Below is the transcript for Jon Embree's press conference on Nov. 15, 2011:
On Whether He Has Any Second Thoughts About Predicting A Win Versus UCLA
"No. Our guys expect to win and they expect to win every week. I don't get caught up in that. I know what Tyler (Hansen) said and what they said in the locker room and I'm sure they say the same thing every week, each team thinks they are going to win and it is no different here. We think we are going to win this week, we thought we are going to win last week and think we are going to win in the future. It has to be a mindset that you think you are going to win every time you are out there. You have to expect that you are going to win. Every time you go out there and are competing for something. That is the first step in being able to win, believing that you can."
On If He Is Seeing Anything Particular From His Team To Think His Team Can Beat UCLA
"No, I say it every week that we are going to win. I do like how we are playing, we are playing better. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that we have continuity, our skill guys are back, our line is playing together and starting to figure some stuff out and making adjustments during the game and stuff that we might not have necessarily talked to them about - now they are communicating and getting to the point where they are doing that well. And defensively, I thought that was our best game communication wise. I've been hammering those guys to communication and over communicate, and there were four or five great examples - one, Jon Major, we had a blitz coming and he let (David) Goldberg know that he had the back if the back did a swing route. Goldberg and him made eye contact and acknowledged it and it happened and Goldberg was there to make a fortunate completion. Things like that earlier in the season weren't happening. We gave up a big play to Cal right before half because the defense didn't communicate the call. I think all of those factors are a reason why we are playing better."
On If It Is Wise To Make A Guarantee At A Press Conference
"I don't know. First off, I guarantee Taylor (Embree) said something to them about me saying that we are going to go in there and win, and he has guaranteed that they will beat us, now are we going to play any harder? It does not change how teams are going to play. Rick Neuheisel wants to beat Jon Enbree's behind in anything we do. It goes back to doing hoops when he was here as an assistant. I don't expect it to change. There is not a coach in America that goes into a game not thinking his team is going to win. Whether it is said in the locker room, whether it is said publicly, to me it doesn't change."
On If This Team Is Taking On The Character Of The Head Coach
"I do feel like it is starting to do that. I do believe as a position coach and as a player, that your players reflect you and I do see that in our team. They are having fun now. We had a timeout right before the first touchdown and Ethan Adkins told me that when they score, they are all going to get together and do this dance called the 'Bernie' from Weekend at Bernie's. I said, 'Alright, you better score,' and they did and they did their thing and they did it in a way that it wasn't an excessive celebration and got off the field. For them to come and say that to me and some of the things like that, that was how I was like as a player and as a person. I'm out there and I want to let you know what we are going to do and then I want to do it. That is just how I am. I believe in reaching success and obtaining things, you have to say it. If you want to win a championship, then you have to say, 'I expect us to win a championship,' and then you have to go and do it. I think every team that has done it and has had that success, that is what they have done. You don't just sit there and sneak up and get in after the fact. If you believe in something so strongly that you say it, then all of your actions that you do from that point forward have to be to get success in those goals."
On Other Coaches He Has Been Around That Have Been Out Front Like He Is
"Mac was like that from a certain extent. If there were cameras and microphones everywhere like there is today, you would have seen that from Mac. Rick (Neuheisel) is like that. And then I have been around individual athletes that have been like that."
On How Much Contact He Has Had With UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel Over The Years
"A lot. Last time I talked to him this year was after their Cal game. We talked about Taylor coming back, that was after the suspensions and all of that, just talked about that and wished him good luck for the rest of the season."
On Rick Neuheisel Being On The Hot Seat At UCLA
"I don't really put any stock into that. Rick is a survivor, he always has been. I'm not worried about all of that stuff around that. Having been at that program for three years, there are a lot of things behind the scenes that go into some of things around there, too. I know this, Rick is going to have those guys ready to go this week and he will have those guys ready to go the next week against the Trojans. All that stuff, I don't really think about it."
On His Scouting Report Of UCLA WR Taylor Embree
"He is a physical receiver. he likes to go across the middle, he likes to work the inside of the field. Him and Nelson (Rosario), his roommate, they are good on the 50-50 balls, so if you throw it up there, they win most of those battles. He loves to block and get after you."
On If Taylor Gets Those Traits From Him
"All those traits come from his mother. His temper and all of those things, strictly from Natalyn."
