The 2008 captains spoke to the media yesterday. Clichés were plentiful. The mandatory weight room comments were given, and the media, of course, started the whole show off by asking about the often under-reported "off the field troubles":
"I think right now all the stuff that happened last year, and all the trouble that we go into, that's behind us," Williams said
That's the right answer both from a PR perceptive and, well, it's the right answer. Football, please. I want to talk about football...
While the rest of the team was in high school, this group of seniors experienced first hand the level of excitement that can be created in Happy Valley when a few big games are won. I'm of course talking about 2005, and they are, of course, doing everything they can to try and recreate what was a pretty special season:
"We'll try to bring back that same work ethic," Gaines said. "Bring back that same work habit. Bring it to this season and build on what we have now."
Speaking of 2005, I often get the impression that Williams was heavily influenced by Michael Robinson. While the mentor/quarterback was a little more candid about his confidence (ie mentioning his championship expectations in the huddle rather than to the media the day before a bowl game), Williams confidence is needed no matter what form it shows up in.
"People that have been on great teams, they'll say it's really not what you do in the weight room, not what you do in the locker room, it's what you do off the field with your teammates," Williams said. "How your chemistry is off the field."
There must be some type of class they teach in journalism school where they demand non-substantive quotes be backed by some kind of quasi-relevant, often awkward example. Enter text messaging:
Williams said either he or potential starting quarterbacks Darryl Clark and Pat Devlin will schedule impromptu passing drills via text messages three or four times a week as well.
Zook's influence on the conference is apparently much bigger than I realized.