane steps back in and does a great job.
We're fortunate to have two guys like that.
Q. Is that a nickname you called him?
COACH BUMPAS: Yes.
Q. What was it? Crane?
COACH BUMPAS: No, it wasn't.
Q. You're in trouble now, I guess.
COACH BUMPAS: Yes (laughter).
Q. What makes Gary most successful?
COACH BUMPAS: Oh, gosh. Extreme competitiveness and attention to detail. I think those two things go hand-in-hand. He does a great job of attention to detail so every little thing is covered when you're going into a football game.
Q. How about watching film? He seems to have a knack for seeing things.
COACH BUMPAS: Oh, yeah, he does a great job of anticipating. Offensive coordinators like all people have habits, what they like, what they don't like. He really gets in their head, I think.
Q. What makes TCU's defense unique beyond the statistics of the national rankings?
COACH BUMPAS: In what way?
Q. Unique from other defenses.
COACH BUMPAS: I don't know that I can draw a parallel of what we would be unique about because a lot of people run our defense. Don't know.
Q. So why is TCU able to run that defense more successfully than most other teams?
COACH BUMPAS: Players. It really gets back to players. I mean, the old expression: It's not the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmys and the Joes.
The reality of it is if you have good players, you have a good chance of success.
Q. Tank was talking about how the defense has a lot of chemistry as a unit. How did you build that?
COACH BUMPAS: I think it all goes to the seniors, I really do. Because truly it is their team. I mean, this is the last time they'll ever get to play college football. This is their last season. The reality of it is they themselves take ownership in it. When you have that happen, it becomes important because young players will listen to older players a lot more than they listen to coaches.
Q. What makes Tank unique as a linebacker, his skills on the field, but his leadership capability?
COACH BUMPAS: I think he's intuitive. He can pre-snap teams really good. He has an idea of where the ball will go. When that's there, you have a great jump.
Q. Tank talked about leverage. Can you give me a little bit of football 101?
COACH BUMPAS: This is true, most teams beat you three ways: they beat you outside, they beat you on the cutback, or they beat you deep. As long as you don't let them outside, don't let them cut back, don't let them throw it over your head, you've got a chance.
Q. What does leverage have to do with that?
COACH BUMPAS: Well, as an example, like if they run a sweep, you don't want it to get outside. You always want to make sure you can funnel it back to where everybody is. A good example would be even a kickoff. I mean, you're kicking it off. You want to try to funnel that ball carrier to where all the guys are. That's leverage.
Q. Is that the heart of your defense, what you do?
COACH BUMPAS: I think that's the heart of all defenses.
Q. Why does that in particular work?
COACH BUMPAS: Well, I think it's the unique nature of have the three safeties makes you a lot more flexible than, say, a 4-3. We have the ability to play two safeties down on either edge and then also play the two shell and whatnot.
There's a lot of flexibility in it.
Q. It's your speed versus their size. You talk about why it works for you. Talk about some of the basics of stopping a big team.
COACH BUMPAS: Their offensive line is fast. That's one of the things that's different about them than a lot of teams. When their offensive linemen pull, they're outrunning a lot of people on defense, and that's scary.
Q. Do you have an appreciation of Wisconsin staying true to their bacon-fed, cheese roots?
COACH BUMPAS: Oh, yeah, they have done a great job at Wisconsin of doing what their kids do best. They cannot only take the ball and run it, but at the same time they can turn around and throw it with great success. In fact, a lot of their big plays have come off of throwing to the tight end or throwing deep. They do a great job of throwing it and catching it.
Q. Is that the scary part, the fact they run the ball so well, but they can get behind you guys?
COACH BUMPAS: No doubt, because everybody talks about you got to crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run. Well, that sounds good. The reality of it is now you've opened up the third principle: don't let them throw it over your head.
Q. Recruiting. There's so much competition for kids in the state of Texas. How have you been able to find these guys and really build them into first-round NFL players?
COACH BUMPAS: We really look for potential probably more so than a finished product, whereas some kids that go to other schools, we really weren't interested in. But we looked and looked. We watch a lot of film before we make a decision on a kid. Then Coach Patterson makes the final decision on it. So far it's worked well.
Q. How many teams would you say run a version of your defense in major college football?
COACH BUMPAS: Honestly, I don't know. I really don't know.
Q. Can you name a few off the top of your head?
COACH BUMPAS: No. I honestly really don't know.
Q. A lot of people running it. That was news to me.
COACH BUMPAS: If you went out and looked at rosters, anyone that runs a four-man line, nickel defense in reality is a 4-2-5. If you look at it that way, probably 80% of the teams in the U.S. run a form of it.
Q. But not as their base?
COACH BUMPAS: Not as a base.
Q. What convinced you it was okay to be a heretic and run this?
COACH BUMPAS: Well, it works. That's the bottom line (laughter).
Q. Was there something, a game, a play, a practice, where the light went on with you?
COACH BUMPAS: No. A lot of it goes back to personnel. A 4-3 defense needs three linebackers. There's a lot more safeties and corner types out in this world than there are bigger kids.
When you look at it that way, it becomes easier to recruit that way.
Q. What do you give up doing when you're doing that?
COACH BUMPAS: Probably about 30 pounds, but you gain speed.
Q. It's like the eternal debate in football.
COACH BUMPAS: That's it. We'll find out.
Q. How important is your rotation in this game, keeping guys fresh?
COACH BUMPAS: We've always kept people fresh. We rotate a lot of people through during a game, particularly the defensive line, no matter who we're playing, because we'll play two deep along the defensive line the entire game.
