Head Coach Butch Jones met with members of the media following practice number one. Here is what he had to say to all the scribes that were in attendance.
Cincinnati Head Coach blows his whistle to signal the beginning of the 2011 season. (photo credit: Pat Strang/513 Photography)
Q. How was the first day of practice?
A. Focusing on concentration, starting meetings. Obviously today was great to get out here and see the progress that we made. Not only from the summer but offseason. I liked our tempo. I thought we got sloppy in the end, which we will get corrected. That’s playing through the fatigue when you are winded. I think we are getting great leadership right now. What we are doing differently this year is that we named two permanent captains. They are JK Schaffer and Zach Collaros. They were voted on by their peers. Then we have kind of a player’s staff that is like our ownership committee that provides us stability and leadership to the program. That was voted on amongst their peers as well. It was good to get out and start running around; we got a lot of work to do. We are going to have to play some true freshmen. Obviously we aren’t ready to play a game, but I like our workman like mentality so far.
Q. Who are on the player’s staff?
A. I will release the names, a lot of seniors.
Q. How many?
A. We have a total of 15 on the player’s staff, then the 2 captains that are in charge of it.
Q. Why did you do that?
A. We always had a player’s staff. That’s kind of a committee the players go to and make some decisions, it just its part of our peer intervention program. This year though JK and Zach had everybody’s vote on the team. So again we will do 2 game day captains, and our 2 permanent captains.
Q. Coach I am sure you were somewhat frustrated by the preseason rankings for the Big East is that really a motivational factor for you guys when you come out here?
A. It is what it is. It’s all about respect and we have to earn respect. We were 4-8 last year. A lot of times the rankings are based what last years teams did. Not this coming year team. So I think it’s just the program improving themselves. We aren’t anywhere were we need to be depth wise in our program, but we have some young kids that very capable and talented. Now we just need to develop them at a faster pace then we would like. Again we are getting great leadership, and great stability from out upper classman right now.
Q. Is Reuben Johnson starting to get back into the flow?
A Reuben Johnson is going to be an individual that we are going to have to pick are spots with him. Just with the limited availability so to speak with his body and all the injuries he has gone through and persevered back on the field. So his reps will be limited. He is going to have a great roll on our football team we just need to be smart on how we use him.
Q. Anybody early on that you have seen that will be a shining star for this team?
A. Oh it’s to early right now. Right now it’s just helmets and shorts. Will know more about our football team practice 8, 9, and 10. When it gets tough. When their bodies are sore and when you have the pads on. Our kids are in great shape Adrian Robinson has taken the weight off that he needed too. He almost looks back like he did in high school. I’m excited about him. Travis Kelce I think he is in much better shape. Isaiah Pead looked like he was in great shape and looked very crisp and clean in his techniques. So again its DJ Woods and we ask a lot of our wide revivers and skill guys in the type of practice we like to conduct.
Q You guys go to higher ground later in the week. What do you get here that you wouldn’t get at higher ground and vice versa.
A. Well I think it is a great foundation leading into higher ground. It’s great to spend the first 4 days here. Then these couple practices are big mental days for preparation because of the helmet and shorts. Then we go to shells after a couple days but I think it just lays the foundation. Then we go up there for pure training camp there is no distractions, no clutter, just football.
Q. How did Zach look today?
A. Zach did a great job his leadership again, his knowledge base of the offense. We went out today in walk through and this is the fastest we had walk through. We finished a 10-minute segment in about 6 minutes. Our players knew where we were going. There was just familiarity with everything that we doing and you expect that in year 2.
Q. Do you sense a little now that guys are in year 2 of this program everybody is kind of jelled a little more?
A. Exactly they had an offseason, they had a summer, and like I said I like the way we have handled our business, approach things, and I like the way we have approached with a mentality. Now it’s on our leadership as you find out and suffer a little adversity when the going gets tough.
Q. Is Munchie considered the number 2 QB or is it still up in the air?
A. Its still up in the air. It was great to see Brendon Kay out here. He is 100% and we will be in the mix. And again we won’t name a number 2 quarterback until the week of Austin Peay.
Q. Is Dominique Battle going to 100% by game 1?
A. We expect Dominique to be a 100%
written by Jeremy Rosenberg BearcatLair.com Staff Intern