The best of Mike Leach from Monday's press conference:
"Well, the thing is, what's disappointing is, we're having to re-learn way too many lessons, which we should have learned last year. It's a whole deja vu thing. Too many things we learned last year, we learned together as a team, didn't stick and it's on us as coaches to stay on them. I mean, we have to hammer these guys, it's developed to be a team, that if you want to be nice to them and all this Kumbaya crap, I mean, that doesn't work. Their life is going to change as they know it, and it's going to change as they know it for the rest of the season."
"Some of that is a lack of discipline. Our inside receivers we're afraid of No. 20. As many phases of the game that we beat Boise in, which we're quite a few, except for two important ones we didn't beat them in, which was, one, mental toughness and, two, anyone who faced No. 20 with the possible exception of John Thompson, got their ass kicked, got their ass kicked and that was kind of reflected in who was penalized. He kicked all three of them around. There's no reason for that and I respect him as a player, no doubt, but we have to raise the bar as far as three of our inside receivers that I can think of and if they miss a block out there in practice it's all of the sudden going to get painful."
"We taught all this stuff and we get the concerned expression. The heads nod and the bodies don't move. I really don't care what (the players) said. I care about what me and my coaches are going to tell them. That's all I care about. There's not going to be a lot of, this week in particular, there's not going to be a lot of indulgence on what they say, but there better be one hell of a lot on what we say. This business of pretending we're playing hard and we're not and playing as hard as our opponent and we're not, no. There's going to be a price to pay."
"It all starts with coaching. We had this assumption that they know stuff. As coaches, we have to be smart enough and disciplined enough to get that out of our heads. They don't know anything. We would not be re-teaching the stuff we did last year if we could trust any level of retention. We can't. We have to be smart enough and disciplined enough as coaches to not suggest or assume they know anything. If we tell them something once, we need to tell them several other times louder. Right now, we have the atmosphere of a JC softball game. That's what we are. A JC softball team. It's not whether you win or lose, the team that wins is the one that has the most fun. Crap like that. You know, all this stuff that has contaminated America where they give every kid a trophy and they don't keep score in Little League, anymore. I think that entire thing has retarded the competitive spirit of America. I think we need to keep that in mind and as coaches, we need to aggressively reinforce our points."
"I just think we have a very immature team. I don't think we handle success well. Mentally, we overindulged whatever success we consider that we had last year. We say something, talk about something technique wise, players nod their heads like, 'Oh, we've got it handled. We'll do it in a game type of stuff.' Then, I got receivers running routes that don't even resemble anything that we teach. We don't tuck the ball and go straight up field. We do all these stupid moves. We run out of bounds more than any team in the country. We're the easiest team in the country to tackle. Defensively, we don't run our feet on contact. We don't on offense, either. We don't like to run and hit and this is a game for running and hitting, we don't care to do that. Then we have all this 'I'll do it in a game type of crap and, no, that whole feel-good thing needs to be purged because our team can't handle it. Our team does not have the ability to play hard when there's any level of comfort, so, we're going to have to remove that."
"I think you're going to see more plays repeated, I think you're going to see significantly louder verbal instructions, some of them will be in meetings, where of course, you won't be around. I think you might see the lineup shuffle. You might see some post-practice extra drills, if the things we see aren't satisfactory. I think you'll see more coaches talking and less players talking. I think you'll see less input from the players in meetings because they've proven--we as coaches have misjudged this. We've misjudged their ability to assess and take responsibility for what is going on, so we're going to take back the responsibility and we should have never relinquished it in the first place and that's our fault."