Pretty big day in terms of who was available to the media, having head coach Matt Wells, defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, and offensive coordinator David Yost. Non-transcript below. And Yost was the most difficult to do the non-transcript, he talks very fast and even if I rewind a bit, it’s difficult to catch all of it.
Head Coach Matt Wells:
- Bumps, bruises, tweaks, sprains, everyone has it, and you get a look at other guys and work on other parts of your game, just something you deal with and manage.
- Armand [Shyne] is a good back, he’s a guy that is trying to learn the system and the offense, the footwork and the signal, playing fast, he’s playing well.
- Jack Anderson and Dawson and Deaton, very limited during the spring, learning our offense, Jack is playing guard, Dawson is playing center, communication has to improve across the entire offensive line and learn their assignments, it is about all five guys communicating.
- Xavier White, one of the surprises of the camp, wasn’t with us during the spring and summer, went to a JUCO, but decided to come back here. Not sure who made the first connection, we found each other during the spring. He catches the ball and makes a move real quick, has improved his route running ability, it’s coming fast at him, especially with this offense and not being here in the spring, he’s caught the offensive and defensive coordinator’s eye, we’ll see how he does over the next few weeks.
- Not bad for a first scrimmage, with new quarterbacks, I thought we handed it fairly well, had only a few pre-snap penalties, but no post-play penalties.
- Good at times, still getting better fundamentally, just going through the offense, he has to continue to learn his wideouts, get to know Xavier, and R.J. Turner, and even T.J. Vasher, he hasn’t had a length of time to get to know each other, some days look a little cleaner of others.
- I think it will happen naturally, he’s handled everything like a pro, he manages the game at quarterback, but taking chances takes time and maturity with the offense, when he can take chances, what is the D and D.
- Has been give and take, very balanced, wasn’t sure if it would be tilted, we are not where we need to be overall, big plays and explosive plays on offense and in the red zone, defense tackled well and played well on third down on defense, some good give and take with the one’s.
- Tony is a guy that has a big play, he’s smart and absorbed a lot of information. Nobody is in a solidified role, he’s got himself in the conversation, Tyrique Matthews, Xavier Williams, and Trey Cleveland flashed today, those are new freshmen, and redshirt have a handful of guys that are still young in the program.
- Love Zech McPhearson, he does the little things right, tackles well, does exactly what we want for the program and we’re going to see a lot of him over the next two years.
- Tomorrow’s practice, then off, then two hard practices, and scrimmage on Saturday, very important, and then Monday and Tuesday of next week and on an 8-day blinder from now.
- Kickers and punters, they’re out there. Cody and Austin McNamara, compete very well, Austin would start. Cody [Waddell] is one of the more improved coming out of spring ball, changed his body.
Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson:
- About as full strength as today, once we got into a flow, I thought we got better today.
- Probably the biggest thing, stopped the run and forced 3 takeaways, gives us a chance to win, don’t mean to jinx myself, but felt good about tackling, and put an emphasis on yards after contact. We’re trying to be aggressive with tackling.
- I hate to single people out a week into spring football, probably the biggest thing is we’ve come along as a unit and made progress, I’ll single individual performances out when we start playing. A hungry dog hunts best.
- Been pretty good, challenging receivers, new people have helped with depth, I don’t know what was taught a year ago, they are very aggressive and squeezing and topping routes and results in takeaways.
- [Zech McPhearson] It’s like he’s been here for 5 years, athletic, and strong and if he stays healthy.
- [Evan Rambo] He’s bigger and stronger, and hard to block, he’s got long levers so he keeps people off of him, he’s a smart man, both guys have brought maturity, and have improved that position.
- [Re. cornerbacks] feels good about 4 to 5.
- There are times in our sub packages we play with 4 corners, need 4 to play at an elite level and I think we have 5 with the skillset, with the scheme fits with their skillset.
- John Davis, just get him to improve every day, has great cover skills, just trying to get him to be more competitive at the point of attack.
- Coach with a critical eye, critique the video with a critical eye, Coach Yost has given me a lot of problems.
