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First 2015 Media Luncheon Notes

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"We're back at it!" No, really, he said that...to start off the 2015 season of weekly press conferences! Great! Coach covers Central Michigan, some good stuff about the RB situation, raves about the defense, talks unis, and gives some great kick-off-the-season, opening volley, Gundy-isms!

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Gundy's Inaugural 2015 Presser

Opening Thoughts

  • "We're excited about moving forward. We're in a good situation right now."
  • "(Kevin) Peterson ought to be back out there Sunday. He's doing very well. He'll play if he feels good."
  • "(Brandon) Shepherd had a dislocated finger, but he'll be back up running Sunday or Monday."

On Central Michigan

  • "It's a long way up there." Ah, the season of Gundy quotes is upon us!
  • "Returning quarterback's (Cooper Rush) a good player. Have to be concerned about a team with a good quarterback. Quarterbacks control games."
  • "They have a new coach, a relatively new running back. But, there's still a lot of uncertainty. We expect to see a similar offense to what they ran last year." (See the Mothership's coverage here.)
  • "In 3 or 4 days, we'll be ready; but, I wish we had 3 more weeks." Such confusion confidence!

On the Defense

  • Coach was asked if this could "potentially" be the best defense he's had since returning as HC: "I think ‘potentially' is a good word. I like where we're at. We have some depth, some experience. We run pretty well. This could be a good unit."
  • When asked why he thought they'd be better: "Heard people say, ‘They struggled last year, it's the same guys, why should they be any better?' We all get better at what we do. They've developed their bodies. They've played some games on the road. They understand the heat of the battle."
  • Then, there was something along the lines of, "That's a good rap song right there." Apparently someone's phone went off. Did I mention I love it that Mike's back!?!
  • "This group has more experience, that's why we're thinking positively." Then, to conclude the oddness, apparently another phone went off - "There's a lot going on in here: rap songs, trains...sound like cell phones at a daycare!" Just...!!!!
  • Asked about questions answered from 4 weeks ago: "First concern was the defensive tackle spot. Got 2 guys playing there (Maile and Taylor - see this for the full depth chart) who have never played at this level. But, they've had a real good preseason camp. Like their attitude, but have no clue what they'll do in a game."

On the O-Line

  • "I feel better about them than I did, but they're not where we were the years we were winning 11-12 games."
  • "(Brad) Lundblade is doing well. He needs to be up to 290 or so. Moving Paul (Lewis) from center to guard."
  • "I know we're better. It's hard to evaluate our tackles because of Ogbah. He just runs everybody over. He's difficult for us to handle in practice." Have to say, I think that's a really good thing!

More on Ogbah

  • "He's had a great camp. He just gives the offense fits in practice."
  • "He's in class. He acts the same - he's not drawing attention to himself. He's just being a good leader for our football team." Awesome to hear!

On the Running Back Situation

  • "Rennie's getting less touches, but Rennie's better when he's fresh. Carr's made enough plays to make us think he can be productive at this level."
  • "I feel better about the running back situation than I did at this time last year. Carson, a fresh Rennie, and Carr, and actually Raymond (Talyor) can give us those breakaway plays."
  • "We want those 2 guys (Carson and Childs) to have about 15 carries, not one guy 25, one have 10. Then Carr will get 8-10"
  • Just thinking out loud here - he didn't say anything about Todd Mays at all. Hmmm...

On the Experienced Guys vs the Inexperienced

  • "We all have a pretty good idea what (named several veterans) are going to do. It's that 2nd wave of guys that make the difference between 8 wins and 12 wins. They're the ones that change your season."
  • "Mason's in that second wave. He's started three games." He went on to describe how it took 12-14 games before the game "slowed down" for him as a quarterback. "Mason's going to go through a learning curve for 5-6 games. But he's very easy for us to coach. He's a student of the game, he's very respectful, very low-key. He's more like Chelf in that he's cerebral at it."
  • On Victor Salako and the graduate transfers: "They've graduated from college. They're very low-maintenance. Victor's in that category."
  • LOVED this - "We put them in a position, in an environment that they can have success. This is an easy place to play football. We teach, we coach - we don't beat them down."

Miscellaneous

  • Regarding the size of Jalen McKleskey and Jeff Carr: "Coach (Rob) Glass has helped them get to the point they can compete. He's the main reason we're able to have success around here."
  • Coach was asked if uniforms still play a big factor for the players: "Yeah, they still play a big factor. These guys like the bling, the colors, the bright lights."
  • Bright lights? On the unis?
  • As for his preference - "They got rid of the one I liked, the all gray. They took it away - Nike or somebody!" It was PFB!!!

  • Finished with this, when asked if he had time for one more question: "I was going to check, but I didn't want anybody thinking I was being mean. I know I have to do my television show and they'll yell at me if I'm late."

One week, y'all...one week!