Below is the transcript from Jon Embree's weekly press conference on Nov. 6, 2012.
"Arizona presents a unique challenge, a little different defensively than a 3-5-5; so they bring zone pressures from different spots and different angles. Offensively, different kind of spread offense, we don't know obviously what will happen with their quarterback situation, I am sure that will be a game time decision, but whoever Rich [Rodriguez] puts out there will definitely be prepared and they will continue to run their offense as they have been."
On The Quarterback Situation
"No, no update from the standpoint of who it is. We are going to let 5 and 8 compete for it and see between them, and let Jordan sit back and kind of observe some things and see if that will help him some. So it will be between 5 and 8; Nick [Hirschman] and Connor [Wood], so we will see how that goes during the week."
On WR Gerald Thomas
"Yeah, we are trying to have some plays called and dialed up for him and whether we're not able to get him the ball; whether it is sack, pressure or different things like that. But we try to put him into situations where we can get him the football."
On Why Jordan Webb Is Not In The Quarterback Competition
"Well Jordan has won the competitions every week and we just want to get a different look at some guys. Sometimes when you are doing that, when you have competitions like that; especially when you are in that position being a quarterback, sometimes you can learn more and see more when you are on the side watching and kind of seeing what the guys are doing. We will see what 5 and 8 do in practice this week and then make our decision towards the end of the week."
On The Quarterback Situation And The Future
"No, no we are trying to win now, so it doesn't have anything to do with that."
On Webb Transferring His Practice To Games
"There are a lot of different things, a lot of different issues that arise; whether it is the receivers on their routes, whether it is something up front with the line. Part of it is we need to help him make plays; he can be streaky in that if he gets a couple things going on early, he can build off of that. Last week, obviously those things didn't happen."
On The Receivers Getting Separation
"I will just say that we need to be better. We as coaches, we just have to try and find ways to help guys, to help all of them. We have to do that."
On The Quarterbacks Being A Gamer
"I don't believe that really in my heart. I believe all players, you practice like you play. So I don't feel like, just because all of a sudden there are people in the stands and there is a different colored uniform across from you, you become Peyton Manning. It is something that through how you prepare and what you do in practice that determines, I believe, how you will perform on Saturday. But there are always exceptions."
On The Quarterbacks Being Really Good Practice Players
"You will have to ask [quarterbacks coach] Rip [Scherer] on that. They all have their moments, where they are good and bad, it is just trying to get consistency on that position."
On Not Choosing The QB Earlier In The Week
"Well, when it is evident we let that guy know. Like last week after Tuesday's practice we knew it was going to be Jordan, so the rep factor wasn't an issue, we just didn't say anything. I say something but it could happen in that way. There is that issue of guys getting reps, so if somebody runs away with it today, then we will let them have the reps accordingly Wednesday and Thursday and then announce Saturday or Friday."
On Arizona Struggling Defensively This Past Weekend
"No, really what you try to do as a coach is fix what your issues are and sometimes what may have caused their problems, may not be part of what you do as an offense and same vice versa; things that Stanford caused problems with us may not be something that is something that they do. What you have to do as a coach is try and fix your issues, and not necessarily try to tailor and become something different, because they struggled with an offense scheme."
On Prioritizing The Issues
"The first thing that we talked about Sunday with the coaching staff is continuing to simplify and continue to; let's not try to get into running plays. Let's find ways where we can get guys the football that have opportunities to make plays for us within our scheme, and within something that we have done that is not completely new or foreign to them. That is the first thing when addressing some of the issues."
On Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy's Play Calling
"I have talked with our whole offensive staff about some things that I want to do and some things I want to see us do. We have been trying to implement some of that. We will after the season; we will be able to do things accordingly to get things going on that."
On Gerald Thomas Being A Playmaker
"Oh, Yes. I think Gerald gives us a dimension that obviously from a guy that has a chance to do some stuff in the backfield, catch a short pass and take it a long ways, make guys miss, he can do some of that. It is good having a player like that in your offense, and as we continue to build, he will be a part of it. I think when you get a guy like Paul Richardson back where Paul can do some things too, I think they will complement each other, along with other guys that will be here in this program shortly that they will all complement and feed off of each other."
On The Quarterbacks Dealing With The Spread
"They are doing all right. They have been pretty good, I mean we have missed some reads, where they might have been able to keep it and do something, and maybe miss some reads on some throws but I think they have done a good job of it."
