Below is the transcript from Jon Embree's weekly press conference on Sept. 18, 2012:
"This coming week we are going to move [offensive coordinator] Eric Bieniemy down to the sidelines to help with some of the younger players and keep getting that side going. You know what he brings, energy and passion. [Assistant head coach] Rip Scherer will stay up, so he will help Eric with the play calling duties, as far as from the passing game and the different things that he sees. We are going to stay the same with the quarterback rotation; right now it will still be Jordan [Webb] and Connor [Wood]. Both of those guys did some good things, some bad, but we will keep doing that, and then keep working Connor in as he continues to earn his reps and continues to improve. That's really it from a personnel standpoint. We will keep Will Perciak outside at defensive end, he is really starting to grow there and being a factor for us. It has allowed us to play the younger guys inside and get them more reps-[Josh] Tupou, [Justin] Solis, and [Tyler] Henington along with Nate [Bonsu]. So we feel good about the four-man rotation in there and with us facing an offense this week that is a spread and pass them around, not having a tight end attached, that will help Will and help us with him being on the edge. As far as injuries, [Ray] Polk will not be back, he is still down unfortunately. Greg Henderson, it looks like he will be able to go so that's good. Gus Handler, probably won't make it, he will be there, but I don't know if he will be able to play. So we will continue to shuffle the offensive line, we will play around with those different combinations. Some of the guys that got in there last week like Stephane Nembot did well, and we want to try and get him going some more. Based on that, it might determine if it's [Daniel] Munyer, or however we do it, as far as an offensive line standpoint. Brad Cotner is out, he ruptured a capsule in his big toe, tough kid. He did it early in the game and played a good portion of the game before he couldn't do it anymore, so we have to calm that foot down. He may be a four or five week guy, so we will see with him. Doug Rippy won't be going this week either. Marques Mosley was nicked up, I think he is going to be able to go, he is a tough kid, great kid; obviously it's important to him, so he will be ready to go."
On Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy Coming Down To The Field
"With it being a young team and trying to help keep those guys going, get them going and energized. Eric feels more comfortable down there, but as a play caller you can see everything from up above, so now that we have been together a year and Rip [Scherer] kind of knows how he thinks and I think. Eric feels like he could help us more being down."
On Rip Scherer Calling The Plays
"What he will be doing is telling Eric what is happening so that Eric can make the calls accordingly, same with if he sees something he will say, 'E.B., run aggie out of this, they are playing three scene.' So that will be kind of it, as opposed to him being next to Eric, writing him notes and doing it, he will be able to relay that information to him."
On The Team's Moral
"I will have met with the entire travel team by two o'clock today. We started last night, went to about 11:15; 10 minute meetings with each player on the travel team, and then I will meet with the rest of the players Wednesday and Thursday. Meeting with these guys, I talked to them about a couple of things; I wanted to let them know I believe in them, and especially as young players you cannot hear that enough. I don't want them to worry, I don't want their confidence shaking, we took a punch and got knocked down, but we are going to get back up. The other thing I talked to them about is that I have been in their situation, as a player and as a coach, and we can get out of it. It's one play at a time, its one game at a time, and then I wanted to know how they are feeling. There is a bunch of resolve in that locker room. Those players are anxious; they are excited to get going back to work, to practice. They realize they have worked and done a lot of work and they are not seeing the fruits of their labor right now, but they know that it is going to happen. It has been as good for me to talk to them as it's been for them to talk to me; it's been a two-way street. I just shared with them some ideas and kind of how we are going to get out of this/ I'm not going to share that, but it's been a great response and I am excited to practice today; actually, I can't wait to go. At two o'clock will be my last meeting, as far as the travel squad, and then I will meet with all of the other players. By Thursday at some point I will be done with my meetings."
On His Experience With an Offensive Coordinator Down On The Field
"Kyle was down on the field, Shanahan, so I was there with him. In Kansas City, there it was up. When I was at UCLA, it was up and down. I have been around both. When you are upstairs for a coach it is a, this is my own personal feel, is that it's better from the standpoint of; there is no noise, it's just you, it's like you are watching tape. You can see everything you can make your calls and do what you need to do. My first year at UCLA, as the passing game coordinator and doing stuff, it was such a difference of when I was up then when I was down as far as, 'Hey, do this, run this.' You don't have the emotion of the game, it's like you are a surgeon, you are doing things that way. As we all know with Eric, unfortunately I guess, the press boxes aren't big enough for him, he is all over the place up there. With him having some young backs, and with some of the youth on that side of the ball, he wants to be down there where he can look in their eyes and talk to them and get a feel for things."
