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Coach Matt Rhule #SpringBU Quotes



Head Coach Matt Rhule:

Opening statement...
"I'm really proud of what we've accomplished so far this winter. We've had tremendous gains in the weight room and off the field. I love the effort of these young men, they're a credit to their families, they're a credit to their high school coaches, they've gotten better and better up until 5 a.m. this morning. It's never easy when there's a transition and each day you don't know what's coming your way, but these guys have been outstanding in terms of their on field work. I would also like to point out that they've been outstanding with their commitment to the community. We're at 400 coming in on 500 hours of community service right now and we're going to take the whole team to work with Mission Waco tomorrow to work for about 2 hours. These kids have volunteered their time to better the lives of some of the kids in the area to give back and I'm proud of a lot of things we've done this winter. Since the last time we've talked, Jeff Nixon continues to be our offensive coordinator, I was able to get Glenn Thomas, who had been my offensive coordinator at Temple to come to Baylor. We're really excited to have him back in the state of Texas. He coached Matt Ryan and was an NFL quarterback coach for six years, has been a play caller both at Midwestern State and at Temple and that elevated him. We were able to get Bob Bicknell who brings 25 years of college and NFL experience, and to get a guy with Bob's character and coaching ability is exciting. I'm really excited about our offensive staff. Four out of five of our offensive staff have coached in the NFL, most for a considerable amount of time and I think they're going to do a great job guiding our players as we move forward. As you also know, we dismissed two of our operations staff members in recent weeks. I can't comment on the specifics because they're personal matters, but I feel like we've established clear expectations and a code of conduct for every person, for myself, for the coaches, for the staff, for the players, and hopefully everyone knows that in our program, if you fail to meet those expectations, you're going to be held accountable. Those aren't situations that we want to be involved in, but at least we know that there are processes and protocols and we will take action when need be. Personally, I'm disappointed that for all these wonderful coaches and staff who are doing things the right way, this is overshadowing what they're doing, but at the end of the day, we all know that there's a standard we've set and if you don't meet that standard, action will be taken. I recognize the scrutiny our program is under, I knew that when I came in. That scrutiny doesn't guide our decisions, we will hold our students and our staff to the highest standards of conduct. We recognize that in our program, in any program, people are going to make mistakes. Things are going to happen, but we're always going to do what is right and in the best interest of the kids and the young people we're here to serve. That was my commitment when I came here and it's my commitment moving forward. I'm proud of the staff we have, I'm proud of the kids we have and I'm really looking forward to football. It's nice to get back on the grass again and do some football. I'm excited about the spring. A lot of you guys have seen we're doing a team commitment week and it's a tremendous opportunity to challenge the team physically, in the community and in the classroom. We're challenging them to get to know their campus and their history better and it's been a lot of fun. These guys have embraced it and they've taken off with it. I think it's a great segue into the spring and that's really the next step in our process. The first three practices will be helmet practices. They'll be extremely instructional without competitive stuff that goes on. It's like an NFL rookie mini camp where we'll teach the guys about our system and make sure that as we get into competitive periods, our guys operate in full throttle and they know what to do. We're going to release a roster tomorrow and we're not a big depth chart team early on. As I've told the kids, if they're running with the 2's that means absolutely nothing to me. I'm worried about where you are at practice 10 or 12, especially in a program where I haven't worked with the kids before and I haven't coached them. We're not a big depth chart program and that will change daily. We're just trying to see where guys end up. My goal for the spring is to begin to establish our brand, our standard, which is to completely focus on us. We're all that we care about on the football field. The standard being how hard do we want to play? We want to play as hard as any team in the country. How physical are we going to be? This will be an extremely physical spring. We will play hard, we will compete against each other and we'll have an accountability to do our job. Everyone loves to see the guy scoring touchdowns, but he only does that when everyone else knows their job at a high level and does their job and that's coaches and players alike. I expect our coaches to coach hard, to give of themselves and to do their job. The first step is to play as hard as we can, as physical as we can, and guys are doing their job. If we can do that this spring, we are well on our way to having a good football team and eventually a great football program. For us as coaches, we just want to see what people can do. We're operating off of last year's film, film from two years ago, and sometimes off of guys' high school highlight films. It will be nice to see what people can do so that we can tailor what we're doing offensively and defensively not to what we want to do, but to what they can do well."

On staff dismissals...
"I examine everything for myself all the time. I feel good about the way we've looked at those things previously. Whether it's a guy I've worked with for three years or a guy that you bring in. I don't really know what anyone does in their personal life. I don't know if any of us know what the people we work with really do in their personal life. I know what people do professionally. When I call and get references, I'm really just hearing about what they do professionally. When something comes up personally and it's not up to our standards, we take corrective action. I feel responsible for people's professional conduct and I feel people are responsible for their personal conduct. If we find something that's not right, then I have to deal with it and take action and push it on to the authorities. While I don't want situations like these to happen, the processes here at Baylor are correct. Things are being done with integrity, honesty and accountability."

