I would hope that they wouldn't burn his redshirt to have him play in a few "scrub-time" situations. This obviously assumes that Tate and Denard don't get more than dinged up, and that neither struggles mightily. Unless, Devin can give us a much improved chance of winning a game (which I do not think that he will this year vs. two quarterbacks with experience from last year), I hope they do not throw him out there.
Rich Rodriguez Presser Notes 8-25-10
Notes from Coach Rod's Wednesday presser.
The QB battle is close. The coaches haven't been able to taper down who gets snaps. As long as they get better every day, you can be pleased with the progress. Everybody is too worried about who the starting QB is. The second team gets almost as many reps as the first team.
Any of the three are capable of starting right now, but he wants them to play at a high level. "If they're able to do that and execute the offense, then all three will play." Will keep QB choice quiet for competitive reasons. QBs will know Friday night (before game). Nobody else will know until kickoff at 3:36 Saturday.
No particular RB (or two) has stepped to the forefront. The position gets banged up in camp, which limits development. "We have some talent there, we'll be OK." The top 2-3 guys will play. Certain guys run certain plays better, so they'll get in the game for that play.
Fitzgerald Toussaint practiced yesterday, but not today. He's had a neck stinger, now his knee is sore. He'll be banged up a couple days, but might practice friday. Michael Shaw is still taking "the class," working hard at it. He's been spending half of his time practicing, and half of his time studying.
The offensive line is "not set as far as starters, but I think set as far as, you know who the 8-9-10 guys that are gonna be in the rotation will be." RR feels better about up front than the past couple years. He would like to play at least 8 offensive linemen (5 starters, backup C, G, T), depending on how they're performing and the tempo of the game. He would love to have two whole groups at line.
Improvement on defense has to come from several places. One guy can't replace Brandon Graham by himself. "The thing I probably feel the best about our defense is that we have a bigger pool of guys I think are going to be playing. That's going to allow us to have a little more depth, do a few more things defensively." If a couple guys (Mike Martin, Jonas Mouton, and JT Floyd in particular) have a big year, it'll offset some of the losses.
Will Campbell wasn't in great shape when camp started. He's been playing himself into shape. Mike Martin and Adam Patterson are at NG, "if he wants to play he's gotta compete." Rodriguez wants senior Sagesse, Banks, and Patterson, to have their best years. They're having good camps. "Of course you've got Mike Martin up front too who's had an outstanding camp. I think he can have a great year at noseguard for us."
Moundros may be the starter at middle linebacker. Right now he's taking a lot of reps. Mark has at least seen the field, which gives him experience (even if it's at a different position). He has intangibles. He needs to learn technique and system, but he was able to do that mostly in the spring. He's made very few mental errors for being new to the position.
There are some potential answers in the secondary. "Coming from freshman class. "It's kind of scary when you think about true freshmen playing in the secondary, but there's some talent there." They're progressing well now that summer class is over and they can focus on football. 4-5 true freshman DBs will play this year.
Cam Gordon - "He didn't play as well as he had played in any other practice in the scrimmage," but he's had a good camp and the staff feels good about him.
JT Floyd will start at corner on one side. Other corner might be Jame Rogers, "this is the best football he's played," or young guys. Have to keep it simple for the youngsters.
Nothing's new at kicker; it's inconsistent day-to-day. Most days have been encouraging - yesterday was not one of those days. They've been practicing on the new turf in the stadium. It's unlikely that different kickers will be used depending on distance of the kick.
Yesterday was a scrimmage. The last three quarters of practice, only players, officials, and Rodriguez were on the field. Did every special team and offense v. defense. "Glad we did it, but we've gotta do it again." They'll do it again friday, less intense, and maybe a little tomorrow. "With so many young guys, especially on defense playing, we've gotta try to get them used to what it's going to be like in a game where there aren't coaches standing behind them or on the side of them telling them what to do." It's a different atmosphere then practice, with signaling plays, etc.
Troy Woolfolk had surgery yesterday. "Everything went well with the surgery. Certainly it looks like he's lost for the season." No reason why he can't be 100% next year, and Rodriguez thinks he wants to come back for a 5th year. "It's his decision, of course, but Troy loves football."
Have a good grasp on what the team can do. "Certainly offensively, we have a pretty good idea of where our strengths are. And I think defensively too, even with the young guys, it probably takes them a little bit longer to determine a young guy because they have not done it in a game." Some guys plays better in a game, some play too nervous.