Q. If you had to describe Wisconsin's offensive philosophy, how would you describe it?
COACH BUMPAS: Very similar, I would say, to what's the term, 'shock and awe.' They're going to shock you with the running game and then they're going to awe you with the passing game.
Q. Football is war, right?
COACH BUMPAS: I'm not implying that (laughter). I don't know if it's that serious. But for that couple of hours, it's going to be pretty intense.
Q. Would that title fit in the defensive philosophy?
COACH BUMPAS: No.
Q. What would it be?
COACH BUMPAS: Just one more point, one less point. That would be the defensive philosophy.
Q. What has Wayne Daniels meant to your defense?
COACH BUMPAS: He's been a great leader this year. I would say that's his single biggest contribution. Last year we lost a lot of players. We were really curious about how this team was going to turn out.
But the seniors have done a great job, him being one of them. They've done a great job this year.
Q. How does Tejay fit into what y'all do so well?
COACH BUMPAS: He's smart, articulate, and a good athlete, you know. He is our quarterback. I mean, he makes calls, makes adjustments. He runs the game.
Q. Is there something about the nickel that makes him particularly suited for it, the 4-2-5, his skills? His physical skills, how do they translate so well into what you're doing?
COACH BUMPAS: He's big enough he can support the run but also at the same time he can man cover.
Q. Even guys this size that y'all are facing?
COACH BUMPAS: Oh, yeah. It will be a tough one. But I think we're ready for it.
Q. What three or four things does your defensive line have to do against Wisconsin successfully? Probably lot a longer list than that.
COACH BUMPAS: I'd say get off pad level and effort.
Q. Is there a team that TCU has played in the last couple years, Air Force...
COACH BUMPAS: I don't know that we played a team quite like them. They do an exceptional job of running the football, but at the same time they have the ability to throw deep over your head.
Comparison-wise, as far as their tight end, their tight end is every bit as good if not better than Pitta from BYU. He's an outstanding player. They get the ball to him in a lot of different ways.
Q. Are there adjustments that have to be made for the triumvirate backs that they have?
COACH BUMPAS: Well, it really presents a little bit of a challenge because the big kids you have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen, he's going to try to run over you. The other two may try to run over you, but at the same time they may fake you. That's the thing about the big kid, too, he'll break them and go the distance. He's shown he can do that.
It's a unique backfield. If you average them out, they've had three-thousand-yard rushers this year. That's very seldom done.
Q. When you were coming up as a young coach, whose philosophy did you adopt?
COACH BUMPAS: Well, it changes over the years. Gosh, the first defensive guy I worked and really started learning defenses was the guy I played for, Charlie Coffee (phonetic). Outstanding defensive coach. The next guy I came into contact with was Jimmy Johnson. Then, surprisingly after that, was Monte Kiffin. Great defensive mind. Then, gosh, I've worked John Majors at Tennessee was a great defensive coach. Lou Holtz at a couple of places. While he's offensive minded, his background was in defense. He started out as a defensive back coach.
I've been fortunate. I've had a lot of good guys that I could steal from, and it's worked well.
Q. It's who you can steal from?
COACH BUMPAS: There's only so many ways you can line 'em up (laughter).
Q. Those guys, speed has always been an integral part.
COACH BUMPAS: Yeah, uh-huh. In fact, that's probably the first guy I heard it from, was Jimmy Johnson.
Q. How would you describe his thoughts on speed?
COACH BUMPAS: Better be able to run, you know.
Q. Certainly took that to Miami.
COACH BUMPAS: Oh, yeah. That's always been one of his big deals: play hard.
Q. How has the way that Texas high school evolved with the passing game helped y'all in terms of how you recruit, who you recruit to your philosophy of what you want to do?
COACH BUMPAS: Yeah, I'd say one thing, too, about our recruiting. Our coaches do a great job. I mean, there's few stones unturned. We go to the small schools, the distant schools, because there's some places out in West Texas, you may drive three hours before the next town. But they do a great job of covering it. The credit all goes to those guys that are out recruiting.
Q. Is that your territory?
COACH BUMPAS: No. Surprisingly I'm an in-house guy. I'm the weight room, academics guy.
Q. You don't miss the three-hour drives?
COACH BUMPAS: No, no (laughter).
Q. Your two defensive tackles came up through the school of hard knocks in '07. Talk about their play.
COACH BUMPAS: They've been around and started playing. Kelly played straight through. He came in as a freshman and never redshirted. Cory, both of them have matured, become really good football players. I'm really proud of them.
Q. Kelly, injury against Air Force, trying to get back. How bad does he want to play and how bad does everybody on the team want to see him take part?
COACH BUMPAS: They're really excited for him, the team members are. He's working hard. There's a chance. There's a chance he could come in have some snaps which would be a wonderful way to end his career.
Q. (Question regarding positions coming from high school.)
COACH BUMPAS: Honestly, if a kid doesn't want to move, it's not in our best interest to make him move. It's like anything else, if somebody came up and told you, You got to go do this, that's not what you want to do, you're not going to do it very well.
But a lot of them trust us. They look at it. If they agree to it, we move them. If not, they stay where they are.
Q. Is there a certain thing you're looking for in a kid for different positions?
COACH BUMPAS: Well, being a defensive guy, I mean, if he comes out on the field and starts hitting people, that's a good sign.
Q. Your thoughts on Tejay, the kind of player he is, and off the field.
COACH BUMPAS: Tejay Johnson is an exception young man. He has a great heart. He's extremely intelligent. I can't say enough good things about Tejay. Really he's the quarterback of our defense, he makes us run.
End of FastScripts