Players discuss change
A lot has happened since the Texas Tech football players last talked to the media back on Nov. 24 after a tough overtime loss against Baylor.
Things finally worked out Saturday for the media to reach the players and quarterback Seth Doege, next year's starting quarterback Michael Brewer and tight end Jace Amaro had a lot to say about the coaching shake up they've just gone through.
For Doege, who has one game left, the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury isn't a huge deal. The starting quarterback will exhaust his eligibility at the end of the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, however, he did acknowledge it's a cool deal to have one of his heroes taking over the program.
Kingsbury will be more of a supporter than a true coach in the Red Raiders' bowl game though so Doege's experience with the offensive-minded head coach will be very limited. Instead, it's Sonny Cumbie coaching Doege up.
"Everybody was shocked at first," Doege said. "I remember when Mike Leach left when I was a freshman and it's kind of hard because you don't know who they'll hire. They made a great hire in Coach Kingsbury. I'm excited for the young guys. I think they're going to have a lot of fun."
Cumbie could very well be auditioning for the quarterbacks coach, and quite possibly the offensive coordinator position, leading up to the Dec. 28 game against a tricky Minnesota defense.
It could be a good idea to retain at least one current coach who knows the players and Cumbie is the longest tenured coach on the entire staff dating back to his time as a graduate assistant in 2009.
"He's always been around ever since I've been here," Doege said. "So I have a great relationship with him. He's been through it all. He's been a quarterback here. He knows how to deal with adversity and the good times. He has words of wisdom for you. He's helping us out now and I think he's going to call a great game."
The hiring of Kingsbury will most likely affect Brewer as much as anyone.
The Texas A&M offensive coordinator less than a week ago, Tech's new head coach helped Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel win this year's Heisman Trophy as a freshman and Brewer is a comparable quarterback.
By the way, Kingsbury also worked with Case Keenum at Houston in the years before.
But this adjustment is as hard on Brewer. Former offensive coordinator Neal Brown has left for the same position at Kentucky and was instrumental in Brewer's recruitment.
"It's definitely been a roller coaster, that's for sure," Tech's backup quarterback said. "It's tough anytime you lose a coach that brings you in. I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Coach Tuberville or Coach Brown. To think about that, and now that they're gone, that's tough to swallow. But at the same time, I'm extremely excited about the future with Coach Kingsbury. Obviously he's had a great track record and I'm ready to get to work with him."
No coaches were made available for the media.
Amaro was back at practice in a red, no contact jersey and had a few impressive grabs.
He's not 100 percent, but he's going to try his best to play against Minnesota and said Saturday's practice was his best one yet.
"I'm kind of pushing it right now," Amaro said. "I probably shouldn't be able to play but for me as competitive as I am I want to play another game with these guys."