On If Taylor Considered Playing At CU After He Graduated From UCLA
"No. Maybe for a fleeting moment, but from him, he came in with a lot of those guys, he, Nelson (Rosario), Tony Dye, a lot of those guys came in together and they have a really unique bond, Nate Chandler, they really do. It is a good group. I went out there for their graduation and I took a picture with all of those guys and it was funny just to see how they interact in that group picture. They really do have a special bond, it is very similar to our group here, because they have been through some things too. They haven't had the success that they have wanted to. Just seeing all of those guys together and the feeling of accomplishment when you get your degree is something special, especially with athletes. A lot of times athletes are labeled like school is secondary and they are not here to do this, but for an athlete to go and get their degree, it says a lot about them because there is so much put on their time, so many demands. A lot of times they have to do stuff when they don't feel good physically. I don't know how many students have to take a test two days after they had reconstructive surgery on something. There are a lot of things that they have to do to earn that degree. There is definitely a great sense of accomplishment when you are around all of those guys when they do that. He staying there and finishing with those guys was important."
On The Similarities Between CU and UCLA
"I look back at my times at UCLA fondly. We were part of their fifth 10-win season ever in 2005 and we had six comebacks for the ages. Every time you did one you thought you can't top it and then something crazy would happen the next week and you would find a way. It is a special place. UCLA is a unique place, it is similar to Colorado in a lot of ways from recruiting, from administration, and from different things like that."
On Why The Rose Bowl Is So Special
"I grew up always wanting to play in that bowl game. When you go, there is something about it, the turf is always perfect and you have the mountains in the background, there is something about growing up and wanting to be a part of that game. I remember EB (offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy) and I, the first game we played in there and we were like, 'I can't believe we are playing in the Rose Bowl.' That added to my disappointment when we didn't get in to play Miami in 2001. Besides the fact that that was the national championship, but then the fact that it was in the Rose Bowl, I still really haven't gotten over it. The history of it, there is just not a better bowl out there and I haven't had the chance to be a part of it, but I'm telling you, when we get that opportunity, can't wait."
On The UCLA Offense
"They run the pistol, they run the ball, they do a good job of doing a little misdirection. I think (QB) Kevin Prince is playing well running it. Last week, Utah contained him a little bit, but before that, he had done a good job of running the ball. That is kind of how they base their offense. Defensively, they are good up front, they get after you, they are physical in the back end. We have to have an effort like we had last week if we are going to win this one."
On If UCLA's Run Game Is A Concern
"Yeah because that is what they do the best. Any team you play, like last week, the pass game is what they (Arizona) did the best, you have to try and take away their strengths if you are going to have success. They (UCLA) have a good one-two punch and if you don't stop that, then you are in trouble."
On If He is More Confident With His Secondary
"Those pieces are coming together and getting guys back. Some of the issues we had back there was communication also. (Anthony) Perkins did a great job in getting guys lined up and then when we went down and we had younger guys in there, then all of sudden (Ray) Polk was done, we had some problems with that from a communication standpoint. That is significantly better now that those guys are back."
On If He Expects DB Anthony Perkins Back
"I hope he is. We'll see. At the time of the injury, he probably wasn't going to play anymore."
On WR Paul Richardson's Injury
"P-Rich, he should be cleared to go tomorrow. He got dinged a little."
On Doing The 'Dougie' Dance After A Win
"It was interesting. How that came about is that I was meeting with the seniors in the offseason about different things and just trying to get to know them. I asked each senior what they thought they did better than anyone else on the team. When I asked Speedy (Rodney Stewart), he said dance. So then I immediately said that I want you to teach Curtis Cunningham how to do the 'Dougie' and every time we win, he has to do the 'Dougie.' That is something that the guys look forward to and then other guys get up there and dance and do all that. That is something that we do that is fun and goofy."
On If He Has Lost any Confidence In PK Will Oliver
"No, I think the wind got him on the one missed extra point. I think the world of the kid and he came up in pregame and told me that he could go 70-yards going one way and I was just laughing because in my mind, we were going for it a lot anyways because of the way the wind was. I was saying to myself, 'I don't know if you will be kicking any field goals today son,' but let him go out there and do what he does. I haven't lost any confidence in Will."
