For the Texas State Bobcats, their fourth spring football practice marked the second practice with pads on. Testosterone and energy levels were at an all-time high as a fight broke out as well as constant yells of encouragement for the defensive and offensive teams for Winner/Loser day. Not only was this an effort for Texas State head coach, Everett Withers, to see the competitiveness of his players; it was a good show for the 85 juniors in attendance for Junior Day. At the end of practice, Coach Withers was available for interviews.
Q: It was a close competition between the offense and defense, is that good to see that both sides had their good moments today?
A: Well, it’s good to see that they competed. The bottom line is we wanted to get guys to compete today; that’s from circle drills to the individual competition drills, all that stuff. We just want to see guys compete. It’s hard to play this game unless you’re a competitor. If you’re not a competitor, it’s hard to play at every position. Punter. Kicker. Whatever it is. And you find out a lot about guys when you put them in the situations where they got to compete one on one against somebody else.
Q(in response to answer): You mean that one on one drill where you had the quarterback participating, everyone participating, in that drill?
A: That’s part of what we do. Everybody’s got to compete.
Q: It was evident that the players were extra fiery out there on the field today, do you think that was to show off for the juniors in attendance here for Junior Day?
A: I don’t know if it was or not, hopefully it was because it was Winner/Loser Day, because somebody’s going to win, somebody’s going to lose. Like we told them, today was really our first game. So what we wanted to do was put them in those situations where they had to compete to either win or lose.
Q: You put a lot of emphasis on turnovers, kind of switching the old drill from last year, and to end that drill with that interception by Brandon McDowell, the guys get all fired up, do you feel like it’s starting to take place, the message you’re trying to send?
A: I think our defensive staff is doing a really good job on making a big emphasis…if you look at stats and you look it over the last ten years; you look at defenses that get the ball back, those teams are usually pretty good. Turning it back over to an offense like we have goes well for us; so that’s going to be a big part of our plan to win. We talk about our number two on our plan to win is to protect and cherish the football on offense and its take it away on defense. So, that’s a big thing for us. Yeah, that’s a big emphasis everyday for us.
Q: On the flip side of that, the offense turning the ball over, does that worry you at all?
A: Well, like I said, anytime you turn the ball over it worries you. We got some time to figure it out and get it fixed. We won’t play the guys who turn it over, so you know that. Guys who turn it over won’t play in the game. I don’t care who they are. They won’t play in the game. We’ll find somebody. We’ll find somebody that doesn’t turn the ball over. Running back, receiver, quarterback, whoever it is. We’ll play somebody. It might be somebody going to the prom in two weeks.
Q: I know the first day you weren’t very happy, do you feel like the week progressed the way you liked to see it? In terms of the team, offensively or defensively?
A: I’m pretty happy everyday. I am, I’m pretty happy everyday. Anytime I get a chance to come out here, I’m pretty happy. No matter what the practice looks like, I’m pretty happy any day I get to come out here. We’re just looking for steady improvement as much as we can. There’ll be some greater some days. There’ll be somedays that won’t be quite as much. We don’t want to take steps back. So, small victories are big in our program.
Q: Do you feel like the effort is there? That’s something you were kind of deciding earlier in the week.
A: I think so. I thought yesterday we were not as ready to come out and practice, but I thought today they fooled around pretty good.
On a less serious note, Coach was asked about the chocolate milk he makes sure the guys receive before exiting practice and shared that “chocolate milk is one of the best things for recovery after a stressful activity.”
Those in attendance today included Eddie Printz, former Missouri quarterback, Keller running back, Tyler Tutt, and Timberview quarterback, Devin Williams.