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Baylor Football

Transcript: Dave Aranda speaks ahead of Baylor's game against Kansas

September 21, 2020
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Baylor head coach Dave Aranda spoke to the media ahead of Baylor’s game against Kansas on Saturday at McLane Stadium.

On how players handled missing out on Houston week…

They were disappointed. It was a hard Friday. Prior to really finalizing the decision that we can’t play, I had an opportunity to talk to the team leaders and kind of gave them the situation and wanted to get their input on it. It was a lot of emotion in that call. It left me with a great appreciation of our guys and just the character that they show continually. Generally you get to know your people playing games. On the field, you can get a read of them and the type of character they have, and how they handle the good and the bad.

For us particularly it’s been a lot of things off the field and getting more the person than the player, and this was along those lines, and I continue to be impressed. Really blessed to be a part of this team and really looking forward to the opportunity to show everybody what we’ve got.

I feel optimistic. I think that’s a good word. We’ve got some guys coming back at that position. We’ve got guys coming back at some other positions, so I think our depth is getting bolstered there. We got the test results we’re waiting for today, and then we’ve got a couple more. We talk about doing the right things and about taking the right steps to be as safe as we can, and we’re definitely looking forward to doing that and having the opportunity to play Saturday night.

Do you feel like your team is still under the radar…

You could look at it that way. I feel particularly for us, we’re trailblazing a little bit in not playing a game. Myself included, we’re just really looking forward to taking the field and giving it our best effort. We talked about it today just as a staff, I feel when you go this long and don’t play, I think as coaches sometimes you go like this and say the NFL had this play that was a third-down conversion, and you see how they attacked this coverage. They knew it was going to be Cover 1. Hey, the defense aligned this way, the Ravens got someone to protect a certain way and attack the protection. We should have that or we should do it. As coaches sometimes you’re not hurt by anything, you’re not protecting anything or you’re not correcting anything, so everything is good. As players, when you don’t play for this extended amount of time, whereas for coaches it goes out and for players it goes in. I’m doing this for what? Am I really going to play? Is this really going to happen? How much longer is this going on? I think being real honest about all of that, and not trying to sidestep that and lean into it, I think is the most important thing. We’re in the process of doing that.

Per your question, that is one way to look at it. I hope people have got a lot film on us after this week.

On difficulty of preparing for Big 12 play with no previous game…

Yeah, we don’t blink. I think leadership of the team, character of the team, I think all of that is right there for anyone to feel that. We had a practice yesterday, and there was great energy, the meetings were great. I’m continually impressed with this team. I want to be with them on Saturday on the sidelines to see their resiliency. I go back to Friday night, texting back and forth, calling guys on the phone. There are guys lifting me up at times, and I’m calling to lift their spirits. It’s impressive to see when you have a locker room like that, or I guess two locker rooms like that, I think it foretells of positive things. So we’re going to build on Sunday and come out and have the best Tuesday we’ve had to this point is the plan.

On how many players could be returning this week…

At the position that was affected, we’re getting about five guys back throughout the week. So we feel good about that. At other positions, this isn’t just COVID-related, this is injury related and recovering from concussion protocol and various other things, we’re getting about six other guys back at various other positions. We’re feeling pretty strong about our team being fortified and being strengthened. The wild card in all of it will be the tests that we’ll take. I feel confident about it, but after you’ve been hit with one of these, you’re very aware. That’s the best way to summarize where we’re at right now.

On his thoughts regarding Kansas…

During quarantine time, we had done a fair amount of breakdown on Kansas, so there was about two weeks’ prep for them. And then when La Tech happened, and we were trying to find that Houston game, there were a couple days in there where we really went back into Kansas. So, we’ve looked at them quite a bit. We have a lot of respect for them. Obviously, coach (Les) Miles, I have so much respect for him. I think offensively, they test a 3-4 front with their run game, so a lot of beaters in there and they attack you with angles and they really make you have to account for formations. And they’ve got a running back where, if you’re not where you’re supposed to be, it can be a long run. I think receiver-wise, they’ve got themselves some good skill. So, you feel threatened when you see that offense. When it clicks, there’s a rhythm they get into that’s impressive. Defensively, I have known (Kansas defensive coordinator D.J. Elliot) for a long time and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. I know he’ll be up for this one. But yeah, we’ve spent a fair amount of time on Kansas.

On how he handled last Friday’s game cancellation…

I felt embarrassed. I looked back at what I could have done better, right away. I felt like I let guys down, I let our players down. And then, looking at the situation moving forward, you just didn’t see the ability where the numbers were to try to play. If you were talking maybe a first quarter, possibly. But, in terms of the whole entire four-quarter game and all of it, you just didn’t see it. A lot of that was the talk that we had with that leadership group was basically what we’re talking about right here, just laying it out to them and explaining kind of what we’re struggling with right now. I’m really impressed with just their maturity and their ability to see big picture. A lot of times, especially when you’re that close to something, it’s hard to see not only what’s right in front of your face but what’s all around you. And I thought we were able to do that.

On how team has handled back-to-back cancellations…

So, Thursday, we had an idea. Friday, it became where there had to be a decision. One of the first things I did was talk to the leadership group, and that was explaining where things were, kind of how we saw it, what you think. And each guy had his opportunity to kind of say what he felt there. So then when we finally made that decision and then taking it to the team, by that point, a fair amount of guys knew what the meeting was called for. This was our second emergency meeting, so they were able to connect those dots. It was somber. We had talked about, though, how last week’s cancellation or postponement does not affect the Big 12 championship, does not affect our prospects for this season and what’s ahead of us and how we can control what we can control moving forward. We were able to get texts to the team from certain players, texts that I got from certain guys where you could really see the resilience and you could see their hearts. What we talked about on Sunday when we got together is that in all of this – the ups and the downs, some of the valleys that we’re going through – that it’s all about how this shapes you as a person. You come out of this more trusting, more untrusting? You come out of this more confident, less confident? (Are you) more optimistic, less optimistic? Are you now looking at all the negative things? Are you looking for what’s positive? We talked about that, and I believe that. We talked about perspective, and I feel like there’s been a lot of perspective so far, this year, and I’m proud of our guys for where they are.

On his memories of working with Kansas head coach Les Miles…

Just how to trust people. I think Les is one of my favorite all-time just people. The immediate take away from him is just how generous he is, how real he is, just authentic person. What you see is what you get. What a great family. Kathy, his wife, is awesome. Obviously, Ben is playing for him. And his daughters, I just know that they think the world of their father, and rightfully so. I have seen, and I have to imagine that you see, too, where sometimes coaches can just balloon into these caricatures of what they’re supposed to be or what people think they should be. And to see Les just be who he is, and to have a family that’s as close and as loving as his and be as real as they are, in today’s world it’s really pretty cool. It will be good to see them again.

Discussion from...

Transcript: Dave Aranda speaks ahead of Baylor's game against Kansas

1,513 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by hodedofome
Wichitabear
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Much Respect for Aranda! He has worked with so many coaches. I just feel he is always trying to do the right thing.
hodedofome
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Aranda speaks ahead of Baylor's *alleged* game with Kansas.
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