Notebook: Looking for leadership

Defense takes advantage •
Raiders go full pads •
helps defense win day
Just 24 hours after telling reporters that Tech's offense needed to improve
its concentration, Tommy Tuberville again expressed disappointment that
side of the ball.
Click Here to view this Link."Offensively, we took a big step backward," he said. "We've got to find some
leadership on offense. Guys are just kind of going through the motions. I know
the first game is three weeks away, but we have no room to waste a practice like
this on offense today. We just didn't look very sharp, didn't look like we were
trying to get better."
Tuberville said the Red Raiders' offensive players -- especially seniors and
quarterbacks -- to step up from a leadership standpoint.
"Well, usually your leaders come from your seniors, guys that have been out
here," he said. "We have a few seniors on the offensive line, that's about it.
We don't have a huge group of seniors on the offense so I expect those guys to
do as much as they possibly can. But, as I told them, it can be freshman,
sophomores, doesn't make a lot of difference.
"Right now, as we all know it, in these practices, in the heat of the day, most
guys are just trying to survive, but there's got to be somebody out there to get
them motivated. Coaches can't do it themselves; it's got to come from peer
pressure. So, Seth (Doege), Jacob Karam, it's got to come from
the quarterbacks. We're just not very vocal, so hopefully that'll start to
After coming to Tech from the the JUCO ranks, Donald Langley worked his
way into the starting lineup early on. Now that he is a senior and likely key
cog on the defensive line in Chad Glasgow's 4-2-5, Langley is trying to
pass on some of his knowledge to the guys behind him.
"I feel like each and every day we're just getting better, so me being a senior
and this being my last year you've got to bring the young guys along," said
Langley. "Each and every day you've got to give more and more experience and
more and more knowledge that you had so when they get older they can do the same
thing. Our depth is looking better, so each and every day we're just getting
better, so we just got to see where that goes."
Langley has also been impressed, like most others, with defensive end
Leon Mackey. The two bonded over the summer and have learned to aid each other
on the field.
"Leon Mackey. You can see physically that he looks the part and he plays like
that too, and we feed off each other," said the defender. "We gelled real quick.
That's a good part, so when I'm down he lifts me up, and when he's down I lift
him up, so that's what we need to go into the season."
Sophomore defensive end Aundrey Barr only played in four games last
season before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. While Barr
has been cleared to practice -- and has participated in all of Tech's preseason
practices -- the Red Raiders are being careful about how quickly they bring him
"We're not going to do a lot with him until about eight or nine days before the
first game," Tuberville said. "He's got a long year in front of him. His knee is
better, but we want to make sure we bring him along slow, so we don't just drain
him in terms of everything he's got in that knee.
"He's done good, but we have some young guys behind him that need more reps than
he does, so he's kind of being a little bit more of a coach right now than a
Tuberville was tight-lipped on Wednesday when asked about the Texas A&M-SEC
chatter that has dominated the Twitterverse and blogosphere this week.
"I haven't heard that; don't have time to listen to it," he said. "I'm sure
people will start addressing their situations as time goes, but no comment on
that, yet."
Sophomore cornerback Tre' Porter suffered a strained muscle toward the
end of practice that kept him sidelined for the rest of the day.
"He just sprained his glute," Tuberville said. "He'll be fine."
Sophomore Ryan Erxleben took over Tech's starting punter duties four
games into the 2009 season. He handled himself well considering the
circumstances, averaging over 40 yards per punt.
Last year, instead of continuing as the Red Raiders' primary punter, Erxleben
was redshirted and Jonathan LaCour took over that role.
A season later, Erxleben is glad things turned out the way they did.
"I actually learned a lot," he said. "When Tubs first told me that I was going
to redshirt, I was kind of bummed and I thought, 'Man, I totally should be
playing.' I kind of just sat back on the sidelines and really got a taste of
what Tubs expected and what he really wanted out of the punt team. I'm glad I