What’s the program need to get back to the 2009 Orange Bowl year?
More wins, I guess. Did we win 11 games that year? I don’t know what you’re saying.
Two years before that we were 6-6, right? There’s ebb and flow in sports, and there’s ebb and flow during the course of seasons. There’s ebb and flow from season to season. Certainly during the course of a week.
Those are broad-based questions. Now the first step for us would be to win the next four games. That’s what we’re focused on. But I do know that we’re not going to the Orange Bowl this year, I do know that. Maybe you could, I don’t know.
Attrition in ’08, ’09 2010 classes. How much does that impact you guys maybe more than other schools?
Attrition’s college football. It’s college football. There’s ebb and flow in college football. As Scott pointed out earlier, there’s programs where you’d think there wouldn’t be. If it could happen at some of the “brand-name schools,” it’s going to happen everywhere.
All that being said, this season isn’t over yet. We haven’t written it off yet. We still have four games left. We intend on playing as hard as we can.
The NCAA came down yesterday that the buck comes down on the head coach if there’s transgressions with the assistant coaches. Any thoughts on that globally?
I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment on it, but my thought is that’s how I looked at it 30 years ago when I got into college football. I thought that might be a good way to curtail some activities. That’s where it should stop.
Jordan Cotton and James Vandenberg talked about how much time over the summer working together. Have you seen some kind of (chemistry)?
I think Jordan is one of the good stories we have right now. He virtually was invisible. He hadn’t done a whole lot up until this year. He’s done some really nice things on special teams. He’s made some good third-down catches, things like that. Certainly his continued development and involvement would help us. James has been invested like any quarterback would be. It’s been a real positive.
How about some of the guys that are red-shirting this year that we haven’t seen that we’ll see next year. Someone like Jaleel Johnson. How are they coming along?
It’s a good class and the appear to be working hard and they appear to be transitioning well. It seems to be a good class. But right now I’m a little more focused on the guys that are trying to help us.
The way Indiana has played on special teams this year, a couple of onside kicks … do you emphasize this more this week?
I think we have to be prepared for everything. It starts with their kicker, both kicking off and field goals. I think what a big jump he’s made in leg strength because he’s put more touchbacks than years past. They’re a good special teams outfit, and they’ve got good return guys, too.
I know you’ve worked here without a contract. Has Greg been OK with a one-year contract?
We haven’t talked about it. Greg’s a great guy. I’m excited to have him here. I’m glad he came, and I don’t think he’s too worried about it and nor am I.
All of your assistants are one-year guys. They serve at your discretion, right?
That’s just kind of how it is. I think most of them know that if they do their job and again, I think instead of talking about it, I think past performance typically has a little something to say about how to do your job. That’s what everybody’s supposed to do. Do your job. And they are.
Do you have to go through some sort of hiring interviewing process again with Greg?
Not to my knowledge. I think he’s officially on board. As far as I know, nobody has to audition.
Are you more focused on keeping the outside noise from the program?
I’ve always addressed it, even back in the dark ages of the early 2000s — 1999, 2000, 2001. I’ve always addressed it.
How have you developed a thicker skin? Obviously when someone calls on your radio show and tells you to move to Cleveland, just human nature would be to react negatively toward that.
I think there are a lot of benefits in spending six years in the NFL. A lot of which I won’t go into, but the biggest one was to learn that not to worry too much over things that you don’t have control over. And, also, I think I’ve always understood that people are going to react very positively, probably too positively, when we do well, and when we lose it’s just the opposite. The world’s not ending and it’s not the creation of a new civilization, either, when we win. Worry about the things that we can worry about. That’s what I’ve learned.