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April 10, 2012On how spring ball has gone
I think it's gone very well. We've had days where one side of the ball or the other has dominated, but I think for most part, in the last week or two, it's been pretty even throughout the practice. One side may win an area or the other side may win another area, but overall I think that's a sign of a good football team - that one side isn't dominating.
We've paid attention to detail. We've had great effort. We've had young guys make improvements and we've had some older guys who have really stepped up in their leadership roles. We're really excited by how we've practiced.
On areas that they've developed faster or slower than he thought during the spring
I think we're right on schedule in most areas. With some of the guys not being back from injuries yet, that hurts the continuity on the offensive line a little bit. That's one thing that's been disrupted because Fisher and Andy Phillips, who both started a lot of games last year, and Aaron McCord, who played against Kent when Fish got hurt last year, all missed the entire spring. And Darren Keyton has missed the last week. That's four guys who are in your two-deep that are out, three of whom are probably going to start for you. Coach Cummings has been trying to move guys around and it's been tough to get settled in with that. The good news is that Ramadan Ahmeti, Nick Beamish and Kenny Rogers, who are all freshman have been able to take a bunch of reps against the starting defense, which is probably helping their development quite a bit.
On his expectations for the spring game
I don't want to see anybody get hurt. Aside from that, I just want to see guys have fun. The spring game isn't so much for the coaches. It's an opportunity for our players to get in front of some people and get front of our fans that will come out. As coaches, we're kind of just trying to get it over with and get through it, but I just want to see guys compete and have fun. We're trying to make it a fun atmosphere and make it somewhat competitive. At the same time, we will evaluate it, just like we have our other scrimmages.
On how much of the playbook they will use on Saturday
We'll really limit what we do offensively and defensively. We want guys to line up and play. Plus, if we split teams up the way I think we are, you're not going to have a lot of guys who have played together.
On how they're going to split up the teams
We're going to decide that today. What we'll probably do is divide the coaches up and let the coaches draft the seniors and then let the seniors draft the two teams, so we're trying to make it into a fun thing.
On how much they will focus on the quarterbacks on Saturday
The spring game will just be another evaluation. We've had so many evaluations out here on them. Cody has struggled at times, but gotten better. Alex Niznak has been really, really good. I've had a lot of people comment to me and you can really see a huge improvement in how he's played.
On Titus Davis
Titus has been outstanding this spring. In the fall, he was just a great player playing football. Now, he's becoming a wide receiver. He's learning how to run routes and get off the line of scrimmage. Coach Rison has done a great job with him. You can really see him developing the other parts of his game, which will make him a more complete and productive player.
He's very good because he has great ability, but he has the other things: he's a hard worker, he's tough and he's smart. He's got the whole package. He works harder than anybody out there. He's got no diva in him at all. It's not about him at all. It's about our team. He blocks. He runs his routes full-speed even if he's not the first option in a concept. That rubs off on the rest of the group and on the rest of our team.
On the status of Taylor Bradley and John Williams
Taylor has got a sixth year. John Williams has decided not to come back.
On the defensive secondary
It's shaping up really well. Jahleel Addae has been very good. Avery Cunningham has been very good. Jarrett Chapman has had an outstanding spring. Lorenzo White had his best day in our last scrimmage. And then Kevin King is a guy who has gotten a bunch of reps at safety. He's been very good. At the other corner spot, Jarret Chapman has done a very good job, as I mentioned. Dennis Nalor has had some very good days and he's had some inconsistent days. Same thing with Stefon Armstead. What we're counting on is getting Taylor Bradley healthy. If we get him back healthy, which he is on track right now, I think we'll have a good secondary that will be a veteran secondary as well. I think it should be one of the strengths of our team.
On the general health status
As far as the spring has gone, it's been very good. There haven't been any new injuries. We're just trying to get guys back. Anthony Garland did practice today and he looked good. But Fisher, Courtney Williams, Cody Wilson, Matt Losiniecki, we won't get those guys back at all in the spring.
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