Posted: 10:43 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013
By Avinash Kunnath
Avinash Kunnath (AK): Here with several of our SB Nation writers at Pac-12 Media Day. David Gerhardt, Ralphie Report; Sean Fitzhugh, California Golden Blogs; Jack Follman, Pacific Takes; and Ben Haber, House of Sparky.
Aaand...yeah, let's start off on the topic of Mike Leach's book, which has been circulating around.
David Gerhardt (DG): That certainly dominated the WSU podium session, was talk of his book. Yeah, I'm excited for it. He's a history buff, Mike Leach is, and it should be really interesting. He does a lot of research. He brings a lot of that kind of stuff into his coaching. But he's just an interesting guy. And I've watched him coach for long enough that I'm more excited for the stuff he's doing off the field than on it.
Don't tell him I said so.
AK: So what have you guys seen from Pac-12 Media Day that really has stood out to you so far. Ben?
Ben Haber (BH): From our perspective here at ASU ... continued expectance for a Rose Bowl, national championship. Todd Graham, since he's come in has preached that one thing. And the turnaround from just a year...ASU is in a much better place, and it seems like they finally might be able to cash in on these big expectations. I'm kind of curious to see how it all pans out for ASU
AK: Sean, what did you see from Coach Sonny Dykes, and any of the coaching staff or the players that was really the highlight of the day?
Sean Fitzhugh (SF): So I'd say the highlight from the Cal end is Coach Dykes's enthusiasm. So I'll admit when he was first hired I wasn't really that excited. I saw that he ran a great offense, but I was really concerned about his defense. But ever since he's joined the university, everything that's come out of his mouth is the right thing that he's saying.
He hasn't made any sort of missteps so far. He's very open and forthcoming unlike the previous coaching staff. So that it's nice to see to get some more enthusiasm.
AK: You weren't happy with the interviews that were being given before.
SF: They were a little bland, not a whole lot of information that you wouldn't pick up from reading practice reports.
AK: There was a lot more color in what you saw?
SF: He's obviously very excited about the job.
AK: David, when you're looking at Mike MacIntyre, do you see similar things? Is it different from the old regime with Jon Embree? Do you see anything different?
DG: It's definitely different from the Jon Embree regime and there's some similarities to the Dan Hawkins [era], but really I don't know. It's definitely different. The attitude he's taken on about the individual players and the leadership roles they have to take and the expectations he has from them ... he's putting a lot on them.
And from the interviews I got here with Paul Richardson, Chidera Uzo-Diribe, the players they brought along, they both instantly talked about the things they're doing to bring their teammates along, to bring them up to the level they need to be. And leadership doesn't seem to be an issue amongst the team where it felt like it was the last couple of years.