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Mike Leach: The ultimate quote machine

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I like to call Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach a quote machine. He's a little random at times, but always original, which makes his sound bites interesting.

Two classic Leach quotes that immediately come to mind:

  1. "If (former Tech quarterback) B.J. (Symons) is a product of the system, then he's not getting any of those touchdown passes and all those yards. That means our coaching staff is," Leach said. "That would also mean we could go down to 7-Eleven and get the clerk behind the counter and let him play quarterback."
    — In 2003

  2. "It's kind of like doing surgery with a chainsaw instead of a scalpel," Leach said. "We had pieces and parts flying everywhere. It turned out in our favor. We've just got to clean it up the next time around."
    -After beating New Mexico, 24-3, in 2000 for his first win as Tech coach

Heck, the guy even gives dating advice:

This week, the quote machine was at it again after the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Leach clearly was perplexed with the idea that former A&M quarterback Stephen McGee was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the first pick in the fourth round, while former Tech quarterback Graham Harrell went undrafted.

"The Dallas Cowboys like him more than his coaches at A&M did," Leach said of McGee to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday.

He didn't stop there. Former Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, picked at No. 10 overall by San Francisco, wasn't selected as high as most mock drafts predicted. Reports surfaced that Crabtree had a diva-ish attitude after visiting with the Browns and coach Eric Mangini.

"Michael Crabtree has been more successful as a receiver than that guy has a coach at this point," Leach said to the Sacramento Bee. "Part of the reason is he's (Crabtree) too shy to be like that ... Let's see how all those non-divas do up in Cleveland this year."

Who knows if he's right, but at least he's original.

Harrell, coincidentally, joined the Browns and will work out at their rookie minicamp. He hasn't signed a contract with Cleveland, but I hope Harrell gets a shot. I really thought if anyone could destroy the notion of Tech system quarterbacks (Symons, Kliff Kingsbury, Cody Hodges, Sonny Cumbie) not making it in the NFL, it'd be Harrell. At 6-foot-2 (and 1/8, according to ESPN's Scouts Inc.), and 223 pounds, he has the physical make-up to play in the NFL. Scouts Inc. lists Matthew Stafford at 6-2 and 1/4 (225 pounds) and Detroit made him $78 million richer last Friday night as the No. 1 overall pick.

A few other Big 12-related thoughts I had after the draft.

The Rams cut ties with Orlando Pace, who anchored the St. Louis offensive line for 12 years, this offseason. But they've replaced him with the Big 12's best left tackle: Baylor's Jason Smith. Rams QB Marc Bulger should feel a little safer in the pocket as he winds down his NFL career.

I think from a historical perspective, Crabtree will look the part in a San Francisco uniform. When I think of great Niners receivers, I think Dwight Clark, John Taylor, Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. T.O. left San Francisco after 2003 and the Niners have been looking for his replacement ever since. Crabtree can be that guy, but I have concerns about who will be delivering him the ball. Shaun Hill and Alex Smith are the first two names on the San Francisco depth chart.

Brian Orakpo should be a force in Washington's defensive scheme. The Redskins signed prized defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in the offseason, and have Andre Carter locked down to one defensive end spot. The Redskins were fourth overall in team defense last year, but ranked 28th in sacks. Orakpo and Haynesworth immediately upgrade this unit.

Josh Freeman's impact on the Bucs continues to be a mystery, but my guess is he sits for the first year in favor of Byron Leftwich or Brian Griese.

Jeremy Maclin in Philadelphia should be fascinating to watch. How about an offense that suddenly has several dimensions with quarterback Donovan McNabb, tailback Brian Westbrook and receivers Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis? Look for Maclin to also contribute to the kickoff and punt return units.

That should be about all for now, friends. As always, discuss.

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