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Pac-12 Media Days: Pac-12 Edition

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The Best of The Rest.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t only Coach Wilcox and the Bears in attendance in Hollywood. Here are some of the best quotes from the other Pac-12 Coaches.

Arizona HC Rich Rodriguez

  • Start hopefully winning better and playing better. I think the difference is I think they'll see a little more athleticism defensively. We need to get more athletic defensively on all levels. Then just better football. I think as a coach, you sit back and say, well, we had injuries, and we had this happen. But it is what it is. We better have a chip on our shoulder it doesn't happen again. I would have thought that the attitude was poor, but it needed to be a little bit more competitive. Losing needed to hurt a little bit more.
  • Basketball is really, really important to a whole lot of people in Arizona. Football needs to be the same and the same way in how we approach it from administrative standpoint, from a coaching standpoint, certainly, and from a player standpoint. Good news is we have an example across campus in a lot of sports that we can point to to help us lead that way.

ASU HC Todd Graham

  • Our big thing is really we've gone back and assessed. Our whole deal is getting back to what we do. That's playing hard-core, disciplined football. I like our team because it's a veteran team. We have a lot of experience on both sides of the football. So the whole key for us is getting back to playing disciplined, hard-core football.
  • I think from a personnel standpoint, we're top to bottom skill-wise -- you look at our receivers and our running back corps is as good as we've been speed-wise, talent-wise, quarterback position, receiver position, running back position. I like the veterans up front. We've got a lot of guys with a lot of experience up front. There is a lot of competition. So we eliminate the negatives, take care of the football, and we do do some good things there.

Colorado HC Mike MacIntyre

  • What's exciting about having high expectations, we just set them. Now everybody else kind of sets them. We have a lot to prove. We're still a team that people don't believe in, and we'd like for people to believe in us, and the only way you do that is to put back-to-back-to-back things together. That's what we plan on doing. What we want to do is be in the Pac-12 Championship game and not get our brains beat in like we did last year, so we'd like to finish it better.
  • It's all about players. Players make plays, players win games. We just coach. But the players set the standard and the culture. We preach it to them, we believe in it and want them to trust us, but they have to buy in. These guys are bought in. We have a lot of good leaders coming back and a lot of good football players coming back. So it's all about the football players.
  • So I feel like we don't have to rebuild. We can reload. The way we've developed our program, we've red- shirted a lot of kids through the year. My believe is belief is you win games when you have more red-shirt sophomores, juniors and seniors. You have an older team. The way we've built it, I think we'll always have an older team. So I'm excited about those guys that will be out there playing.

Oregon HC Willie Taggert

  • I want those guys to play for each other, first and foremost. Our guys got to understand that the way that they play is like a gift to their teammates. Those guys got to love each other, and they can't love each other if they don't know each other. They can't look out for each other if they don't know each other. So it was really important that we get everyone, not just our players, but coaches and all, to be around each other and express -- talk to each other and get to know each other a lot better than what we did, because we didn't know anyone, and they didn't know us. We didn't know them. Hell, we had coaches that didn't know each other, so we all had to come together.

Oregon State HC Gary Andersen

  • I think there's always something for every coach, regardless of the year and situation. But I do feel like we've made strides in a lot of ways. I would say our kids believe they have the physical ability and toughness to impact games now. That was a big step for us I think we took last year, and in not just in the games we won, some of the close games that we lost. There's always things to fix and always the juggling act of the stronger position groups and the injury bug and the factors. But we've made strides, and I'm sure everybody else in the league has too.

Stanford HC David Shaw

  • (Just mentioning his name is probably enough right?)

UCLA HC Jim Mora

  • It's hard. You're not in this to do anything but try to have success. And every loss rips your guts out. The first thing you do is point your finger at yourself. You say: Where did I not do a good enough job and how are we going to learn from this?
  • I think you make a huge mistake if you make excuses or scoop it under the rug. There are factors. But you have to look deeper than that. You have to look at everything you do, the way you meet, the way you practice, to your schemes, to how you coach, to the words you use, the culture in the building, how you let them recover. And you just pull it all apart.
  • You use your experience and the experience of your coaches and your colleagues. You try to put it back together in a way that will give you a chance to succeed in the future. That's what we've tried to do this off-season.

