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Transcript: Dave Aranda previews Baylor's game against TCU

October 26, 2020
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On needed steps offensively…

I think just honing in on an identity, just runs and types of passes that we can hang our hat on. Just throughout the week, there have been different personnel different weeks available. I’ve been guilty of this as we are just trying to make things work for that given moment. I think the key is to build and hone in on this is us, and hone in and build on those things week after week.

I think that really started a couple of weeks ago after the West Virginia game. I thought there were positive things in this last game, and I think we can build off those things and still kind of hone in on who we are and ID our running game right from start to finish. Continue with RPOs, there’s a fair amount of those. There are one-on-one shots that we took on the outside on back shoulder fades that I think we executed really good. There were option outs that we ran with the receivers and running backs that we executed really well.

So I think there are things that we can take and build on, and continuing to work on things throughout practice, so that when we get to games they’re executed to the standard that we want I think are going to be key there.

On growth of JT Woods…

JT has a great intelligence for the game. I think he is an avid film watcher. That position he controls that half of the field, so we’re in our two-high looks which is what we are the majority of the time. He’s communicating are we playing quarters, are we playing two, are we playing match quarters, are we playing slice two, all these things. I think his ability to recognize formations and get our people lined up, as well as just the range and athleticism that you saw with that interception. I think he’s got the mental and physical piece, so I think the best is yet to come from him.

On improvements from Texas game…

I think we just have to feel comfortable and more confident in just that protection. There were guys who played in that game that we were able to get back on our team on Thursday and Friday. They were having kind of quarantine walk-throughs early in the morning trying to get them prepared. There really isn’t a position group that needs more cohesion and kind of a collective mind than that group.

We took our (COVID-19) tests on Sunday. Everyone is negative. We’ve got two more tests to go. We are set right now obviously with two tests to take, but we’re set to have everybody, which we haven’t been in that situation. Even more importantly than that, we’ll be able to rep everybody throughout the week. Not just that you’ll have everybody for Saturday where there’s a guy who is coming back Thursday or Friday. We’ve got everybody from Tuesday on, and so I think that collective work is really, really important.

So, we talked about it as a staff, there was a shot we threw in the second half. We had a guy cut loose on a three technique and we couldn’t get the ball off. That same thing happened in practice. We tried to correct it and obviously we still have a ways to go there. The ability to really identify that and spent the time with that day after day after day, and to detail all those pass sets and where your help is, and where your eyes should be and your feet should be this way, and have those same five guys doing it, by the time we get to Saturday I feel like we’ll have success with that. We were able to do that in certain parts of the offense. We just have to be able to keep working.

On what he has seen from Terrel Bernard and Dillon Doyle…

They’re essential. There’s a football IQ, there is straight intelligence, there is a real strong care factor. There is the alpha part in both of them that they want to take things head on and turn and run into adversity and conflict, so you love that with your linebackers. I think they both have the ability to cover, defend the run, as well as blitz. So when you have that variety, I feel you can use that in different ways, so I feel Ron (Roberts) has and will continue to. They’re all over the field. There was a fair amount of tempo in that game, so they were having to communicate and get guys where they need to be. There was a little more on their plate than there normally would. To have that type of production really speaks to who they are as people.

On excitement of playing at home…

Anytime you can be at home, the end of the week is dramatically different. Your prep when you are at home and when you are away, the time that you have on Friday, and being at the hotel that is home for us. The time there Saturday morning, there’s a comfort level having people’s families there. I think it’s a big difference, and we’re excited for it, and we’re excited to see the fans, and excited to play again.

On what he has learned about team during last month…

I feel like you never know what people are going through, so I feel anytime there is adversity, and anytime for me personally when you’re feeling down or you’re feeling the weight of this or the stress of that, to reach out and look to help others and check in on people and see how they’re doing. You never know what people are going through. We talk about that no man is an island, which you give to others will come back to its own. So, we spend a lot of time on that and talk about it as a team. I’ve always believed it. It’s highlighted in today’s times.

You look at the stuff off the field, we’re fighting the fight on the field. There are things that pile up there. For us to realize that as much as we want to have success on the field, there are bigger things than football. To spend that time and get to know your people, I think is the big takeaway.

On knowledge of Baylor-TCU rivalry…

I’ve talked with a couple of our coaches here about how long the rivalry has been, the history of the rivalry. I had the fortune to talk to Coach [Grant] Teaff prior to the Texas game. We were able to mention some of this as well. It’s one of the blessings of being at Baylor is the traditions and the rivalries that exist. So, I know we’re playing a team that is hungry and motivated, and in a lot of ways similar to us in that they’re searching for who they are and what they’re all about. When both of these things collide on Saturday, I think there will be some strong emotion. A lot of respect for their side of it as well, but what makes it great to your point is the tradition and the history that backs it up.

On managing excitement of a rivalry game…

I think it’s important to know the history of what’s happened before. I see it as that as just an education of this is your past, these are some of the Baylor Bears that have excelled in this arena vs. this team, and to speak to that. Outside of that, I see it as the focus is on us, the focus is on our improvement. We can control how we feel, how we play, our level of effort and our level of attention to detail. I think you try to hit both.

On discussion of using any other quarterbacks…

No, we feel good about Charlie. Talking with Charlie after the game, there’s great disappointment. He’s such a great competitor and really felt this last week was one of his better weeks. I think a lot of it is us kind of finding ourselves and what we’re comfortable doing offensively, and I think we made great strides from the West Virginia game to this game in terms of the ball coming out quicker. I think we were able to throw more RPOs, which I know Charlie feels really comfortable throwing. We were able to get him out of the pocket more. We were in empty, throwing those option routes more. So, we’re really honing in on the things that he likes, and I think there are still other things that we can really detail and spend time on, and I think we’ll continue to see improvement, and we need to.