On Mending The Team
"There is a decent trail into my office. We have a lot of young kids; they are in situations where they have things going on; being away from home, whether it is family issues, dealing with school. I was with one of them right now walking down the hallway here that was coming in to see me, and I had some kids last week. It is usually three or four a week, they come in, a couple of them are older kids but primarily the younger ones. It is natural and the unique thing about Colorado is that a lot of them are from out of state, so they don't get to go home, they are here all summer, and they hit that wall; and it usually happens mid-October and some of them hit it a little sooner, and some of them a little later but they hit that wall then. They have a lot of demands put on their time, they have us for 20 hours and a lot of them are doing things on their own whether it is watching video then, they will have about 10 hours or more for study table, then they have class and it is a seven day a week deal for them. So they do not get a lot of time just to exhale, then you factor in that they are trying to deal with things going on maybe back home. It is a lot to ask a kid to do and then okay, go out there on Saturday and focus for three and a half hours when they are not used to doing that, I think they all have done a remarkable job. I think they are doing great in the classroom, I think the way they have conducted themselves off the field has been very well, I thought they have done a great job of that. It is not their standard, like [Kenneth] Crawley was shocked that they could complete passes on him, and so then they had some touchdowns, and he gets down a little bit but I think he has played well, I really do and I think Yuri [Wright] too. I think all of those guys that have been in there have played well considering they are freshman, especially the D-linemen; those guys last week, inside guys, are going against full grown men. So they are not where they are going to be from a strength or size wise yet, but I thought they did a good job of holding up. So I just try to be as positive as I can with them, and keep letting them know that eventually they will be the hammer and not the nail."
On The Foundation Of This Program
"Yes it is. I know we have lost one recruit, but it is solid. I don't anticipate us losing any (current) players, I think as we continue to build it and continue in the direction that we are going. Hey, I am disappointed as everybody else about where we are from a record standpoint, I knew it when I took this job it was going to be a process, I didn't think it would be like this, but I knew it was going to be a building process just because of the nature of where the roster was. So as we continue to build our spots; this is the last year that we have to recruit so many guys at certain position. We can start recruiting a little bit normal, in other words; a linebacker, two DB's, and whatever it is rather than this class you are trying to sign three or four linebackers, we might sign five lineman or whatever. You just keep going through it, and a lot of programs don't recruit that way, they don't have to but that is just the nature of what it is for us, and so we went heavy on receivers this year. After that, I think we will have a good base and a good foundation, and that is the beauty of these kids playing and with the guys that are coming back, that they are going to be in a good spot. You look at guys like Brady Daigh, Greg Henderson that played as true freshmen last year and how well they play for us this year. I expect a lot of those guys that are playing for us this year will make those kind of games because a lot of it will be physical growth, in the weight room, a lot of it will be maturity, used to the college game, used to the routine and what is demanded of them off of the field. Once that becomes a routine and their talent will continue to rise."
On The Gray Shirts Helping Out
"I don't think I can technically talk about them because they are technically still recruits, we do have some kids that will be coming in, in January. I think classes start January 14th, so then we can talk about it."
On This Difficult Process
"You know the losing, I just don't like losing and I don't know many people that do that are in this profession, just going through that. Not doing much football because there are other things that you are doing that need to be done, so not getting to be as much football, but that is changing, its changing every day, getting to be a little bit more football. Then just continuing to develop these kids; that has been probably the best part about it, is being around these kids and seeing them grow and starting to flourish and starting to take on. Having guys like Will Pericak, he was in my office last night talking about some stuff, and just knowing how far he has come. That has outweighed the other parts."
On Obstacles He Was Expecting
"I wouldn't say obstacles. When you don't have success, it is the fine line between winning and losing, when you haven't had success understanding the mindset and preparing all of those things. It is new at times, sometimes for kids. You have heard me say, you cannot let results determine how you prepare, and sometimes that does happen, that is human nature. It is just getting that mindset and that culture, creating that culture and environment about competing and about how you prepare and understanding those things determine how you play and perform on Saturday, not how hard and what you do on Saturday. It is more about what you do Monday through Saturday that enables you that opportunity to win."
On Remembering When He Played At Arizona As A Player
"I remember a couple things about that. Coach Mac let us have a movie in our room and so a lot of guys watched more than one movie, and so he threatened that we couldn't play until we paid the bill. As all college athletes, we didn't have any money, so guys were scrambling around payphones, trying to call back and get credit cards to pay the bills and doing all of that. Then we went out there and they had [Chuck] Cecil and Byron Evans, they had some great players, and we went down there and it was a night game. I think we won 14-13. Great game and that kind of set the tone for us that year, and we ended up going to a bowl game and turned it around. So it was a lot of fun, it was crazy because I just remember panicking, 'I am not going to play in this game,' and we are all scrambling trying to get all the bills paid."