On building mutual trust with the players...
"I think it's gone as well as can be expected. A lot of it comes with time, going through hard times together and being there for people. People are there when things are good, but are the coaches going to be there for me when things are hard? We're probably not at that point yet but there's been a significant amount of time spent. A lot of us have spent hours upon hours just being around the players. Time spent is one of the most important things you can do and then consistency."

On the players on the roster...
"I think there's a lot of really talented kids. I haven't been in the Big 12 but I've played Penn State, I've coached in the NFL and this is the fastest group of people I've been around. I like the offensive and defensive lines, I think they're talented kids. We're just going to have to count on some of the kids coming in because of depth. We have seven scholarship offensive linemen, which is not nearly enough so we'll have to count on some people for depth, but there's a lot of great football players here. There's a lot of kids who have played in the past year who will have bright futures if they develop."

On moving offensive linemen to center...
"Tanner Thrift is playing center. I'm probably known for moving people's positions a lot. All four of my kids from Temple at the combine moved positions. We try to make sure that we move guys who will get on the field and help us play. The second time we move them is to make sure they have a chance to play at the next level."

On the quarterback battle...
"A couple of those kids have been a bit banged up. A lot of it will depend on who's healthy. We'll start off with Zach going in with his experience and rotating those guys. After that we'll see each day who competed, who knows their job. At that position, especially with what we're asking those guys to do at the quarterback position, using protection, changing plays, it will be more mental. Once you know the guy's the starter, he's the starter, but he's the starter for that day. The best player that day plays the next day. We'll compete it out, have fun, gives guys lots of opportunities to play and we'll see what happens."

On tweaking coaching schemes to fit the Big 12...
"I haven't really spent time focusing on the Big 12 itself. We've watched everybody and we've studied everybody and there's obviously a lot of great offensive minds, but there's also a lot of great offensive players in the Big 12. The quarterback play is ridiculous. It's really impressive. Our focus is on what we do and what we think we can do really well. We're going to be personnel based in the spring and we'll see what we have. From there, we'll grow in the direction we need to go."

On the four early enrollees...
"They've done really well. In my history with early enrollees, they get homesick sometimes but these guys haven't. Charlie is a competitive kid, our quarterback group has taken each other in, R.J. Sneed has jumped right in. He's a great worker, a great student and he seems like an older guy. Abram Smith is a talented kid and Jalen has been playing our Sam linebacker and he's done a great job. There've been no homesickness and they've worked really hard."

On determining depth post-spring...
"We'll evaluate the kids we have and try to see what everybody can do. With the freshmen coming in, the biggest thing is to make sure that when camp comes, they know what they have to do. We have to be prepared to work this summer. We have got to make sure that we're maxing our time with these kids. To play as a freshman corner or offensive linemen, it's really hard cognitively. We have to make sure we get these guys ahead because we know that we have to play some of them."

On the thought process behind community service...
"When we give back, we're serving others and serving ourselves. Baylor is founded on leadership and faith. Part of that mission of leadership, service and faith is actually going to serve. We're not doing it for a photo op but actually doing it. My favorite part is working with the kids in the community because every kid needs to see somebody within driving distance that resonates with them. The kids need to see people doing great things and they need to see the same people come in and talk about reading, talk about school and play kickball with them. We need to give back to kids because kids need that nowadays. Our value has to come from making someone else's life better."

On getting comfortable in Waco...
"I've loved living in Waco. I'm happy to be here. The people have been wonderful and it's everything we could have wanted. We're excited for our kids to go to great schools and meet great people."

On getting excited to start playing football...
"I just want to go play football. The rules for us are very stringent. I love doing extra things and spending time with the players but I'm also excited to build relationships. When a player knows that you know what you're talking about, everything changes. If I know what I'm talking about and I can help someone, my value to them grows. I'm excited to play football and watch the kids compete. These kids are football kids and they love everything we do football wise so I'm excited."

On giving players a purpose...
"I tell them to trust the process and try every day to do everything they're supposed to do. They have to go as hard as they can, to be as physical as they can, to do everything they can to maximize physically and know and do their job. They might do their job but they have to know their job. If you trust your coach and trust your process, results come. We also have to care about our teammates. I want to coach a team where every guy knows the name of every other guy on the team. When you care about the guys you're around, the coaches the players, you give more of yourself."

 

 

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