USC HC Clay Helton

  • Without question, the lessons we learned last year. I thought our maturity that we gained from Game 1 to the Rose Bowl really showed. If you look at us from Game 1, I thought we were an immature football team. And we learned how to win games. We've learned how important it was to protect the ball, limit penalties, understand that it's not about the hype of the game or the environment of the game, it's about the preparation for the game. Those are lessons that we, our veterans, have carried on.

Utah HC Kyle Whittingham

  • Took a big hit with our senior class talent-wise, and a couple underclassmen that declared. We had eight drafted players and eight signed free agent contract players, so 16 of our roughly 20 scholarship players that graduated are in NFL camps right now. So lot of work to do replacing those guys.
  • I've been watching Troy a lot of years. My nephew played for him at Folsom High School. My brother who is on our staff now, when his nephew got there, he said, you've got to look at this guy. This guy is phenomenal as a coach. The schemes, the way he handles the players, his approach to the game is unbelievable. So I started watching him, was very impressed. Still it was high school, so I was a little bit skeptical there. When Troy went on to Eastern Washington and had the same success there that he had in high school, I was sold at that point, and that's when we pulled the trigger and brought him on board.

Washington HC Chris Petersen

  • Justin's always like -- heck, I was a coach when he was a player. I've known him forever. He was one of those special guys that was good as a player just in terms of as a person. Got a chance to hire him. Knew he would do awesome, which he did. He'll be a really good head coach as well. It's just a matter of time of him getting his way, getting his guys in there and doing that. Really happy for him. He's done some really good things and done it the right way, and he deserves the opportunity.
  • Can we do it again next year? That's hard. I think we all get that. So you've got your way of doing things. And a little luck along the way to stay relatively healthy for some key guys. All those type of things. I just go back, and I said this before, I look at our season, and we play our first league game against Arizona. We go into overtime and barely get out of there. Our season goes well, and Arizona's doesn't go as well. They had a bunch of injuries, you know, we didn't have a bunch of injuries.
  • So it can change that fast. You lose a couple guys and it affects a couple more guys. I mean, we've all been there and seen that. So, there's just a lot of things that got to line up. You could have everything just right, and the injury bug. How do you get a bunch of turnovers or not turn the ball over? Everybody works on that and everybody's trying to figure out how to stay healthy. Well, how do you do that better? Half the time it's just luck.

And of course the best for last, Washington State HC Mike Leach

  • All right. Any questions? There's Peyton Pelluer over there. He's got the samurai hairdo going, middle linebacker, great player. And then Jamal Morrow, running back. And he continues to walk away, very disinterested. And a very versatile running back. Does a tremendous job. Very consistent out there. Two quality players getting their degrees, and basically everything that my parents wish I was. Okay, go ahead.
  • The biggest challenge is, I think, a lot of times there is a sense of a lack of accountability [with Millennials]. I think that. But also I think it's a lot like Frank Martin said. He said something to the effect that players haven't changed, parents have. But I think -- then the other thing is their best feature, probably, well, they're experts on technology. Heck, when I was a kid, I would watch Star Trek. These guys could have invented the plane, the computer, Scotty, the whole thing. I do think that, you know, just the knowledge base at your fingertips is such that at a very young age there are a lot of people that know a lot. But I think along with that is as soon as something gets hard, you don't give in. You push through it. I think, you know, nowadays there is a temptation to do that. I do think we'll cycle out of that. There's always been a cycle. Heck, we got out of disco, you know? We survived that. We had punk rock briefly as we were recovering, you know. So then things evened out.
  • I do think, you know, stuff goes in cycles, and I do think we'll cycle through it. Paul Harvey always said, Tomorrow's always better than today. And he was supposed to be the old-fashioned guy, right? I believe that, so...

What were some of your favorite quotes from Media days? Are there any coaches that stood out to you? Let us know in the comments below!