Started installing for UConn at the beginning of camp. "Starting really yesterday, and certainly today, and a lot tomorrow and Friday, will be a lot of UConn installation in all three phases."
the race is as close as they say it is, then he is going to play. Chances are good that your starter is going to get banged up this year to the point of missing a game or more. If # 2 has to set out a series, then you want your #3 to have had some game experience under his belt. In this offense, the QB is key and I for one don't mind having 3 guys with experience ready to step in and play. Also, I am starting to get tired of saying this (so this is the last time that I will), there is no guarantee that DG will be around for a 5th year so why try to save him. If he is at the level of the other 2 (he may be #2 already) then let him play.
I am just hoping the secondary can limit huge plays and the season should be a major success
Expect to see a lot of 3 deep coverage with the CBs bailing 10 yards off just before the snap. I think 'don't get beat deep' is going to be the mantra for the young corners. Could be frustrating to watch if teams have the patience to just take 8 yard stop routes.
Edit: I actually think this is the right approach, but it will be frustrating in the way that watching a 'bend don't break' defense always is.
that we saw under Herrmann and English as well. I am not a defensive coach, but I think it is often the safety play that dictates that and not the corner themself necessarily.
CB cannot play up at the line if there is no safety help. In past, safety help has been quite - unhelpful, which led to the corners having to play off the line to prevent the big play.
It is very frustrating to watch your team get bitten to death 5-8 yards at a time because of soft coverage, but I expect we will see a lot of it. Without BG's pass rush, expect to see teams throwing 65%-70% of the time on us.
Watching Michigan's secondary take deep drops on passing plays is nothing new—it's been going on since Bo was coaching. Teams like UCLA and Miami back in the early-mid '80s that had QBs who were accurate with just enough escapability were completing passes underneath on us for eventual victories back then, and I can guarantee you it was just as frustrating to watch back then as it is today.
The key to our defense is going to be our defensive line. If we can get consistent, reliable, effective pressure without having to send the kitchen sink, we might be able to stay in games. If our line can't get sacks and knockdowns and hurries without blitzing help, then we'll have trouble getting off the field. I wouldn't be surprised if Jibreel Black surpasses Will Campbell by the end of the season in terms of meaningful impact.
FWIW, the 3-3-5, if that is our base defense, is built upon blotzing on basically every down and distance. So the line will almost always be joined by a Linebacker or Strong Safety.
Aha....maybe this explains our problems on D the last couple of years. "Blotzing" is a term used in the Yiddish Football League, roughly translating to "Oy, take a break, sit down, and have a knish with some gefilte fish already."
That Taylor Lewan singled out JT Floyd and the secondary as the better performers in practice...hopefully a sign of good things to come. I am still confident about our team heading into the UCONN game. Hope Christian, Rogers, etc. take the challenge and run with it!
While I think that this year is going to be brutal in the secondary is it even possible for it to be worse than last year? I'm not kidding. Last year we were dropping our corners 10 yards off the ball, essentially conceding 6-8 yards a pop and still getting beaten deep routinely. I think our current rag tag assembly can and will do that.
Just staying at the status quo on defense this year is a win, when you factor in the injuries and the expected(gulp) improvement of the offense.
I think you are on to something here. I think being the underdog can be a motivating factor... Proving everyone wrong, having that "balls to the wall, nothing to lose" type attitude can elevate some players to do great things, especially young guys.
I know how astonshing it is to hear so many true freshman are going to be seeing the field at corner, but I have a good feeling that at least one of these guys as well as JT Floyd will be pretty damn good this season. Remember playing corner is mostly about having speed to stay with guys and having instinct and the will to make plays and be physical. Just because they are true freshman means nothing about there desire and physical ability. This is why I'm not very worried about the secondary this year. Plus an awesome pass rush and the ability to stop the run take a lot of pressure off the secondary because the safeties wont feel like they have to come up and help stop the run everytime and get smoked by play action.
I don't know where the idea that we can stop the run comes from. We gave up over a 180 yards/game last year against D1A competition.
If and when we make it through this season with 8+or-2 wins, with all those young guys in the secondary gaining valuable experience...............we are going to be in great shape next year
Maybe it was mentioned somewhere, but is anyone else still surprised that they are still insisting that its a three way battle for the starting QB spot? Here are my thoughts as to why:
- Keeps up the excitement for all of us
- Keeps Devin encouraged to feel like he is in the race
- To cause all of us some amount of anxiety
- To keep Denard and Tate on their toes
- Maybe his natural talent really IS keeping him in the race
- They know something we don't know (far fetched, but a Pryor type situation where they choose just to develop the young gun)
- Just to tee us off
I really just have trouble believing Devin will see real meaningful play time this year. At this point, who DOES know, I suppose.
- We fans get wrapped up about who's starting at QB. I don't think RR cares about that. Last year Tate and Denard both took plenty of snaps. What they are deciding now is how many series both (and maybe all 3) will get.
- They will BS the media if they think it will help them win. Why let UConn know that the game plan is to have Denard run the first 30 plays, then Tate the rest of the way?