- Great, we just had some PI’s that extended drives and normally when that happens it is a bad result, we gave up touchdowns when we gave up a PI, educationally, it was good because a set of eyes were on you, the educationally was able to watch the video, it was good and must be disciplined, they have to handle that. I like where we are, you won’t see any undisciplined or unsportsman like acts.
- Adrian Frye, I had not played him at cornerback yet, but he can and he will, he’s really everything we look for in a cover safety, we are positionless as a safety, you’ve got to have cover guys back there. The more physical they are at corner, Damarcus Fields, and Desmon Smith, and Zech is maybe stronger than all of them, we’re a bit positionless defensively and you have to stop the run in all of that as well.
- Rambo had a defensive touchdown and Doug Coleman had one to end a segment and then Dadrion Taylor, he’s been the most pleasant surprise, played running back his whole life, those were all interceptions.
- It is a process, just trying to survive right now, they are very talented, they have physical tools, Tyrique Matthews can step up this season.
Offensive Coordinator Matt Yost:
- There were some good things, did not want to go 3-and-out, had a few, I think 10 out of 13 with 1’s and 2’s did not go 3-and-out, our goal is less than 1 per game and getting us a first down tends to put us in scoring position. I think Xavier White, and Jax Welch had a good day, quarterbacks, Alan had a good day and Maverick McIvor had his best day, good and bad, Jackson Tyner had some good things.
- Jett Duffey is improved, we’re ahead of where we are in the spring, but it comes down to production and Maverick and Jackson are putting pressure on him, you have to produce to stay in your role, there were some good things today, but not enough on Saturday. They earn their jobs, we don’t give it to them.
- Tyner, He’s got experience, played in multiple college games and are fortunate for him to be here, he’s a smart guy, he’s a competitive guy and fit the bill of what we were looking for in a 4th guy.
- He almost makes 1 to 2 big plays per day, but it is a consistent basis, he scored a touchdown on a go route and could have 2 of those in the game, but didn’t. It is a consistent factor, Filani is on him and there are guys where he’s earning more reps.
- I don’t think any one of those guy shave stepped out yet, we have guys capable, with Ta’Zhawn Henry, SaRodorick Thompson, and they all have things that they do well, if you could Frankenstein all of them, you’d have a heck of a tailback, each one of those guys has missed practice time and they’ve been dinged, and that’s where Welch has put his name in the mix during the spring.
- We want to be able to run the football and run the ball when we want, at one point when we started at fall camp, only 1 of those guys played that position during the spring, making progress,
- Alan Bowman, he’s keeping it between the fairway, and that is something he is working hard on and he’s working on when to throw it away and I don’t have to make a super play all of the time, and today I thought he had one of his best days and it was one of those things where he had a chance to hurt us, and understanding the situation and when to do the right thing for the team, it is moving in the right direction.
- Really they are all in a big bucket and they are all repping with the 2’s and 3’s and we switch and do the same thing, it has been a positive and competitive.
- A change in position since the spring, and with KeSean going outside, biggest improvement. Dalton, Xavier, and McLane Mannix being healthy again has opened that up, and with Xavier Martin moving there, getting much there from the spring. It would be all three of them would be 1/3×3, White is really exceptional with the football, with Rigdon, he does the right things all of the time, Mannix is really good in space.
- Across the board, the d-line, they talk about disrupting, they do that on a high rate, getting through gaps and it has been a challenge to handle that and how they penetrate and how they attack. McPherson, he’s hard to throw on, I actually know his name know. Patterson does a great job with how they attack.
- Deaton is playing a lot of center and solidifying that for us, Casey Verhulst and a lot of improvement and Bradshaw and Zach Adams, they have all played opposite of Bruffy, those three guys have improved, Westin Wright has moved more inside.
A-J Media’s Don Williams and RedRaiderSports’ Brandon Soliz each have notebooks that summarize yesterday’s media availability. Williams notebook details that Xavier Benson and Evan Rambo have been the hybrid players, Benson at Raider and Rambo at Spur, with freshman linebacker Tyrique Matthews backing up Benson and Quincy Addison backing up Rambo. That’s a surprise for sure. And both Williams and Soliz have more detailed injury reports. A lot of times, the video above doesn’t give all of the press conference, so there must have been some injury information given prior to when the video starts.
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