WKU football media day

10 08 2010

Willie Taggart held his first media day as head coach of the WKU football program.

Here are a few snippets from Taggart himself:

On the quarterback trio of junior Matt Pelesasa, sophomore Kawaun Jakes and freshman Brandon Doughty and their competition for the starting job:

“Those guys have to be consistent. We’re not going to have a winning football team until we have a consistent quarterback.
“That’s what I’m looking for – guys that can be consistent on the field and off the field.”

“Some of those guys don’t know how to lead, some of them don’t think they’ve been around long enough – but that comes with the position. They’ve got to do it.”

“If I feel like someone’s pulling away and they’re the most consistent then we’ll roll with it. But until then it’s going to be a battle. And even when that starter’s named, it’s still going to be a battle. They’ve got to understand that you can’t take a day off.”

“After yesterday’s practice, nobody’s leading if you ask me. All three of them did some good things and some bad things – but I like where we’re at.
“Those guys understand that we’re going to have a guy – we’re going to have one quarterback, and I get fired up every day wondering which guy it’s going to be that day.”

On the overall mission of changing the attitude around the program:
“It’s a process but it’s getting there. I like the way we’re going right now. Everyday we’re getting another guy on board, I don’t think we’ve got anybody going the opposite way – which is great.

“I’ve told these guys that this is going to be the funnest camp they’ve ever been a part of, and also the hardest. You can’t play this game without having fun – and our guys haven’t had fun in a while. So it’s important to have fun, but we’ve also got to work hard and compete. And I think everyone’s starting to buy in – we’re in it together.”

“Attitude-wise, they’re heading in the right direction. They understand what I’m looking for and what we’re looking for as an entire football program.”

On forgetting the 0-12 campaign that was 2009:

“If they don’t put it behind them, they’re going to struggle and they’re going to get left behind because we’re forgetting about it,. We can’t do anything about last year – I told them on Sunday, last year is history – this year’s a mystery and today is an opportunity to determine our legacy.

“We don’t know what this year holds, but we practice our tail off every single day – and good things will happen for us.”

Goals for this season:

“We have two goals, that’s all we need. The first one is to get better every single game – the second one is to win the Sun Belt Conference.
“That’s it. Simple. You work, you’ve got a goal, you’ve got a plan, you stick to it and you accomplish it..”

On the incoming freshmen class:
“I told every single one of them when we recruited them that we want them to come in here and take someone’s job. That’s what it’s going to take to play here at WKU. We want to have that mentality.

“Some of the guys have bought into it, some of them are out there flying around. All of them have a chance – the opportunity is there, every single one of them have a chance (to play right away). The competitors, they’ll show up and they’ll take a job.”

Overall expectations for this season and beyond:
“I told them from day one that I wasn’t going to let any of them settle. I told them from day one how important this job was to me and how I wasn’t going to let anybody mess it up. I told them I don’t get along with lazy people. If they’re lazy, I can write my name on a release paper really fast and they can go somewhere where lazy people are tolerated – we’re not going to have that anymore.

“They understand where I’m coming from.”

On how his past experience as a player and a coach helps him with this rebuilding process:
“I’ve been here before and I understand that you can win here, because we have. It’s a tremendous challenge – but it’s not impossible. We’ve got a great tradition here and we’ve got to get back to that. Things are better around here now than they were back then, so there’s no excuses. We’ve got to change our mindset and expect it of ourselves to become a championship football team.”

“The foundation is here, we’ve just got to get the winning culture back up. We’ve got to get back to expecting to win and do things the right way. And when we get that winning culture back up, everyone around here will have smiles on their faces.”

On creating a more positive feeling about the program within the WKU community:

“We’re not asking anything from anybody. We’ve got to go do something.”

“We’re not going to step in Houchens-Smith Stadium and not be ready to put a show on for this community. The community deserves it. And I’m not going to let these guys settle.”

“There’s a lot more people counting on us than they think, and they’ve got to understand that and work that much harder.”

“Every time I came back from one of those (Toppers on Tour) the staff got a speech from me. People do care around here – they want to see us win.

“But now, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to put smiles on their faces – we’re going to make them happy again.”

I’ll have more from media day and Tuesday’s practice later. And be sure to check Wednesday’s Daily News for a full recap.




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