Surely you are right in general (and no doubt right in some of your particulars.) It is virtually impossible that after all these practices, the three of them are roughly even. This is just motivation for the players and smoke for everyone else. I will be very disappointed if Devin does not redshirt this year.
I suppose it is a little more diffcult for UConn since they can't plan 100 percent for one QB, but they have to know Denard is the guy.
General consensus seems like it is Robinson, Gardner, Forcier, but who knows. Maybe they are just trying to keep people happy. Personally, I'd love to see Gardner red shirt so he could get some reps next year, then some more as a sophomore and still have two years to start when Denard leaves.
Or maybe we just won't be like one of those schools anymore with just one QB. That's what it's been like for almost a decade with Henne and Navarre. Maybe the battling days of Brady/Henson will return. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.
They say if you have two quarterbacks you really have none. Yikes.
The upside by keeping the 'hand' close to the face is that UConn won't know who to prepare for. I don't think we'll see DG red-shirt either because if one or the other (DR/TF) gets injured we're just one play away from seeing Devin in there (which may not be a bad thing either).
"Certain guys run certain plays better, so they'll get in the game for that play."
That quote scares me a bit. Reminds me a lot of last year, when Denard came in = run. Hopefully we telegraph plays less this year.
I'm no whiz when it comes to football strategery and whatnots so please go easy on me, but aren't we going to be running a ton of the "bend don't break" zone D's where we can rely on safety depth heavily?
Since our CB's won't be manning up on talented receivers all the time, just zoning up and hitting along with a mix of LB's and safeties when they aren't blitzing like mad, can't we just pray that Cam Gordon shows up deep and that the offense puts up tons of points and go into this season feeling something less intense than full-on depression?
I'm happy with bend-don't-break defense if the defense attempts to remove the reciever's head after the catch. I think we're going to give up a lot of yards this year, but if we can create turnovers we'll be ok.
right... isn't that what we have at safety/LB hybrid... a healthy crop of head removers?
I think you may be right. What is really going to determine our defensive success is the ability to stop the run, and thus our linebacking play. Even as we are all wringing our hands about the secondary -- did RR really say that 4-5 true freshmen would play there? Yikes, but I guess there is little choice -- it is really the linebacking play that has me worried. The Moundros gambit really needs to work. I have absolutely no confidence in Obi.
lower your expectations, be thrilled with a 6 to seven win season, expect huge things the following season, and assume that Brandon is smart enough--which the interview and meeting notes suggest he is--to keep Rich Rod if winning is on the rise.
A lot of people here, I think, might be setting themselves up for disappointment, which is okay, as long as you promise not to be calling for RichRod's head by midseason. We are climbing out of a deep hole, and our defensive secondary is suspect until proven otherwise.
With Barwis' off season program, how did he come into camp so out of shape? Obviously he is now paying the price.
If everyone were actually fit and well conditioned it seems like we would have fewer injuries. I know it's football and I know shit happens, but it just seems like there are aspects of fitness/conditioning besides strength that may be lacking here. Also, I don't remember being floored by our late-game/late-season stamina last year.
*ducks and covers*
Barwis does implement "Pre-Hab" in his conditioning. It's supposed to help prevent injuries from happening (duh). But, there is only so much you can do, especially if everyone is not on the same page.
You are probably right about it being wise right now to temper our expectations. The UConn game is going to tell us so much. I can't remember being on pins and needles for a game like this since, well, since RR got here. It seems to me, however, that Rich Rod thinks the team is going to be pretty good. Still, now is the time for expectation management.
I will be satisfied. Before the Woolfolk injury my personal threshold was 8 wins, but I'd probably take 7 wins as long as Moo U is one of them.
Is ross not in camp?
- Named Free Press Dream Team Kicker
- Associated Press Division 1/2 All State First Team
- 22/25 career field goals at Pioneer
- 8 career field goals over 40 yards
- Senior season was 9/10 in field goals and made all 48 PAT's
I really hope Marvin Robinson is one of those 4-5 Frosh DBs playing this year. Everything I've seen and heard says he's gonna be a beast and maybe one of those impact young guys on D.
Perhaps replacing Kovacs mid-season?
The coaches are very high on Kovacs, so I doubt it he'll be replaced.
I'm very excited for Marvin this year. Is he playing Kovacs' position? I was hoping we could keep Kovacs in there and MRob could get some time at T. Gordon's spot. I don't have a lot of things to base this off of, but i just don't have a lot of confidence in T. Gordon starting.
*i do not pretend to know where certain skill sets fit best in GERG's defense, this was just a hope of mine but may be incredibly wrong
I hope we get to see Josh Furman and Marvin Robinson play some against UConn. I want to see one of them just completely light a guy up.