Head Coach Frank Solich
On being picked to win the East Division:
I don't put much into preseason rankings. We were ranked in the middle of the pack in the East Division in the preseason last year and that's not where I expected to be at the end of the year. I just feel that if you get too excited about it one way or the other at the beginning of the season that you're probably not serving yourself well. You still need to get prepared to play each game one at a time as best as you can.
On parity within the MAC:
Top-to-bottom, it's close. I think any team can line up on a give day and beat the other team. When you have a conference that is like that, preseason predictions don't mean a lot [for a coach].
On getting the team to maintain the hunger following the 2006 success:
I know how to do that as a coach in terms of not letting the team get overconfident. We [the team] know exactly what got us to this point, and to think that anything less is going to allow us to carry forward and be successful is not the way it works.
On the team's attitude:
I think they are excited. They have had enough time together [in the program] to know that there are expectations to reach. They've set their own [expectations] and we haven't had to talk to them about it. They want to take the program to another level, to move it another step forward.
On Kalvin McRae:
He's very modest. That's what makes him the guy he is. I think his teammates appreciate that because he is very team-oriented, despite the fact that he has reached a lot of goals that maybe he set for himself, he also sets team goals. He's taken as much pride in reaching some those team goals as he might have the individual goals. That's the kind of person that guys want to be around.
On establishing a starting quarterback in the preseason:
You can prepare two guys. You'd like to prepare one and have another guy with enough reps that he can step in in an emergency. We'll try to get it to where we are preparing two throughout the fall camp. We may have to shuffle things around a little bit in the early part of fall, but we can't go through fall camp and have three or four guys battling. We've got to make some decisions and we'll be prepared to do that early.
On redshirting versus playing underclassmen:
We won't necessarily be forced to [play underclassmen], but we'll look at that. We want the best players and the best athletes on the field. We want to get everybody coached up well enough that we can play young players if we need to play them. Ideally you'd like to build depth by redshirting, but it is more difficult to do that in this day of age in football. We have a walk-on program, and that's where depth can be built. We are working hard on building depth through that, and if we do a good job of that, then maybe some guys won't have to play as early.
On the importance of special teams:
Special teams were critical to our success last year. If we weren't an excellent special teams team, we would have been an average football team last year. Special team made the difference. I've seen that happen many times. We will use a player on special teams, and if that is the only place he can play, but he can be a great player for us and is willing to do that, he'll be on there.
On new Wide Receivers Coach Dwayne Dixon:
Dwayne is obviously a proven coach. It's not always the case that you are able to get a person who is proven, and who has the track record he has. His track record is amazing in terms of the number of pro prospects he has worked with and what he has accomplished with those players. We really got ourselves a good one. Derek [Mason] did a great job for us and was able to move on to the pros [