As usual, BYU's 2015 football media day began with the State of the Program broadcast.
BYUtv's Dave McCann facilitated the program, which included question-and-answers with athletic director Tom Holmoe, head coach Bronco Mendenhall, offensive coordinator Robert Anae, football performance director Frank Wintrich, and players Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams.
Here's a rundown of notes and quotes from the event.
Tom Holmoe and Bronco Mendenhall took time to remember Tommy Hudspeth, the former BYU head coach who passed away Tuesday.
On the state of the program:
Tom Holmoe: There aren't many teams that have won as many games across the decades as BYU, and I love the principles Bronco has. But as much as we love to talk about the past, it's about having success now and moving the program forward.
McCann "broke" the news of scheduling the two-game series with Toledo, which begins in 2016, and reviewed the tough 2016 schedule.
McCann asked Holmoe if there is a chance to play only 5 games at home if it means premier road games.
Holmoe said: We'd rather play 7 at home, and as we win more we can get there. I don't ever want to see 5 home games and will do everything I can to make sure the fans get at least 6.
The topic of the ACC and SEC considering BYU as a power 5 was brought up.
Holmoe: There was some talk these conferences wouldn't schedule games outside the P5 group, so we were very fortunate to work with ADs, presidents, and those schools to have them consider us a power 5 team. And on these schedules, we need a lot of help from other schools, and Tulsa isn't on our schedule but you should see what they did for us to switch games around so we could schedule some of these P5 teams.
Can you ride independence as long as ESPN is your partner?
Bronco: I don't think it's indefinite, but exposure is the key to indpendence and there are not many teams with the number of games we have on national TV. But there's a question about revenue, which is important.
Dick Harmon of the Deseret News asked what is the key focus for each of the two.
Holmoe: We have to figure out how to stay on top of the landscape. So much has become reactionary because of the nature of the sport right now. We built an indoor practice facility not long ago and were on top of the game, and now it's being surpassed by other programs. It moves quickly.
Bronco: How to get as many teams as possible to play home-and-homes with us
Holmoe said of not spoiling football series he is working on: "Once you throw something out" about an unannounced series, "it's the kiss of death. That game's going away."
Robert Anae joined the program. They reviewed Bronco's stats when directly in charge of defense and asked Anae how he feels about Bronco going back to defense full time.
"The year Bronco spent with (the offense) really helped us. So hopefully we can steal him here and there, he really helped."
Bronco discussed the principles that makes his defenses successful, which includes buy in to the mindset of the defense and his philosophy. Interestingly, Bronco said "it is usually never a full two-deep that fully buys in, but about 15 guys. Which is all we need to play at that level."
Anae on his offensive scheme: "Find the best quarterback in your program, and find the things he does best as your starting point."
How much can you utilize Jamaal Williams off his knee injury?
Anae: 100%. And he's an important part of our offense. And we've added a few tight ends from the defensive side to develop a blocking scheme to really power our run game.
The conversation later returned to this change and the "Bash Brothers" of Steven Richards and Tanner Balderree.
Anae: Having this ability to increase the tailback run game will be great. They've come from the defense and given us a physicality we need to add to the QB-based run game we've had and really use the tailbacks like we need to.
Anae is confident in the run game and said his hope is to throw the ball at a higher level, building off what Christian Stewart did last season.
What Bronco expects from the offense: Consistency. When you have a year of production like we did a year ago and you have experience returning, that gives us a chance to be more consistent no matter who we're playing. Like we will score X amount of points no matter who we play because of experience.
Before bringing in Frank Wintrich, Anae was asked what he sees in having a new strength coach in town.
Anae: The guys look different. They look better. They have an attitude like "what do you have, coach?" because Wintrich gives them all they can handle already.
Wintrich: I love this place, I love this school. It's a special place, it's why I wanted to come here and I have not been disappointed.
Bronco says Chico Canales, the offensive coordinator at North Texas, called Bronco saying Wintrich was interested in BYU. "Don't send me just anyone average," Bronco told him.
Wintrich: The players rise or fall to the level we train them, so it's essential we train at a very high level.
"If we don't define who we are now in the summer, someone else will do that for us in September."
More Wintrich: Our consistency is unlike anyone else in the country. I don't think you can find the energy and consistency with our staff anywhere in the country.
Bronco: The culture doesn't shift in the weight room to the field. The foundation is being laid. They are physically *and* mentally prepared in the weight room before hitting the field. For those who don't try hard, they figure out what that looks like *before* they get to me.
McCann asked Wintrich about Bronson Kaufusi moving back to defensive line.
Wintrich: He's a special kid, big strong kid, and I'm excited to see what he does this season.
Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams joined the program.
Taysom: I feel good. It's been a long time coming, but my health is good, I've been fully cleared to do everything. This is my 6th full week with no limitations and my ankle has repsonded really well. The thing that was the most difficult was sitting on the couch in a cast watching the team play on TV.
Jamaal: You always hope it's not as bad as you think it is, but the doctor gives you that news and your heart drops.
It's tested me to stay strong, stay positive, and work harder for my teammates. Taysom is like Iron Man, he comes back from everything. So I'm seeing if I can keep up with him and his leadership is rubbing off onto me.
McCann asked Williams if he fully expects to be at full speed against Nebraska?
Jamall: Of course I do. I've been busting my butt to be ready for that game. I'll be ready. Running the football is like being free. You don't have to chase other people, you can be a defensive player with the ball in their hand, you can punish people, you can make em look foolish. You can tackle people with the ball. I always want to get tackled forward and have that physicality.
Bronco on the importance of Taysom and Jamaal: Not only are their positions important but as people, they are important. With them in uniform, our team carries themselves more confidently and they've earned our team's respect because of how they work.