On fluidity of offensive line causing issues…

That’s correct. I think when you can step away from it, it’s always to say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re doing, we’re just going to build, build, build, build.’ When you’re in it, and this is the group I’ve got, what can we do with this group? How can we achieve? Maybe we can help them by trying to do this or help them by doing that. Those things, after a while, drag you down. So, the ability to kind of clean that out and really find the stuff, whether it’s moving the pocket, RPOs, empty throws, running the football, which we can do more of, and we need to do more, then I think we’ll take off. And I really do feel that. Being around them in the locker room after yesterday’s walk-through, I felt that from our players and they noticed and they feel the improvement and the excitement of what’s coming next with this game. So, I share in that excitement.

On challenge of returning a player from quarantine or isolation…

My first response would be my experience right now would be that everybody’s different. There are some that have responded, really you could almost say haven’t missed a beat. And there’s others where they’re almost like gutted to a degree of just energy, endurance. So, I think it’s been a wide variety. So, it’s hard to say just one thing. We learn as we go. One of the things that strikes me about your question, too, is the ability to stay connected during that time. That’s a long time. And when you’re working to get back, and you want to be back, you want to be a part of your team, and you’re working to get back, there’s going to be adversities that that team in particular is going to go through.

One of the things I would say that strikes me just about your question, too, is the, the ability to stay connected during that time. That's a long time. And I think when everyone is when everyone, you're working to get back, and you want to be back, and you, you want to be part of your team, and you're working to get back. And, you know, there's going to be adversities that that team particular is going to go, or success. And you want those guys that are working to get back to feel connected and be seen and heard and valued. And that's a really big piece, just in terms of the mental health, in terms of the team being a team, I think that’s right up there with the physical conditioning is that mental piece.

On assessing physical readiness of players after quarantine…

It is. I think there is a science piece that you have, in terms of the GPS and everything that we do, so you can measure it somehow. But then, we had even some of our coaches that came back and just after a walk-through would just be exhausted. They were just like, ‘I’ve never felt like this before, just this tired.’ There were other coaches that didn’t miss a beat. So, I think there is quite a variance there. So, you do have science to measure. But, it’s one of those things, too, when you’re around it every day, per your point, you see it, you can ID when we’re at our best.

On his respect for TCU’s Gary Patterson…

I know that Coach (Patterson) is very detail-oriented and he’s a stickler for his standpoint. I remember as a really young coach, I think it was at Cal Lutheran, and just trying to come across anything with Gary Patterson clinic, anything with Gary Patterson defense. And I remember I would watch it, and I would always be searching out clinics of coaches and all of it, and Gary’s were always different because of the level of detail because of the time that he took. That was always striking. And then later, I think there was a video with Coach (Chad) Glasgow, it was maybe after the Rose Bowl it might have been against Wisconsin, it was right after that. It was similar. Here is someone that has an answer all the problems that we’re all seeing, and here it is. And I think their ability to adapt, their ability to detail, their ability to be specific and hold to a standard, I think has allowed them to be successful year after year.

On how to correct coverage breakdowns in secondary…

On those two, we were in Cover-3, and we had a third corner, and it was specific to what we were doing, so it was a great design by them. But, No. 1 (receiver) went vertical for 10 to 12 yards and sat it down, and 2 (receiver) ran the seam, and the corner should be as deep as the deepest in that third. They were able to manipulate his eyes and kind of get on top. That happened one time. The other time, that happened again, but the other side of the coverage should have been over the middle-field safety, and we didn’t have one. There was some miscommunication, we didn’t have guys on the same page. And that has not really been an issue. I think of their tempo and how quickly they were getting the play off, I think affected it. So, our answer to that is to detail that is and it’s to take three receivers over here and specifically run the routes that we’ve been hurt by, that we’re expecting TCU to either copycat and/or are close to those; and take two receivers over here and work those routes and really be specific about where our eyes are at, where hands need to be, how the feet need to work, and really kind of dive into that. Because I think the ability to spend time there is going to pay off when things do go fast and there is an autopilot sense to it, your training will take over.

On benefit of a full week of practice for healthy offensive line…

I think it’s going to be really good. I think the Tuesday and the Wednesday practices are the most hitting that we do, the most team periods that we do, the most involved. When you’re getting guys later in the week, you have them, but it’s walk-throughs, it’s kind of teach tempos, it’s in the ballrooms of hotels and these things. So, to get it to where they’re working combos and they’re (identifying) the linebacker and coming off at the appropriate time, or they’re working gap schemes and they’re making sure that they’re getting movement on the down guy, all those things I think to work and to get cohesive and these our guys, here we go. I’m excited to see that.

On defense feeling any pressure to perform…

No, I think our guys are trying to find their identity as well. I think their ability to play straight up, get hands on people, win blocks one-on-one. To be able to sit in a front where ‘Hey, this is us, this is where we’re at, offense knows it, here they come and here we are.’ To be able to win in that type of environment, is where we are really working to improve on. I think some of our success has been movement up front, has been edge pressure up front, has been disguised coverages in the back end. All those things are good, and that’s really the nature of today’s defensive game. But, I do still feel that there come times where they know where we’re at, we know where we’re at, and let’s play this down. And when it gets to that piece, we need to be successful. And that’s still a work in progress.

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Transcript: Dave Aranda previews Baylor's game against TCU

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