I wasn’t able to get it all, but here are the highlights from Paul Finebaum’s interview with Hugh Freeze. There was some initial chit-chat about the weather and the 2013 season before the got onto the proposed rule change. All the comments are Freeze:
Thoughts on the season
Some good high moments, wining at Texas with a young team, then upsetting LSU who was ranked sixth at the time. Got off to a really good start. We suffered some injuries that revealed our depth issues and it’s hard to feel great about how we ended the season with two consecutive losses, but to bounce back and win against a very good Georgia Tech team made everybody feel a little bit better.
One of the things we try to take pride in trying to control what we can control. The schedule the conference hands to us is the one we’re going to play. You’re very aware of the grind of the SEC West.
First, we coach a dangerous game. NO way around it. I don’t think you can ever put your kids into position where there’s not a risk. We all understand that. The safety of our players is always a priority. I don’t know any coach that that’s not on his mind.
My understanding it is a non-rules change year and in order to change a rule there has to be documented evidence to prove the opinions shared in that room are very accurate.
There are a lot of things we could discuss. The cut blocks are not safe. The safety of our players is a priority. I have yet to see any data, and I talked to some trainers this morning, I just don’t think it’s there.
Their answer to me is it’s just common sense if you’re playing more players. Well my answer to that is there are more things that are common sense.
In the history of football defensive teams, they can line up wherever they want to and move around all 11 at one time. They can put as many on the line as they want. They can get a 10-yard running start if they want. All of that presents a risk. The one thing we’ve been able to control if when you snap the football. If it is a safety issue, I would love to see the data.
The second thing, is I think the process is all wrong.
We had an AFCA meeting, and it was never brought up. I would love to know who the presenters were and did someone from our side of the table get to adequately express our concerns?
My understanding is there was no one from the big five conferences who was represented on the committee.
The offensive numbers that have been being put up are definitely up. There’s a circle of us who believe that tempo is a way we can neutralize a team that may have more talent or skill level.
I think it’s an enjoyable brand of football.
Certainly it’s an uncomfortable feeling for defensive coaches. It’s coming from people on the defensive side who are not able to sub and get their calls in on time. They probably in their heart believe it is a safety concern.
One other issue Paul, if 29 is the number they’re looking for, it really is going to end up being … how are you going to coach your quarterback to read what’s going on with the defense, look at the substitutions, look at the play clock, then get your protections set? The majority of the time it’s going to be around 20 before you get it snapped. You don’t want your quarterback looking at the play clock and not what’s going on with the defense.