bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the season overall?
DeWayne Walker: Obviously we were very optimistic going in and we're going to continue to be optimistic, you have to when you're building a program. We wanted to win more than we lost this year but when you look at it, I tell you what, we probably could have won two more for sure and probably could have got six this year. I think it's something that we've learned from as a team and as a staff that it was definitely doable for us. I just think offensively when you go a stretch and you don't score a touchdown in 20 quarters, that's going to be a problem in terms of winning football games. That was an issue for us this year.
I thought defensively we've still gotta get better, there's still some pieces that we're missing but I felt we're on the right track defensively as long as we can continue to put a couple more pieces towards the defense. I thought special teams wise we stared off real good but as the season progressed we probably ended up being average at best. But at the same token I still think we're headed in the right direction.
If we can keep improving with those two areas and then obviously the biggest improvement is going to have to come offensively. I'm very optimistic heading into the 2010 season.
bc.net: You mentioned that you felt you could have gotten three more wins this season. If there was one game in particular that you could go back replay which one would it be?
DW: Probably San Jose State. That was definitely a game we should have won. I think the San Diego State game is another game you could go back and reflect when we get back into looking at our season as a staff. Those two wins would have put us at 5-8 and it would have made our season even more optimistic for us in terms of finishing up our season on a positive note.
bc.net: What were you the most proud of this season from your team?
DW: I think we were a team. We changed and we're continuing to change the mindset of our football team. It's great to hear our seniors say already "We're not going through this next year. We know we can win. We know our coaches are teaching us the right things. We know that we have the mindset. We know that our strength coach is getting us ready." I think they really believe in what we're doing and really continuing to explain to them that this was a process for us. Unfortunately you hate to lose ballgames to use as a learning experience but you have to. I just think we had to through what we went through this year to motivate our guys to really look forward to the next season.
bc.net: On the defensive side of the ball Davon House was named First Team All-WAC and you had Pierre Fils and Donte Savage who combined for 13.5 sacks, those three players are all coming back for you next season.
DW: As positive of a year that I know the public perception is with those three, they've only scratched the surface this year in my view in terms of where these guys can be. I just think there's so much room for improvement from those three guys, I think they have a chance to really be key players in our conference next season.
bc.net: As a first year head coach, were there any surprises for you, was there anything that you didn't expect that happened or anything that didn't happen that you expected to happen?
DW: I was just talking with Tony Dungy about that the other day. I wanted to go through everything myself. I wanted to have my hand in everything because I wanted to get a taste of all the responsibilities and all the things that go with being head coach and go with trying to build a struggling program. It was a challenge for me. Fortunately I have some people around me that were very helpful but I wanted to do a lot this year just so I would know what would be needed getting ready for the next season. Really just going through each win and each loss and really learning from it. I'm excited about this next season. Obviously I'm not happy, I'm a competitor, I don't want to be the weak link of the conference so it was pretty motivating for me to go through this and yet try to turn this into a positive.
bc.net: What changes are you going to be making as a coach from year one to year two.
DW: We made some changes on offense. We'll end up with a new offensive coordinator, we'll end up with a new running backs coach. We only had eight assistant coaches so I'm going to gain the ninth coach back this year. I'm not sure where I'm going to put this particular coach but it'll be an offensive position. I just think we're really looking to upgrade on offense because I think that's the area of our team that needs the most improvement and continue to improve our defense and special teams which I think are headed in the right direction.
bc.net: In terms of an offensive coordinator, what are some of the characteristics or philosophies you're looking for in a coordinator?
DW: Schematically I would like to stay close to what we were trying to do this year. I just think we need an offensive coordinator that is going to be very creative, an offensive coordinator that can do more with less to some degree. We need a guy that can come in and be a great play caller and be able to look on the offensive side of the ball and put guys where we need them to be productive.
bc.net: In terms of recruiting what are the biggest areas of concern for you and what's your main focus as you head into the offseason?
DW: Linemen. We need linemen. Offensive linemen, defensive tackles. WE're going to look at taking another quarterback, maybe two quarterbacks. Linebackers would be the next thing on defense. And try to find us a playmaker at wide receiver. We're lacking a go-to guy. I think Marcus Allen, I think he has some play-making abilities but I think we need one more receiver that we can really utilize as a go-to guy. With 17 scholarships I think we're going have to be very selective with how we distribute those scholarships. We're going to try to plug in those positions to try to make us more competitive.
bc.net: As you head into the offseason what is the schedule for you and your staff?
DW: We'll be recruiting, that'll be our main focus from now until signing day which will be the first Wednesday in February. Once we're done with that we'll break up offensively and defensively then recap the season and try to make improvements in all three areas and we'll start preparing for spring practice which will be the month of April. Then in May all the coaches will be out again for spring recruiting, identifying talent for the 2011 season. Then we'll do all our kids camps and all those things in June and coaches will get a little time off in July and then we're back at in August.
bc.net: The Fiesta Bowl matchup between Boise State and TCU, you face Boise State this year, who do you think has an advantage in that game?
DW: Boy, I'm impressed with both head coaches. I worked with Coach Patterson and I've had a chance to be around Coach Peterson. You've got a great matchup in terms of head coaches. Both guys are very good at what they do. I know when you look at last year's matchup, TCU had the advantage and they won the game. I'm going to be at the game and I want to see this one live and in color. Obviously you want to pull for Boise because it's a conference team. I'm going to have to go with Boise just because that's who is in our conference and I respect what Coach Peterson has done over the years.