On Translating Practice To Games
"This group of players, they are pleasers. That is one thing about this team, they are pleasers. I think at times when you are that kind of person, you want to try and do it perfectly, you don't want to make a mistake, you don't want to do some stuff. And when you do that, you make mistakes and things arise. Part of it is relaxing and understanding, you don't play a perfect game and you still win, and understanding about focusing and getting in on the next play. That's probably our number one issue when it goes bad. To me, a good player is when you make a mistake, you have a bad play, it doesn't turn into two, three or four bad plays, and that's what happened to us Saturday. They had five one play drives, because they are thinking about the drive before when they gave up a play, instead of just focusing on the next play. That happens at times when you are new at doing something, but we have got to learn to move on and focus on the next play, and that is one of the things we talked about. We, meaning me and the players, have been doing individual meetings about ways to try and combat that."
On Veterans vs. New Guys
"There is a guy (former CU head football coach Bill McCartney) in the room that reminded me of when I was a young player, how resilient you are when you are young. I think that is why going through these meetings with these guys about their resolve, about their going to make it right, that it is going to turn. It works both ways, sometimes you can mope, and then you have some guys that can just forget, and we need to get more guys that understand that. Part of that is picking that guy up, part of it is ten guys coming up to him and saying, 'Hey, don't worry, we got you, lets get the next one,' you cannot do it by yourself. So it is a combination of things and it's been a learning experience for them each game. It's been three very unique games to say the least, on how we've lost. The one thing that has not changed about these guys is their resolve and their determination."
On Outsiders Upset With Results
"I would call someone that was in the program and ask them, that is what I would do. I understand why people are upset, that is fine. It is what it is on that, but that doesn't change what I have to do, it doesn't change how I go about and prepare everyday, it doesn't change how I interact with these kids and how they go and prepare. I have been through it as a player and a coach, and everybody that has coached and played has at some point. One of the things I talked about with the players is about struggle, we have all struggled to get to certain points in our lives and the ones that have been successful, in other words keep obtaining things, are people that don't listen to crowd noise, are people that believe in themselves, are people that compete and fight. There are people that told me I couldn't play college football, so do I listen. I'm sure there are people that have told you, you couldn't do some things right, what did you do? Did you listen? My kids, all my players who have played for me, whether if they are in the NFL now, whether they are in business, they are fathers, whether they are on the team or if they are my kids, they are looking and I'm going make sure they see the right thing."
On Bringing Bieniemy's Enthusiasm To The Bench
"That is some of it, and two; it's about having fun. We get in the games and because the lights are on, they get so robotic and their passion and their fun and all of their hard work, that's when you are supposed to have fun, and we are not doing that. That is something we need to do, we need to have fun. Part of fun is winning, but we were also winning in two of those games; 14-4 and 14-0, but yet it wasn't that, 'Let's have fun.' So that is something I will address and talk with the team, I have talked with them individually, but just some things that we are going to talk about, different ways and some different things to go about doing that, and we will see if it translates to Saturday. That is where the frustration is with the players because you can ask any of them, they will tell you about how hard they have prepared and how hard they have worked doing the right things, and they are just not seeing the results, not yet, they will see the results. That is where the frustration comes in with those kids, but at the same time, and we talked about this as a staff; they are going to continue to see us prepare, when they come by the office at 8:30, nine o'clock at night, the parking lot will be full because we will still be in there grinding. I left last night around 11:30, and there were four or five coaches still there working. So they are going to see that, just because you hit a wall or a roadblock, doesn't mean you stop preparing, it doesn't mean you succumb to it. You fight and you find a way to knock it down, and that's what we will do."
On The Quarterback Rotation on Saturday
"We will stay with the same rotation for Saturday; we will start with Jordan [Webb]. Jordan had some opportunities early; we missed one with a drop which would have helped us. But I thought he did a good job of coming back, he forced that one and obviously that turned into six for the other team. I thought he handled it well when he came out and was still supportive of his teammates. Connor [Wood] came in and he did some good things too, he threw the ball around, had a couple of miscalls here and there but that is to be expected on your first time out there. You come out there and the scoreboard is not exactly lending itself to helping you, but I thought he did well and then he threw a ball late and that resulted in a bad play for us. But other than that, I thought they both played well. We are a team that needs to run the ball and we are trying to do some things. When you go down 28-0 like that, you have to get away from it. And we are not a team, as you all know watching us; we can't just drop back and throw it. When the defense can come at you and drop exotic blitzes on you and do whatever because they are playing with 'House Money,' so to speak, and we are not equipped to play like that. But I thought those guys handled it well, I thought they handled the situation and circumstances well."