On Searching For Something Positive
"As we talk about the fine line between winning and losing and to be able to go and have some success would mean a lot, especially going into these last three games for our seniors. Them trying to finish up on a high note, they have been through a lot as a group. As everybody mentions, they are a small group, I don't know how many came in, in their class but obviously there isn't a lot of them left to go through this, so they have been through a lot and it is our last conference road game, so for them to win two conference road games would say a lot. Obviously playing against a team like Arizona who is playing for bowl eligibility, it would be a good win for them."
On Translating Practice To Games
"Believe me if I knew, I would be selling it. We have tried a lot of different things, we have talked, I thought the locker room was good before the game. It is just something that we have to continue to work at and continue to come out and start fast. I thought our defense started well in the first half, I wouldn't say came out flat. I thought what our defense did in the first half was good. Offensively it is about getting first downs, when you are going three-and-outs, you are not g yourself to get any rhythm."
On The Size Of Stanford
"Yeah I mean they are big, but I think our offensive has some good size too. We just didn't execute."
On Team's Loading The Box Against CU's Offense
"Generally if a team is 85 percent zone, we are getting 85 percent man. They are loading the box and that is one of the things about going with the spread zone read to give us a chance to account for the extra guy. We are getting a good dose of loaded boxed and some line games and some things to take away the run. That is where we have to be better at trying to help the guys on the edge create space and do some stuff."
On The Quarterbacks' Confidence
"They are competitors and as most quarterbacks are, they are the hardest on themselves then coaches and their teammates are because they feel like everybody is looking at them and rightfully so. I am sure they are frustrated at times but I don't get the sense of they are in a give up mode."
On QB Connor Wood's Movement
"Yeah, you don't want a guy that can't move back there, if it isn't [Ben] Roethlisberger, then you want somebody that can move. It is important too because there are some things we want to do, we try to move the pocket, get some spread outs to get them on the edge and so the better you can run, the more pressure you can put on the defense because you become an option. Connor definitely moves a lot better than people would assume because they see his size."
"Every school is unique and what they do from an admissions standpoint, and right now that is a piece that you have to be careful about because we have done a good job of, I think, supporting the athletes that we do have and giving them the opportunity to graduate, we haven't had eligibility issues. When you bring in some kids that cannot do the work, they better play and get out quick. It is not fair to the kid and it is not fair to the team that is always struggling because they don't go to class, it is just compounded. At the end of the day, and I know I am judged by wins, but, at the end of the day I just never want an athlete coming back to me feeling like he was used, that we just brought him in here to try and win some games, sell his jersey and then not have him prepared to be successful in life. I tell kids all of the time in the recruiting process, at some point you are going to be X, and it is my No. 1 job with you is to make sure that you can be successful in life, and I still believe I can do that and still win. The admissions thing, it will take care of itself, I think as we start having success; we are losing some kids to Stanford, we lost four last year, we lost one this year, so those are some of the kids that we are going after. When you have kids that are like that, it frees you up as a head coach to concentrate on more football instead of where is Billy and chasing him and finding him in his dorm or dealing with those issues. It could be a double edge sword, and you just want to make sure they can do the work when they get here because it is not a school where you can go hide. We don't have bowling and some of those things that some other programs have."
On A Quick Turnaround Being Difficult
"Yeah, you can try and go for quick, but I think it is more important to do it right. If you start bringing in a lot of JUCOs and you start disrupting the chemistry of your team and then you are going to have to continually do that. I want to build it with high school players and I want to do it right, and it is not fun right now but I believe it is the right way to do it, and I believe it will happen, we will be better off. When I say we, I mean the University of Colorado will be better off as a program because of that."
On Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder
"I know Bill is a very good coach, and I haven't followed his recruiting side, I do not know what the makeup of his team is but he has done a very good job there. He is a good fit for that University and that community, and they are rolling right now."
On Pulling A Redshirt Off A Quarterback
"Understand this, I look at these kids - and I know some people send me notes about calling them kids, they are the same age as my kids so I'm calling them kids - I wouldn't want someone to do that to my son, and to me that is selfish. That is saying to me that I am trying to win at the expense of someone else's future, development and progress. So I am not doing that."
On DB Parker Orms' Status For The Rest Of The Season
"I don't know... We will sit down and talk about that. I don't know where he is in the procedures that you go about going through when you come back from concussions. I know there is a process you have to go through, no contact working out, and how you respond after rigorous activity. I am not sure where he is in all of that."