Texas Tech receiver Eric Ward is the Big 12 leader with 16 receptions, and he’ll go head to head with one of the Big 12’s best defenses tonight when the Red Raiders host TCU in an early season conference tilt. Fox Sports Southwest caught up with Ward before this week’s game to talk about a variety of subjects. You’re leading the Big 12 in receptions, but how would you assess your performance so far?
I just wanted to go out there and handle the situation the best I can. I think I’d say “fair,” but I can do a lot better. What’s the biggest difference in this offense for receivers versus what you guys ran last year?
I’d say there’s more options. There’s more options than there were in the past. We have more weapons and more guys that are versatile this year. It allows more creativity at each position, actually. This offensive is so versatile. It’s creativity-based.
When you walk around the Big 12, which corners are the toughest guys to shake?
I’d say every corner has their pros and cons, honestly.
Jason Verrett, TCU’s cornerback, is widely considered one of the best in the conference and the country. What does he do to separate himself from average guys?
I’d say he has very good hip control. He’s really competitive and that whole defense they’re in is competitve.
What’s your expectation for your production by the end of the year?
I just want to get better by each game and work on things that can I can improve on each game to help this offense and help this team. I just want to go out there and keep working on things I can get better at. Any numbers in mind?
I’d rather go out there and just do it. I don’t really like telling what I’m going to do to make it happen, I just want to go out there and make it happen.
What’s something we don’t know about your coach, Kliff Kingsbury?
I mean, I think he’s an extrovert, so everything you see is what you get. I can’t even think of something we don’t know. I can say he’s a very smart coach. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about him since he’s taken over?
Just how he’s very straightforward in his approach. He’s not going to play around all the time. When he steps on the field, it’s business time. He can have fun off the field, but at football practice, it’s straight business.
Through two games, what do you see as the biggest difference in his staff versus what you guys were used to last year?
They’re not like all uptight about everything, and they just do all the preparation in practice instead of trying to make the player more pressured and uptight when game time comes. They just let you go out there and work on what we were practicing on. When you make a mistake, they correct it right there and don’t just yell at you all the time when you mess up.