TRANSCRIPT | Jeff Brohm at WKU football media day - WDRB 41 Louisville News

TRANSCRIPT | Jeff Brohm at WKU football media day

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WKU YouTube photo. WKU YouTube photo.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) — Western Kentucky University held its football media day Saturday afternoon. Here’s a transcript of what head coach Jeff Brohm had to say to the media (provided by WKU sports information):

OPENING STATEMENT: Good morning. Thanks for coming. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a Hilltopper. We are extremely excited to get started on this upcoming season. We have a lot of challenges in front of us, but we are looking forward to each and every one of them. I think, to this point, the summer has gone extremely well. 

Our strength staff, Coach (Justin) Lovett and his staff have done a great job getting our players in position and ready to start the season and fall camp. We identified a lot of areas we needed to improve upon in the offseason, one of them was we needed to add mass, weight and strength to get bigger and ready for the season. When we look at the 70 players we have returning from the bowl game until this year, between those 70 players, we put on a combined 338 pounds. A couple of notable guys that have worked to improve - both of our starting defensive tackles last year, one put on 22 pounds and one put on 17 pounds. Those are good numbers as well. We had a defensive end put on 31 pounds, he is up to 250 pounds. Our other defensive end put on 15 pounds as well. Brandon Doughty put on 11 pounds on offense. We had another defensive end put on 14 pounds. We had some guys lose that needed to. A few guys lost some weight that needed to be lost on the offensive line. We feel good exactly where we are at. We tried to put on mass, strength and weight – our guys bought into that - and we have a lot of good results because of that.

I think they worked hard in the summer. With all of the offseason and summer workouts, they are doing it almost full-time. My hats off to them for all the hard work they put in. They organized practices a couple times a week, throwing the ball around, running plays, throwing skellies, throwing routes – all the things that need to happen to be a better football team.

I think our guys are ready for the season. I think this is exactly where we want to be. We want some pressure to be put on us to succeed and win at a high level. I think that is what this program needs to do – to move forward and take the next step. With this schedule and the challenges ahead of us, we have to play at a high level to win. We are looking forward to that.

Obviously, a lot of questions about our defense. When you look at Conference USA, even though it is a known as an offensive league, six of the last eight champions have led the league in total defense. We feel like we are going to be much better on defense. We have added a few key components to the puzzle. The players we played last year have gotten bigger and stronger and are more prepared. We obviously have to go out there and play and see what we do. They have worked extremely well to this point and have worked well in practice. I am looking forward to watching those guys in that manner.

Offensively, we want to try to be explosive, score points, go at a good pace but we also want to be smart and the key is to win the game. When you look at a guy like Brandon Doughty, who put up tremendous numbers last year, we want him to have a great year but if he is able to achieve those numbers (again), we are probably not going to be winning games the way I want. We probably won’t put up those numbers and that is fine. He has to understand winning is the most important thing. We are going to try to do that each time we step on the field.

I am excited about this team. They are hungry. They work extremely hard. They have a great attitude. Our coaches are into it. They put in a lot of hard work and effort to improve the football team. We have studied a lot of things to improve on our weaknesses. I think we understand what we have to do on defense, we weren’t good on third down and we gave up too many big plays. That is definitely an emphasis we are working on right now. We were not as good against the tempo teams, the spread teams. That has been a huge emphasis, those four things. I think we will have a great plan and our guys will execute, play hard and play well.

Offensively, we had a good year, numbers wise – but we were not a good second-half football team. We have to be much better in the second half. We have to score points, be efficient. We have to be better about running the ball, third and short and fourth and short. I think we have to be explosive and productive in the second half – by air or by ground. We have to make sure we are improving on in order to win because we were not near as good in the second half as we were in the first half.

ON DEALING WITH INCREASED EXPECTATIONS: I think our players know that some people expect us to win. We were at a point last year when we were 3-5 and things weren’t looking the way we wanted. We started to apply internal pressure on ourselves more. We applied a playoff mentality,that was kind of our slogan. If we win – we advance. If we lose, we were out… We have to continue to internally demand the best of ourselves. All we can worry about is getting better every day we take the field. We have to put pressure on ourselves. We have to do it at a high level. Pressure comes from within, but we have to do it everyday to be ready on game day.

ON THE EVOLUTION OF THE OFFENSE: I think there will be key adjustments. We don’t want to be vanilla and doing the same thing every game. I think we have enough in the offense that we can change it up every week so that people don’t always know what we are doing. I think its important to run the football and throw play-action off of it. That is how you get the big, deep passes. If you just drop back and throw it a lot, you aren’t going to have a lot of success. We have to change the launch point, move the quarterback, launch it deep, throw screens, be effective in the running game, use misdirection. We try to add a few pieces to that. As long as we have a package to answer everything we see, we should be OK. For us, being balanced is not being 50/50. We have a very good quarterback and we have good receivers. We have a running back that can catch. If someone wants to take away the run, we are going to pass the ball. If a time like last year, Army, wants to take away the pass, we are going to run the ball. I think those are things that are balanced. We have to be able to do both. There is a point in time when you have to run the ball, and that is where we were not good. You have to find ways to do that and not be vanilla in those short situations. You will see a few different wrinkles.”

ON RELYING TOO MUCH ON DOUGHTY AND THE PASSING GAME: It is fun to do and it’s fun to watch. We have a guy that can do it well. We want to be balanced. We have enough in our package that a lot of our throws are extended handoffs. A lot of our throws are behind the line of scrimmage, we throw screens and other things to spread the field and get our guys in space. If you want to run it between the box, it’s hard to score a lot of points unless you are by far, the best football team. We have to find different ways to run the football and get on the edge and the perimeter. If we have a true mixture where the defense does know what we are going to do or what run is coming at them next, we will be more effective. For Brandon, I think this is going to be a great year for him. There is pressure on him to perform. Everyone has seen what he can do. It is going to be good for his maturation process to perform at the level people expect. That doesn’t mean putting up the numbers, but it means being efficient, moving the ball, getting us in the end zone and getting us wins. When a team can find a way to win, all the players get attention and things are written about them that they can do a good job. We will do whatever we think we need to do to win.

ON THE RUNNING GAME: Leon Allen had an outstanding year last year, ran the ball extremely well and was good out of the backfield. He got nicked up at the end of the year and we have to find a way to play more guys. Ace Wales is going to be a guy where we have to have a package ready for him. He is not the same type of runner so we can’t run the same type of plays. We are working hard to learn what he is good at. He is fast, he is elusive and is good in space. De’Andre Ferby is a young back that was injured in the spring and is healthy now. He is big and strong and can give us some presence in some short yardage situations. There are other guys that we feel have a chance as well that we have to have a package for. We can’t ask him to carry the whole load. We have to make sure he gets his touches, his carries. He understands he has to have another good year to help his future. He is looking forward to that. We are going to us him as much as we can but not wear him out where we don’t have him at the end of the year.

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