On If Will Oliver Has Lost Any Confidence In Himself
"No, he seems to be good and we've done some stuff to try and make it harder on him in practice. He's been responding. He is a resilient kid."
On If TB Rodney Stewart Can Play In The NFL
"Yup, because they didn't think he could play in college. That is what he does, he proves people wrong. I think Rodney can. He would be a heck of a special teams player for us in the coverage if we had a different situation with our depth issue. He will make somebody's team, I really believe that. He is a physical pass blocker and obviously him out in space catching the ball and doing all of that. I don't know how much (New Orleans Saints running back Darren) Sproles weighs, but those are similar size type guys. So if he gets with the right team, he has a unique skill set that will allow him a chance to play on Sundays."
On Why We Haven't Seen More Big Games From WR Paul Richardson
"I think right after his big game (against Cal), he really pressed against CSU. That was some opportunities and unfortunately he had some drops. Then he got hurt and I think he is still getting his legs back underneath him and getting within the flow of things. A lot of quarterback and receiver relationship is actually getting out there and doing the timing. I think you see the timing and the rapport that Tyler (Hansen) has with 7 (Toney Clemons) now. With him and Toney because they threw all the time why he (Richardson) was out. A lot of times you ask for a guy to throw in spots and when you are doing things and if 6 is indecisive at all or people are rolling coverage in a certain way and is coming off of it quick and going to his other options. I think it is a combination of factors. I would love for him to have - as I'm sure he would - to have another breakout game this weekend against UCLA and going back home. It is not a lost skill or confidence with him, it is just getting your legs back - especially when you are talking about a knee injury with a receiver and the kind of player he is and if he is thinking about it at all. I know he will say he is, but he is not 100 percent. I think all of those factors played into it and why he hasn't followed up those games with other big games."
On Having Paul Richardson On The Field
"It keeps people off of 7 (Toney Clemons). I think it helps 5 (Rodney Stewart) run the ball. It still gives us a deep threat. The ball that Tyler threw to Toney down in the corner, what we call double-go, and if you watch that on tape, P-Rich made the corner fall down, but as a quarterback you have to go up and pre-snap look and take a side. You can't flip sides of the field. He threw it and Toney made a great catch. That showed me that he still has that explosiveness and ability to get down the field. I think after that, I think guys were getting a little softer on them, because anytime - especially if you are that DB - and that guy put a move on you and you fell down."
On What Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy Has Done Better The last Few Games
"One was getting his playmakers back, that makes it easier. The other thing is just getting more comfortable up there (in the booth) and seeing things. There is always an adjustment from going from the field to the box and you see things and want to do certain things. I think it is a combination of all of those things. We really have gotten better each week in that department and everybody finding their rhythm."
On If Eric Bieniemy Had Any Reservations About Going Upstairs
"No. I think once he decided that that would be the best thing to do before Hawai'i, he has never looked back. He has never said, 'Hey, I am going to come down this week or maybe switch.' He has never blinked and I think he enjoys it up there."
On Confidence Bieniemy Has Because He Overruled Him in Rodney Stewart's Touchdown Throw
"He jokingly calls me Al Davis. What happened on that series is that I told him that I wanted to throw it deep three plays in a row, not throw it, but throw it deep three plays in a row. That was kind of the gist of the conversation. We threw it, we got down there, we were doing it and I expected us to throw and take a shot into the end zone, so I didn't even hear the play call because I was talking to Brownie (defensive coordinator Greg Brown) about something and then I clicked back over and then I saw he threw it. Probably if I would have heard it, I would have been like, 'No, let's take a shot with so-and-so.' That was a great call, set up how he wanted, it was on the proper hash, all of those different things that you need to go into some of these plays that you want to run and it was a touchdown."
On Why It Makes Him Like Al Davis
"Because Al Davis always says throw the ball deep. That is why he jokingly calls me Al Davis because I am always about trying to push the ball downfield."
On QB Connor Wood
"Connor has done a good job in running the scout team. He has done a good job of giving us a good look. We went through that stretch where five of the last six quarterbacks are high picks, a couple top ten picks and a couple of other guys that could be selected in the first round and he did a good job of giving us a good look, especially getting the ball in some tight windows, tight spaces. He has been a good teammate. I'm excited to see him and Nick (Hirschman) compete this spring and into camp to see who our quarterback will be."
