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Meet The Press: Football Opens Fall Camp

  Head Coach Art Briles

On the expectation for this season:
"We're extremely excited for the opportunity to prove ourselves because that's how we feel this season as a team and a coaching staff. We've got a lot to prove, and this is the first step towards that process. I think that there are a lot of question marks surrounding our program right now, and the only way that you can turn them into exclamation points is to go out there and prove it on the field. We're still trying to earn respect and belief."

On improving on the defensive side of the game:
"Without question we have to be better on that side of the ball. I think that we will be. It's a situation where if you're on special teams, you do well on special teams. If you're on offense, you do well on offense. If you're on defense, you do well on defense. It's a team sport and everyone has to help each other be better. We're not going to say that because Robert (Griffin III), Terrance (Ganaway), or Kendall (Wright) aren't here that we're not going to be as effective offensively so we need to be better on defense. We're not going to say that. We need to be just as good offensively as we were last year."

On Nick Florence as starting quarterback:
"Nick's our guy right now. He's our starter. If we were playing SMU today, he'd go out on the field first. He deserves that right. We'll evaluate him and (Bryce) Petty throughout fall camp. We have a lot of confidence in Nick and a lot of confidence in Petty. If we were teeing up today he would be the guy to go out there first."

On Nick Florence's strengths at quarterback:
"The thing about a quarterback's play is that you have to be consistent, aware and to a certain extent predictable. We have to know what is going to happen to ball before it happens. So what we are looking for is someone who is able to get the ball to the proper place at the proper situation. Nick certainly has the ability to do that as did Robert (Griffin III). The only difference was that Robert had the ability that when things broke down to make them special. Nick will have his traits that might not work as dramatically, but will be effective."

On the battle for the starting running back position:
"We'll see what happens. I think that is a position that we'll evaluate this fall because we have a pretty good idea of what (Jarred) Salubi can bring, Lache (Seastrunk) is a question mark, and we feel good about what Glasco (Martin) can bring. We need all those guys to do what they can do and for someone to step up and really be a force. We think Jarred can do that, but we'll wait and see. He'll be given the opportunity to go out there and make plays for us."

  Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett

On going into his second year as defensive coordinator:
"We're light years from where we were a year ago; not only our knowledge, but players available. I'm excited to get some people back such as Tuswani (Copeland). Just as a group I think we are way ahead."

On the depth of the defensive secondary:
"I've said this many times, we were in dire straits in our secondary last year. Our drop off from our one and two corners was significant. I honestly believe that we will be able to be so much more multiple on third down than we have been in the past. Just by pure numbers and ability, we had no sub-packages. This year I think that will be handled. "

On improving defensively:
"I thought that in the spring it was obvious that we were a better defensive team. I'm a believer in this too. We have miles to go before we are anywhere close to where I think we need to be or want to be. "

On new addition Eddie Lackey:
"Eddie Lackey is a football player. He reminds me so much of Dat Nguyen. He doesn't waste any steps. He plays fast and is a guy that you look up and always see that he is in position to make big plays. That's the way Dat was."

On making big plays on defense last season
"When people look at that six-game run, I think we led the nation in takeaways. And not only did we get them, but we got them in bunches. That negates any yards you get, but at the same if you can keep doing that and remain consistent with the three-and-outs, you become a different defense."

  Senior Quarterback Nick Florence

On replacing Robert Griffin III:
"I don't know how many times I've been asked that question. It may be close to a hundred now, but it comes with the territory. I'm getting the opportunity to play now and that's what counts. I just happen to be behind Robert Griffin: Heisman Trophy winner. You can't change that, but I'm just ready to enjoy it and make the most of this opportunity."

On this year's offense compared to last year's:
"It'll be pretty similar. I've been under Robert for three years now so it'll just continue to evolve and add things to it to contribute more to my strengths. Overall, it'll mostly be the same offense."

