Rich Rodriguez Presser Notes 4-13-10

Submitted by Tim on April 13th, 2010 at 8:12 PM

No practice report today, but Paul managed to come through with the audio from Coach Rodriguez's press conference.

Injuries:

  • Vlad Emilien came back to practice recently, and he's full-go.
  • Kevin Koger missed a couple practices last week, but he returned to practice today.
  • Quinton Washington was able to scrimmage a little Saturday.
  • JR Hemingway practiced with limited contact today, as did Je'Ron Stokes.
  • Renaldo Sagesse has been out for a couple weeks. They've moved some other guys to interior DL to help account for him and Mike Martin both being out.
  • David Molk is running, and taking part in some of the non-contact drills. He should be ready to go for summer workouts. He's ahead of schedule with his rehab.

Spring Game and More

  • The Spring Game is a real scrimmage, and hopefully a nice crowd will turn out and make the young guys nervous to get it out of their systems. The previous scrimmages were at least as important to the players for learning, however.
  • This time, guys are going to have to correct mistakes on their own instead of relying on the coaches to help them after each play.
  • Some of the proven guys coming off injuries will be held out a bit on Saturday. They'll only play a few series. There will be a game-like environment for everyone who's healthy. There are too many injuries to play a full game, but they should be able to do it in the future.

More after the jump.

Offensive Notes

  • Quarterbacks: There are definitely two quarterbacks on the roster (Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier) that the coaches are confident they can win with. Devin Gardner is also improving at a rapid rate. He's getting there, but the Spring Game will be a good indicator of how far he's come. There won't be a definitive quarterback depth chart until the end of fall camp. The coaches are hoping to have all three ready to go.
  • Last year, Denard was learning the offense, and now that's he's been in for a spring practice, he's much more comfortable with the whole playbook. There's a lot more learning for him to do, however. His pump fake on the last play of the scrimmage on Saturday, is a play that doesn't work that frequently. He needs to remember to get North and South when he runs to gain yards. The QBs still need to know they're allowed to make guys miss.
  • The running backs have been back-and-forth as to who performs the best on any given day. Fitzgerald Toussaint has been coming on of late, Mike Shaw has had a good spring, and the coaches have highexpectations for both him and Mike Cox. Freshman Stephen Hopkins is impressing, and he probably won't redshirt in the fall. They'll need a bigger back in the fall, and he could get those minutes.
  • On the offensive line, Rocko Khoury, Elliott Mealer, Patrick Omameh, and Ricky Barnum are growing in strength and confidence, which bodes well for the future. The coaches are getting closer to having eight guys they're comfortable playing on the offensive line, with those four, in addition to the three redshirt freshmen (Taylor Lewan, Michael Schofield, and Quinton Washington) ready to contribute. They should all be on the 2-deep somewhere. With established guys like Perry Dorrestein, Steve Schilling, Mark Huyge, and David Molk, there are plenty of options and they'll have enough guys ready to go for the season.

Defensive Notes

  • Adam Patterson has moved to nose tackle. He's one of the most explosive big guys (won the 40-yard dash for big guys). He'll still play both inside and outside. The coaches are confident in Greg Banks as well. They're hoping to have Will Heininger back from his ACL injury by midseason.
  • At middle linebacker, Kenny Demens has been dinged up the past couple days, but has been having a good spring when healthy. Obi Ezeh is having a good spring as well. Mark Moundros should be able to help some at linebacker. He'll play a bit of offense, but he's been working only on defense this spring to learn the position. John McColgan's emergence at fullback has allowed Moundros to be over on D full-time.
  • Cameron Gordon has been consistent all spring, but he hasn't played in a game yet. Corner was a concern after Donovan Warren declared early for the NFL draft, but Troy Woolfolk and JT Floyd have played well this spring. Justin Turner and James Rogers are improving. Turner is staying at corner for now. Once he's comfortable there, he could pay safety.
  • The defensive secondary will be deeper when freshmen arrive in the fall. They'll be able to play more nickel and dime packages this season, which they didn't have the personnel for last year.

