IRVING, Texas -- Under former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, winning Big 12 championships wasn't talked about and any mention of the NFL was forbidden.
Those rules are long gone under new coach Tommy Tuberville.
"After the first meeting I was sold. The first thing he told us was he was trying to win a Big 12 championship and that was something that was never brought up before then. Championships were not talked about in the Leach era," senior quarterback Steven Sheffield said. "It was win one game a week, it was play one play, play the next play, which is a good thing, you want to focus on that. If you win one game a week, you'll win the national championship. But, I think us being young guys and the society we live in today, I don't know, sometimes it's good to have your goal out there and be like, 'Hey, we're trying to win the Big 12 and let's remember that.' And in order to do that, we've got to win one game a week."
And there was the NFL taboo under Leach.
"We didn't talk about and championships and the NFL was not to be talked about. You couldn't talk about the NFL," Sheffield said. "There was no agent talk, nothing like that. Here we are, we thought it was illegal to talk to agents. I don't know if you've ever seen, but there was a sign in our facility that said there was a $500 reward if anybody saw an agent. If they told coach Leach, he'd give them $500 if they turned in an agent just for being in the facility. Then sure enough, you find out you're allowed to talk to these guys -- I'm not saying I talk to these guys -- I'm just saying it's not against the rules.
"And sure enough, here we are in our strength and conditioning program and we're doing a bunch of NFL-based drills for the Combine."
Sheffield said the new coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Neal Brown, are more detail-oriented in their drills.
"Every single step, if our drop is not straight back then it's wrong, it's marked down wrong, it's on our sheets," Sheffield said. "I think it's good to see. We get to see more of our stats that we do everyday in practice and what we really need to focus on. You know, NFL scouts look at that stuff, they look at the first step being straight back, not false-stepping, stuff like that. That's just stuff we were never coached up on, which wasn't a bad thing because we were successful. But, just a different coaching style."