On the battle at the running back position:
"The running backs are great. You have (Jarred) Salubi who has experience and has been in this offense for three years. You also have Glasco (Martin) who is a workhorse. I don't think you'll find anyone who works harder than he does. Then you have Lache (Seastrunk) who has more talent than anyone could ever imagine. You have three guys back there who can do a lot of different things well. You'll see a lot of them in there. I'm not worried because we have a ton of experience and talent back there."

  Senior Running Back Jarred Salubi

On previous running back's phenomenal senior seasons:
"It doesn't hurt to think about that kind of stuff. I'm kind of going out on top because of how last season ended. It's really motivating, and I've got to see it from both ends. This year I'm hoping for the same, hopefully better. I'm just looking forward to playing football at Baylor and winning games."

On the competition at the running back position:
"I think it's a fun thing to have competition like that. No one wants that starting spot to be handed out. You want to work for it and feel like you have done something to deserve that position. I feel like every day I have the opportunity to go up against some of the best running backs."

  Junior Nickleback Ahmad Dixon

On the defense's improvement:
"We're going to be light years better. Last year we were trying to get in the groove of what Coach (Phil) Bennett wanted and trying to figure out what kind of coach he is. Now we understand what we want and we are going to get it."

On how much more comfortable he feels in his role:
"I feel a whole lot more comfortable. I know my position very well, and I know all the positions surrounding me. I feel like my help for the team will be much better than last year's."

  Senior Wide Receiver Lanear Sampson

On the depth of the receivers:
"Coach (Art) Briles does a great job of recruiting receivers for sure. We've got a lot of experience with returning guys. We're just ready to build off of last year."

On how his mindset is different this year being one of the go-to receivers:
"I just have to go out there and play. Coach Briles said that he's going to take the straps off me and let me go. You just have to come out to practice with the mindset of being the best that you can be every day."

  Senior Wide Receiver Terrance Williams

On picking up where Spring Practice left off:
"That's basically what we do. We left off on a good spring, and now we fill in the gaps. I just feel like we are going to get better day by day."

On the summer preparations for practice:
"This is something that we train for. I think that we are all ready for anything that basically comes our way. The team is ready to finally go hard and let loose."

  Senior Defensive Tackle Kaeron Johnson

On what he worked on during the off season:
"The main thing I worked on was playing faster. My strong point is that I am bigger than people. I just need to learn to finish plays and to be a physical presence on the field. "

On what the defense must do better compared to last year:
"We have to get out there and play directly from the start. We can't show up at halftime or the third quarter to play defense anymore. We have to play every down like the game is on the line and up to our potential."

  Junior Tight End Jordan Najvar

On some of the negative expectations from the media about this season:
"A lot of people say that we are going to have a down year or a rebuilding year, but we don't think about that. We don't worry about the outside influence. All we worry about is our team and coaching staff. We believe that we are going to be better than last year. We still have that mindset that it's going to be a great year."

On the motivation from last season:
"Success is contagious. We've had one of the best summer conditioning sessions. Once you've tasted success, no one wants to let that go. Everyone is hungry and cannot wait to get the season started. What we all have been working no these past few months is about to show."

 Junior Safety Sam Holl

On having to step up during games this season:
"We will have to be motivated to get stops this year. If we need a stop, we have to get it. I think we are capable of doing that. We've been under Coach Bennett for a year now, and we are ready."

On the Big 12's newest additions West Virginia and TCU:
"They're very good offenses. Both games will be tough to win, but we have faith in our coaches and teammates that we can play our best."

 Junior Defensive Back K.J. Morton

On the Washington game as motivation for the season:
"Everything that we messed up on was one second too late or small errors. We've been focusing on getting the small steps and then the big things will come. As a unit, everyone has been working together and staying focused. We have a bitter taste in our mouths since that Washington game. We are playing with a chip on our shoulder this year."

On Coach Phil Bennett as a motivator:
"Coach Bennett always stays on us, and we love that. He stays on us and pushes us because he knows that we can be the best. Just having the great support from him helps motivate us to go out no matter how hot it is or how rainy it is and give great effort."



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