Larry Porter Spring Kickoff Presser
March 15, 2011
Coach Larry Porter held his Spring Football Kickoff luncheon with the local media on Tuesday afternoon. He talked about his plans for the 15-practice sessions.
The Tigers begin practice on Wednesday, and fans are invited to come out and get an up-close look at their hometown Tigers as Coach Porter has opened Wednesday (3:30 pm), Thursday (3:30 pm) and Saturday (10:30 am) practices to Tiger Nation.
Below is a transcript of Coach Porter's presser.
Head Coach Larry Porter's Press Conference Quotes
I publically want to wish Josh Pastner and our men's basketball team, as well as Melissa McFerrin and our women's basketball program, good luck as they pursue victory in their respective tournaments. It is that time of year, and I know that they are both excited, and I am excited for them. I am certainly supportive in every way that I can be. Go Tigers!
Second spring, second go-around. This time last year there were a lot of unknowns. This year we are very, very excited as a staff for a number of reasons. I think that we have a lot of momentum going into spring ball this year.
As you approach spring, it is always a great opportunity to advance your football team and improve your football team in all three phases across the board. It is also an opportunity for you to strengthen, grow and empower the leadership within your team. We have laid-out a plan to very aggressively pursue those areas that we know we need to advance in.
First and foremost, the health and the healing of our program has vastly improved. Over the past year, we as a staff have been very, very aggressive in making sure that we put ourselves in position to change the culture. We have seen a tremendous difference in doing so.
The work ethic, the attitude, the discipline and the spirit of this team has vastly improved.
You say, "well how so coach?"
Well, first and foremost, academics. Players' attitudes in terms of going to class, speaks with their attendance. Their attitude in terms of going to study hall speaks with their attendance. Then you look at their productivity, and we continue to improve. That is exactly what we want to do.
You look at our workouts, and not just the new facility, which we are all excited about, but the attitude that they carry into that weight room. It is phenomenal right now, and that just attests to the spirit of our team right now.
Just this morning, we are out at six in the morning. We are working out and we are running our kids. We have a couple of kids that are struggling, and some of our older guys sacrificed first (place) to make sure that their teammates finished. Those are the things that really and truly send a very encouraging message to us as coaches. Those types of things let us know that we are on track to let us know that we are building this program in a manner that reflects true change.
There are a number of things as we plunge into spring football tomorrow, which we are looking forward to improve upon.
You look at the position battles and the position growth that needs to take place in order for us to be, not just a successful team, but to sustain success throughout the course of the season. We are really in position to hammer down those key things one day at a time, and that truly signifies growth.
In terms of the team, we talk about goals all of the time, and one of the big things for us this spring is to trust the process. We all understand that goal, but it is the process that will put us in position to execute as a true team.
Fundamentals and technique; I think that is key across the board in every phase. We must execute fundamentals and technique. That is critical. Discipline is big for this spring in terms of a team perspective. There were times that discipline bit us. I look at my staff back there; I look at the way that they are working together to put us in position to simplify some things.
We are really looking forward to improving our third down defense as well as improving our tackling. Those are two things that we are really trying to nail down as we move forward.
Special teams-wise, we have to improve our return game. We have to improve our coverage as well. I think we can be better. We did some things, but we certainly need to nail that down. Then we need to develop a two-deep in terms of snappers. We lost a guy this past season that has been a staple within this program. We have got to replace him, but we want to do that within the two-deep system.
Offensively, we have got to be more creative and add some more personality to our team. That is exactly what we are doing, and we are excited about it. I think we have a great plan. Within that we want to identify our playmakers coming out of spring. We can design some things and build some things around guys. That will allow us to flourish and become more explosive from a play-making standpoint.
As we do that, we have to be sure to nail down some continuity within our team. I love the talent and the attitude that we have at the offensive line position. I think that with the guys that we have there, the leadership will be so much stronger. That is critical because the heart and soul of any team is built around your offensive and defensive lines.
Look at our wide receiver group, and I think that there is plenty of potential. We have got to get them to play to that level, and I think that we are in a position to do that. We have to have more continuity and I am excited about the opportunity to do so.