Charlie Strong spoke and answered questions ranging over a wide array of topics for about 15 minutes at the Governor's Cup Luncheon on Wednesday.
Here are the highlights:
--Believes we have a strong team coming back, but this team also knows that it can't rest on the laurels of what last year's team accomplished.
--Every team needs senior leaders, and Strong pointed out Damian Copeland and Roy Philion as guys who have stepped up and been leaders early. Also pointed to Teddy Bridgewater and Preston Brown as the leaders of the offense and defense, respectively.
--Players in the program now know the coaching staff and know what's expected of them. They know how hard they have to work and how much they have to improve if they want to see the field.
--He tells the team all the time that it doesn't matter where people think you are before the season, it matters where you are at the end. Either this team is going to grow and get to where it needs to be, or it's going to stay the same and be a disappointment.
--When you look at our schedule, our schedule is all about us. You always worry about yourself and continuing to get better, you never worry about the teams you're playing.
--We're going to play against a lot of good defenses so we're not going to be trying to run up the score on anybody. We're just going to be trying to winning football games.
--Unrealistic expectations have been placed on this program, but we'd rather it be this way than the other way.
--That first year we probably should have won two games, and then four games the next year and then six games last year.
--Regarding the Clint Hurtt situation, we're waiting for the NCAA's investigation to end before we address it.
--Senorise Perry is on track to be back and healthy. Nose guard Jamaine Brooks hurt his knee during the spring but he'll be back. DeAngelo Brown hurt his achilles and I don't know how long he'll be out.
--Teddy is surrounded by some outside players right now, and that's just going to make him better.
--It's hard for freshmen to get on the field early, but James Quick will be given a chance. It'll be up to the offensive staff to decide whether or not he's ready.
--(Asked about the staff's views on bringing in players who have had problems other places) Strong laughs and says "no one in particular? Just sayin'?" As a coach, the only thing you're trying to do is have an impact on a young man's life, whether he's a good player or not. They're going to become us, we're not going to become them.
--"I have no new members of my program."
--I know all the Stoops. We've all crossed paths.
--Someone told me a long time ago you don't ever talk about winning national championship. You just wake up one morning and you're a national champion. I've been a part of two national championship teams and we never talked about winning a national championship.
--Last year we started feeling a little too good about ourselves and went up to Syracuse and got pounded. The wake-up call was the UConn game, but thankfully we were able to bounce back and beat Rutgers and get into the Sugar Bowl. You can't start listening to what people are saying about you. It's still about work and it's still about preparation.