On Different Plans For This Week
"We are going to keep evolving, and pushing and doing some things. Really right now, it is about playing better from the mistake and assignment standpoint. So adding new schemes and wrinkles will just make it worse, so we will continue to streamline and to get it to where we can play fast and better from a mistake standpoint."
On Starting Fresh With The Pac-12
"I haven't said anything about it, but a lot of guys have said that in their meetings, they talked about it is a fresh season, it is a fresh opportunity. That is good that it's coming from them. Their genuinely upbeat about going out and practicing today and getting going. Four o'clock, we will be out there."
On Washington State Coach Mike Leach
"The thing that helps you with what they do, it's late in the game and his four minute offense is still throwing it. It can give you a chance, they are playing well though and they are starting to click. For the quarterbacks, he's been going back and forth about the quarterbacks, but the receivers stepped up and are helping those guys, it will be a fun game. Mike is a real good guy, he makes the Pac-12 coaches meetings real entertaining, very smart man. I think people underestimate how smart he is, he has a great mind and a very good football mind. He will be a guy that when you go against him, you have to be assignment conscience because if not, he'll find it and exploit it."
On The Young Players Confidence
"Well their confidence has been good. I will use Marques Mosley for an example, he hurt his knee early in the second quarter and then he continued to play, and then at halftime it stiffened up on him pretty good-he had an MCL, and he went back out there and he wasn't supposed to be out there. So I had to call a timeout to get him off the field. And he was crying, he was upset, because it's important to him. And there are a lot of guys like him, that it's important. I feel like we've done a very good job from a recruiting standpoint at finding guys that football is very important to them. And you find out when you're hurt how important it is to you, are you going to take a shot, or are you going to do whatever it is you have to do? Marques is one of those guys that if he's breathing, he's playing. Talked to him last night, he was one of those guys; we talk about the young kids, out of all the freshmen that play, there were 18 guys in that game that played and it was either their third game or five games or less that they have played at that position or played period. I was thinking all 18 of them, they have all been in, and I don't worry about those guys. I really don't because I know it's important to them. And it's an impressive group, there is a lot of talent with those kids, and there is a lot of competitiveness and want to, and that has spread to some other guys. We have really, as I've looked at it, in our two-deep, there is really eight to nine guys that play for us that are juniors or seniors. To have that group, that young group with that kind of resolve, that kind of competitiveness, that kind of attitude, that helps you sleep at night. You know when they get a little bit older, lookout. What is it going to be like when Yuri Wright, Kenneth Crawley and Marques Mosley are juniors? It will be something. Those guys have been great, I really don't worry about those guys, I really don't. It's more the older guys because this is the hand they've had for four years, five years. It's those guys that are my biggest concern."
On If Penalties Became A Problem Because It Was A Road Game
"No, it was frustration. I think we had three personal fouls, we had a couple offsides that might have been due to crowd noise, but we practice with that every day. I am not going to call out names, but a couple of guys, it was literally their first play ever. Now that doesn't make it right. The personal fouls were frustration fouls from kids being frustrated with the way the game was going. Now if we have those continued issues next week, then yeah, but I felt good about how we have really been since about the fifth game last year on. I feel like we've been very good. We had the Utah issue, and they did it again the other day. But what they do is they call out cadence and they try to get you to jump and they do stuff, and that's what happened to us there. But I feel like we've done well as far as minimizing those kinds of issues. And same with turnovers, that was our first game where we really were out of 'whack' turning the ball over. We had done a pretty decent job protecting it."
On Bringing in Junior College Players Next Year
"There are a couple things about junior college players. One, it is a little difficult getting them into our school; you know P.E. (physical education) is an issue. And there was a guy that once told me that junior college players can disrupt your locker room. That when you're building a team, when guys grow together, when they go through experiences together, that is what helps mold your team. When you bring a guy in from the outside that means you have to play him right away, and you got to be careful about doing that because that could disrupt the chemistry of your team. And the guy that told me that is going to be speaking after this (former CU head football coach Bill McCartney), so maybe he can expand a little more. I know he thought I never listened to him when he was talking to me all those years as a player and as a coach, but I listened."