Column: Love cliches? They're a dime a dozen at this place

After a couple of days at the unrelenting babblefest known by the gloriously concise name of SEC 2018 Football Kickoff Media Days Presented By Regions, I wondered if all the valuable insights gleaned from propaganda-spouting coaches and cliche-droning players might be helpful in writing my next column.

Turns out, they were.

In fact, I just need to get out of the way, let others do the pontificating for me.

This column writes itself.

So, without further ado (or the least bit of writing skill), and acknowledging right up front that none of these words are my own, I give you an aggregated version of some of the lessons gleaned from SEC Media Days.

You're welcome.


ATLANTA — Happy to be here. I hope everybody's saying that. Glad to be here. That's what we should all say.

I've made friends with a bunch of you. Some of you not so much. It is what it is.

The guys are really starting to grasp what we want to do and how we want to do it, and looking forward to the challenges.

The biggest thing I feel is the change in expectation, and that's a good thing. We're excited about that. We embrace those expectations.

Pressure is really a privilege. You should feel privileged to have pressure to win games, to have expectations.

Everybody wants instant gratification. Everybody wants things quickly. That's just the world we live in.

People are never going to put more pressure on me than I put on myself in this business.

We are focused on getting better every day and improving on what we didn't do or didn't have last year.

It isn't going to be easy. There are going to be bumps in the road, and we have to overcome them.

There's no shortcuts.

The "i'' you don't dot, the "t'' you don't cross gets exposed in this league very quickly.

Everyone's looking for that perfect ingredient to do it, but I think ultimately right now what we're doing in the summer is all we can do. It's working extremely hard, finding leaders on this team that can step up in big moments, and we have to make the plays in order to do that.

We have to make sure we instill to the younger guys the importance of the little things, the small details of things, and what it takes to win games, to win championships.

It is really not as much about the team as it is about the details that really separate you from being great. Because in this conference, everybody is talented, but it is the details that could separate the good teams, the bad teams, the great teams, the teams that win national championships and the teams that do not. That is what we have been focusing on this offseason, and that is what we are going to keep on doing.

We know we've just got to come to work every week. It doesn't matter what you say you're going to do at the beginning of the season. You've got to go through camp, take it one week at a time.

We don't like to think too far in advance.

One step at a time.

We come into each day with the mindset to win and attack the day. That way we can beat expectations.

You're always going to be nervous going into that first game ... but very excited and looking forward to the challenge.

We play the game to go 1-0 every week.

You never know what's going to happen in a game, so you never want to leave with that extra inch out there. The extra inch can lose or win you the game. We want to play the last snap like it's the first snap. The same energy and enthusiasm the whole game.

It is hard to win in this league, hard to win. You have got to do things the right way all the time. That's our goal.

You have to bring your "A'' game every single week no matter who it is you are going to play.


If you learn to finish everything you do, it's going to be natural.

(Could you talk a little more?)

The thing that I have learned about myself is I can't do it all. Quit trying to do it all.

Sometimes you don't appreciate what you have until you don't have it.

Never take a snap for granted.

I believe the best is yet to come.

So we've got to get ready to strap it up.

I'm ready to go!


Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at or at His work can be found at


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