BOULDER – University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins held his Florida State week press luncheon Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center, previewing Saturday's game against with the Seminoles. The following are quotes from the session:
Head Coach Dan Hawkins
On Florida State Naming a Starting Quarterback—“It doesn’t really change much; I’m sure that they’ll probably prepare to use a couple of guys anyway, regardless.”
On Florida State’s Offense—“They have a ton of talent and a ton of speed. They’re just trying to get everybody on the same page. Anytime you break in a new quarterback or quarterbacks there’s going to be some issues there. I know they’re a little younger up front, but they have a ton of talent. They’re just working hard on getting everybody on the same page and we know how that feels.”
On the Numerous Florida State Players Coming Back from Suspension—“They’re obviously very talented, that’s why they were starting in the first place. The guys they’ve had playing are very good, so I think that will give them an emotional boost and a little bit of a chemistry that way, to get some of the guys back in the fold.”
On Playing in Jacksonville, Florida, As Opposed To Tallahassee, Florida—“It’s like playing our game at Invesco, you go where they tell you to go and you play there. I’m sure it will still be a great environment for them and basically a home game for them.”
On How Last Year’s Game Against Florida State Will Help Colorado This Year—“You can have a lot of those instances and be very close and never seal the deal, so that’s a lot of it for us is being able to complete the assignment . We’ll see how we do in that arena. Clearly, not to say we should have won the game, because I don’t think that’s the case, but did we have some opportunities to do some things? Yeah, we did. But again, part of that is due to how good they were.”
On What He Learned About His Team After Last Year’s Game Against Florida State—“When you have some young guys, you obviously have to have some trials by fire, and they have to learn that they can play with people and even though teams are extremely talented and well coached, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be in the same arena and the opportunity to win a football game. That being said, the margin for error is very small and that’s something that they need to grasp as well.”
On Using a Bunch of Offensive Formations—“You have all of the experts out there who want you to line up and do this or line up and do that, but as we continue to grow the package you have to be able to be multiple enough that you can get some things done, but simple enough that people know what they’re supposed to do. As we continue to push the envelope there’s always going to be a few of those, but we’re continuing to try and find ways to eliminate that as best we can.”
On Colorado’s Strength of Schedule—“I’ve been in a situation for so long where you don’t really have that kind of control or that kind of input. Your mind doesn’t even really think in those terms. We’re excited to play Florida State, Bobby Bowden is a great guy, a great coach, and they’re a great program. It will be a great venue, and from that standpoint, we look at this as a great opportunity. I’m not in the mindset thinking about who we would rather have in there. I do know that it’s great for our program to be on a national stage and play [on television] from basically Florida to Hawaii. I think it’s great for the university and great for our program, and great for our school; I definitely think that’s a big plus.”
On making it to 500 games like Coach Bowden—“I think if you added up every basketball, baseball, softball, rec. league, every game I have ever been in, I think it would probably add up to about 300. It’s an amazing feat. I’m one of those guys who never says never, but I think as the years go on, you’re going to see that become very hard to do anymore, I really do.”
On The “Shelf Life” Of College Football Coaches Changing—“It is in the blood, but I’ve said this before, one of the things that has changed over the years is that there is so much scrutiny and so much attention on coaches and programs now. Part of that is what makes college football awesome, but eventually people get tired of your offense, they get tired of your recruiting, you get tired of the press conferences, ‘we want a new face’, ‘we want new jokes’; that’s just the nature our society. It’s not enough anymore, I think, for a coach to do a good job, because eventually those parameters change. What’s good? ‘Well this guy can’t go undefeated; this guy can’t win us a national championship’. Look at some of the programs in the recent past that have gotten rid of some pretty good coaches because they can’t quite get to where they think they ought to be, and look at them now; they aren’t even close to where they were before. But I think that’s the nature of society. I’ve joked about how [the hit Broadway production] ‘Cats’ got cancelled, they took ‘M.A.S.H.’ of the air; things get old in a hurry now and people aren’t comfortable with things staying the same. That’s why I don’t think you’re going to see a head coach be around for 30 or 35 years at the same school. People just get tired of it. If you talk to Coach Bowden or Coach (Joe) Paterno, it is way different than it was before. Teams that are going 10-2, you’re not saying ‘Well, that guy does a good job, runs a clean program.’ People are saying, ‘Why can’t you be 12-0? We want someone that can be 12-0, someone who can win a national championship.’ Think about even through Coach Bowden’s tenure there for a while, he had a hard time winning a national championship, and then he got one. I just think the shelf life is not going to be 35 years anymore.
