DALLAS -- Art Briles should be a happy camper. His team is the defending Big 12 champion, and arrived at the conference's media days being called a league "heavyweight" for what is undoubtedly the first time ever as coach of the Bears.
But he's a little ornery when it comes to quarterback Bryce Petty.
"Honestly, personally and professionally, I'm a little upset about the way it all transpired last year. I certainly felt like he should have been in New York without question," Briles said, referring to the site of the Heisman Trophy presentation. "I mean, you're a first-year starter, you win 11 football games, win the Big 12 Championship for the first time in school history, throw 4,200 yards, 33 TDs, three picks, and you sit at home in December?
"Do those numbers again this year, he'll be in New York. Might win it."
Those impressive numbers as a first-year starter are one reason why the 6-foot-3, 230 pound Petty also popped up on NFL radars in 2013. The signal-caller returned to school for his senior season and has been busy this offseason serving as a counselor at the prestigious Elite 11 and Manning Passing Academy.
Petty has also worked with noted quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. on improving his weight transfer and other mechanical issues that could help elevate his 2015 NFL Draft stock even more. The bottom line that Briles underscored on Monday is that there will be no coming out of nowhere for Petty because folks coast-to-coast will be tuning in to watch him.
"His perception, his image is different from a year ago because he had nothing. Now he's got substance, he's got something people can believe," Briles said. "What he can bring this year is an attitude of when I talk, people are going to listen a little bit. Like I tell the players you want to be listened to, produce. He's produced. He's got a chance to be heard. When he speaks, now people listen.
"As far as what he can do this year just win football games, win games with his national name, everything will take care of itself."
It certainly could when it comes to the draft with another big season. As far as the Heisman and a trip to New York City, Petty might face a little more competition with Florida State's Jameis Winston also returning and a host of other big-name contenders.
Either way, Petty will be a part of the conversation.