2019 Pac-12 Football Media Day: Oregon's Mario Cristobal podium session

2019 Pac-12 Football Media Day: Oregon's Mario Cristobal podium session



okay good morning appreciate you guys having us here obviously an honor to be here and though certainly a lot of excitement a lot of momentum you know being carried over from the bowl game the bowl victory spilling over spring practice and the offseason and blessed to be here today with two guys that have chosen to come back for their senior year both of them the leaders of our football team two real special guys in a lot of different ways not just as athletes but also as people in Troy died who was just about set every record imaginable defensively for us and is looking to do even bigger and better things and of course Justin Herbert also returning for his senior year both these guys to lead our defense and offense respectively in our team so that being said open to questions well I too think the world is smaller I think traveling is easier and in our case I I'm obviously gonna be a little bit biased but we have a great product to sell and our coaching staff and the people that surrounds our certain athletes are really a high-caliber professionals with a super-high care factor and I think people feel that I think they see the investment in the student athlete when they see the facilities and the resources that we have and they also see the trajectory of the program you know we have a lot of momentum going on right now they see the types of players and athletes that we're signing the caliber of people that were signing and I think a lot of people want to be a part of that but I think around the country in general I think you see a lot of movement and you see a lot of out-of-state signings because of the fact that it's just easier to travel now and I think the cost of attendance alleviates a lot of the things that usually hindered guys leaving the state I think the local schools are great schools and great programs and I just think that again the whole travelling part of it has become just a lot easier and I really believe that's that's what's going on and you know you never saw that back in the day right back in the day was like everyone stayed home and whatnot but it's just different times and you know it might be a phase that might not be but I think that's what's transpiring right now part of um confident anybody until the very last minute I think obviously we're blessed to have him and I wanted I've said this a few times and I really mean it it's the most impressive part about Kavon is not the five stars that sit beside his name it's it's his five star attitude and work ethic now in terms of his recruitment was I sure I you know even on when he made his announcement and I saw all those people sitting there in the crimson I was like I don't know that's not a good look for us right now but we felt strongly that he had a great experience at Oregon we felt extremely good about the fact that he connected with us on a personal level as well as you know his opportunity level and so it just it was I'd hate to say yes and no there was somewhere in the middle well I think guys like him and guys like I mean I could go on and on about you know guys like Mesa funa you know mica Pittman McElroy Keon I mean it goes on and on and on you know Shawn dollars all these guys they're they're really talented guys and and we expect these guys to be contributors and we expect them to contribute quickly they've played at high levels they've had extraordinary coaching at the high school level there's a lot of pride and we love Southern California at the entire state of California this phenomenal football and great coaching and so that's why we're so heavily invested in the area you know Jonah is another one you know there's another guy that sorry about that it's a lot well I think the expectations inside never really changed I think you always acknowledge what you know the noise is on the outside when I say no I said that respectively you know excitin ly respect the media and the choices and decisions made but it never really factors into the process and they're really factors into anything that relates to our preparation I think I think our guys have understood pretty clearly that when we prepare well and when we are completely focused and down on what we're doing pretty good and when we don't we don't play very good and we have a very challenging schedule and we have a lot of challenges on the road and it's something that we know we have to improve upon because we haven't done a very good job and it starts with me it starts with coach and we got to make sure that we are prepared mentally and have a mindset that's a different level you know hope enhance the DNA so again it's even though it's it's something that's always a compliment and we respect the fact and appreciate that fact it doesn't factor into our preparation you know I think the process has really had taken its course and it's gone fairly well you know two years ago though the struggles on the road were monumental I mean they're double-digit defeats and absolutely no chance of winning to last year winning three of them but still having difficulties in other ones and and now understanding that you know what as this thing gets hard and you get deeper into it especially when it goes in a conference play on the road is that the level of attention to detail and the shutting out of the outside world has to be at a level where nothing there is no distraction there is nothing that could derail you from your mindset and your approach to the game so as much as we've done a lot of mindset training in the offseason cycle sports psychology we've changed the setting on our guys and are going to do different things during camp to help enhance that experience and make our guys feel comfortable in uncomfortable