Sometimes I talk to guys around here about some of the stuff that we want to do, and they think ‘Yeah, in 15 years.’ 15 years? A long time for a football coach is three years; that’s a long time. When they talk about future plans, I’m thinking next year; and that’s just the nature of it.”
On Going To A Nike Function In Aruba, During His Time At Boise State—“When you first go to any of those venues you’re obviously very stunned, because there’s all the icons of college football; you’re not sure whether you should leave or to get someone a drink or ask for an autograph. We were on a boat and I was looking around. Bobby Bowden said, ‘What are you looking at?’ I said that I was just looking around at all of these guys, thinking what in the heck am I doing here? He just said, ‘Hey, you’re one of the boys now.’ I looked over at Misti going, ‘I’m one of the boys!’ I think Joe Paterno was on that trip, Urban Meyer was too; it’s kind of like a who’s who of coaches. Like I said, I was going, ‘What am I doing on the boat? Maybe I’m supposed to be scrubbing the deck or something, I don’t know.”
On If He Feels He “Belongs” On That Boat Now—“I don’t know. There’s a guy there that has 500 games, I’m still a long ways away. I think I still need to be scrubbing the deck.”
“I think in terms of maturity wise and his assertiveness, he’s definitely ahead. I think he might be trying to push a little more than he was last year. Also, we’re not as experienced to some degree with everyone else around him; so it’s a little bit of a trade off in each area. Sometimes there is that tendency when you come out and play pretty well, then you think, ‘Okay, I’m going to make this play and get this done.’ Really having trust in the process and focus in the process, letting that air itself out is important.”
On Rewarding Aric Goodman with a Scholarship—“I just announced it to the team. He kicked the game winner and kicked himself a scholarship. I actually had our guys draw up the papers some time ago, just because you figure if the guy is your starting kicker and he starts having some pretty good moments, than he probably deserves a scholarship. We’ve put a lot of guys on here that were walk-ons who are doing a great job and we want to definitely continue that tradition. He definitely deserved it, so we gave it to him.”
On Recruiting In the State of Florida—“We’re going to continue to keep recruiting down there; there’s a lot of players down there. It’s always just about finding the right guy, the right fit. Sometimes you find the guy who wants a change, he wants to do something different, he wants to get out of the box, wants to see another part of the world. Every kid is different; some definitely want to stay home, they like it or there’s family there, or comfort level, whatever it is. So it’s just about finding that right kid that says, ‘Yeah, I’m looking for change and I want to go; I like Colorado and I like what you guys are all about.’”
On Young Players Being Star-Struck When Playing Florida State—“I don’t think so, and I think that’s the benefit of playing the schedule that we play; playing in Invesco, playing on television, playing West Virginia. We always talk about just having your ‘A’ game on in life everyday, and the way they look at it is that it’s just Colorado football. We’re going to travel, play on the national stage, play the good team; they just look at it as being Colorado football.
On The Fine Line Between Being Multiple And Being Simple—“It’s very hard, because you have to keep pushing the envelope to get in things you feel you need to, in order to be successful; but also, they have to be able to handle it. You’re always just trying to be on the edge there.
On Rodney Stewart’s Playing Time Against West Virginia and the Other Tailbacks—“He was hot and doing well, he was in rhythm and making some good runs; his confidence level was up and he stayed with it. The ultimate scenario is that we have all of those guys working in there a little bit. As Darrell (Scott) continues to get confidence and his body is good to go, his mind is good to go, you’re going to see him have some unbelievable days. I still think there’s a role and a place in there for Kevin (Moyd) and Demetrius (Sumler).”On Darrell Scott—“His potential is obviously off the charts and I think he’s definitely getting there. He needs to have a couple of breakthrough moments and I think he’s gotten close before, but he just needs to string a few of those together. I think it’s a combination of the whole mental and physical confidence thing coming together.”