2012 SEC Media Day Quotes: Banks, Russell, Jackson
SEC Football Media Days
Mississippi State Player Quotes
Preseason All-American Senior DB Johnthan Banks
On changes to the defense from last year:
"There will be some changes in the defense. We have guys coming in - last year I don't think we played as hard; we weren't as physical as we have been in the past. I think there will be some changes, we have better leadership roles, myself, I have taken the defense, and I have made us work harder. I think we have guys who have bought into the program. We have guys that are going to go out there and play harder and faster."
On going against Tyler Russell in practice:
"I have played in this league for three years; I have played against some of the best quarterbacks in the league. Things I have picked up on, I can tell Tyler [Russell], I see him doing things, when I can tell he is going to throw to a receiver on my side, I can let him know things he is doing wrong and things he needs to change; like if I am going to blitz or something, Tyler has picked up on some stuff I do - he tells me stuff I need to change. So, I think that's something that helps build our team. Tyler and I are the older guys on the team, so we help each other out and correct each other, and I think it's best for our team."
Junior QB Tyler Russell
On starting at quarterback this season:
"I have waited a long time for this, and I have worked very hard, and have become a leader on and off the field and it is finally time for me to be that guy."
On what attributes Russell had to learn to become the starting quarterback:
"I think watching the older guys and seeing the things that they did and what they did when things weren't going really well and the things that they did when things were going good. Just being out there and the experience I've had and I've played in some games and just, it's time to be that guy that the young guys can count on and they can look up to and finally being able to lead the team."
On how the offense has changed since Russell has taken over:
"First I think it starts with the fact that we have five senior wide receivers that have played in games and that have experience and can go and get the ball. Our offensive line has done a really good job in the spring, we have a lot of running backs that can step in and make plays. So, from a standpoint of what is Tyler Russell going to do, it's really easy for me. I have a lot of weapons and all I have to do is get the ball in the playmakers hands and everything should take care of itself."
On the team's direction over the past two years:
"We really don't worry about what people say, looking into our offense or our team. We want to be the best every year - we want to get to Atlanta, Ga., and win a Southeastern Conference Championship; that is a main goal and we have won a couple of bowl games and you ask a lot of players on our team if that is a successful year they would tell you no, just because we hold high expectations for ourselves."
On how the team builds off of recent bowl success and what expectations are:
"Like I said, you want to be the best in the country, that's what every team right now is preparing to do, in the weight room, definitely in the classroom and stuff like that, too. So, we want to be the best and that is what we are striving to do."
Preseason All-SEC Junior OL Gabe Jackson
On the direction of the team:
"I think we are heading in the right direction. Last year was kind of a setback and we have to bounce back, work harder even this year so we can win more games."
On expectations for this year and building off of last year:
"Every year we have to set our expectations higher, we have to get better, win more. I feel like it [last season] was a disappointment, but we are going to come back from it."
On blocking for Tyler Russell compared to Chris Relf last year:
"Not really. No matter what quarterback you are blocking for you still don't want to give up sacks and you still don't want to get beat and you want to open up lanes for the running back. So, I mean it's pretty much the same, just probably a little more passing involved."
On this year's offense compared to in years past:
"Maybe slightly a little bit."
On Tyler Russell's quarterback play and leadership:
"He has pretty much taken over. He has demanded more of everyone. He's doing extra things and working hard, going out throwing balls. I feel like he is more of a vocal leader than he has been in the past. He has always been the type to work hard and to be a leader, but he has done a better job this year of stepping up and taking control."