On If Any Of The Redshirt Freshmen Are Turning Heads
"Stephane Nembot, he has been very physical. Austin Vincent is doing a good job down there, same with (Nelson) Spruce. Malcolm Creer was doing a great job, that is why we ended bringing him up when the injury happened. On the other side, Jermane Clark has done well. We haven't had a chance to have Sherrard Harrington to practice. Those are the guys the immediately jump out from the top of my head that has really done well for us. Most everyone else is playing."
On How Nick Kasa's Transition To Tight End
"Nick Kasa is picking it up. He is pretty natural at it. He does a good job in the run game, he can run and catch. He has done well and he is a smart kid so he has picked up the terminology and his assignments, so I'm excited. It will be good for him to have a spring to complete the transition."
On Trying To Enjoy The Moment Of Playing His Son At The Rose Bowl
"I always enjoy gameday. There are no 10 minute meetings from anybody or anything, it is just football. It is being with the players, being around them. Gameday is awesome. I'll enjoy it, trust me. All the (other) factors just heighten your enthusiasm and excitement. I enjoy every game day, I really do. The anticipation of how your team is going to play. The anticipation of certain guys stepping up and making plays play into it."
On What It Will Be Like To Try And Find Ways To Shut Down His Son On The Field
"As we get going in the game, I really don't pay attention to particular players, so I don't know how that will be. I'm on the headsets a lot conversing about certain situations coming up. I'm not really in-tuned of what is going on out there from a personnel standpoint, to me it is more situational football and trying to help the coaches with some of the things that I think might be happening or if I see a player that is out there that is struggling, getting him out and getting someone else. I'm trying to do that stuff."
On If He Will Notice His Son On The Field
"I'm sure at times, but I stand at the other end and I am trying to get a beat on things from formations and down and distance."
On If He Has Talked To Taylor This Week
"I talked to him last night, see how he was doing. Like his mom, he takes losing hard, making sure he was good; have a good week of practice and be ready to get after it. It is the same thing that I tell him every week. I'll talk to him on Friday night and I'll tell him to play fast, play physical, and go have fun. Just because it is us, you can still go have fun and play fast and play physical."
On Having P Darragh O'Neill Not Attempting Rugby Punts
"That will be something that we will handle in the offseason. Part of it is what we have to do in certain situations because of what we do in the protection. It is easy when you are in section 108 to say never do it again, but you have spent all this time, so you can't just jump into a different boat right now. That is something that we will evaluate and see what we can do to remedy that."
On Darragh O'Neill Still Having A Good Season
"Yeah, he's had a real good season. I'm not down on Darragh. It just happened, it was like slow motion too."
On The Rugby Punts Being Kicked Low
"We would like it to be executed differently. Unfortunately, we aren't able to do that sometimes. That isn't his (Darragh O'Neill's) fault, that is Jon Embree's fault. That is on me. Two more games and then we'll see if we can get that fixed."
On What He Wants To See From His Team In The Final Two Games
"I want to see them continue to play with the passion and energy and enthusiasm as they have played with the last couple of weeks. The USC game, we just couldn't consistently sustain it. I want to see them continue to play that way because that is how we have to be every game next year. I want to see them do that. I want to see those kids continue to have success and have fun. I think they are having fun. Just finish this thing right, end the streak and see if we can start a road win streak and leave behind - just like how this road losing streak has been an anchor - put that on next year's team and, 'Hey, there is a two-game road win streak that you have to uphold,' and try and build it in that manner and get kids to think that way. I talk about expecting to win, go in there and expect to win. Understanding, 'Hey, Tyler Hansen, Josh Hartigan, all of these guys left us a road win streak, let's keep it going.'"
On DE David Goldberg
"He is having a great senior year, but he also had a really good spring. I think that is one of the things when you come in as the new coach and there are no expectations, you don't know anyone, and guys go out there and get to show you what they are capable of and what they can do. He played well enough that he earned a scholarship. He has been a good playmaker for us. He does a lot of things that don't show up in the box score, like peeling on the blitz or holding edge and forcing the ball back inside to help. He does a lot of good things like that. He is playing better with his hands. He gets pressure as a pass rusher. I'm happy for him because it is important to him, it is. He has earned everything he has got, no doubt."