What did you think about the kids coming out here today? What does that mean to you all?
“That’s awesome. I think, with all that’s going on with football right now, it’s a great, great team sport. There are so many life lessons that you can learn in football. It was just great to have the West Virginia Cardinal Youth League here to meet our players, watch practice, watch how we coach things. I thought it was a very good day and our players did a good job going over there and hanging out with them for a little bit. That was fun.”
Can you talk about the first unofficial depth chart that was released today?
“I would say that that depth chart is – it is what it is. I think there are a lot of spots up for grabs. I think that’s an early, preseason depth chart that, I guess we have to release. And I’ll say this, (Christian) Covington’s doing a good job. He’s a tough kid, plays hard, but we have a lot of guys that we play up front and it’s definitely a position battle.”
Has it been good to get back to actually coaching these guys?
“Yeah, it’s been good. I really enjoy coaching these players. I just enjoy the preparation for practice. I enjoy the competition in practice. We’re doing a lot of non-scripted things, which I love. The game isn’t scripted so I think after a few practices, really you should throw the scripts away and just give the situation and be specific about that, but call plays. I think that’s what all the coaches love. I’m having a lot of fun with these guys. They’re a lot of fun to be around, these players, and they work very hard and I appreciate that.”
How much does it change for you now that you’re so involved with the offense and don’t survey how the defense is doing?
“I still do that. I still do that. Maybe I don’t do it quite as much, but I’m around. I mean, they know I’m there. We still squad-meet every day, we watch all three phases. There’s no doubt that I’m more involved with the offense but I’m still enjoying, loving, being the head coach of this team. Being in charge of all three phases is something that I really enjoy, and these guys, like I said, they’re fun to coach. They work very hard and it’s a joy to come to work every day.”
Is there a reason why the offense and defense changed practice jersey colors?
“I think (Mike) Parson did that on his own. He made an executive decision. Didn’t check with me. I’ll have to talk to him about that.”
So there’s no story to it?
“No story to it. Wasn’t trying to throw anybody off.”
Can you talk about WR DeAndrew White going down late in practice?
“I didn’t even know he went down. Hopefully he’s OK.”
How much has Assistant Head Coach/Defense Romeo Crennel helped you out there?
“Romeo’s (Crennel) been around this game so long, been around the NFL, a long, long time. Worked for Hall of Fame head coaches in Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. He was a head coach himself. He brings a wealth of knowledge. He’s got a great demeanor, easy to talk to. He’s really a very important part of this staff and he’s helped me a great deal.”
What have you thought about what Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel has done with the defense?
“They’re competitive. They’re doing a good job over there mixing it up. We’re mixing it up. I think he’s doing a good job. He’s very organized, detailed, works very hard. He’s got a great way with the players, so I think so far, so good.”
What do you think about your football team giving back to the West Virginia youth football team with shoulder pads and autographs?
“I think the more we can do with youth football – especially in Texas, but obviously being here in West Virginia, being here, to be able to bring the West Virginia Cardinal Youth League in here and share shoulder pads with them and talk to them about the game of football. They watched practice, watched how we coach. Football’s a great game. There’s a lot of things going on with football relative to player safety right now, but I’ll tell you what, I think it’s a game that teaches you a lot of things about life. When you get knocked down, being able to pick yourself back up, and hard work, determination, organization, thinking on your feet. There’s a lot of life lessons you can learn in football, so the more we can help with youth football – like I said, especially in Houston – we’ll be glad to do it.”