Mizzou Football Media Day Quotes - Sept. 2



Sep 2, 2013

Head Coach Gary Pinkel

Opening Statement...
"Good afternoon. I appreciate everyone being here. Our players obviously for the holiday had the day off. There were some academic responsibilities they had this afternoon, so that was good for them to do that. Our staff is working on preparation for Toledo, and we're excited about the opportunity of them coming here. Fortunately, right now we are injury free for the most part, and that's good. Hopefully we can continue to improve as a football team. I think the emphasis of our team is consistency on offense and defense playing as units together. I think we need improvement there in the consistency of play. Offensively, it's like a band of different musical instruments.

"Defensively also, and we need to continue to work on our fundamentals. It's really important for this team to become a better football team each and every week, and I think for the most part, we have the kind of attitude and leadership to help us do that. And the best teams, as I have mentioned before, I've said this many times, the best teams around keep getting better, and hopefully we can do that and be a part of that.

"Toledo obviously, is a really good football program. There's a rich tradition there, and I know a little bit about it being there a few years. Matt Campbell has done a great job, young coach, but much disciplined coach. The team plays well. They're a very well coached team, they have good players and they recruit well. He's done a great job with that program. He went to Mount Union, and Alex Grinch on our staff played with him in college, which kind of dates me a little bit here. He's certainly a great young coach who's done a great job with the Toledo program. They have a rich tradition of playing well outside of their league, beating a lot of good football teams. So we recognize that and have respect for that. Other than that, it's time for us to get back to work tomorrow and hopefully become a better football team."



On his feelings about the chance to play Toledo...
"No, it's not really sentimental. Toledo is a great place to live. It was a great experience. All three of my kids graduated from the same high school. It was Southview High School in Toledo, Savannah actually, a suburb. But no, it was a great experience, like at Washington. I'm one of the few coaches that has been at three major places my whole career. It's very unusual for that to happen. I was at Washington for 12 years, Toledo for 10, and this is my 13th here. I'm always rooting for Toledo. I'm always rooting for Washington, obviously except when we play them. There's a lot of great people there, a lot of great memories and a lot of adversities we overcame and battled through too. But this is a football competition, and we're excited about playing a really good team."

On how he approached building the Toledo program...
"You're right in the heat of Big Ten country, and you have Notre Dame a couple hours away also. You have Michigan an hour north, Michigan State - two hours, and Ohio State - two hours. You have Indiana, Illinois and Purdue, and you just keep going around there, it's all over the place. I think they have done such a great job, Toledo, historically there, and I think the players who play there have great pride in who they are and where they are from, and they play well. They take it personal, and I think that location has a bit to do with it. They have just had great success, and we've had some of that ourselves. It's a great place, and any Toledo athlete who plays there has great pride in that university, and they should."

On how the MAC and Toledo have changed nationally since his time there...
"I just think they have had a lot more bowl games. They've had more bowls now than 8-10 years ago. They've also done a great job, not only Toledo, but we've played some other teams, Bowling Green has had some great teams. Northern Illinois, we all just saw this week, and you can go all over the place, Central Michigan. They all do a heck of a good job. It's a really good league. A lot of good players from that league go to the NFL. They do a good job of recruiting and certainly a lot of coaches have had a lot of success in not only that league, but in other places."

On the changes in the offensive tempo...
"We had some success, so that's a good thing. What it allows us to do is work more flashy passes, a lot more roll out play action, pocket play action. It takes a little bit of pressure off of the offensive line. We just decided to do some different things there, and amongst some other things, the tempo thing worked well, and the first half which we kind of backed off a bit. We're trying to make it a good part of who we are. I think we have to improve on it, get better at it but we made some good strides."

Sophomore TB Russell Hansbrough

On why he ultimately chose to come to Mizzou...
"When I came up here, it was just a family atmosphere. I met Henry and Marcus and I really liked them."

On being there to back Josey up...
"I was definitely happy for him. We all went out there and played and had fun."

Senior DB E.J. Gaines

On what changed for the defense from the first quarter to the rest of the game...
"I would say the first quarter was just first game jitters type of thing. We started off slow as a defense. We just didn't know much about their offense or their quarterback. Coach Steckel made a few changes - not many - and our defense stepped up."

Junior TB Henry Josey

On being presented the game ball after the game...
"It was crazy in the locker room. Coach Pinkel did that and it just brought us all closer together. It wasn't a singling me out moment, it was a big family moment for everybody on the team. I'm happy he did it, and I know my teammates were all happy and we all celebrated together."

On the people who have helped him get back to playing...
"I'm thankful for them. I pray for them every day even if they don't know it. I'm just really glad that I have them by my side every single day, not only throughout the rehab but just throughout life, period. They taught me a lot. I've matured a lot from everything they've taught me. Being around them is just like being around my family."

On the pace of the offense this past week and how it will be the rest of the season...
"It's going to improve. It's going to be faster. It was our first game, and we got there and got it done."

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