I went back and transcribed Tony Franklin's comments to the pack for my story on scripting that's running Tuesday. Figured I might as well post it.
Like I said in that post from yesterday, I found that scripting stuff to be really interesting. I hope it's not so inside-baseball that it comes off as boring. The really technical stuff can be dry reading sometimes, but I think this time it came off all right.
Anyway, here's what he had to say:
The only news I’ve got is that both of them will play, just like I’ve told you before. As far as who will start, I don’t know. They’re both good. For me, it’s a very unique situation. I’ve never been in it before. I’ve never had anything like it before, to where that you’ve got two quality Division I quarterbacks that are both good leaders, both good players. Neither one of them have wilted under the pressure. They’ve both gotten better. So as of right now, as far as picking one and saying, ‘This guy’s the starter,’ we haven’t done that yet. We’ll have somebody that’ll go out there first on Saturday, but the good thing is we’ve got Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and more time to put into it and see what happens from there.
On whether the starter will be set or whether it might be situational:
It’ll be situational. It could be something dynamic between now and Saturday that one of them emerges and shows some quality or something that we haven’t seen that makes him the guy, then that could be the case, too. But they’re both gonna play. I think that’s the most important thing. It’ll probably be even more important as to who finishes the game rather than who starts the game. That might be the more important thing.
On when he plans to tell the QBs of his decision:
As soon as I know. They know what you know. Today, when they went out there, I didn’t tell which one of them to go first. They do that between themselves. The snaps and how they alternate the snaps, they do that themselves. I just make sure by the end of the week that they’ve all gotten the quality of reps that they have to have. So when I look out there, like on a certain day, and see who goes first for a certain drill, they decide that every day themselves. So far, like I said, it’s been a good problem. And it’s really not a problem. I can find no negatives in it at all. Unless I made it negative, then it can be negative, but I don’t plan on doing that.
On how they might divide snaps Saturday:
I think the flow of the game and you watch them play, that might kinda help determine that. No but I mean I would be surprised if they didn’t play close to the equal amount of time. I think there could be a situation where one of them gets a hot hand and he may stay. But then again, there’ve been days out here where if you watched them where one of them gets a hot hand and the other one comes in and his is hotter. So again, I think they’ve both risen to each other’s level of excellence.
On how he feels about the offense as a whole:
I feel good. It’s impossible every year to tell. You never know. I don’t care where you are. I don’t care where you’re coaching. You never know until you go play other people. You can never tell against your own people how good you’re gonna be. I feel like we’re talented, I feel like we’ve got a lot of guys that can make plays. And it’s just a matter of how they click on Saturday when they go out there and how many plays they make and, like always, not turning the football over. But I feel like we’re talented enough that if we do a good job coaching that we should be really good on offense. I’ll be very disappointed if we’re not.
On his game-planning process for the opener and whether he scripts plays:
Yeah, I script. I’ve got a whole bunch of them right there (sitting next to him). They’re all basically, I usually script like 25 to 30 plays to start a game off with. That doesn’t mean that I stay exactly down it. The situation sometimes will dictate. But I usually try to make sure I get through those by the end of the half. I’d like to be through those and that kinda tells me what I’m gonna do for the rest of the game.
On when he decided the first play of the season:
Actually I haven’t decided yet. I’ve got about three in mind and it’ll depend on – field position could determine one play versus another, how far backed up we are, what hash we’re on. All those types of things could determine one over the other. But I’ve got about three thoughts right now.
On who fills Montez Billings’ spot if he doesn’t play Saturday. Fannin?
No. Probably you would have Carr and Pierre both play. They’ll both kinda share that position. Philip’s kinda going back and forth playing both X and Z, so if Montez can’t go, then he’ll probably get more at Z than he would at X.
Montez before his injury was the No. 2 at X?
Well they were rotating. Both those guys were playing. The way that we play, everybody plays. Hopefully Montez will be back. We’ll see.
Fannin is still rotating in that group?
Yeah, Fannin’s gonna play and he may play a lot of different spots. I think you’ll see him at different places on the field doing different things because he definitely needs the ball. So we’ve got to figure out ways that we can guarantee him touching the ball.
What stands out about Louisiana-Monroe on defense:
Extremely well-coached. We played them two years when I was at Troy and now Kim Dameron left and went to Ole Miss with Houston. But they kept everybody else and they brought in, I know, a guy from Nebraska as the new defensive co-coordinator. I expect their scheme, they’ve been pretty good on defense, so I expect them to be fairly similar. They’re very sound. They play hard, they run hard to the ball, they’re tough and they’re very well-coached. Both years it’s been a struggle. We struggled with them both years at Troy.
On what he’s told the offense about struggling against ULM at Troy:
We’ve talked about playing them. I told them what I expect out of them, that these guys are coming in here and they believe that they’re gonna win. There’s a tremendous amount of pride in that conference right now. I know because I was in that conference and I have a lot of pride and I know what we felt like when we went on the road playing the SEC. We took a tremendous amount of pride in making sure that when we left the field, they knew that they’d been in a game and hopefully you had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. They’ve gone one step further. They’ve won one on the road, so our guys understand that you only get 14 opportunities this year that you’ll get to do this stuff, so to me there’s never any excuse not to be ready to play.
On whether last year’s ULM-Alabama game forces teams to take ULM seriously:
It should. I think for that entire conference, it wakes everybody up. You look around that conference and you look at Florida Atlantic playing South Florida down to the last play at home and beating Minnesota. And Troy, we beat Oklahoma State last year and played the SEC teams fairly tough. So it had better be an eye-opener to them.
On progression of wide receivers as a whole from when he first saw them to now:
From when I first saw them till now is a huge dramatic change in I think probably just doing things the way I want them done. To me, that made ‘em more successful, I mean, the natural maturation process for anybody, maturing and getting better. But I think they’re happy because they know that they’re gonna get the ball and they’re gonna play. A lot of them are gonna play. So I think that’s the biggest thing. Guys like to play and they like to know they’re gonna have the chance to get the ball, so they’re all excited.