K-State Football Press Conference, Pre UMASS

K-State Football Press Conference

September 1, 2009

Head Coach Bill Snyder

Opening statement…

“I suppose that you’ve all gathered to find out who is going start the game at quarterback (Carson Coffman). It really wasn’t the easiest decision. I think both of them have made improvement. They are really beginning to get the big picture, which is obviously very vital for a quarterback. I think they both still have room to grow. It has been competitive up to this point in time and I think Grant (Gregory) will respond appropriately and it will continue to be competitive. That is going to be important for this football team because the growth of this football team is the competitive nature – not just at the quarterback position – but virtually every position that we have.

“We need to get Carson in a routine now. It’s a game week for us. Monday is an evening practice and the weather has been great for you guys and horrible for us because we know at some point in time, in two weeks, we have to go to Louisiana-Lafayette. The heat index down there is going to be about 110. At least that’s what the weather report indicates. So we need that kind of weather and we haven’t had it, but it was a gorgeous night last night.

“The spirit of our football team is as good as it has been at any time in the last six months. I thought the effort was awfully good last night. I really applaud our scout squad people. Those units, when you get into game week, are responsible for helping prepare your offense, your defense, and your special teams. You know that’s not the most discernable position to be in as a young student-athlete. But, nevertheless, I thought those guys responded quite well. I was proud of their efforts as it assisted both offense, our defense and our special teams during the course of the practice. From that standpoint, we still make a ton of mistakes. We’ve got to get the execution to go along with the effort that was created last night.”

On if experience was the factor in deciding on a starting quarterback…

“Probably not very much at all. I think both have had their good days and their bad days. When a bad day has come about, they both responded quite well. Both of them have the capability to get the ball where it needs to be. Both, as I’ve said before, are really learning the nuances and the totality of the offense. It is not an easy thing to do when it is a complete transition from where you’ve been. But, I think both of them have responded that way. So no, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference at all. That’s why it was such a difficult decision, because they were so very closely tied in regards to performance level.”

On Daniel Thomas and Keithen Valentine…

“They are two different types of athletes. Daniel is a bigger and more physical player. Not that Keithen is not a physical player. But, obviously, there’s a difference in size. I think Daniel might be a little more fluid. It’s just a different running style. Keithen is more of a change-of-direction guy.”

On newcomers who will play…
“We’ve got a couple guys that have put themselves into that position. I think we’ll probably have seven or eight that will get on the field and a couple of those will be starters. It’s strictly performance in comparison to what the competition has been. Whomever performs at the highest level gets out there first.”

On the secondary…
“We’ve got some new people back there. I don’t care how good they are, that’s the last line of defense. You’re always having some concern about people getting easy scores – getting the ball in the end zone by way of the pass. For us to play with great security becomes extremely important in this ballgame, basically to see what we have. I’ve said this a long time ago, and it’s true for all positions, but I’m not altogether certain what we have. I think this ballgame will at least give us a foundation from which to work to find out exactly where we are. Where our weaknesses are is something that I think will be critical to find. I’m not just addressing our secondary, but our entire football team. We’ve got a couple young guys on there that weren’t with us in the spring. At least we had a competitive environment in the spring game to see what we had, but some of those guys weren’t here at that time. So, there’s still some uncertainty when the bell goes off.”

On the K-State Football Family Reunion…
“It’s really special. I feel so badly that it is at a period of time that I don’t have a chance to be around those not-so-young guys anymore. There’s over 300 of them that will be here. I think our athletic department and our athletic director John Currie have done a fabulous job with being able to put that together. My only regret that it couldn’t be at a time when I have ample time to spend with them. I obviously won’t be able to do as much of that as I’d like. I think it’s a very positive thing. I’m very happy about it. I’m so pleased to have all those young guys back. It’s going to be great to see a lot of young guys I haven’t seen for a while.”

Senior Wide Receiver Brandon Banks

On the playing for Bill Snyder…

“We feel good to have a coach that has the history. I just feel honored to play for a guy like him and hopefully make history with him this year.”

On the other wide receivers…

“We have guys like Lamark Brown, who moved back from running back, Attrail Snipes, Aubrey Quarles and a new guy Sheldon Smith. Those guys are going to step up big for us this year. Hopefully they don’t just try to key on me because these other guys will step up.”

On the goals for this season…

“Our main goal is to work hard, play as one and win. Our goal is to win and get back to a bowl game.”

Senior Defensive End Eric Childs

On the defensive ends playing on the other side…

“It comes down to the whole group knowing each side; knowing what they need to do no matter what. That way if an injury does occur, you can trust in that other person to go out there and do the exact same thing with no fallback.”

On Coach Snyder to the younger players…

“It is what I expected. Myself, Nick Stringer and the other guys who were around the first time told them that he is going to expect a lot out of us. We didn’t tell them any specific things that were going to go on, but it came down to, ‘You better get ready to work hard. There’s no stopping. We are going to get better. There is no way we are not going to get better.’”

On the emphasis on tackling in the off-season…

“I think that every defense in the country is going to emphasize tackling no matter what. I think it just comes down to that fact that we needed it, but even if we didn’t need it, we are still going to practice it every day. We are still going to go through our tackling circuits.”

On the season opener…

“I am definitely ready. I think we all are. You see the same people across from you every time. It adds that extra excitement seeing someone line up across from you that you don’t know.”

Sophomore Defensive Back David Garrett

On what fans can expect from him…

“I’m going to go as hard as I can every snap. I’m a very exciting player and I’m very enthusiastic. I can get the team going and I’m a very hard worker.”

On not joining the team until the fall…

“I was a little behind by not going through spring ball. They knew all the plays and had everything down before I came in. But everyone was great when I came in. They taught me the plays and everything I needed to know. They helped me out a lot with watching film, going through the playbook and anything else to get me to learn the plays and get me on the field.”

On the latter additions to the roster…

“There are a couple new guys on the team, but everyone is grasping the playbook very well. Everyone is just ready to play on Saturday.”


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