settings I think Panay might be done in moon pounds I don't know if it like inhyun in earth pounds he's uh he's down any weight to that it was 334 he played most at 342 to 348 in that range Sala came in at 380 so we had to get him down we felt that now his body fat is that a level we could build him back up and his plane weights probably 328 and 330 but got most of the guys that fit their target weights some of the bigger guys that were more I wouldn't say that they're a project but their weights their body weights and body comms were projects we've done extraordinary work just changing their body comp so we can build into their optimal playing weight you know we treat them like prize fighters guys fight their best at a certain way we've identified that weight we did the reducing part of it and now we start to climb you got a two hour training table I think you'll get a good feel for what happens in there now when you start walking out with that cedar plank salmon you know and all those other goodies that they come with it at the same time a lot of these guys in high school date once maybe twice a day their breakfast is a bag of chips and a glass of Gator right now they're they're eating for you know five six times a day including you know all their shakes and their snacks and everything else so it's it's a big change for them and you combine that with you know the type of strength conditioning program that we have and you're gonna see some pretty immediate results you've been out here for a couple years now getting comfortable what are the differences between the pac-12 and say the SEC and the ACC you know I think there's a lot of similarities in a lot of different areas there really is especially level of competition at the skilled positions offensive line play quarterbacks are extraordinary out in this part of the country I think what as it relates to any party it's reflecting the draft you've seen probably more defensive linemen drafted out of you know maybe the southern part of the country and he's the Mississippi but there's a lot of similarity I don't you know I know that there's always conversation about which conference is the best isn't that I think what you're gonna see especially with the enhanced recruiting with the amount of some of the coaching change that you've seen that that the pac-12 is gonna show out and on a show out really really well so so I see I see more similarities than I see differences you seen any cultural differences well I mean I all I could speak about is our culture and you know we brought over a blueprint that's that's pretty demanding now I mean it's so it'll test you it'll push you and and you wondered well how would that was going to be accepted whether it was gonna be taken in or whatnot because cultures is a word that's overused right I mean everybody's culture culture culture well we really like to think that within the walls of our place it means the world and that that there has to be an intolerance for anything that doesn't support or uphold the culture so there are guys have been accepting they've been phenomenal with it and they've enhanced it because they enforce the principles and values of well the first thing is since the blueprint is very similar is watching the practice regiment and how not only how its structured but how its run you know a lot of the drills are too spotted so that you really have to spread out your coaches and you have to assign certain sets of eyes to certain parts so that the eye discipline and the coordination of practice is on point just because a temple is extremely fast it doesn't slow down I thought in meeting with their coaches and and sharing ideas with them from the season and you know from other schematic challenges that both have faced or are facing where it was very positive as well I thought looking having our coaches look at their players and see where they are in their developmental process as opposed to where our guys are at to see hey where are we and where do we feel we have to continue improvement so a lot was gained out of it and obviously those are familiar faces so it was it was good to see some folks that I hadn't seen a little while right well I think the inspirations more in the fact that we're always telling players a lift get bigger get stronger get better well what are you doing as a coach right are you sitting in your office just pointing fingers and directing or are you doing it yourself so we did spend an extraordinary amount of time visiting different places and had people coming to visit – anything that can help us anything that can help us gain an edge in any part of our our schematics our culture our discipline our regimen the way we travel the way we eat the way we sleep the amount of hours we sleep I mean you name it we we take a snapshot of the entire program and we assess everything to see if it's good enough and if it's not then we try to find a way to enhance it pretty much from day one you've been talking about building not only for the next season about two or three four years down the road especially with recruiting does having so many players back this year especially on offense does that accelerate kind of the window well I think the the challenging part was that the classes weren't staggered in an ideal way you know last year we play with 72 scholarship players that's that's really low you know we signed three mid-year I'm sorry three graduate transfers at the end of get us to 75 that's still 10-under those are depth issues those are practice issues you don't have the quality of scout teams that you want there really hurts you you know so what I think now you know if at the end of this cycle you know it's ends up being what about 50 players or what now or however any we sign to get to whatever number we get to it with this kind of leadership and the caliber of