September 1, 2010

New kid in town - Holgorsen ready to play

Walking into Monday's media luncheon, Dana Holgorsen appeared relaxed, sporting a white OSU polo, jeans and sandals.

Jitters on game week? Not likely.

"I don't get very nervous," he said. "It's all the same to me. I feel the same thing in games that I do in practice. I get the plays in there and hopefully these guys can handle it."

A Mike Leach disciple, it's immediately clear just how influenced Holgorsen was by the former Texas Tech coach. First meeting at his alma mater Iowa Wesleyan, Holgorsen ended up serving on his staff at both Valdosta State and Tech. Displaying similar mannerisms, speaking styles and senses of humor, Stillwater seems to have Leach Jr. on its hands.

"I mean, he hasn't started since 1980 or something like that," Holgorsen deadpanned when asked about how Brandon Weeden has improved in the decision-making department. The timing and one-liner ability seems strong with him. After that, he tackles the question in earnest.

"It's all going to be about him being able to go through the whole routine of game day - not getting too worked up for pre-game and can't get too worked up. He's got an even-keel attitude and that needs to remain the same - the same thing throughout the course of the game. Whether some good things happen or whether some bad things happen, he needs to be able to handle it and stay on an even keel out there. So that's going to be mostly my job on game day is to make sure that happens."

His arrival in Stillwater is sort of strange. Not that he isn't qualified to run a major school offense, just that he's effectively replacing a pretty successful offense and the head coach that ran it. Usually, a new coordinator comes in when there was a massive failure on the field. That didn't happen. However, something was amiss and a change was made, as Mike Gundy stepped aside and forfeited his game day play-calling duties.

Holgorsen says he realizes he wasn't brought aboard for the usual reasons.

"That was kind of a part of it coming into it is that the staff that was here I had a tremendous amount of respect for," he said. "I didn't bring anybody with me but my graduate assistant who was with me at Houston. But the guys that are here and are coaching up these guys right now, and I've spent a lot of time working with these guys and meshing our philosophies and letting these guys go to their position rooms and teaching their guys some different ways of doing some things. So it's been a lot of fun."

So what can Orange Country expect from the man who helped make the Tech and Houston offenses bust lights on scoreboards? Well, one thing is for sure: expect the players who put forth the most effort to get the most playing time. In his world, there are no favorites.

"Where we're at right now is guys that practice well this week - and our guys know this - that guys that practice well this week are going to get reps. Guys that don't practice well this week are not going to get reps."

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