Erickson's Post-Practice Quotes Thursday

Two days into spring practice and everyone is already getting antsy. Football isn't played in shorts, and you can tell these guys are anxious to play football, even coach Dennis Erickson.

"Always the second day isn't as energetic as the first day," coach Erickson pointed out, "but we were out there a long time and I thought it went well. We're improving all the time and the effort is good. Been around this offense and defense with these guys for a while so it helps.

"It's good to get back in the feel of the game and get the timing of everything before we put pads on, which we're going to do Saturday, and that will make it a little bit different. You can only go so long in shorts. I've always wondered about the rule in the spring when we don't have pads on why we can't wear shoulder pads just for protection injury-wise, but that's the NCAA."

One position that's easy to watch, even without pads, is the quarterbacks. While junior Brock Osweiler is on the fast track to start, the race for who will back him up is looking like it's going to be a battle.

Last year's scout team leader, Taylor Kelly, appeared ready to take over the back-up role and push starter Osweiler, but freshmen Mike Bercovici, who the receivers have dubbed "The Truth," has been making the transition from high school to college seem easy.

"People forget, I don't know if he's 17 or 18, but he should be in high school," coach Erickson mentioned. "I mean he can throw it man, he gets the ball out real quick, but all of a sudden you're out here practicing the snap count, you've got to get everything going, your at the line of scrimmage, and that's the biggest thing right now and that's just experience. He was a lot better today than he was on Tuesday.

"He just got out of high school where he was watching these guys on TV, but he was in a great high school so he understands the game real well, so that helps."

With so many players out rehabbing injuries this spring, especially on the defensive side of the ball, a lot of players are getting looks they normally wouldn't get once the season gets under way.

One player seeing some time in the second group due to Junior Onyeali being out is Derrall Anderson, who is now getting work on the defensive line. Lost in the mix at linebacker last season, Anderson will get a chance to show off some of his athleticism and pass rush skills from the end position.

"We're trying to find a place for him to play. He's a good athlete, he can run, he's a very good pass rusher at linebacker so we felt, ‘heck,' lets put him down there and see how he is and we can use him in situational things as a pass rusher. You know if we have to go to some 30 stuff he can be an outside guy and flip around, and actually he's adjusted pretty well."


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