freshmen that we signed I think it's an awesome combination to have guys like Justin Herbert guys like Troy dye guys like Jordan Scott Austin follow you guys like our offensive lineman teaching these guys what the expectation is knowing that their turn is coming up and the best thing we can do is have those young guys watch our older guys do it the right way exactly like we wanted to do it how we want it done to the level that we want it done – I think that is invaluable that's more valuable than the talent itself well I think it's more than that – I think you got to throw in Stephen Jones in the mix I think you have to throw in a guy like Alex Forsyth in the mix as well because they've done really well and they have shown that they can play football and you know our offensive line took a lot of snaps over the last two seasons and you'd like to have eight guys that can play and we're at that level now so but brady has proven that he can do it throwout has proven he could do it anywhere he's a swiss army guy right centre guard tackle he's done it all so we're gonna let that thing play out and give them all fair opportunity because they deserve that however it works out they're all going to play you know it's it's all subjective as opposed to objective I I can say this if we're aggressive and we're not gonna stop being aggressive if if we feel strongly about somebody and we feel they can help us win championships and they're good people we're gonna we're gonna go we're gonna make a move and we don't shy away from that I don't you know people out there philosophies and more power to them and you know God bless them that's just our philosophy I just I trust I trust our eyes and when we see it and the background check matches up because you do have to save yourself from yourself sometimes right great film great player oh man not doing the right things and you should probably hold back but if it matches up I don't what are we going to wait for it for the next team offering first you know so I you know to each his own that's just a you know you'd like to you like to identify your guys so you can get their process rolling as soon as as soon as it's warranted no I think it's that's what that's what we are if if it wasn't natural and genuine it wouldn't work you know we we are what we are and we are what we are 24/7 you know we don't we don't put on a recruiting shirt and change what we are and you know have a happy glass of water and go get it you know we we just we we we brought in high-energy high-octane passionate coaches to have a super-high level of expertise because the ability to connect is extremely important to us and what would you like for your son right you like your son of you're on a high level of expertise guy that knows what he's doing that has a super high care factor that's gonna bring it every single day I mean bring it and so we just believe that you can't separate or you bring it for practice but you kind of let your foot off the gas for recruiting and you let your foot off the gas for know if you recruiting if you're playing checkers if you're playing football bring it I think it's a fun thing you know I don't know if it's a deal breaker but it's certainly fun you know I think the coaches have more fun than the players do I mean I mean coach Feld is on more photo shoots and any of our prospects probably but I think our guys enjoy it I think it's kind of neat sometimes the families are around and have a chance to take some family pictures but it doesn't create a memory and a memory is always important in recruiting right especially as a year goes on longer and longer you like something to remind someone of hey I was a really special experience the only one I would say is Justin Collins just because he still rehabbing but he's close I think I know we'll have him for the season I would hate to say on this particular date but everybody else is good to go we've been very fortunate strong offseason really strong offseason though our strength conditioning numbers have gone up but but this is a year that you you've been really working towards right 18 months means two entire offseason and two entire offseason in the fourth quarter programs with your strength and conditioning staff and your football staff running it so the numbers and the results of this year are significantly different than your one where you're kind of setting the base and the foundation so that's exciting that's exciting but the again the accountability factor in the locker room is extremely and it's it's directed and guided by those guys over there you have one of the highest rated recruiting classes this past year which means you have a lot of highly rated football players are there one or two guys they maybe were underrated that you're looking forward to seeing gosh I think so I think there's a lot you know I there wasn't a guy that we signed that we didn't feel couldn't make some kind of an impact and help this year so but where do I start there I mean it's there's 27 Sinese if I name one the other 26 are gonna be upset right but no I just thought that the importance of of recruiting California and Southern Cal led you know almost was like a fire starter and really ended up leading to a really an excellent recruiting class and but I could answer that question probably about fourteen days I feel pretty good about it by 14 days sees as explosive and his body quick his foot in body quickness his balance and body control or off-the-charts natural ball skills I mean he tracks the ball extremely well a very explosive he's you know specialist of all returns cakes returns punts very quiet why but he's a jokester too likes joking around great family certainly a guy that was a huge piece of the recruiting class one of the best corners in the country and and after just watching him move around and practice with us