Football Press Conference Quotes

March 19, 2013


Head Coach Rocky Long

Opening Statement:
"I appreciate you being here, and it's fun for me to be here because as an Aztec, we're very proud of our basketball teams. We're hoping that our men go far in the (NCAA) tournament. Our women's team had a great season and I think they deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament. I think it's a sad deal they're not in there, because I think they deserve to be there. Now football-wise, which is secondary to our basketball teams at this time for sure, we have a spring game on Saturday at 1 p.m. We'll divide the team up fairly equally and we'll let them play more-or-less a game. We won't do the kicking part, but we'll let them play football and see which side is the best. Our tradition around here is the team that wins will be fed steaks and the other team gets hotdogs. That's the tradition we started here a while back, and it's a little incentive."

On what are the key things he's looking for on Saturday:
"We have to develop a couple players in specific spots. I think our tight ends, we've been really happy with Robert Craighead. He's done a really good job, but we need some more depth at tight end. We need some cornerbacks to step up. We have all young corners that have had some good days and some bad days out there at spring practice, and we have to have a couple of them to step forward for us to be a decent team next year. Other than that, I think most (players) have gotten better, and that's the idea of spring practice."

On what he's learned about his team this spring:
"I think this team like every team is trying to develop their own personality. We base everything we do on senior leadership, so it's the senior class that develops the personality of this football team. Whenever they become in charge, they kind of feel their way through it, and that's what's happening now. This team will not be the same team as last year. Hopefully, we'll be as good or better than we were last year, but the personality of the team will change. I think they're just trying to find what their personality is. I was really impressed yesterday. We scrimmaged some, and it was a lot more physical on both sides of the ball than it had been up until yesterday. So that's a good sign."

On what he'll tell NFL teams asking about Gavin Escobar and Leon McFadden:
"Gavin Escobar is rated as the third-best tight end in the draft, and I would guess that's pretty close to where he'll be drafted. I think (McFadden) is undervalued right now. I think he's as good a corner as there is in the country. He's not quite as tall as I thought he was for NFL standards, but hopefully someone else feels just like I do.

On what advice he'll give his players for Pro Day:
"When I first started coaching, the players actually asked your opinion. That's not the way it is anymore. Once they decide to go pro and they get an agent, they've got a million people advising them on the way to do things. They don't seem to ask us anymore."