By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
LAS VEGAS — The Mountain West football media days event begins Monday — and we’ll get you started with a new feature in the morning.
Boise State senior quarterback Joe Southwick and senior left tackle Charles Leno Jr. will join me for a live chat with Idaho Statesman readers. The chat will begin at 10:30 a.m. MT with me and likely columnist Brian Murphy. We’ll answer questions for 30 minutes and begin collecting questions for the players.
Southwick will join us at 11 a.m. MT and answer questions for about 15 minutes. Leno will take over at 11:15 a.m. for about another 15 minutes.
You can access the live chat through IdahoStatesman.com in the morning or by going to my blog page, blogs.idahostatesman.com/broncobeat.
Southwick and Leno meet with the media Monday. Coach Chris Petersen has sessions Monday and Tuesday. Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson speaks Tuesday. The event ends at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
We’ll have in-depth coverage throughout the two days.
I caught up with Southwick and Leno on Sunday evening. Here are a few highlights.
Leno on being a senior leader: “It’s different. It’s very different. It’s a role you just have to keep working at. You can’t be satisfied being a senior. You still have to go out and lead … and positively encourage guys.”
Leno on this year’s team: “I just feel like the offensive line is going to be really good. We’ve got a lot of strong, solid guys that are going to get plugged in. For the offense, I feel like we’re going to be extremely explosive this year. … It’s going to be a whole different look — faster, stronger.”
Southwick on the experienced offense: “It helps. But every year there’s going to be turnover. Obviously last year, when I was a junior, there was notable turnover. There was notable turnover with notable names — guys that got drafted. Obviously we didn’t have that this year, but there still was turnover. Joe Kellogg is gone. He was a great leader. Jerrell Gavins is gone, Tommy Smith is gone. There’s still a lot of turnover. I don’t think people really realize that.”
Southwick on leadership: “I’m doing everything I can to be the best leader I can for this offense, for this team. Going around five times, I’ve had a great opportunity, learning from past leaders — Richie Brockel, Winston (Venable), Kellen (Moore). There have been a lot of great leaders. I’ve just tried to pick things up from them. I know now it’s my turn, now it’s Charles’ turn. It’s being able to recognize that and run with it. You’ve got to embrace it. For almost all of us, this will be the last time we play football. You can feel it with the guys that we recognize that fact.”
Just a head’s up: I am working off an iPad because my laptop crashed shortly after I arrived in Las Vegas. So don’t be surprised if you see a few technical glitches over the next couple days.