Etc.

  • Brock Mealer (Elliott Mealer's brother) was able to walk 50 yards with just crutches, for the first time since his accident. He will lead the team onto the field against UConn.
  • Players and coaches know what to do during spring practices, so this spring practice is running very smoothly. That's helped the staff get more done this spring as opposed to the previous two years.
  • The biggest improvement for an individual player comes between their first and second years. Guys who redshirted are going to see that, along with some offensive linemen who are a couple years in.
  • Not just Tate, but several young players need to grow not only athletically, but academically and socially during their careers. The coaches often talk to Tate about expectations and how to meet them. There's some tough love involved for those young guys.
  • The staff has gotten a few calls about the outgoing seniors from NFL scouts. Zoltan was working with an NFL special teams coordinator today, Brandon Graham is always doing well. Rodriguez expects at least a couple to get drafted, and more of them to make it to NFL training camps. Minor hasn't been able to work out as much as he's like due to his shoulder surgery.

Comments

Blazefire

April 14th, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

4 quarters of football, with a Maize Team and a Blue Team playing against each other, because there aren't 2 reliable guys at each position. But yes, they will do something similar, like an Offensive/Defensive Scrimmage, wherein the offense will score by getting touchdowns and field goals, and the defense will score by getting INTs, TFL's, etcetera, would be my guess.

MGoShoe

April 13th, 2010 at 9:52 PM ^

...that Vlad has recovered from his injury and is back in the fold.

IME, the story of spring camp is: vastly improved depth across the board. Major, major factor for a successful 2010 season.

HAIL 2 VICTORS

April 14th, 2010 at 6:08 AM ^

"IME, the story of spring camp is: vastly improved depth across the board. Major, major factor for a successful 2010 season"

Would also add that the manner RR and the staff are composing themselves this year is having an effect on the entire camp so far-hard to express just feels different...Positive energy.

ctmaizenblue

April 13th, 2010 at 10:08 PM ^

the content of the last "inside Michigan Football" did not leave me excited for the spring game. RR said it would be vanilla, little installed,little revealed. I do not believe that qualifies as a real scrimmage.

Sweeny03

April 13th, 2010 at 10:29 PM ^

I have to disagree with you. I think the spring game is going to be interesting and exciting.

Sure, we aren't going to see all the tricks and gadget plays that the coaches are lining up for fall (which, isnt it cooler when we use those plays to pull one over the bad guys during the real thing?), but we ARE going to be able to see the athleticism and improvement of the personnel in straight-up mano-y-mano football. this makes me excited for the game.

I cant wait to see how some of the guys perform, especially some of those players - like turner and vlad - that lots of people on this board were asking about but didn't get to see much of last year.

Kvothe

April 13th, 2010 at 11:08 PM ^

to see Brock lead the team onto the field. Gives me goosebumps thinking about what all that family has been through. I'm sure it will be one big victory for them to see him leading the team out.

BlueintheLou

April 13th, 2010 at 11:11 PM ^

Brock Mealer leading the team out of the tunnel will be a sight to behold. I look forward to seeing that, and it will be a great moment for the University and program.

Blazefire

April 14th, 2010 at 7:43 AM ^

But they DID say they want to see improved academics and social skills from him and some other guys. I HIGHLY doubt this is a commentary on the lack of academic performance from these guys, but rather a commentary that they have the capacity to be true team leaders in every definition. Academic all Big 10 as well as athletic. RR would simply like to see that come to fruition.

Raback Omaba

April 14th, 2010 at 11:02 AM ^

Will be a sight to behold, and I guarantee you this, will be a trivia question or informational tidbit at some point during the game. Nevertheless, welcome to the Family Brock...if it meant trading Boren for you, we feel that we got the good side of the deal.

TRUEBLUE19

April 14th, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

All I can say is that I am excited to see the maize and blue wins some games, which this year is looking better for that. Plus they have an easier schedule to allow them to very realistically go 6-0 off the bat. We all want to see RR stay so we can see Devin Gardner become the all star next year!