Koetter's Post-Practice Quotes

Coach Dirk Koetter speaks to the media following Thursday's practice.

(On Thursday's practice in general)

"Typically you're in and you're out in the last practice before the scrimmage. You have some guys trying to just get through it. Between injuries and a bunch of guys out with academic issues today, we were operating on a bare bones level. There were good things, but sluggish at parts – just like the way this whole spring has been."

(On the injuries' effect during spring)

"When you take away the caliber of players that are hurt, the guys that are left – you have proven players like Hagan and Love, and the other level guys are so far away. It's helped the inexperience level guys. They have gotten a lot better. But it's just frustrating at times because we don't have the numbers we're used to having. But this will do nothing but pay off for us in the long term, but in the short term it's frustrating at times."

(Players that benefited this spring)

"Burgess moving around (between RB and WR), Carpenter getting half the reps at quarterback, Leo Talavou getting the majority of the reps at left guard. Jeremy Payton and Myrio Davis getting a lot of reps because of the safety situation."

(On the expectations from the team's JC transfers)

"To be fair you have to separate them in two groups. The three that are here are obviously way ahead. All three of those guys that are here Zach (Catanese), Beau (Manutai), and Will (Kofe) - they're gonna help our football team. It hasn't all sorted out yet because of injuries. With Kyle Caldwell being out, I don't exactly where Will is going to fit. But I do like his motor. Zach as a safety and a special teams player – I like him a lot. Beau will help us as a linebacker and on special teams."

"Derron Ware will be somewhat familiar with the system because he played under Bill (Miller) one year at Michigan State. Shannon Jones because of his body type can help us right away. Our corners are very athletic…you just don't know how quick they will adjust."

(On Burgess taking reps at RB on Thursday)

"Burgess played more in the backfield because Antone Saulsberry was at a study session and Jarrett Sayas sprained his foot. Rudy looked fantastic at tailback today. We have been moving him around just for his own experience part. Every time he jumps in at tailback like he did today, you're going ‘there's no question who our best tailback is.' Even though he put on those ten pounds, we're trying to save his body from getting beat up." (Burgess won't play tailback on Saturday).

(On the mindset come August regarding the team's tailbacks)

"One of the first things will be how fast Keegan Herring and Shaun Dewitty can help us. You got two brand new guys that have to learn it. We know they are skilled enough to play, but you never know how fast they're gonna learn it. You got two guys, Randy (Hill) and Cornell (Canidate), we have no idea where they're gonna be at. Then you have Rudy, Price (Wilks), Antone, and Sayas…it's gonna be a big question mark. At that position you never can play a guy that isn't ready. A guy that isn't ready will turn the ball over and get you beat. It will come out in two-a-days. How much reps they'll get will depend if they're forced into reps by Cornell and Randy."

(On how plausible it is to expect true freshmen to play right away)

"Every kid is so different. Some kids just have great football sense. Some kids are great athletes and takes them longer to learn. That's the thing about recruiting; you don't get to see the kid in a learning environment. You'll watch him on film compete hard, but you don't know how fast he learns. The first time those guys get hit, you get into two-a-days – their bodies are hurting. How do they react to that? We just don't know."

(On his position concerning the 12-game season proposal)

."I'm for it, if it means that the Pac-10 dictates that we play everyone in conference. I'm a big proponent of playing everyone in the league so you don't skip nobody. I think two times in the last seven or eight years where the two top teams in the conference didn't play each other. We have such a great conference with great rivalries. The schedule right now is so screwed up…it's conceivable that a player can go his whole career and never play at UCLA in the Rose Bowl, in Husky stadium."

"What almost every head coach is pushing for is that if they make it 12 games, it would be nice if we had nine conference games, but also have five years to play five. That would save you on the 12th game. At the end of the year we have all these freshmen that can help us, and we can't play them because it will burn their year. The American Football Coaches Association is pushing that and they say we have a good shot at it. That would be a great trade-off if we played 12 games."

(On the format of the spring scrimmage on Saturday)

"Ten offense-defense situations, where 1's go against 1's, and 2's go against 2's. They'll go minus one (yard), red zone, plus 15, minus 25, plus 40, two minute offense before halftime with 50 seconds on the clock, a 1:15 on the clock before the end of the game. In between those ten sessions, because of our numbers, we'll have to break it up with five-minute periods. Some of those periods may be individual periods, but we're still doing something, but it won't be scrimmage. We don't have the numbers too keep score. There is no score; we're trying to get better. All total, they'll be between 80-90 scrimmage plays, not counting kicking situations. Can't wait for the fans to come - plan on being there two and half hours."

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