rightfully so he's going to have a tremendous impact this well I think the first thing is to say that you know what it may not have been right but we like to turn the focus to all the right things that happens before that and even maybe some of the positive things that happened that year because you know what when you come into a place I really believe this I've seen it from all ends man and I when you come into a place you respects those that came before you know there's nothing worse than hearing right someone come in throwing someone else under the bus that's horrible and so I think our players we gain more and more of an understanding of the great tradition in Oregon you know and I had to be educated upon it right where am i from from the other side of the world right I mean another one good boat ride and I'm in Cuba right I've been training with Oregon in five minutes so remaining with Oregon because of all that I've been educated the players I've been educated we've had so many former players come in meet speak with our guys that they get they understand like this thing was strong for a long long time and Froy and Justin came to Oregon because of that strength and so they when they were presented with this culture and with this regimen azam I can be difficult yeah I could be a little bit difficult that it was demanding and I want I was like man how is this going to be taken in is it gonna be accepted and not only do they accept that they enforced it they enhanced it so that's we really believe that's been the ultimate difference in our football team and we believe it'll be a key factor in our success must have been frustrating I mean do you make him carry around the football for a whole week I mean what do you do to tell the movie the program well we had a I think it was 50-plus drops and OH which I think led the country and honestly I blame myself I blame most as coaches we oh we should have done a better job teaching it because catching the football is still a technique it's a fundamental and we could enhance that if we teach it the right way now that being said we have our new rod receiver coach coach both does a great job he has enhanced our technique and our ability to catch the football we reduce the number of drops by almost 80% during spring ball that also goes to the fact that alignment and assignment and then all these new guys that we have signs have really upped the level of competition in that room and my old coach down way down south used to say you have us in a team altogether to say I know it'll fix this competition Allah fixes know when the guy behind you is chomping at the bit and nipping at your heels you know in an attempt to push for that playing time everybody sense of urgency elevates we've introduced competition the right kind of way yeah the level of urgency and the types of detail has elevated and we've had tremendous improvement in the spring and we have to carry it over and improve in the fall as well but you're right it is something that has to improve and it starts with technique and fundamentals and then it's goes over to alignment and assignment those guys couldn't push them they could push the entire year not only for the opening game without a doubt Josh Mike both those guys proved on they all proved Brennan's school had a phenomenal spring Johnny Johnson had a really good spring as well jail and all those guys have stuffed oven and I really believe this those guys have done a good job taking upon themselves to better the culture in the wider ceiling and a lot of that goes with Coach Bo and a couple guys that we have hired as analysts and when Princess Bill in our all in our ta Jonathan Krauss they just those guys they they have really good relationships with our players well the combination of all those things they know it has to be better and it has to change it has some for us to be successful but that quarterback back there it is why the most important thing we do in the u.s. feeds back on the schedule this year for you guys can you talk about the stress if the area dolphins put on the defense and you'll be facing twice well it's obviously it's a very challenging offense and I think think of the USC in the caliber of athletes that they have obviously they not only are they are they talented ball team and the schematic change like that you know it potentially presents a lot of problems certainly have a really strong front seven returning you know they're a really good football team drastically I mean that position when that position is is an effective blocker as well as a receiver changes your entire offense living with open edges isn't isn't exactly our art world and some people do great in it and they they specialize in it we prefer to have the ability to do both go open edge and also use the tight end so healthy camera Cormac with a Jake Whelan weighing 251 pounds now it lends to us having better success tied in position all right that will conclude the session with Oregon again the student-athlete and coach this will all be available from the North Division will be available during the lunch for additional one on one oh I think we're gonna open that up i to me we know how we start ball we start now with a depth chart we start with an organizational chart that's how we do it you know this how we're gonna practice and you guys go win those jobs in terms of depth I don't talk about depth till the day before the game that's when we'll settle dip so what though oh yeah no it's well Rob Mullins is is ain't gonna find a better ad than Rob Mullins I mean he sees off-the-charts as a leader as an administrator and the passion that he has created within the athletic department is contagious and so the support for each other in within the walls and within the programs is off the charts thank you

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