Today's coaches pressers got underway with the always loquacious Art Briles of Baylor. He's very excited. He said so about 30 times in his opening statement.
Tim Griffin asked Briles to compare new quarterback Seth Russell with Bryce Petty at this stage in his career. Briles hinted that he had a closer relationship with Petty, but that may be colored by time with the number one.
Ben Kercheval was next, and asked about filling holes created by graduation. Briles seems pretty confident he can reload, and specifically mentioned how his quarterbacks have simply replaced one another.
Asked about reducing penalties, Briles seemed a bit rattled. He's obviously concerned with the issue, and obviously wants his team to commit fewer of them.
The next question was a softball about how he feels about the program's progress, to which Briles essentially responded by pointing at bringing in great people and having the support of a strong fanbase.
Briles was next asked about his secondary, with a lead-in noting that Baylor may have the best defensive line in the country. He was also asked whether competition for the starting spots in the secondary was open despite having starters returning. He expects the starters to hang onto their jobs, but also plans on some serious competition.
Next was a question about Baylor's new "gunmetal gray" helmet and which of Baylor's many helmets is his favorite. He doesn't have one, and says the team picks which one they'll wear on a given day.
Briles was then asked about the move of LaQuan McGowan, the terrifying 6'7" 410 behemoth, to tight end. Briles says McGowan may be the biggest player in all of football, and that he's slimmed down some and is making a lot of progress.
Jenni Carlson asked about Shawn Oakman, and Briles was effusive in his praise of Oakman both as an athlete and a leader.
A follow-up on McGowan, asking about his progress, revealed that Briles' main observation is that his consistency in catching the ball has improved a great deal.
Berry Tramel then dropped the bomb, asking Briles about Baylor's scheduling in light of the playoff snub. Briles dodged the question, saying it's more important to him to win football games, and going 12-0 solves the problem.
Briles was next asked how he felt about not being picked to win the conference. He said he'd rather be picked second than third, joking that you have to win three times in a row to be picked to win again, and then issued some platitudes about doubters and motivation.
Regarding Phillip Montgomery's move to the head coaching job at Tulsa, Briles was asked about his reaction and actions in response. Briles was fully supportive of Montgomery's move, and that replacing Montgomery with his own son was a logical move. I think we Wildcat fans might have some things to say about that.