“I'm excited to have Mike back, for a number of reasons. Not only personally, but professionally, when we've worked together, it's been pretty positive. You look at our years either competing at Iowa together as players, but also the years at Kansas State coaching defense together, (to) his, whatever, 5-6 years with us at Oklahoma up to 2003, we did pretty well overall. Mike can only do so much, though, just like any coach can. Players are ultimately what win and lose for you. But I do believe in the last couple years, for whatever reason, and we've really looked at it, our defense hasn't been quite as strong as what we've been used to in our first 10-12 years. So hopefully we can make fewer mental mistakes in some areas and be a little sharper in what we're doing to play more consistently better defense. That's what Mike will be working hard on, and I've obviously got a lot of faith in him.
On how Blake Bell and his “Belldozer” package will be used in 2012:
“Very much the same as what it has been. Blake's an excellent athlete, continues to do well, he throws the ball well. But we're not going to alternate quarterbacks, and so it will stay pretty much the same — red zone and short-yardage, those situations. You get the extra hat and you get the extra blocker on somebody, and you got a guy 260 pounds that's 6-foot-6 falling forward, and it's usually positive.”
On the progress of running back Dominique Whaley, who missed the final five games with a broken ankle:
“He's been cleared to do everything. He's out there running and training. I'm not able to work with them, so it's a little bit tough (to assess his progress). And I don't think even Dom knows until you put the pads on and have got to make that sudden cut. Is he going to feel comfortable doing it? He says he feels really good and he's working well, but again, until you get out there, it's kind of hard to say.”