Excerpts from Mike Leach’s press conference at the Pac-12 meetings on Friday. Go to spokesman.com/sportslink for more on the meetings.
Q: You’ve been vocal in your criticism over the new targeting rule. Can you give us the specifics on what is chapping your hide?
A: I’m not the only one against this rule. Rules, in order to be effective, have to be enforceable and you’ve got to be able to see it. If I get these guys across the room and I have them run full speed at each other and I ask you in a split second to tell me which one lowered their head first, I betcha you can’t do it.
So I think that is a huge problem.
Q. What have you been reading this summer.
A. Honestly, mostly I’m reading that book we’re writing. Books are funny things. They’re satisfying, ultimately; but then, you know, there is a point where it gets tedious and you get tired of the same stuff over and over.
Books almost go a little beyond even the confines of, say, a marriage. You write a book, that’s there forever. There is no divorcing a book, you know?
The research is the most exciting part. Discovering what Geronimo did, the existence of the Cherokee with Apaches and their skills in surviving and some of the incredible accomplishments that they had. The fiber of their culture, their spiritualism, their family relationships. That part is fulfilling.
Q. Last year you had a pretty well publicized issue, what you called empty corpses and zombies. What are you doing to ensure that everybody is buying into your system so you don’t get a zombie apocalypse this year?
A. It’s funny, this day and age, people ask questions but they don’t always want honest answers.
In the midst of that, I mean, you know, if somebody is a zombie or corpse, I’m the head zombie or corpse. Anything with regard to a team effort or coaching, if you don’t like the way your players are playing, that’s about how well you’re coaching, you know?
But we have had a great offseason. These two specimens that I have beside me (Elliott Bosch, Deone Bucannon) that’s what I pretend to see when I look in the mirror, when I shave. They’re in incredible shape and we couldn’t be more excited to see what they can do out there on the field.
A. If we were to play in a couple months, I don’t know. But today, Connor Halliday would be the quarterback. Had a great spring, did a great job.
What I’ve been impressed with is as a leader he takes the team on his shoulders and he’s one of the guys I think brings people together.
The most significant role that a quarterback plays is enhancing the skills of the other players around him. You know, I mean each team you go out there with has an arsenal of weapons and his ability to utilize most effectively those tools in a sharp, crisp, timely manner is huge as far as maximizing offensive effort. I think he’s done a lot of good things and I’m excited to see where he’s at because he’s worked hard this offseason.